Should You Use Smartphone GPS On Snowmobile Trails: Must Know Facts

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If you are new to sledding then at some point you must have wondered if you could use your smartphone GPS on snowmobile trails instead of a dedicated snowmobile GPS. 

Well, that can easily get you into a pickle.

In this article we have tried to explain why using dedicated Snowmobile GPS is better than using smartphone GPS!

Why You Should Use Smartphone GPS While Snowmobiling?

Should Use Smartphone GPS While Snowmobiling

Riding, driving, or trekking, GPS is always a safety precaution that all backcountry ventures must be using. Apart from the fact that GPS helps keep track of your destination, routes, and trails, it can also be used for approximate time estimates. 

GPS takes on a more crucial role if you are out sledding especially in snowy weather. Chances of losing the trail under fallen snow are quite probable and might land you in trouble.

Basically, if you want to stay safe, having GPS on you is a must!

Now the question is what sort of GPS should I use? Many people do go for Smartphone GPS to help them during their sledding expeditions. The most common reasons can be:

Mobile GPS is easier to set up and operate, quite convenient in fact. 

Often smartphone GPS is used in an attempt to not spend additional amounts on a separate GPS system for your snowmobile. People most times do not see the point in purchasing a new unit when the job of a said new unit can be done by the phone itself!

Well, this is a problem actually. In the 21st century, most of our daily requirements are met by our phones. We can hardly think to go without it. But using the smartphone as a GPS for snowmobiles is not without limitations and it is downright dangerous for the rider in some cases.

So let’s look at some reasons why one should not use smartphone GPS while riding a sled!

Reasons For Not Using  a Smartphone GPS On Snowmobile Trails

do not use mobile gps while snowmobiling
  • The first and foremost limitation of the smartphone GPS is its connectivity. You see, when you go sledding you often take tracks uphill where the cellular networks might not be that great. And as most of our phones work on cellular data as their internet provider, it is not really intelligent to depend on smartphones in almost remote areas, which too are worse weather conditions.
  • A dire consequence of this would be that you end up getting stuck in the middle of the trail because your GPS had stopped receiving signals!
  • The second reason why you should avoid the use of smartphone GPS in sleds is that it is unsafe for the phone itself. You see, most smartphones are not made to tolerate harsh weather conditions like snow, water, and the constant onslaught of dust.
  • So when you are attaching your Smartphone to the dashboard it does not provide proper protection to the device. This might lead to irreparable damage to your smartphones!

Final Words

Thus, you see how using smartphone GPS while sledding can become dangerous very fast. So the question as to if you should use smartphone GPS on snowmobiles can be answered with a No. You will do well to purchase a separate GPS unit for your sled that is actually designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and whose mapping techniques are more accurate and trustworthy!

So, it is smarter to spend a little bit more in exchange for your safety precautions.

But if you really are not able to get hold of a separate GPS unit, then you can use your smartphone GPS. It is better than going out completely blank!

About justin

My name is Justin Robert, and I live in Montana. I have been riding snowmobiles for the past 10 years. I'm completely in love with snowmobiling because it's fun, relaxing, and a great workout.

Recently, I got involved in ice fishing, and I really liked it. The joy of catching fish on the frozen lake can't be described.