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Popular GPS apps that help recreationists and hunters navigate the outdoors

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Posted at 1:24 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 03:28:13-05

IDAHO — We recently reported on how Idaho Fish and Game is asking recreationists and hunters to know private and public land boundaries before heading out into the outdoors. One way to do so is by downloading a GPS app onto your phone.

"Most of them are available on both android and IOS, and there are some top picks out there," Pam Bond, Executive Board Member, Idaho Trails Association said. "The top pick for me would be an application called GAIA GPS, two other really popular ones that I know of are Backcountry Navigator and onX Maps."

There are several different options for apps that people can download to their phones, something the Idaho Trails Association recommends to anyone adventuring outside. Bond recommends downloading a few different ones to try out. She said that they all do about the same thing, it's just about personal preference, and what you want to be using the apps for.

"They cater your user experience to if you are hiking, biking, hunting, fishing, equestrian, anything off-roading," Bond said.

These apps can serve many different purposes. They have maps to download, private and public land boundaries so you don't trespass, safety tips, and many other information layers.

"Where you can go to do your plotting and do your research, and they also provide you with a lot of layers that you can get information from," Bond said. "For example, you can see where all of the roads and trails are, where past fire history was, where private and public land ownership is."

Bond added that these apps provide an added layer of safety and knowledge to outdoor recreationists and hunters, especially since the information can be downloaded and used while not in service.

"My caveat to that is you should literally know where you are at all times. You should definitely be carrying a paper map with you, and have some awareness when you are out there, be looking around," Bond said. "Know where your landmarks are because your technology can fail."

She also said that the apps are user-friendly and easy to learn.