By Aaron Gulley, Outside
Guide apps and GPS tools can be vital for off-grid adventures. But relying on them too heavily means we miss out on hidden gems that aren’t online.
The first time my wife, Jen, and I brought Artemis the Airstream to Gold Canyon, Arizona, a retirement community pressed up against the Superstition Mountains southeast of Phoenix, I wanted to leave almost the moment I arrived. The problem wasn’t the camping: We had found a pretty, tucked-away site on state trust land where we happily could stay the full allowable two weeks. But at the time, I was training for a mountain bike race, and that first night, when I looked on my favorite online sources for trails in the area (Strava, MTB Project, Trailforks), I could find just one lonely, short piece of singletrack, which would never suffice.
“Let’s not unhitch,” I implored Jen. “We can leave early tomorrow and find something better.”