Trying to get to your destination without getting lost in the rainforest?

By Derik Ng –


26th October 2020

With the popularity of hiking and camping activities rising during this era, many new outdoor enthusiasts are pushing their limits further by seeking new hiking routes and unknown camping sites. But do you know how to stay on track without getting lost?

Of course, the first essential skill that everyone should learn before getting into the jungle is navigation. It is the basic skill that allows us to travel from one point to another and we always recommend people to learn how to use a compass and map due to its lack of reliance on technology and simplicity.

However, learning how to navigate effectively using traditional tools (compass and map) can take awhile and a ton of practice before understanding how it works. So, what should you do in this case?

Through experience, we have found out that this problem could be easily solved by using a software application called ‘GAIA GPS’ through our mobile phones.


Pre-loaded maps

GAIA offers many pre-loaded maps of trails around the world, and often these trails are uploaded by its community users. So you know for sure that the trails on its database have been used by someone on the ground. Once I was on a vacation to the Perhentian Islands and surprisingly it had preloaded trails on the application that allowed us to hike during the trip.  


Desktop control to plan your trips

Not only the GAIA application would work on your mobile phones. With a logged-in account on both your mobile phone and computer, you would be able to organize your trips and create tracks. If you’re using other technological platforms such as Garmin GPS watches, you would also be able to download the GPX file formats to load it into your other devices for use.

Real-time tracking

The ability to see where you are on your devices helps you gauge how much more do you have to proceed, whether are you on track and any upcoming obstacles ahead of you. In the tropical jungle, identifying your location could be one of the hardest tasks to perform due to the density of the jungle. But with this feature, you’ll figure out whether you’re on track within a click away. Your phone would basically rely on the cell towers around you, then take that information to triangulate your position on the map if you have cell services. But if you don’t have cell services, most phones today comes with GPS functionalities that connects you to the satellites in space. This would reduce the accuracy of your position but still generally work within its range.

Recording feature

Just like any fitness watch, you would be able to record your tracks and progress as you proceed with your journey. This function gives you the ability to backtrack if you ever get lost. It also gives you the ability to plan your journey ahead, allowing you to make better decisions such as if we should turn back or proceed depending on the time we have.


But always remember, your cell phone or any battery-operated devices should never be your first option to navigate in the wild due to its time span limitation. Make sure to learn the basics of traditional navigation and practice them together while you’re using the application.


This is not a paid post by GAIA GPS, we’re just sharing what works best in the outdoors so you don’t have to worry the next time you enter the wilderness. 


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