WHY I USE GPS KIT FOR IPHONE
For my navigational needs I use GPS Kit created by Garafa, LLC. Be it tracking a route or backtracking my way out of a confusing location and or finding my way through the dead of night! This GPS Kit app is only available for iPhone users, and I am an iPhone user.
If your NON-iPhone person on one of the other brands, I would recommend GAIA GPS.
I’m old as in “paper map era,” so I like simple! I’ve simply kept using GPS Kit for my moto and off-road trips because it’s rather simple and easy to use and all of my desert off-road 4X4 buddies are using the same app. AND for the past 5+years, it has not let me down!
If you want to do a little research before getting into it, go to the GPS kit website: GPS KIT http://gpskit.garafa.com/GPS_Kit/Overview.html.
If you want to read more about how I personally got into GPS Kit, read down below the instructions section.
GPS KIT – INSTRUCTIONS
You have to download the app to your iPhone. Once your in the Apple App Store, simple type in “GPS Kit” into the search bar.
Step: 1 DOWNLOAD
Visit the App Store in your iPone and look for the following icon as there are TONS of options and “GPS Kit” is a simple “often” used term.
LOOK FOR THE OFFICIAL ICON! THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS!!!
GPS Kit is for iPhones (NO HD in the bottom right corner of the logo.
GPS KIT HD is for iPads – Note the “HD” in the bottom right corner.
Step: 2 – START TRACKING!
If you are like me when I first learned about GPS Kit, I was 5-minutes away from on-trail! Once you get the GPS Kit app downloaded, simple tap the little green arrow / time stamp bar (SEE RED CIRCLE) and the “Start New Track” bar will slide up. MAKE SURE YOU STOP YOUR TRACKING AT THE END OF YOUR TRAIL!!! Hopefully you will do this before you get out on trail and have a chance to play with the app a bit!
Step: 3 CHANGE MAP VIEW
To change the map view, in the top right corner of your screen, tap the gear button to pull up map style choices.
STEP: 4 MAP STYLE CHOICES
There may be a few different reasons for choosing different maps…
STEP: 5 MAP CHOICES
I typically will only use these two (RED X’s); Google Terrain and Open Cycling/Topo. While I have the GPS Kit app open and tracking, I will also use Google Maps app that I have also loaded to my phone. Typically I will be using Google Maps in Satellite mode with GPS Kit in Google Terrain mode.
Step: 6 TOPO
Sometimes I like the Open Cycling / TOPO mode as different things may be shown. Plus, the topo is good when you are navigating yourself out of a “sticky situation” that may require a little “crea-navi-tivity!”
Step: 7 SAVED TRACKS LOCATION
Where did we go? See “DATA” at the very bottom of the screen to pull up all the previously recorded tracks. It will save all your tracks by date, so if you want to give it a custom name you can do that.
Step: 8 EMAIL GPX FILE
When your buddy sends your that super dope secret spot via a GPX file into your email box. Relax, but know you are holding secrets! Don’t go blasting your lips like a Yamaha Banshie on nitros spraying the GPX file all over the www! You might find yourself no longer on the friends list. “Oh yea, I sent it! You didn’t get it? Maaan, I sent it! Refresh your inbox. Check your spam box bro! Don’t act like your not getting my emails! You must have deleted it!” See how you almost lost your good buddy?! OK, you got it? Now click the file and open it. BUT DON’T FREAK OUT!!! >
Step: 9 Start the GPX download
DON’T FREAK OUT! It’s just code! Simply look up to the top right of your window and look for the “FORWARD” button. You want to forward the file to the GPS Kit App. Once you hit the forward, see next step >
Step: 10 Send GPX file to GPS Kit App
Once you’ve hit the forward button, it should pop up all the availalbe options to send the GPX file to. When you first start using the app, you may have to scroll all the way to the right on the available apps until you see the GPS Kit app. Note the icon. Tap GPS Kit app button and it will automatically download to the GPS Kit app. Now you are in business!
Step: 11 View Map / Visible Options
Back in Step: 7’s Saved Track Locations, choose the GPX file you just uploaded or choose one of your own previously made tracks. Once you open one of the GPX files you will want to pay particular attention to the “VISIBLE” option. If you want to “see” this track on your map (along with all your other tracks), make sure you slide the button to the “GREEN – ON” option. If you simply want to only see this track, tap the “View Map” option.
Personal Note: Overlaid Tracks
I personally like to see all my tracks on the map. Example being, if I made four different trips through roughly the same area, if I have all of them on my map, I will see that I’ve been through that section and how I crossed over and came close to one of the other tracks.
HOW I CAME ABOUT THE GPS KIT
I was actually put on the GPS KIT tip by Dan Cerchio of B&B Tank Supply, a buddy to Yotamasters is who introduced us to the app. He would send us the meet-up point and the proposed routes we would do.
I asked him one day, standing out in the middle of Death Valley, why GPS KIT? He basically said, “I have very little time to plan routes, I already have a rough idea of where I want to go, it’s simple to use and it’s not very expensive at $19.99.” “Oh, yea, it works on my iPhone and I can share routes to Androids”
I was already using an iPhone and I simply wanted to use what they were using so they would be able to help me quickly with it any time I needed assistance with it. As I spent more time using the app, it becomes second nature and I didn’t want something too complicated. I’ve been sold on it and have shared it with many of my friends. But too, I have other friends that have gone well beyond this app with more in-depth apps and tools. They tend to be PC based users. But the The GPS Kit app is an Apple-only application.
Not a problem for me! I am Apple-based (iphone / iPad / laptop) due to my graphic design background starting with the Apple Quadra 650.
Afterwards I started my own trip planning and route tracking with the GPS kit app.
!!! WARNING !!!
I am not responsible for your use of the this app or issues you may have with “finding your way!” Getting lost is SERIOUS! If you are not prepared! If you find yourself “LOST” the FIRST THING YOU DO IS – – – RELAX! Breath. Take in your surroundings. There is no such thing as LOST, you are just temporarily displaced! YOU ARE STILL ON EARTH! Freaking out will get your hurt! Flying fast all over the place will get you hurt. Slow down. Trust your instincts. Get out that old paper map and navigate. Early settlers did not freak out because their batteries died… they explored without maps in order to make the maps. They mostly followed the original American’s footpaths until the got sidetracked because they found shinny stuff.