Don’t buy a GARMIN unless you have to… Use your iphone / Samsung instead!

Some basic settings and tweaks of your smartphone can turn it into a very reliable and useful GPS on the trail. Instead of carrying a dedicated GPS unit, I use my phone and the Gaia GPS app with custom maps and rasters. I bring along extra batteries purchased from Amazon. The Samsung S5 is a great hiking GPS coupled with the Gaia GPS app as long as you tweak the settings to conserve battery power. Garmin GPS’s are crazy expensive and if you don’t need the features that they have and simply need a hiking/walking GPS, try using your smartphone!

Batteries I purchased for S5:


ManInTheBigHat says:

What App are you downloading the maps from?

yummyjackalmeat says:

get power bear extended batteries. It makes your pone a little more bulky, but I looove it.

Doug Kahler says:

The screen on a Garmin is tiny compared to the screen on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Active.

Seth Stachlowski says:

will this work in areas with no reception? A lot of the hiking trails in the alpine wildernes are far from everything

Mary Van Hoomissen says:

This was very helpful, especially since the tutorial from the company I found was for an iPhone. You said you use the signal to get the maps and have usually had cell coverage. Have you ever downloaded the maps ahead of time? If so, pros and cons? Thanks!

queenofspadz says:

@3:06 – isn’t one of the benefits of handheld GPS is that those come with much better GPS antenna? This is the ONLY thing keeping me from using my S5 for trail mapping.

Adrian Casamonte says:

I love the social aspect of some apps like STRAVA to compete and sahre with others… i ll love there was something like it for hikers too… somedays just like to put my headset on, take my agm x1 (a great outdoor phone that endurance falls, water, aaaalll) some water … and I lose a few hours in the road ♥ btw: the agm x1 has now a new gold edition with battery for days :O !

neo85271 says:

Hepatic feedback lol. If you’re getting hepatic feedback you probably shouldn’t be out in the woods

Steven Brennick says:

I have tried these apps they do not work.

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