How Do I Use Gaia GPS for Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

Backpacking is an amazing way to explore the great outdoors, and the best way to document your experience is with Gaia GPS. Gaia GPS is a powerful, easy-to-use, and user-friendly GPS application that utilizes topographical maps to help hikers, backpackers, and outdoors enthusiasts stay safe while exploring new terrain.

Gaia GPS has a wide range of features that can help you plan and track your backpacking trips. The ‘Planner’ feature allows you to plot out an entire route in advance; this includes finding campsites, water sources, and points of interest along the way.

The ‘Tracker’ feature allows you to track your progress in real-time as you travel along your route. You can also utilize the ‘Offline Maps’ feature which allows you to download maps for offline use when you don’t have cell service or an internet connection.

Gaia GPS provides access to a wide selection of topographical maps from around the world. You can easily toggle between different map types such as satellite imagery, topographical maps, road maps, open source maps (such as OpenStreetMap), and even National Park Service maps which are perfect for exploring backcountry areas. All of these features combine to give you a comprehensive look at your surroundings.

Other features include trail reviews from fellow hikers, built-in navigation tools such as compass headings and bearing lines (perfect for orienteering), track comparison tools that let you compare different routes side-by-side on the same map, nearby search options so you can find nearby points of interest quickly and easily, weather forecasts for planning purposes, social sharing capabilities so you can share your experiences with friends and family back home.

Using Gaia GPS for Backpacking

Using Gaia GPS for backpacking is simple; all it takes is a few taps on your device’s screen. First off, make sure that you have downloaded all the necessary maps that you need before heading out on your trip. Once done with this step open up Gaia GPS on your device by tapping on the app icon.

From there select ‘Planner’ from the main menu and then either draw or trace out your planned route (you can also import routes from websites like CalTopo). Once done plotting out your route select ‘Tracker’ to start tracking in real time as soon as you hit the trail. Here you will also be able to view elevation profiles of each section of the trail.

Finally utilize Gaia GPS’s other features such as its built-in navigation tools or weather forecasts while out exploring nature. With Gaia GPS in hand it is easier than ever before to stay safe while enjoying all that nature has to offer.


Gaia GPS is an indispensable tool for any backpacking adventure; its wide range of features makes it easy to plan ahead and track progress while remaining safe during your travels. With just a few taps on your device’s screen users can access powerful navigation tools such as compass headings or elevation profiles; they can also access detailed topographical maps from around the world or even get weather forecasts data for their current location – making it easier than ever before to enjoy nature without worry.