Ok, anyone who knows me will tell you I can’t stop raving about this as an on/off road offline navigation system. With a bit of preplanning, you can have all the information at your fingertips to know were you’re going…always.

I’m going to do my best to try and navigate you (ha, see what I did there) around Gaia GPS and how you can use it on two wheels to get around. So, the first part here might sound a bit like an ad and I guess it is? Need to get you to see that it’s worthwhile before I go through the trouble of showing you how this will change your life. Well, at least make it a bit easier…

Quickie primer for gaia

Get an account. Just sign up for one, it’s free!! What more incentive do you need? The paid version gets you access to the Backroads Mapbook and I highly recommend it. But you don’t have to right off the start.

When you click on one of these: 

The button will open up whatever you are looking at in Gaia. As long as you’re signed in, the details page you’ve been taken to has an option to just add the route/waypoint to your routes. 

That’s it! Now you can see the route on your personal map, and download the .gpx file whenever you want and use on your phone or Garmin device.

but, what if you aren’t using gaia??

If you are already using a different app, or a dedicated GPS like a Garmin you can still get all the info. 

Screenshot showing the Gaia download button

Click the Data button, and pick the file type your GPS unit uses. That’s it! It’ll now be in your computer’s Downloads folder, just upload it to wherever you want to use it.

Quick Tip

Once you have added routes, installed the app on your mobile device and downloaded a map layer you’re good to go! Tip of the Day is to click on the route, the info icon(i), and ‘Download Map Along Route’. Keeps it simple, especially if you have to download via data… 

Personally, I preplan a bit and download the map a ways away from route as well. So you can wander around a bit…


Well, you made it this far….

So that means you’re at least a little bit interested in how Gaia can make your motorcycle trip easier and more organized. So, here’s (in my most humble opinion) the best features and how they relate to motorcycle navigation…

Features Included in the FREE version:

  • Simple GPS. Gives you the little dot telling you where you are. Yes, I know Google maps does that. But often the best places are out of cell service.
  • Route planning. Let’s you bring your account and all your tracks and routes up on a computer with a larger screen. Way easier to see the big picture.
  • Marking waypoints
  • Recording trips
  • Backing up tracks to gaiagps.com
  • Downloading maps for offline use
  • Backroad Mapbooks Canada (paid version)

If you’re the sort who learns through videos, take a look at the one below to get a basic understanding of how to use Gaia and how to download maps.

Recording your own tracks

I also use Gaia to record what I’ve ridden. I find this useful for a few reasons. It’s nice to be able to look back on the day and see what you rode. Makes it easier to share what you did with other riders. And it certainly makes it easier to go back and do the same ride again later (and you may have forgotten a few bits). And after a while Gaia starts to look like this…

Bonus Linkage

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