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Old 01-21-2020, 10:50 AM
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recommend a tablet for off road navigation

I have a 20 Gladiator Rubicon with the 8.4" screen. One of the features of that is supposed to be the ability to record trails in navigation. The only problem is once the unit loses cell or internet service, not sure which it is yet, the ability to record trails is lost. And the system is really geared towards road use. If its not a road, it doesn't exist.

I see people running tablets for navigation. What tablet is a good tablet to use for navigation?

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Old 01-21-2020, 11:10 AM   #2
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Get the GAIA app and use what you already have. Gaia GPS is first and foremost a backpacking app. View your route using comprehensive topo maps and backpacking map layers, plus up-to-date weather forecast overlays. Then, use the intelligent routing tools to plan trips, mark campsites and points of interest, and measure distance, altitude, and elevation change.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:11 AM   #3
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I run an iPad mini. Cell and GPS, largest memory I could get. I’m able to down load all the areas I wheel in. Enough memory left to add other areas as needed. Works well with Gaia, All Trails, Trails Offroad, FunTreks. Currently using GPS Tracks for for navigation when out of cell service.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiGobi View Post
I see people running tablets for navigation. What tablet is a good tablet to use for navigation?
I haven't pulled the trigger on a tablet for offroad navigation yet but just make sure you get one that has cellular ability built-in which gives you the required GPS receiver chip. I haven't found a decent wifi only tablet yet that had the required GPS receive abilities. Samsung seems to be the universal hand-down favorite. The cheap tablets being sold everywhere have too many negative comments for me to feel comfortable buying one. The Samsung is more expensive than many but I haven't seen any negative comments about it either.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:48 PM   #5
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...The Samsung is more expensive than many but I haven't seen any negative comments about it either.
Jerry, the Samsung Tab-A 10.1 (SM-T580) is a WiFi only tablet with GPS. My wife's older WiFi only Sammy is GPS enabled also. I don't use it often, mostly when I go on trails I've never been on before. Then I'll download the maps so I have a larger map to look at rather than the 7" Garmin GPS screen it things don't look right or someone says "Hey, how about this trail, wonder where it goes..."
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:44 PM   #6
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I dunno Bob, I just looked that unit up and I couldn't find that it actually had a GPS receiver chip. A few owners said in the reviews it does not have GPS. I realize you can get GPS information through wifi without having a GPS chip but if you're out in the boondocks without an actual GPS chip installed I don't believe those wifi-only tablets can pick up a GPS signal. The Samsung tablet specialist I spoke to at Best Buy said if I wanted to use it as an offroad GPS where there are no cell or wifi signals that I'd need a cellular model which comes with an actual GPS chip.

This is from the Samsung Tab-A 10.1 (SM-T580) page on Amazon, in the Q&A section...
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:03 PM   #7
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recommend a tablet for off road navigation

You don’t need GPS in the tablet, add a BadElf instead. That way when you upgrade tablets as time goes on you don’t need to worry about it. Plus the non-cellular tablets are much less expensive anyway.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pkdailey4 View Post
Get the GAIA app and use what you already have. Gaia GPS is first and foremost a backpacking app. View your route using comprehensive topo maps and backpacking map layers, plus up-to-date weather forecast overlays. Then, use the intelligent routing tools to plan trips, mark campsites and points of interest, and measure distance, altitude, and elevation change.
Is it possible to load GAIA into the stock 8.4?
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:26 PM   #9
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Wonder how people are using their Navigation off-road apps...

Personally I run a Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with no GPS built in and Gaia maps. As I do not use it for turn by turn mapping, I tuck it between the seats with some downloaded music fed into the stereo. It always knows my location down to a few feet even without the GPS feature. For all I know it has one.

As mentioned above, I use Gaia mostly as a map, not as a navigator. Before heading out to the trail, I download the area I will be in when wheeling and then activate the tracking when I turn off the paved road or at some landmark. This drops tracks to see where I have been.

Gaia is some incredibly powerful software that outsmarts me regularly. It has a long learning curve that I just breaking off the tip of. Spending more time with it, is on my to do list so I can harness more capability.

Later after the day on the trail, I can pull up the tracks on my PC at the Gaia site and review the tracks from a bigger screen.

TLDR... Galaxy Tab A 8.0
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:44 PM   #10
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Your A8 has a GPS receiver.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:28 AM   #11
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Great thread guys!!
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:46 PM   #12
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Jerry Bransford
Jerry, from my Tab-A's Settings>Location>Location Method. Originally I had bought a Dual GPS-to-Bluetooth device for use with U.S. Topo Pro. Then, one day on the trail at one of those "which way do we go now?" meetings, a friend of mine showed me the Sammy's settings and sorta laughed at me for spending the money on the bluetooth. Still got the bluetooth somewhere...
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:58 PM   #13
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We use an iPad mini (wifi only) running Gaia GPS. For a GPS signal we use a Garmin InReach mini which sends its data to the iPad via bluetooth.

This gives us the added benefit of satellite communication out on the trails when we are far from cellular service.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:31 PM   #14
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I use a Samsung Tab S3 (I think) and it has GPS but no cell service. I do tether it to my phone, but with downloaded maps there is no need. Several downloadable apps mentioned above all can get the job done.

I have a cup holder mount I use to hold it up just below my Jeeps nav display and almost out of the way of the (automatic) shift lever.

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Old 01-25-2020, 03:55 AM   #15
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i just recently acquired a microsoft surface pro7 (runs win10). It is wifi only. It has a location feature, which i think is GPS. If not, is there a doohickey i can add to it and an app i can download to use as an offroading GPS to track and plan routes? thanks
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:09 PM   #16
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I recently returned from a 3+ week, 2,200 hundred mile overlanding trip in Baja California.

I used:

1. A dash mounted Garmin Drive 51 navigation unit loaded with Baja topo maps published by Cartografia GPS, a Mexican company.

2. A Samsung Tab A wi-fi only tablet linked to my Galaxy 10 smartphone and using the Gaia app, some Garmin maps, links and waypoints provided by members of Baja-themed online forums, and Google Maps when wifi was available and Google Maps segments downloaded in advance for when there was no wi-fi or data service.

3. Paper maps including an old AAA map, a National Geographic map, and some topo maps.

4. A Garmin Inreach Explorer Plus, but mostly for its satellite-based texting abilities, locator service, route tracking for those at home, and SOS/extraction service in the event of an emergency. It has navigation capabilities with built-in topo maps, but the screen in very small. Fortunately, there are Garmin apps to link the InReach Explorer Plus to smart phones and tablets for easier use.

_______________
Notes:

a. For those confused about whether a wi-fi only tablet is sufficient - A smart tech-savvy person resolved my quandary over whether to choose a phone capable tablet or less expensive Samsung wi-fi only tablet by asking me when I planned to use my tablet without having my cell phone close at hand. Since my answer was "never," choosing the less expensive wi-fi only tablet and linking to my smartphone for its GPS chip was a no brainer.

b. I read somewhere the claim that many if not most wi-fi only tablets have GPS chips built in, but the GPS receivers in the phone capable tablets are more accurate than the "location" chips in wi-fi only tablets. However, even if true, any difference in accuracy would be eliminated if one pairs a wi-fi tablet with a smart phone.

c. My wi-fi only Samsung Tab A can also be paired wirelessly to my Garmin inReach Explorer Plus and its GPS processor, which is quite accurate, but I don't think I actually used that pairing during my recent trip - only during pre-trip testing.

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