Hiking with the iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Chuchichan, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Chuchichan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    Anyone have experince hiking with the iPhone. For example, using GPS, taking photos, tracking your course, etc.

    How do you find it? Is it convenient?

    My two concerns would be:

    1.) dropping it
    2.) battery life


    Any feedback would be much appreciated...
     
  2. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    #2
    Pick up an Otterbox Defender or another similar full-body rugged case. You'll thank yourself. :)
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    I hope that if you are actually going hiking in the back country that you rely on something more than just an iPhone. You need to take map and compass in case something happens to your phone. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, people go off into the mountains with only their phones and then when they get lost or in trouble they call for rescue and it's become so bad that they now get charged several hundred dollars for rescue.
     
  4. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    #4
    To adress your concerns:

    1. Put it in an Otterbox Defender case. I've dropped mine while jogging in a busy street and had to kick it to the gutter to safely retrieve it. There was no problem at all, not the smallest scratch.

    2. This would only be a concern if the hike was more than a day or if you plan to use the GPS constantly. The battery is good and I've used mine while jogging with a GPS app. After an hour I only lost about 20% or so of the battery life. If you need there are Solar chargers and aux batteries for sale.
     
  5. JRoDDz macrumors 68000

    JRoDDz

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I agree, a handheld GPS like a garmin would work out better for tracking your location. You don't want to have an iPhone as your sole source of gps information out in the woods.
     
  6. normwood macrumors 6502a

    normwood

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    In a house...duh!
    #6
    I take my iPhone 4 on every hike, but only use it for storing .pdf copies of maps and taking photos. No tracking.

    I put it in an Otterbox Commuter and then put that inside one of the smaller ones of these for extra protection and to keep it dry. All of this goes inside the left front pocket of my hiking pants.

    Sea to Summit

    Steve
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I hiked with my phone and I had no problems with dropping/breaking it. When I go hiking, I take a backpack and my stuff goes in there even my phone, so there's little risk of my phone falling out of my pocket or breaking. Plus the backpack carries my essentials needed for hiking as well :)
     
  8. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    I hike all the time using my iPhone. I use a battery case to extend battery life. The only drawbacks to using the iPhone this way that haven't been mentioned are that maps must be pre-loaded in case you are out of 3G range and that the GPS reception on an iPhone probably won't be as good as a dedicated GPS device. But then again, it is probably better than most people's accuracy with a compass and map.

    I have Atlas, Trails and MotionX apps for hiking. I like MotionX the best, for it is the least likely to have an electronic spasm if the GPS signal is temporarily lost.
     
  9. Eso macrumors 68000

    Eso

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #10
    Get Gaia GPS or Motion X GPS from the app store too and preload the topo maps for the area you are going to hike in. Gaia uses USGS Topo maps while Motion X uses "OpenStreet" maps (it's like google maps, but worse). The iPhone 4 works very well as an outdoor GPS unit. Here's a review of a top of the line garmin unit with a comparison to the iPhone 4.
     
  10. LapsangSouchong macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

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    the burrows
  11. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for the replies. I would of course just be using the iPhone4 as a supplimentary device. My plan would be to use it for photos and from what I understand there is an app that can actually track you real time?

    I also have a Holux GPS tracker that I would use to track my route. As far as getting lost, I'm not doing anything back country, just sticking to marked trails.

    Can I use the camera through the Otterbox Commuter case or would I need to take it out each time?
     
  12. Acronym macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #13
    I have been hiking, I am however not an extremist hiker but I have had no problems, even took my phone camping for almost a week and used only the cigarette lighter to charge. It was good for pictures video and music.

    I have done landscaping for four years and have never had the problem of rocks flying at my phone and breaking it or any sort of debris for that matter. for a part of that I was only using a invisible case, but later on I switched to an otter box sleek (compact?) case. no problems whatsoever not even with rain/water/moisture.
     
  13. Darthdingo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #14
    Just bring spare batteries, oh wait you can't on the iPhone. Android FTW, plus wicked great Google maps
     
  14. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    Agreed however it wouldn't protect his iPhone if it were to fall off the mountain. Not trying to be funny but a wristband attached somehow to a case or something might be a good yet absurd looking idea.
     
  15. galenmd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #16
    I have taken my iPhone into the high Sierras using Topo Maps. The app is $7.99 now (I paid more, I think) and the maps are free. I pre-downloaded the entire region (and beyond) for where I plan my hikes. I only turned it on periodically. This not only saves battery life, but allows me to focus on the wilderness instead of the technology. Of course, all GPS devices in the backcountry are a supplement to solid planning and navigation techniques.

    I bring a Solio charger which is a spare battery that charges from the sun. A little heavy for backpacking, but I never ran out of juice.
     
  16. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #17
    This, this, and this etc. :rolleyes:
     
  17. rmitchell248 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Liebsthal, Germany
    #18
    when I could ride my KTM through the mountains I used the iphone for that sometimes it was good. Not hiking but on the dirtbike but much harder falls sometimes and it worked well!
     
  18. LapsangSouchong macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #19
    Sure you can. In fact, you can bring a great CASE that's also a 12hr BATTERY: MOPHIE.

    Now, run along and root (for) your android. :D
     
  19. LapsangSouchong macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #20
    You can use the camera just fine in the otterbox case.
     
  20. Chuchichan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #21
    If I normally use the powersupport airjacket and a screen protector for the iphone 4, what would the best case to get for hiking be? Is it recommended to take the iphone 4 out of the airjacket each time I go hiking and put it in a different, more rugged one?
     
  21. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #22
    Mophie Juice Pack. Carrying a separate battery FTL.
     
  22. 0nly macrumors newbie

    0nly

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23
    I always geocash (hike) with my iphone. GPS has always got me right on or close enough to where I should be.
    Otterbox is the only time I use a case and I always end up in a debacle when I shouldn't worry about dropping a phone.
     
  23. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #24
    I geocache frequently with my kids and the iPhone running the Geocache app has always been more than sufficient for that purpose.

    But we've done some back-country hiking and have found the iPhone to be useless as a GPS device in those instances. Then again, I've never purchased a dedicated GPS software app other than the Geocache one. From reading this thread I guess you can buy one with the maps pre-loaded and use the iPhone as a GPS even in those areas where you get spotty to no AT&T coverage?
     
  24. Eso macrumors 68000

    Eso

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #25
    The apps don't come with the maps pre-loaded (topographic maps for the entire USA would be in upwards of 300 GB), you can download maps for whatever area you want to use them without a cell connection.
     

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