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How to use Google Maps offroad and without cell service.
Open the Google Maps app:
A blue dot center screen should default to your current location.
Locate and open the menu icon as indicated by the yellow arrow.
If you find yourself in an area without cell service, your map should revert to your pre-downloaded version. If not, select "Offline Maps" from the menu.
Once a map is selected, note that "Search and navigate will work offline in this area".
Select "Offline maps" then
"Select your own map".
These offline maps will delete themselves unless they are updated every 2-3 months. To automatically update:
Open the settings (gear) icon
and select "Automatically update..." and "Automatically download...".
I've always felt that GPS is more of an essential than a convenience tool. Just as essential as secondary communications. Let's assume that you do have a way to contact others in an emergency. Unless they are familiar with the area, will you be able to provide enough details for them to reach your location? If you don't know where you are or are along a long trail, being able to provide coordinates becomes important and you don't need an expensive GPS or software. Aside from the obvious emergency tool, having a GPS is a convenience you'll never want to be without.
We'll cover step by step how you can use GPS, and retrieve and enter coordinates from your GPS enabled smart phone even if you are in an area without cell service. If your smartphone is less than 5 years old, it very likely is GPS enabled. Specifically, we'll be learning about the Google Maps App. Most of you are already familiar with this app that comes pre-installed on most phones these days. If you don't readily find the app icon, your phone may store it in a folder labeled "Google". If the app has not been pre-installed on your phone, you can download it free through the "Google Play" store. This process is the same between Android and IOS smartphones.
GPS without a GPS device
Touch and drag the map over your selected area and download.
Once downloaded, the map will be labeled "MAP".
Select the options icon to the right of the file and select "Rename". In this instance, I've renamed the map "Goodsprings".
Downloading these offline maps does not download satellite views. Limited topographic and satellite views can be downloaded to cache files, but this is not a selectable option. Most existing trails are included in the offline map download which are turn by turn navigable.
If you find yourself in an emergency situation and are able to make contact, the first information you relay should be your coordinates and the nature of your emergency.
To retrieve your coordinates:
Find your location on the map then press and hold that location for three seconds. A red pin will mark your location and your coordinates will become visible in the location bar.
You can also enter known or given coordinates into the same location bar.
Use the "Share" button to email or text your location if possible.