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Hi my name is Mike, I have a 2019 Polaris RZR XP4 1000 Turbo. I installed a Black Oak 30 inch double row 5w all spot with E.M.P. brackets. When I first turned it on I was very impressed. Now it allows me to ride at night and I can actually see! I ride a lot at the dunes where it is crucial to be able to see the terrain. Thanks for a great product.

 

 

Check Out Mike's Photos Below! Also remember if you did not win this months giveaway you can always enter at any time for the next giveaway by sending in photos and feedback.

 

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2019 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Northstar Crew
Found some brackets from Extreme Metal Products. They worked great for mounting across the top of the windshield. Had the brackets and light bar professionally installed at my local Polaris certified dealer. (Red Line Power Sports)
My first impression was holy shit this is bright. I have a smaller light bar on the lower front bumper that is nice to light the ground immediately in front of me. But we have a 220 acre farm and I wanted to see distance! The Black Oak combo curved light bar on the top of the windshield is perfect! I can see deer in the field a couple hundred yards away. We use the light bar for recreation at our farm at night and it also helps us patrol our property. The difference it makes when traveling the hilly terrain at night is huge! It’s a joke with the regular headlights in comparison. And those are even upgraded bulbs from the original. The new light bar makes it much safer and is just plan awesome in the pitch dark woods and hills.
Sincerely,
Ryan Darrow
Check Out Ryans Photos Below! Also remember if you did not win this months giveaway you can always enter at any time for the next giveaway by sending in photos and feedback.
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Our LED light PODs are one of our most in demand lighting options for many reasons. Not only do they pack a big punch for a fixture with such a small aluminum housing, but they’re extremely durable and can be easily mounted in multiple locations on almost any vehicle. While this is true, there are some instances where this might not be the case for your mounting application. For example, you want to add some driving lights to your front bumper-- but there’s not factory fog light location on your vehicle. Or your tail lights are terrible and there’s no place in the rear of your vehicle to mount to.


Enter The Flush Mount POD!

This LED work light uses a flush mounted mounting bracket that allows you to embed the housing of the light behind your mounting location so that the front lens sits flush with the mounting surface. It can be mounted to any flat surface with a dimension of 5’’ wide x 4’’ tall by 3.5’’ deep. The Flush Mount POD provides a sleek and clean way to add an immense amount of white light to your truck, atv, or utv while keeping a stock look that’s highly preferred amongst many aftermarket modification enthusiasts.


Let’s talk output and purpose…

As we covered, most people use this style light as a front or rear bumper mount on stock and aftermarket bumpers. But which optic do we choose for each application? Well this depends on what your using it for and typically is best answered by the speed your traveling at when you need the extra light. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios.


Scenario 1 -

You just purchased an aftermarket bumper for your truck and it has cut outs already set up for the dimensions mentioned above for our Flush Mount PODs. This is your daily driver and you do some back roads commuting where there’s lots of deer to watch out for. Your average speed is 35-40mph. For this application, you’ll want to go with our flood beam which throws light out over 500m to ¼ lux at a 40-60 degree beam pattern. That way you’ll have both distance and spread to see deer far enough ahead to slow down and still be able to see off into the shoulder or ditches.


Scenario 2 -

You own an off-road vehicle that wasn’t built with factory fogs. Your headlights are fine for main roads, but you’re constantly creeping through trails at speeds less than 10 mph. Often you have to get out of your vehicle to make sure it’s safe before you proceed and when you find a place to rest, you need some area light to set up camp. For this application, our diffused beam is definitely best. The diffused lens scatters the light at a 120 degree beam angle giving you no hot spot and maximum light dispersion out to about 150ft. Almost always-- You’ll want to go with diffused as auxiliary reverse lights too because you’re typical speed while reversing is less than 5 mph.


Super Bright - Like Daylight

All of our PODs are built with an oversized heat sink which enables us to pack four 10 watt cree LEDs into each unit! This is one of the main reasons why all of our led light bars and PODs produce such high lumen outputs. Here are just a couple of recent reviews we received concerning our PODs:


“These are the highest quality lights I’ve seen. The light output is amazing. The sales team was very helpful choosing the combo of lights for my application.”

- Dustin Yantis: 1999 Peterbilt 379 EXHD

“My first impression was "WOW" I'm running 55 watt HID'S on both low and high beam. My Black Oak lights drown out my headlights. They definitely light up the night.”

- John Hammond: 2007 Chevy Tahoe


As you may notice, our team is focused on helping people to find the best lighting setup for their vehicle. Whether that’s Flush Mount PODs or a roof mounted light bar, we’d be happy to give you an honest assessment of what you need for your specific application. If you need any direction in choosing what’s best for you, feel free to give us a call at 800-348-1287 or contact our team directly through our Support Form. We look forward to helping you in any way we can!

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Every bass fisherman knows the joy of being the first one on the water and being able to have your pick of fishing spots, there us nothing else like it. As amazing as this is, it takes some work to be the first one on the water, usually involving extremely early mornings, late nights prepping and sometimes long drives on the road and water. This article is going to go over some of the best and most useful places to utilize LED lights on and around your bass boat to make the most efficient use of space.

 

 


Deck Lighting:

One of the most overlooked usage for lighting on your boat would be decking lighting. There are a few different ways to accomplish deck lighting but one of the most popular new ways is to use accent or Rock Lights. Rock Lights were originally designed for off road vehicles to illuminate rough terrain underneath the vehicle at night to navigate over obstacles. Because of this, the rocks lights are designed to be nearly indestructible making them a perfect fit for a boat. The best place to put them is underneath the lips of the gunwales, allowing them to throw light over the deck, making sure you don’t step on any lures or trip over any rods. Rock Lights are also available in many different colors so you are able to pick the color that suits your boat and needs the best. These lights have a much smaller footprint than led strip lights and have a much higher output, making them a great addition to any bass boat.

 

 


Forward Facing Navigational Lighting:

Possibly the most important light for any bass boat would be a forward facing navigational light. Depending on the size of your boat this, can be anything from a light POD to a 20” Double Row light bar. The goal for these lights are to make sure you have no unease about seeing what’s in front of you on a long early morning run up a river or across a lake to your favorite spot. Spotting floating logs and other debris in the water before you hit them is the difference between a close call and a day ruiner. A good 20” Double Row light can throw light out over 1,000 yards which allows you to see any obstacle well in advance and make a course correction without any panic. Forward facing high intensity lights are quickly becoming the most popular boat LED light and for good reason, they take all of the guesswork out of motoring at night.

 

 


 

Reverse and Loading Lights:

One of the more useful led light kits you can purchase for your outfit is a great set of utility/reverse lights for your truck and trailer. These lights are designed to be small and out of the way lights that can be extremely helpful. If the lights are mounted to the rear of your truck, kicking them on when loading up your gear at 4 a.m. can save you huge amounts of time, and possibly saving you from bashing your shin on the trailer hitch. These also allow you to be hands free when loading instead of using a flashlight and make sure you are able to secure everything when it is loaded. Another great use for these lights are when you are backing your boat down the ramp in the dark. If you have ever been to a small boat ramp in the dark, you know it can get a little hairy. Utilizing a few of these lights with a diffused or scene reflector that throws light out in a 90-120° pattern allow you the peace of mind to back and turn your trailer without fear of hitting anything or going off the side of the ramp.

 

 

 


 

Removable and Mobile Lights:

The final light segment that should be a must have for any bass boat is a small, stowable light that can perform many functions in a pinch. This light should have a few different mounting options as be able to get power from a small source, such as the 12v lighter outlet found in almost any bass boat console. These lights can clamp or suction onto the boat and allow you to illuminate the water or the deck for any reason in a moments notice. These are perfect emergency lights and always to have onboard.


As with anything on your boat, it needs to be durable and stand up to a beating if need be, the same needs to be said about any lighting you add to your bass boat. Make sure when researching lights for your boat they have a high ingress protection rating, IP68 or higher, they should also have a good warranty to make sure they will stand up to wear and tear, and make sure they are marine rated. Regardless of whether these lights will ever see salt water you want to make sure they would be able to handle it. These are just a few of the multitude of options for adding LED lights to your bass boat, but they are some of the best and most helpful.

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When choosing the proper lighting for you duck boat, it is important to think of the elements and conditions that you will encounter during your outing. In this article we will discuss the benefit and purpose of each top 3 lighting setups you can use to enhance your ability to see wide angle, distance or a combination of both. Easy installations, low AMP draws and quality built lights able to survive cold, wet, snowy, muddy or any duck hunting conditions you may encounter. These LED lights will stand by you.

 

#3 ) The 6” Double Row:

 

With Flood optics on the outside beaming light at a 45º angle packing 6,600 lumens of light out to 750 meters. It is without a doubt shooting light out the front of your duck boat for you. The Flood optics on each side of this 6” double row allow you to see what is nearby on either side of you and your duck boat. While the spot optics in the middle allow you to view what is straight ahead in the distance.

 

 




#2 ) The 10” Double Row:

 

With the same optic setup as we recommended with the 6” double row. Only difference with this setup, nearly double the light! 11,000 lumens throwing light 900 meters. Yes 900 meters! You are sure to see what it is you are on the lookout for. This 10” double row light bar will mount perfectly to your duck boat with easy installation drawing only 4.1 amps from the battery.








#1 ) The Jon Boat Lighting Kit:

 

A 10” double row combo light bar included with two 2” pod lights in the flood optic proving you a 45º angle 3,120 lumens and 580 meters of light from the pods alone. Allow you the ultimate array of light. With multiple options as to how you want to rig your lights, maybe with the light bar in the front and pods in the rear or mounted on the sides of your boat. You have the power of light to determine how you want to light your route of navigation.

 

 


Each of these 3 options allow all necessary lighting for ample visibility for running rivers, creeks, canals, lakes even large ponds without you having to worry what is in front, behind or beside you. The only thing that should worry are the ducks. Because now you not only can navigate through the darkest conditions but also because you will be able to spot them from distance.


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“How can I mount an LED light bar or POD light on my truck?”


Besides questions on LED technology, this is one of the most common questions we receive and we think we know the reason why. Nobody wants to get their new light in the mail and find out that it’s not going to fit in their desired location or that it’s not compatible with their truck. It can be costly and time consuming to send a product back, so avoiding these types of situation when ordering products online is ideal. This is the main reason why we’ve created vehicle specific kits that fit your exact year, make, and model. So you can be at ease, knowing that the led light bars you ordered are specifically designed for your truck.


Let’s talk options…


There are many popular areas to mount a powerful LED light on your truck-- so lets go over the Top 5 Most Popular Mounting Options.


Fog Light POD Kit

 

We offer fog light upgrade kits on tons of trucks from the 2000’s and up! This is one of our most popular kits as it keeps a stock look while still providing a super bright light output. The great thing about this option is you can be use your lights more frequently because they are mounted low in the bumper and they put out just enough light that they won’t blind oncoming traffic. We recommend the flood beam for on road driving which keeps the angle lower and more panoramic. Make sure to adjust the angle of the fixture so you’re not hitting other people’s mirrors or windshield. Just like any of our bright LED lights or kits, we recommend that you be courteous to other drivers and use them only when necessary.

 

 


Roof/Windshield Mount

 

Another trending option is a Roof Mounted or Windshield Mounted LED light bar. Most vehicles fit a 50’’ Straight or Curved Double Row Series spot/flood combo light bar. The combo beam gives you both distance and spread for optimal road lighting. Some brackets mount directly to the roof and others will mount inside the door jam or your truck. It’s important to make sure that you purchase the correct mounts for the correct light as the length of the bar and whether it’s straight or curved will have an effect on how it will sit on the mounts. Our expert staff is available from 9-5 EST if you have any questions on what setup will be best for your application. Check out a few of our most popular options:

(18-19) Ford F-150 - 50" Curved Light Bar Kit

(09-17) Ram 1500/2500/3500 - 50" Curved Light Bar Kit

 

 


Ditch Light POD Kit

 

Over the past couple of years, we’ve noticed a lot of interest in ditch light kits for trucks. Some trucks do not have factory fog lights or custom mounting options designed for them. So these kits are great as an option to add additional light without overdoing it. They also add a nice look to your vehicle without requiring any drilling or cutting. All of our Ditch light kits are built with high intensity Cree LED’s and are offered in the spot beam pattern. This helps to keep glare off your hood and focus the light where you need it most.

 

 


Bumper Mount

 

Some of us just need more light! (Some of us just want more!) There are several options available that allow you to mount a 10-30’’ light bar in the lower bumper area of a truck’s stock bumper. You may also have an aftermarket bumper that has slots already built in to add lights. Either way, it’s important to make sure you decide on a high quality light for your specific year, make, and model. Some sit on top of the bumper with custom brackets that mount behind the grille using factory bolt holes and others mount in a slot and sit flush with the front face of your bumper. Here are a few different types for your reference:


(08-10) Ford F250/F350 Bumper Mount Kit


(10-18) Ram 2500 Bumper Mount Kit

 

 


Reverse Light LED POD Kit

 

If you are alive and you’re able to drive, you’re probably like the majority of us who can’t see squat when backing up at night. Never mind, if you have window tint on your truck. This problem can easily be fixed by adding a pair of our Flush Mount Diffused PODs or Standard Diffused PODs. Our Diffused POD is the best solution to enhance your visibility while reversing because the optic throws light at a 120 degree beam pattern giving you extremely widespread dispersion out to about 150ft.


Any LED work light or vehicle specific kit that we offer comes with a complete wiring harness, equipped with a fuse, relay, and switch in-line. Plus your battery terminal connections and waterproof Deutsch connectors that plug right into the light. If you have any questions on what type of light is best for you or where you can mount it on your truck then don’t hesitate to ask. Our team is standing by to make sure you get setup with everything you need for your application. Give us a call at 800-348-1287 Mon-Fri or email sales@blackoakled.com if there’s anything you need!

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Anyone who has been on the water at night knows it is a different level of darkness than on dry land. With no land features to orient yourself with and no roads to follow, it is up to you to find your way home. Because of these facts there have been more and more people adding lights to their boats to help take the stress out of the return trip to the dock in the dark. Many people are moving away from the standard handheld spotlight and moving to light bars because of the added light power as well as it being handsfree, in this article we are going to go through the top 5 must have features to look for in your center console boat light.


Durability

Black Oak LED Torture Test - High Quality LED Light Bars - YouTube

One of the most important factors when looking at boat lighting will be how durable is the fixture. Many lights on the market today claim to be able to take a punch but you will need to make sure and read reviews and watch torture tests to see the durability yourself. Any equipment on a center console needs to be able to stand up to pounding across waves at speed and hold up to salt spray and still function as advertised when needed. No one wants to try and use a life raft and find out it doesn’t work when it’s needed most, the same applies to your boat lighting.

Ingress Rating

Along with durability, a huge feature to look for is a light’s ingress protection rating or IP rating. This is a code given to different fixtures to show how protected they are to certain materials and consists of two numbers, the first number shows protection against solids light dust and the second number is the liquid protection. The higher the number the better protection, and while an IP67 light may seem like enough protection, being overbuilt on a boat is never a bad thing.

Any vessel on the water is built to withstand more than it is expected to and the same should be considered with your gear, always look for the highest ingress protection you can get which is IP69k.

Brightness 

As obvious as brightness may be as a feature of a marine LED, or any LED lights for that matter,  we felt the need to add this one in here. When looking for a light for a boat, there are many ways that a manufacturer will count brightness however one of the best ways would be to find out the lumen rating. This is a universal measure of brightness and every manufacture should be able to give you their lumen output. Being that the lumen output will just be a number, the best way to visualize lumen output would be to think of a car’s high-beams. The high-beams on a modern car produces roughly 4000-6000 lumens, so if a 20” Light bar produces 22,000 lumens that is the equivalent of 4 cars with their high-beams on. Make sure you choose a light that has a high lumen output for the size light you are looking at, this means they are using a high quality LED and components.


Light Throw Distance and Spread


(30" Single Row at 1500m courtesy of @2180miles)

 

Along with brightness, must have features in a marine led light bar are the lights throw distance and spread. A light’s throw distance refers to how far away a light will light something up and the spread is how wide the light throws light. These two features need to be looked at together when choosing a center console light to make sure that you find the light that is best for you. If you want mainly far away light you will look for a narrower beam spread such as a spot optic and a further throw distance, but if you are looking for closer lighting you would want more of a flood. Most people find that a combo optic which has both spot and flood optics, is the best of both worlds, allowing you to light up channel markers at a huge range and lighting up the waters closer to the bow of the boat as well.  Also if looking for deck lights or spreader lights, you will want to make sure you have an extremely wide spread (90-120°) to make sure you do not have any hotspots on the deck.30 


Size

While bigger is usually better, when looking at boat lights, it is very important to make sure you get the correct sized light for your size boat and your application. While a huge 50” Double Row light might sound great, these are mainly used on 40ft+ boats. Larger lights take up more room and also require more power to run, which may leave you limited on the amount of other things you can add on top of your t-top. When measuring for your new light, make sure you remember to get full measurements of the light including brackets to make sure it will fit without any modification. Also make sure you have room to mount the light about 5-10” away from the lip of your t-top to take away any bow spill.


The most popular sized light for most 20-35 ft boats would be a 20” double row. If you make sure you look for the features listed above; durability, ingress protection, brightness, throw + spread, and size, a good 20” light should:

be able to light up channel markers at about 1,000 yards, have 19,000-25,000 lumens, have an ingress protection rating of IP68 or IP69k, be durable and have a  beam pattern that suits your needs. There are many different light brands out there, if it feels overwhelming or you have any other questions you can always call a lighting professional who can help walk you through the process of getting a light for your boating application.

 

Black Oak LED 20" Combo Light - YouTube

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Time to Gear Up
To most hunters, "gear up" includes the rifle or shotgun, scope, camouflage, and stand or blind, generally, everything except the lighting. Those who hunt at dawn or dusk, and think about the light at all, tend to choose a scope with light gathering capability. Experienced hunters know that external LED hunting light setups, regardless of the animal being hunted will aid in a successful hunt. Whether predator or prey, coyote, deer, ducks, geese, or hogs, the right LED hunting light, a Red light bar, a Green light bar, or an IR light bar, will turn the dark of night into the light of day. 

Once the decision to use LED lighting is made, there are other factors to consider. Unlike cheaper alternatives, Black Oak LED lighting comes complete with all wiring and hardware necessary for an easy setup and making them virtually "plug and play" as for as installation is concerned. All Black Oak LEDs are tough as nails and completely waterproof. Every Black Oak light bar has a flexible, impact-resistant coating called a "powder coat." 

Although, choosing a particular color LED for low light conditions is largely a matter of personal preference and personal experience, as is whether or not the LEDs should be spread wide or focused into a tight beam. In addition, Black Oak light bars, whether red, green or infrared, use true colored LEDs, not just white LEDs with a colored filter or shade, so there is no white light leakage around the edges or reduced brightness that you find using a color filter. 



The red light bar, for example, causes the least eye-strain for the available spectrum. In addition, the red light bar is the most likely to cause the animal's eyes to reflect or "flash." For hunting hogs at night, or in low light conditions, the green light bar is less visible to the animal than either red or white and brings out contrast so that you see the hog more easily. The Black Oak Double Row Series LED green light bar comes equipped with true green LEDs, balancing intensity and brightness and creating the perfect light for hunting feral hogs.  Deer see blue light readily, and see the green light if it is pointed directly at them, but are almost blind to red light. Coyotes are virtually red-green colorblind, seeing both as a shade of brown or amber, and making red or the green the colors for coyote hunting. 

The Black Oak IR Light Pod is made to fit perfectly on your pickup, all-terrain-four-wheeler, dune buggy or golf cart, allowing you to move undetected while lighting up your environment for easy visibility. The predator IR light bars are designed to maximize "eye shine" while eliminating any distortion caused by rain and fog.
 

 

The Black Oak Bow LED Lighting Kit and the Black Oak fully waterproof Marine Series LED light bar give you full vision to keep you safe on dark waterways while hunting waterfowl, allowing you to turn on the front-facing light bar with one switch and the side-facing light bars with another. The Black Oak curved LED Light Bars are designed to fit vehicle contours, and because they point light in semi-circle, give you better coverage than straight light bars. 

Even if you do not have the room for a full-sized light bar, the LED pod light gives you the brightness of a light bar in a smaller, easier-to-use array. Like its full-sized big brother, LED pod lights are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Regardless of which one you choose, Black Oak LEDs have been known to outlast the vehicles they are mounted on. 

Having trouble deciding? Give us a call at 1-800-348-1287 or check us out at www.blackoakled.com.
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Time to Gear Up
To most hunters, "gear up" includes the rifle or shotgun, scope, camouflage, and stand or blind, generally, everything except the lighting. Those who hunt at dawn or dusk, and think about the light at all, tend to choose a scope with light gathering capability. Experienced hunters know that external LED hunting light setups, regardless of the animal being hunted will aid in a successful hunt. Whether predator or prey, coyote, deer, ducks, geese, or hogs, the right LED hunting light, a Red light bar, a Green light bar, or an IR light bar, will turn the dark of night into the light of day. 

Once the decision to use LED lighting is made, there are other factors to consider. Unlike cheaper alternatives, Black Oak LED lighting comes complete with all wiring and hardware necessary for an easy setup and making them virtually "plug and play" as for as installation is concerned. All Black Oak LEDs are tough as nails and completely waterproof. Every Black Oak light bar has a flexible, impact-resistant coating called a "powder coat." 

Although, choosing a particular color LED for low light conditions is largely a matter of personal preference and personal experience, as is whether or not the LEDs should be spread wide or focused into a tight beam. In addition, Black Oak light bars, whether red, green or infrared, use true colored LEDs, not just white LEDs with a colored filter or shade, so there is no white light leakage around the edges or reduced brightness that you find using a color filter. 



The red light bar, for example, causes the least eye-strain for the available spectrum. In addition, the red light bar is the most likely to cause the animal's eyes to reflect or "flash." For hunting hogs at night, or in low light conditions, the green light bar is less visible to the animal than either red or white and brings out contrast so that you see the hog more easily. The Black Oak Double Row Series LED green light bar comes equipped with true green LEDs, balancing intensity and brightness and creating the perfect light for hunting feral hogs.  Deer see blue light readily, and see the green light if it is pointed directly at them, but are almost blind to red light. Coyotes are virtually red-green colorblind, seeing both as a shade of brown or amber, and making red or the green the colors for coyote hunting. 

The Black Oak IR Light Pod is made to fit perfectly on your pickup, all-terrain-four-wheeler, dune buggy or golf cart, allowing you to move undetected while lighting up your environment for easy visibility. The predator IR light bars are designed to maximize "eye shine" while eliminating any distortion caused by rain and fog.
 

 

The Black Oak Bow LED Lighting Kit and the Black Oak fully waterproof Marine Series LED light bar give you full vision to keep you safe on dark waterways while hunting waterfowl, allowing you to turn on the front-facing light bar with one switch and the side-facing light bars with another. The Black Oak curved LED Light Bars are designed to fit vehicle contours, and because they point light in semi-circle, give you better coverage than straight light bars. 

Even if you do not have the room for a full-sized light bar, the LED pod light gives you the brightness of a light bar in a smaller, easier-to-use array. Like its full-sized big brother, LED pod lights are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Regardless of which one you choose, Black Oak LEDs have been known to outlast the vehicles they are mounted on. 

Having trouble deciding? Give us a call at 1-800-348-1287 or check us out at www.blackoakled.com.
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Digital Navigation

Ryan McKee - 07/16/18

While the days of paper maps aren’t entirely gone, there are very few people left who carry around a Gazetteer or Rand McNally Road Atlas in their cars. We live in an age where we have an incredible reliance on cell phones for instant access to any kind of information we could ever dream of, and with this comes a dependency on digital navigation. Apple, Google, Waze, and even a smart-phone based version of MapQuest exist for almost all of your car routing needs, but when the pavement ends and your tires hit the dirt, who will lead the way?

Thanks to the growing demand for off-road oriented navigational tools, there are a variety of apps designed specifically for the challenge. While they can seem confusing to start, the majority work on similar platforms, utilizing features we’re familiar with from standard GPS software, and integrating a variety of base-maps for all different levels of intricacy.

Like a “.jpeg” file for photos or a “.doc” for text, GPS information has its own extension type, known as a “.gpx” file, that allows the data to be read by specific mapping software. While you may not be creating your own routes just yet (there will be a how-to on this exact topic) there are many websites that allow you to download pre-made GPS routes so that you can take on an off-pavement adventure someone else has already laid out.

Available for low or no-cost on a variety of smartphones are applications like Gaia GPS, AllTrails, MotionX GPS, and Backcountry Navigator, amongst a plethora of others. While each of these apps are different in their own ways, most allow for offline use, where you can download the route data in order to utilize it if – ideally when! - you lose cell service. Features like offline-use can make or break a situation if your adventures take you away from data reception by giving you all the information you’d need to navigate back home.

While each app can provide you with already published routes, they’re also extremely capable of tracking you should you head out on your own unwritten path. By using a “record” kind of feature, the apps will use your built in GPS to track a breadcrumb trail of your movement. You can add in notes, photos, and markers as you go, or utilize an app’s corresponding website to do so at a later point. Whether you keep your route private or share it with the Internet, this is a great way to personally catalogue backcountry routes for future adventures.

Keeping a paper map or gazetteer in your vehicle is never a bad idea, but when your vision of a good day’s drive involves dirt roads, thick forests, and scenic vistas with few others nearby, having familiarity with and access to off-road oriented navigation apps can make your day both safer and all around more enjoyable.

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