Instagram Contests and Gaia GPS Off-Trail Stories

Last week, we asked users to talk about their off-trail experiences on this Instagram thread, and to make a contest of it, we offered a free year of GaiaPro to the story we liked best.

We found it hard to pick a winner, and decided to surprise all of our responders with a free subscription. Thanks to all of you that shared your stories.

Trip of the Day on the Gaia GPS Instagram page

Trip of the Day on the Gaia GPS Instagram page


Follow us on Instagram as we continue to curate the best photos and stories shared on We post daily pictures from publicly-shared tracks recorded by Gaia users, and plan to have regular contests for free GaiaPro subscriptions.

“I was looking for a poorly marked trail head to the Florida Trail. I had thought I found it and pushed into the forest. It became clear that I was not on a trail. But I kept pushing forward and found an opening of mangroves, the light shinning through them beautifully. I checked Gaia to see where I was at. Luckily I had downloaded the trail route from NPS beforehand. I was running parallel to it. So instead of backtracking, I decided to push forward and eventually make my way back to the trail. I did eventually reconnect with the trail, but nothing on it was as beautiful as what I stumbled across.” – c47joe

“I went off-trail on a backpacking trip to the Eastern Sierras. When we got to camp there were two guys who passed us. Shortly after we saw them heading back our way. It turned out that they didn’t realize there were no trails from that point on and they didn’t come prepare with a topo map or do any research prior. Luckily I had an extra print out of a map that I gave them. Lesson learned: always be prepared!”- bernini_n

“A recent off-trail exploration near a campground I frequent in Colorado brought me to the most amazing falls in the state. By just simply hopping a couple streams and scrambling up some sketchy “goat paths” I was able to enjoy a lush Oregon worthy waterfall all by myself!” – jason_j_hatfield

“I used Gaia to guide our group of scouts 46 miles through the Boundary Waters canoe area. With preloaded maps, our route, campsites, portages, and a solar charger we canoed for 5 days straight. The features on Downloaded maps were so much more detailed and then the back up paper maps. It was awesome. #bwca” – ducksacoming


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About Aileen

Aileen works on media and partnerships on the Gaia GPS Communications team. Currently living on the road, she spends all her free time exploring the mountains and trails west of the Rockies.​