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Will Jeep TripCast iPhone App Ruin Your Favorite Trails?

by Garrett · 6 comments

Jeep recently launched a new iPhone app called TripCast. The TripCast iPhone app features a database of over 250,000 recreation spots in the U.S. and allows Jeepers to plot their offroad adventures and tag specific visited locations to share. Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley stated the following about the TripCast app:

TripCast enables everyone with a sense of adventure to plan a trip, share it with friends as their journey unfolds, and find new spots to explore. This new app is perfect for Jeep fans, and anyone who enjoys getting out, having fun, and sharing that fun with friends.

I'm all for getting out there and trying new trails, but I'm honestly a little concerned about what impact this app may have on some of the trails that Jeep clubs have permission from land owners to use. More exposure of trail locations means more traffic from Jeepers (and all offroaders). Here in Massachusetts, our trail base seems to shrink every year as environmental groups turn up the heat and land owners shutdown trails due to traffic and/or land abuse.

Local Jeep clubs work very hard to keep amicable relations with land owners and to make sure that club members tread lightly on the trails and always pickup after themselves. Clubs often organize proactive trail cleanups to pickup trash (e.g. old appliances, abandoned cars, camping waste, etc.) left by non-club members who use/abuse the land. Jeep clubs often make up "code names" for various trails when speaking about them on public forums so that non-club members won't find the trails, run them, and potentially damage relationships with land owners (which is a constant struggle).

If the TripCast iPhone app gets widespread usage, it'll have the potential to expose the exact location of many previously "private" trails. So, what do you think...is this going to put your favorite Jeepin spot in jeopardy?

Photo credit: harpomarx1

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

tim July 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

I have not checked out this app yet. Does it have the ability to mark a trail as private land? If not, keeping with the trend of most clubs talking in code about trails, people are not going to post their most secret trails onto this iphone app and therefore the masses will still not be able to access them.

Join a Club.
Tread Lightly.
Bring back more trash than you brought with you!

Tim

Reply

Garrett July 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

It’s unclear whether you can mark things as private or not (I’m going to see if I can get it to work on my wife’s iPhone). Jeep really doesn’t give much info on the download site.

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Jessie Leary July 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I was worried about this too, so I went ahead and downloaded TripCast. It’s actually pretty cool! There is an option as soon as you start tracking any trip to mark it as public, invite only, or private. If you mark it private (I selected this option), the trip is only visible from your phone and a personal link to the website.

What’s kinda cool is the friends tab that will allow you to invite specific people also using the app – ie. local Jeep clubs. Seems like Jeep kept local off-roader clubs in mind with this one.

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Garrett July 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Jessie,
Thanks for the firsthand info. Good to hear that there are some privacy options integrated in. Hopefully all users are as careful as you when tracking/marking their trips! ;)

Reply

Luke Bone August 11, 2010 at 10:12 am

I’ve used the app and I can tell that the focus is for road trips, not trail tracking. I think the private trials are safe for now. I think you need to be more worried about the EveryTrail app. That one is all consumer generated, mostly public, and focused on trails.

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Garrett August 11, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thanks for the update Luke!

Reply

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