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Can anyone tell me where I can get some maps showing fire roads and trails in California?
Either online or what stores have them. I believe I can get them at a Ranger station but would get them before making the trip to the mountains.
 

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If you have a newer GPS you can download maps to it. Some sites have published maps that are compatible with mainstream GPS devices for free. You get what you pay for some times. I have purchased the Garmin maps and they work pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks I'll be looking at them. I need to first buy a new GPS. The one I have is very old. Can you suggest which model to buy?
 

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All I've ever had are Garmin GPS units. My GPSMap 60CSx is getting ready to be handed down to my son. My current one is a Garmin Rino 655t.

You may want to look at what is available to load on your smart phone.
 

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Happy (so far) with my Garmin Montana 600 with 4" touchscreen.
 

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I switched to using an iPhone for my gps needs...much better maps, much better scrolling and zooming, google earth overlays, etc...all the functionality of a traditional gps with an all around better experience...

and if you already have a smart phone MUCH cheaper than a new gps...$15 for a killer app, add in another $100 if you want a waterproof case...battery life is excellent once you turn off all radios (airplane mode)...

If you want to use AA batteries add another $40 for a charger that runs off of AA, or get a battery pack that is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and will charge your phone half a dozen times...

And you also have a great little camera/video camera with you too...

And it is much smaller/lighter than a traditional gps...

Lots of benefits to using a smart phone...i picked up a iPhone 6+ just for the big screen to use as my gps...excellent display with google earth images...
 

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I switched to using an iPhone for my gps needs...much better maps, much better scrolling and zooming, google earth overlays, etc...all the functionality of a traditional gps with an all around better experience...

and if you already have a smart phone MUCH cheaper than a new gps...$15 for a killer app, add in another $100 if you want a waterproof case...battery life is excellent once you turn off all radios (airplane mode)...

If you want to use AA batteries add another $40 for a charger that runs off of AA, or get a battery pack that is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and will charge your phone half a dozen times...

And you also have a great little camera/video camera with you too...

And it is much smaller/lighter than a traditional gps...

Lots of benefits to using a smart phone...i picked up a iPhone 6+ just for the big screen to use as my gps...excellent display with google earth images...
An excellent point, TJM! Quite a few folks are switching to using phones and tablets as their GPS solution. I have a dedicated 8" tablet also for use as a GPS and loaded the "Backcountry" software into it. Although most folks say it's easy to use, I find it has a bit of a cumbersome learning curve, so for now I just use the Montana 600 (there is also a Montana 650 that has a camera as well) and is also satellite imagery compatible. I also use the 'AMPS rugged mount' for my Montana which has a built in power cable, so batteries and charging are not an issue - and the power is not USB so it doesn't have the radio interference issues of a USB-connected device.

One thing you have to watch out for when using a phone or tablet is that the device has a true GPS receiver. More and more phones are using GPS-A receivers which is 'assisted' GPS that requires a cellular connection that it uses to help triangulate your position. If you are in an area that has no cell signal, your GPS will not work. The iPhone 6+ uses GPS-A, not a true GPS receiver. But it is also has GLONASS - still learning about that as well as 'iBeacon microlocation' so that may or may not be an issue. An excellent source for learning more about phones and tablets for GPS services can be found here;
The FACTS about using your Smart Phone or Tablets GPS for Trail Riding - Polaris RZR Forum - RZR Forums.net

More about traditional GPS's;
What GPS?, App?, Software?, Case?, Mounts?...The Newbies Guide to getting started! - Polaris RZR Forum - RZR Forums.net
 

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Hmmm, interesting read...i've used an iPhone 4, 5s, and now a 6+ as a gps in areas no where near cell service with great results....

 

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I use these guys, HUNT by onXmaps - Public/Private Land Ownership maps for your GPS, Mobile Device, and Computer The software is totally awesome, shows BLM and national forest boundaries. Even the property owners name. It is dead accurate. The screen is in color, for instance it shows BLM in yellow, etc.. Just like the real map. You can also load it onto a laptop and plan your trips, I have not done that, but want too. Good luck
That could be extremely useful. Thanks for the tip.:)
 

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Hmmm, interesting read...i've used an iPhone 4, 5s, and now a 6+ as a gps in areas no where near cell service with great results....
Dunno! The 5 & 6 both have GLONASS, the 4 doesn't. All 3 are A-GPS??? I'm not an "i" anything fan so no personal experience. But hey, can't argue with success! :)
 

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Dunno! The 5 & 6 both have GLONASS, the 4 doesn't. All 3 are A-GPS??? I'm not an "i" anything fan so no personal experience. But hey, can't argue with success! :)
iPhone 4 using the Mophie Outdoors app works great without cell service...

iPhone 5 and 6+ using the Gaia GPS app with great results and even better functionality :).... Just love having the topos and google earth...


 

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This might be useful. Pretty simple but it has lots of trails already on it and you can downoad google maps and the trails onto your phone so you can use it without phone signal. I think you might be able to download gpx files also for your gps. I am not all that familiar with it since I just picked up on it a few days ago.

https://www.riderx.com/en-us/web
 

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Get yourself a road atlas for the area/areas you ride. The kind that show topo, all the small roads, and have gps coordinates. Also, get anything that will give you accurate gps coordinates of your current position. I've got a Garmin Oregon that has the gps/mapping functions, but I much prefer using the system described above. The problem with a lot of the electronic gps devices is, when you zoom out to get a larger perspective, you lose all the detail. And, the atlas/gps system is relatively cheap.:glee::encouragement:
 

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Even though I have the GPS unit with maps loaded I also look at the maps on my PC beforehand and in some cases I also print them. Be prepared.
 
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