GPX sharing website and community

The lost art of navigation

There is no doubt that modern technologies make life (and travel!) easier. Adventure riding has been transformed since the dawn of the Internet and satellite navigation: finding your way around the world is now practically effortless. Invest in the newest GPS unit, set your route, and go. But is navigation really that simple?


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    • By zodillyicous
      Garmin 590LM $425 + shipping UPS/USPS.  
      Good condition but is used (mid 2014 purchase) and shows some signs of use. Battery has never given me any issues but it is original. Battery was low when I powered on from 3+ months ago. Took a full charge. Included extras:
      • Weather cap is $10 (2 included)
      • RAM ball mount is $7 (2 included)
      • 2 gb micro SD • Car mount cradle with suction cup/cigarette lighter power
      • (2) motorcycle cradles ($60) o 1 with SAE/trickle charger power only o 1 with coax/heated gear power only o 2 sets of wires cut off. (still looking for 1 set)
      • Standard microUSB wire to connect.
      • Just checked updates and loading current City Navigator maps.
      • Currently installed maps from GPSfiledepot. I can remove and put installers on a thumb drive if you would like.
      • I will disconnect from my garmin account at sale.  

    • By michnus
      All about what GPS to use to maps and what else. I wrote the article as information when wanting to buy a GPS. Hope it is of some value
      How to choose the most suitable GPS navigation unit and associated products for your dual sport adventures.
      Selecting the best motorcycle gps can be somewhat of a challenge due to the limitations of placement, touch screen, size, with more abuse and waterproof and dustproof properties as opposed to conventional GPS units.
      Then there are the map sets which can cost some money and the map software to learn. This article is not about which brand or unit or which brand is the best but to assist with some guidance when choosing a unit and all the mind boggling amount of maps and mapsets to choose.

    • By brian.havoc1
      First thing's first:  THIS APP REQUIRES NO DATA TO FUNCTION.  No matter how many people I talk to, someone always pops up to complain that it won't work when you're out of cell range.  I state now, once and for all, when you're on the road, this requires no data.  Some of the additional features may, and you must download the mapsheets ahead of time, but all you need for this to work in the field is the GPS chip--which every cell phone has.  
      Best part?  Try it for free.  In the free version, you can download up to 10 mapsheets--which may be enough for you never to upgrade anyway, since each is a state or country.  If you do choose to upgrade to the full version, the cost is around $8--probably the best money you can spend on navigation.  Half the time, I can't buy paper maps for that much.  
      This app has a million features, but here are the ones I really like:
      - it's more versatile than my Garmin 650t.  It'll load anything GPX without a hassle.  
      - It will save GPX (many configurations possible for intervals and other info), though I've actually had better luck with Google's My Tracks for pure simplicity.  Often, I record using My Tracks, then export to GPX and open in OSMAnd+.  
      - pinch and pan using the phone interface is awesome
      - Bluetooth allows turn-by-turn instructions on your helmet headset if you're on the road
      - A $2 contour plug-in gives you topo capability (download a small topo overlay for each regular mapsheet).  If you don't know how awesome this is, save your $2 for a half a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
      - It actually doesn't draw much power.  My phone will last all day with it on while recording GPX tracks.  The display is what sucks battery.  My phone (Droid Razr Maxx HD) will run OSMAnd+ longer than my Montana 650t will run on a single charge and the display turned all the way down.  
      - You can load it onto a full-sized tablet or a mid-range 7" "phablet" and have an enormous display.  Some of these new phablets are actually waterproof (Sony Xperia is one) and have batteries to go for a really long time.  Try that on your GPS.  
      - My favorite capability is setting an overlay map and selecting Microsoft Earth.  This gives you an overlay on top of the base vector map and a slider to choose the transparency.  This is hugely useful for seeing things like clear-cuts (logging is big up here in the PNW) or finding paths and trails that aren't on a map.  This feature alone is worth the $8.  It requires data of course, though you can preview the places you're looking at from the comfort of lunch or home wi-fi, and the imagery will remain cached.  I've used this for elk hunting, and it's very slick.
      - there's so much here, it's intimidating at first
      - you have to save the mapsheets on your phone.  Some are pretty big and will take a while to download, as well as a lot of space.
      - I often have trouble getting it to navigate to a street address.  When using grid coordinates or picking a spot on the map, it has no difficulty at all.  
      - Check your settings for what the phone enables during low-battery mode.  Mine was set to disable the GPS chip.
      - Yes, your phone is probably not as hardy as your purpose-built GPS.  Yes, the screen is probably less well-adapted to direct sunlight, and charging can be a challenge due to vibration, even if the tablet or phone is waterproof.  Yes, the screen might not work with gloves (there is a glove treatment you can use for this though).  
    • By Eric Hall
      A few years ago, Touratech USA and Butler Maps did this route across the state of Washington that attempted to cross the entire state mostly on back country dirt roads.  Of course, Touratech was hoping it could sell a bunch of protective after market parts for old white guys like me who dreamed of doing an adventure like this.  Needless to say, it took off quite well and became a popular trip to take.
      Since then they have embarked on creating new BDR's for most of the spacious Western states that still have lots of open space like Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, etc...  You can check out their site and see for yourself.  I did Colorado last year and can post a report of that one later.
      This time it was the state of Arizona, where I actually grew up.  I was born in CA but raised in AZ (like the movie title).  I lived there for 15 years but never really even saw the places I saw just a few weeks ago riding the route.  It is set up as a six day route but we did it in five.
      I used to ride with Gerd who moved up to the Seattle area and told me some of his riding friends there were planning this trip, so I hooked up with them.  Six of them from the Seattle area rode their bikes to AZ, which at 1400 miles, is a very long way.  It's only about 385 miles for me.
      Arizona is known for being VERY hot in the summer.  I recall one day growing up the temperature got to 122 (50C).  This is why we went in the spring.
      I had been looking at last year's COBDR video I did and saw from the number of views my video got that this next one was likely to get quite a few eyeballs as well.  I thought why not use that for good, so we decided to do a fundraiser for a charity called "Lost for a Reason."  They assist children and families of the Navajo Nation.  They are also kind of the official charity of the BDR series and a lot of us riders know who they are and what they do.  They have some cool stickers they offer for sale you might be interested in.  JJ Lewis, who does a lot of work for LFAR, came with us as well.


      We met at my sister's house in Scottsdale on a Saturday night (May 3).  It's funny with adventure riding in that you have never met someone before in your life but if you met to go adventure riding, then there's an immediate bond and it doesn't matter that you were strangers the day before.  We had quite a time that night getting to know each other, having some great bbq, swimming and downing a few bottles of wine and beer.
      My mom even addressed Ronald's sunburn with some aloe vera

      Ronald (Dutch) and Jesper (Dane) enjoying the pool

      I changed my rear tire there at my sister's house (because I'm a man)

      But the other guys had to go to the BMW dealer the next day to have theirs changed 

      We set out for Tombstone that afternoon and got this send off picture from GoAZ BMW


      Pretty maids all in a row

      We got to Tombstone and stayed in a little motel (I wanted to camp).  It was Sunday night and most everything was closed.  We got to this bar and I hear some idiot say "we don't want BMW's around here..."  I was very hungry at that point and not in a great mood and thinking "what a stupid thing to say" and was anxious to meet the guy who said it.  As it turns out, the guy who said it was a bit too old and drunk to be taken seriously.  So I didn't get my dream of having a shootout at the OK Corral.  Besides, they didn't have any food there anyways, so we had to leave and find another place to eat.

    • By Clink
      Has anyone used this app on their phone as their main GPS? I read some good reviews but I'd like some feedback and tips from people around here... I have a Garmin 60C but having it on the phone seems like it'd be easy to get trails and routes easier.