I use viewranger (on Android but there is an iOS app too). It’s free to record tracks. You can pay them for maps if you want (or use the free maps which include open street map which is fairly good in my area).
I highly recommend iHikeGPS (on iOS) for all GPS type operations - keeping a track, waypoints, etc. I have used their products since way before smartphones and they really understand users. The help function (built into the app, doesn’t need connectivity) is crystal clear and covers everything. Once you pay for the app, all map downloads are free (in the US - I am not sure elsewhere). The interface with other apps is also sterling. They also answer email – often the same day, even on holidays. Great company.
I use Motion-X GPS on my iPhone, it works quite well. iHikeGPS sounds pretty cool though.
As a place for corralling invertebrates so that i can get a photo of them without their running away, i use a basic sandwich container (or, as we call it, a TOS or “Tupperware of Science”). Due to the smooth sides most species can’t climb out, other than long-legged harvestmen and some spiders. I also tape down a piece of graph paper along one edge, so that the ruled marks provide a ready scale within the photo. In this case each square is 6mm long on a side.
I’m slightly curious: Does anyone here carry nets and beat sheets as well? I always have trouble finding the best way to take a massive sheet and sweep net (maybe even a lighter net) as well as binoculars and a camera with two lenses all in a way that allows me to easily access any. I have tried to do the whole disassemble the kit and fit it into a backpack, but I am by far too lazy to pull it all out and set it back up every time I see a mesquite, acacia, or oak.
Any suggestions as to carry the whole set in a more easy manner?
I use a white tray, doubles as a sweeper and beatsheet. Roughly A4 sized and fits in my satchel
A white plastic bowl or tray works well, just hold it under a branch, do a little shaking and catch what comes out. You can also drill a hole in it and clip it on to your pack or belt while hiking.
I’ve used Motion-X and it’s ok; will it import and export, say from Google Earth and Google Maps? IHikeGPS will.
Possibly similar to @tiwane, i’ve used a white plastic dishpan to beat branches over, or to knock it against the underside of shrub branches so that insects/spiders fall into it. Can also put leaf litter into it to sort through, looking for spiders, pseudoscorpions or other organisms.
For recording gpx files? I currently use the Trails app and I’ve found it to be pretty good. It’s fairly easy to export gpx files so that you can use them elsewhere. It’s free to record a small number of tracks (I can’t remember how many) but requires a subscription to record an unlimited number. The subscription is pretty cheap—something like $8 per year—or I think you can pay monthly or quarterly if you don’t anticipate using it all the time.
- Camera (Nikon)/or just a phone when on vacation
- Handheld GPS (Garmin InReach at the moment)
- Power bank
- Flashlight + headlight (Black diamond, pretty useful when my hands are busy)
- Hand lens
- Tap measure 10 ft + 6 inch ruler
- Journal, jars, plastic bags for herbs and mushrooms, nets
- Knife and a small shovel
- bonus, which is pretty obvious
- Med kit (lesson learned, the hard way!): bands, antiseptics, gloves etc.
It’s not complete ofc, so I’ll add more details later if needed.
Just my two cents. I need my phone not only to track my route, but also to use it in case of emergency. A separate GPS unit works for me since my phone is not as accurate, plus the battery dies too quickly.