Product Review: BaseMap App
Whether you’re hunting private or public land, a new area or one you’ve hunted for years, it’s always helpful to have a map for reference. And with a phone in everyone’s hand, using Google Maps and various apps to keep track of where you are and add pinpoints and markers is easier than ever.
I started using the BaseMap app about 8 months ago after winning a free PRO subscription from an Instagram contest. Once I downloaded the app on my phone, I immediately started playing around and checking it out. I was impressed by having the ability to access all 50 states with no additional charges or subscriptions, then by seeing so many options for layers.
BaseMap is available for iOS and Android and is also accessible on a desktop.
Basemap includes features such as waypoints, layers, measurements and drawing tools, GPS location and tracking, syncing content (markers, tracks, etc.) to multiple devices, and saved content.
Below are my personal favorites:
Multiple Map Views
BaseMap uses Google maps and has 14 different map view options, including 3D Earth. The ability to view 3D maps is a game changer when hunting new places…and it’s just fun to play around with and explore! This feature gives you a realistic view of what the terrain is like and is not only helpful for hunting but also when scouting and hiking. Map views are located within the Layers, so there isn’t a way on the main map to toggle between different views without going into the menu, which could be a downside for some people. Additionally, while elevation of your current location is shown, longitude and latitude are not shown unless you add a marker.
Public and private land boundaries and land ownership
Land boundaries layers are the ones I use the most due to hunting areas that are a mix of public and private property. Having an app that shows me the exact boundaries is a must when in the field to ensure I’m staying within the area I’m allowed to hunt. And having landowner information is helpful when looking for new areas to hunt and when trying to obtain permission. I also noticed that the landowner information is updated quickly, compared to other sources I’ve used.
Another favorite feature is the ability to add photo pins to my map instead of just waypoints. When scouting, I like to have a visual reference if I find a new water hole, tracks, scrapes or rubs. When adding a photo, it creates a photo pin on the map with location information (coordinates and elevation) and you can add comments to the pin for reference later. I like using this mostly for water holes to keep track not only of their location, but also how long they hold water and when/if they dry up.
I have waypoints for multiple types of activities including bait sites, trail cameras, water holes, tracks, etc. and BaseMap has an extensive library of icons so that I can mark each spot with a relevant marker. Their library includes icons for transportation, shelter, hiking, wildlife, hunting, fishing and property; and they offer multiple colors to customize them even further. When looking at my maps, I can quickly and easily identify the markers by just looking at the icons. Since there are so many options (icons/colors), it would be helpful to have an option to save favorites or most used, so you don’t have to scroll through them each time you add a marker to the map (if you don’t select a specific icon, there is a default).
Another necessity for me is the ability to save offline maps. I hunt and hike in a lot of areas where there isn’t any service, and I depend on my maps to help me navigate, especially when there’s a mix of public and private land. Offline maps are available in high and low resolutions, and you can select the area you want to save. The only issue I’ve found is that you are only able to have one saved map active at a time, which could be a potential issue for some users. Fortunately, since you can select the area you want to save, this hasn’t been an issue for me personally.
Extensive Layer Library
BaseMap has hundreds of layers that are all available quickly and easily within the app. Whether you’re hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, road tripping or just looking at land boundaries…there’s a layer for that! The layer catalog includes: Image & Topography, Land, Water, Roads & Trails, Points of Interest, Wildfires & Timbercuts, and Hunting. The library includes a small thumbnail image of what the layer will look like when active, so you have a visual reference of what to look for on the map. The only downside I’ve found is that when you have a lot of layers turned on, it can be hard to see the map and gets a bit confusing and load time might be slower. To eliminate this issue, I only turn on the layers I am actively needing to use. Fortunately, you can “Favorite” layers for easy access to turn them on/off.
Following and Sharing with Other Users
Another neat feature is the ability to follow and connect with other users. With this feature, you can share your location which is helpful in the event of an emergency or so they can see your progress on a hike or ride. Additionally, you can easily share your markers with others as a message or email and log activities that they can access (when logged as Public or Limited).
My Experience and App Use
Up to now, aside from just exploring and playing around with the app, most of my use has been during spring turkey hunting and summer hiking, scouting and putting out trail cameras.
Since I’m still fairly new to hunting turkeys in Idaho, having the “Wild Turkey Range” layer was extremely helpful for pre-season scouting as a way to find general areas where turkeys might be present. By combining this layer with the “Idaho Access Yes! Properties” and “Idaho WMAs”, I was able to locate areas to hunt once season started. During season, using the Access Yes layer ensured I was staying within the property boundaries.
When hiking and scouting, I like tracking my trail so I could easily find my way back in case I get turned around, and to track distance and time. You can change the colors of the tracks, so you could have different colors for different activities. I also put several trail cameras on public land and use the Trail Camera marker to keep track of where they are and what camera is in each spot. And as stated above, I use the photo pins for a visual reference of various areas such as water holes and other sign.
Subscription Options and Purchasing
BaseMap offers two subscription options:
Free – This version includes some basic features and limited options but will give you a good idea of what the app has to offer.
$29.99/year – This is the full version with all features, unlimited offline maps, markers, photos and tracks, 3D Earth, in-app sharing and many more features.
Recently added to BaseMap are the “Hunt Research” layers. For an additional $9.99/year, you have access to the desktop hunt planner with nationwide season dates, unit filtering and western big game harvest data. If you’re planning out-of-state hunts in the future, BaseMap has the data to help you make a decision on what units to apply for.
Purchase online at https://www.basemap.com/
Overall, I have been highly satisfied with BaseMap for the 9-10 months I’ve been using it. It has all of the features I need for my outdoor activities, and the company is constantly working to improve the app’s performance by adding new features and updating any bugs in the development.
While the features alone have made me a loyal user, the extremely low cost compared to other options definitely make BaseMap worth using!
For 10% off your subscription, use code WADDY10. Must purchase on desktop for discount to apply.
About The Author:
Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting elk, deer, turkey and waterfowl. She is a Brand Champion with ReelCamo Girl, Team Member at Huntress View, Pro Staff for Browning Trail Cameras and Brand Ambassador for the GoWild and BaseMap apps. Follow her on Instagram: @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.
ReelCamo Girl is a lifestyle brand focused on ladies who love the outdoors.There is a growing need for a place for women to share their outdoor experiences, as well as an interest in clean eating and self-sufficiency. Through our website and social media networks, we offer a safe place where the ladies can share their pictures, stories, wild game and fish recipes, and news articles about conservation and hunting perspectives.
ReelCamo girls are strong, capable, kind, compassionate, nature & country-loving individuals. We encourage responsible and ethical hunting. We care about the land and wildlife management and about long term sustainability. We hunt, fish, dive, shoot and hike…for peace of mind, happiness, pure clean protein & connection to the outdoors. ReelCamoGirls can shoot a gun, draw a bow, track an animal, get CAMOed up, bait a hook, clean a fish and still be feminine.