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I use both, but prefer paper. It means less tech which is what I'm trying to get a break from. Really I prefer nothing and just navigating the terrain, but that only works in certain types of terrain (e.g. mountain west and not deciduous rolling forest), or terrain I already know.
 

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Honestly my Garmin fenix gps watch is great. I normally know the general route I’ll be taking but there’s always unexpected forks in the trail etc. being able to quickly glance to see if I’m on trail or which turn to make is great and I no longer have to pull a phone or map out of my pocket.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Honestly my Garmin fenix gps watch is great. I normally know the general route I’ll be taking but there’s always unexpected forks in the trail etc. being able to quickly glance to see if I’m on trail or which turn to make is great and I no longer have to pull a phone or map out of my pocket.
I love my Edge 830 for the same reason (among many). But I still love paper as well (and microfibre).

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I don't see paper maps working out too well in New England. In addition to them being outdated almost immediately since new trails are always popping up, they'd have to be pulled out too frequently with all the intersections that these trails have.
 

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Sorting out the fact that I can run trailforks on an old phone using a $15 handlebar mount has been a game changer for me this year. No pulling over to get my phone or map out, and trying to remember the next set of turns to get me where I want to be.

Now the map is right there waiting for me when I need to glance at it.

I figure I'll eventually spring for a Garmin 530, but this "free" setup is working.
 

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Sorting out the fact that I can run trailforks on an old phone using a $15 handlebar mount has been a game changer for me this year. No pulling over to get my phone or map out, and trying to remember the next set of turns to get me where I want to be.

Now the map is right there waiting for me when I need to glance at it.

I figure I'll eventually spring for a Garmin 530, but this "free" setup is working.
The phone option is MUCH better than the dumbed down Trailforks capability on the Garmin 530/830/1030, plus the user interface on the Garmin sucks when riding. I use an old iPhone 8 in an Otterbox with a RAM mount when I need to be "live navigating" on trails I'm unfamiliar with. Works great.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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The phone option is MUCH better than the dumbed down Trailforks capability on the Garmin 530/830/1030, plus the user interface on the Garmin sucks when riding. I use an old iPhone 8 in an Otterbox with a RAM mount when I need to be "live navigating" on trails I'm unfamiliar with. Works great.
Agreed. I also carry my phone in my pocket for the occasional pic. My Edge is used primarily for reasons other than running TF, but I have used it for that too. It works but agreed - phone is better for TF.
 

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For MTBing, I just use Trailforks now. If Trailforks weren't there, I'd prefer paper over any other apps.

For full size 4-wheeling... paper only with the help of a NAV unit for coordinates.

For hiking... paper with Trailforks as a backup. Paper can be more of an adventure. Trailforks makes it easy if I get lazy (or really lost).
 

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i prefer to get myself lost and figure it out after.
This seems to be my "go to" method!

It seems the paper maps available in my area were put together by preschoolers with crayons.
I just downloaded MTB project and it did help some in North Ga. on a recent week long trip. The maps there again left a lot to be desired. We get lost at least once most every time we ride some place new. It's become a standing joke when we take off from a trail head. My son will ask how long will it be before we are lost!! I have a collection of pictures of his disgusted face on the side of a trail when we are trying to figure out how we missed that last turn. It's always an adventure. 😜
 

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I use both, but prefer paper. It means less tech which is what I'm trying to get a break from. Really I prefer nothing and just navigating the terrain, but that only works in certain types of terrain (e.g. mountain west and not deciduous rolling forest), or terrain I already know.
The guy I teach map and compass classes with hiked the Appalachian Trail without any maps, compass, or gps. In the east, it's about as easy as it gets. Follow the white marks. He said at the beginning he saw a lot of people with nav tools, but after awhile, most people abandoned that stuff as unnecessary.

Assuming the trail system has at least basic marks, a physical map can be the perfect tool. Those microfiber ones are some of the best I've used, honestly (I have those 2 same ones). But yeah, when there are extra navigation challenges like a complex network, poorly marked, and you're in deep forest where you can't see far enough to identify anything outside your immediate surroundings, extra help is often necessary. That's why I have devices with GPS (I carry both a Garmin and my phone with a selection of trail apps on it).

But the last thing I'm going to do is strap a massive phone onto my bars, as well. I don't need the map ON my bars that badly. Even in a new place that's difficult to navigate.

But I really do appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of well-designed trail maps. I'm fortunate that there's a local mapmaker who does a most excellent job. I have several of his maps for different areas around me and I rotate through them as I need. His update frequency is quite good, too, so at worst I'm using a map that's just a couple years old. Not 50 yrs old. And - gasp - that mapmaker releases those maps in print AND digital formats for those who have preferences one way or the other. Revolutionary, no?
 

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For those with handlebar mounted mapping device - are you using it follow routes, or just to have a map with your dot on it? Or is it also tracking your metrics?

I see a point of route following if I'm doing a bikepacking route and don't wanna burn time faffing with a map at every intersection. And I see the point of tracking mileage, elevation, etc with a gps. But when just riding, digital map on the bars doesn't compute for me.
 

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The phone option is MUCH better than the dumbed down Trailforks capability on the Garmin 530/830/1030, plus the user interface on the Garmin sucks when riding. I use an old iPhone 8 in an Otterbox with a RAM mount when I need to be "live navigating" on trails I'm unfamiliar with. Works great.
Good to know. I assumed the app worked well on the Garmin. I'll stick with my ghetto phone/bryton computer mix until one of them dies on me.
 
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