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How to Use onX Backcountry: GPS Navigation for Outdoor Activities

Planning and navigating in the outdoors made easy with onX Backcountry.


Have maps at your fingertips. Whether you’re planning a day hike, multi-day backpacking trip, a mountaineering route or a backcountry ski trip, onX Backcountry has the tools you need to plan and navigate while in the backcountry. Below, we’re going to share how to sign up and use onX Backcountry for all your outdoor needs.


Photo by Bianca Germain


Why onX Backcountry?


onX Backcountry makes the app easy to use with map and weather information at your fingertips. They have a team to ensure that maps and data are correct and work with third parties to make sure their adventure content is accurate. onX Backcountry has one-to-one sharing and isn’t another social media platform.


onX Backcountry is purpose driven. They have a commitment to trail access and stewardship and have a whole team working to have land accessible to the public.


As an exclusive navigation partner, onX Backcountry provides the SheJumps community with a free month-long trial and 20% off an annual membership. Additionally, a portion of each membership will be donated back to SheJumps to support the organization’s mission. By putting adventure information at your fingertips, onX Backcountry hopes to inspire girls and women across the country to experience nature, whether on trail or snow.


Getting started with onX Backcountry


onX Backcountry Premium membership unlocks many maps and tools needed for planning and tracking your outdoor activities.

  1. Try onX Backcountry for a month FREE (for new users).

  2. Create an account.

  3. Sign up for a membership.

  4. Plan, navigate, and track outside.


Photos by Bianca Germain


SheJumps favorite features


Trail Mode

In other words, hiking trails. onX has 770,500+ trails available to navigate within the app. It includes photos, trail stats and descriptions, and 27,000+ guidebook adventures.


Snow Mode


Use Snow Mode for winter travel. Snow Mode allows you to view slope angle, slope aspect, avalanche forecasts, SNOTEL data (over 800 weather stations), and more.


Map layers

Use the various maps to gain more information on the areas you plan on recreating. Reference the color coded public and private land ownership. Stay safe with map layers and locate where there are active or past wildfires. View weather conditions, such as forecasts, wind, and snow depth to prepare for potential hazards.


Offline maps and navigation

Heading to a remote area? No problem! You can download map areas offline, so you can have all the topographic maps and satellite views available when you’re not able to rely on cell phone data.


Tracker

Locate yourself on the trail or terrain by using the crosshairs button. Keep up to date on your progress throughout your trip and know the mileage and elevation you have achieved. Tracking also allows you to make trail junction decisions to keep you on route to your destination.


You get back to the car, change, and are on the road back to your residence or off to the brewery for post-hike beverages. You realize later that you forgot to stop tracking. Fortunately, you can go back and edit the route if you forget to stop recording.


Route planning tips: onX Backcountry web experience



Many features are the same between the phone app and desktop. We enjoy using web browsers on larger screens to help plan larger trips or see map details. Use the Discover feature to find trails in the area you want to explore. onX shows difficulty levels depicting how easy or strenuous the trail is rated. Green easy, blue moderate, black strenuous.


You can create offline maps on your web experience to be added to your phone to use when you’re offline. New to web experience is Snap To versus Point Draw, which makes it easy to plan your route and save it to your folders.


Tools


Get detailed in your planning or tracking with customizable map markup tools, including 70+ waypoint icons. Organize your routes, tracks, and waypoints in folders. You can then share folders with your friends.


onX Backcountry app orientation


Below are some pro-tips to getting started using the onX Backcountry app. Open the app and see if you can follow along with the following?

  • When you first open the app, change or play with your settings. Go to settings and “enable the pinch to rotate” and “cross hairs” features.

  • Use the magnifying glass to search where you’re planning to go.

  • Under the magnifying glass, you can see the weather forecast, wind, moon phases, sunset/sunrise, etc.

  • Bottom right hand corner, you can choose your map views: Satellite, hybrid, topo (3D and 2D) and map legend for icons and shading of different areas.

  • Bottom left hand corner, you can toggle between trail or snow mode. You can also see the different map layers you can view.

Share your navigation tips on social and tag SheJumps and onXBackcountry.

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