Replacement GPS

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Calait
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Replacement GPS

#1

Post by Calait » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:37 pm

Going through my gear I have lost my GPS :oops: What handheld GPS do you carry? I have had Garmin Etrex-10, I am on a budget $300 is my top limit and at that, I will have to save for a few months. Cash only on the purchase.

Also need to get sharpening stones or equipment, what do you carry?

Thanks in advance!!!! :D


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Re: Replacement GPS

#2

Post by BillyBob66 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:12 pm

Calait wrote:Going through my gear I have lost my GPS :oops: What handheld GPS do you carry? I have had Garmin Etrex-10, I am on a budget $300 is my top limit and at that, I will have to save for a few months. Cash only on the purchase.

Also need to get sharpening stones or equipment, what do you carry?

Thanks in advance!!!! :D
I have a Delorme PN60, but I rarely use it since I got iHikeGPS for my iPhone. I can't think of hardly anything the PN60 does any better than the iPhone app ( $8?) and there are several things- like larger touch screen and infinitely easier to use keyboard etc - that are better on the iPhone. For about $50 you can get matching mapping software for your home computer if you want that. This might be for Apple iPhone only, but I am sure the equivalent is available for other phones from other companies. Also, I am unlikely to leave my phone at the trail head in the truck, so I am usually carrying it anyway, so if it can function as a GPS it saves me having to carry a separate GPS. One more incredible function: have a phone signal, but you are someplace with no map? You can download a free USGS topomap or forest service map on the spot, and it is super easy to do, just tap the blank spot on the screen! You will need a phone or wifi signal though, so if you are heading somewhere you don't have a map for, you should download the map ahead of time.

Of course, the one thing the PN60 or any other GPS does better than the phone is easily replaceable cheap batteries. Unless you have some sort of charging system on the trail, it might prove difficult to get the battery on the iPhone to last for other than a one day trip. It can be done, but you really have to use a bunch of tricks to make it last. Or, only use turn it on when really needed, such as back up for map and compass. Much easier to just have some spare AA batteries in the Delorme or whatever brand you are using. And for all I know the newer GPS or other brands might have larger, more phone like, touch screens.

For a different approach, I have recently acquired a no phone signal required communication device(send and receive texts plus other goodies via satellite) which is also a GPS, Delorme InReach Explorer. It is a rather crappy GPS if used without pairing to a phone, what with tiny screen and no maps, but still, it's main function is texting and emergency rescue button. Push the red slider to the right and then push a button and Search and Rescue are on the way. But, it still performs the basic functions of a GPS such as marking and navigating to a waypoint, and has a compass and altimeter. If using a map and compass anyway, it would serve as good backup insurance, and the battery seems to be really long lasting. If you are carrying a smart phone anyway, it has a free app that pairs it with the phone to be roughly equal to the iHike GPS app mentioned above. Except, unlike IHike GPS or any regular dedicated GPS, you can text over your phone(no phone signal needed) as also have that emergency button. This is probably a little above your budget, but if you can catch it on sale it might fall into your price range. But one warning, you will have to have a monthly plan that will cost you at least $15 a month, although you can cancel the plan for months when you know you won't be using it. Probably only a good choice for those who really want the communication and emergency capabilities.

Good luck on your search for the right GPS!

Bill
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Re: Replacement GPS

#3

Post by johnspenn » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:23 pm

Also, Gaia GPS is a popular app, 20$. If you're already taking your phone, use it as your GPS while you're at it. You get get a tough case for it and a good recharger for it for much less than a good dedicated GPS.

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Re: Replacement GPS

#4

Post by Calait » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:52 pm

johnspenn wrote:Also, Gaia GPS is a popular app, 20$. If you're already taking your phone, use it as your GPS while you're at it. You get get a tough case for it and a good recharger for it for much less than a good dedicated GPS.
Guessing when you have no bars on the phone or date your cost goes way up, yes tough case is great, and there are solar rechargers, but the phone needs coverage for data
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Re: Replacement GPS

#5

Post by tennistime99 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:58 pm

I purchased US Topo Maps by Atlogis and really like it. Lots of nice features, tons of maps to choose from and you can cache them on your device. Driving around the logging roads and it was spot on using just the GPS signal (no cell available).

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Re: Replacement GPS

#6

Post by johnspenn » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:44 am

Calait wrote:
johnspenn wrote:Also, Gaia GPS is a popular app, 20$. If you're already taking your phone, use it as your GPS while you're at it. You get get a tough case for it and a good recharger for it for much less than a good dedicated GPS.
Guessing when you have no bars on the phone or date your cost goes way up, yes tough case is great, and there are solar rechargers, but the phone needs coverage for data
That's not the case. Your phone's GPS works through the satellite system, not the cell tower system, so it's always available. You can pre-download the maps you need for any particular trip, and while you're out you will be able to know your location regardless of cell tower coverage. You don't need the data.

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Re: Replacement GPS

#7

Post by sarge » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:13 am

johnspenn wrote:
Calait wrote:
johnspenn wrote:Also, Gaia GPS is a popular app, 20$. If you're already taking your phone, use it as your GPS while you're at it. You get get a tough case for it and a good recharger for it for much less than a good dedicated GPS.
Guessing when you have no bars on the phone or date your cost goes way up, yes tough case is great, and there are solar rechargers, but the phone needs coverage for data
That's not the case. Your phone's GPS works through the satellite system, not the cell tower system, so it's always available. You can pre-download the maps you need for any particular trip, and while you're out you will be able to know your location regardless of cell tower coverage. You don't need the data.
Yep.

I use an app called Maprika that uses trail maps downloaded from the net, as well as stret and topo maps. All of the maps for the Lone Star Trail system are there.
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Re: Replacement GPS

#8

Post by GregD » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:50 am

You may want to have a look at this page. It seems to cover all the specifics of using a smart phone for navigation (at least for iPhone):

http://www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps ... ckpacking/

There seem to be 2 critical tasks:
1. Downloading all the maps for your trip ahead of time
2. Optimizing your phone settings for minimum battery use

The one downside I see is that my smartphone is more fragile and more expensive than a typical hiking GPS unit.

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Re: Replacement GPS

#9

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:52 am

They are correct, NO phone signal needed for GPS functions, although if one is available it will still use it( to triangulate off of towers) to increase accuracy even more, I think. But as I said in 1st post, with iHike GPS all I need a phone signal for is to almost instantly download a free new map. But you won't need that if you have downloaded the maps you will need before hand. I can turn off virtually all phone functions to save battery and it still functions as GPS.

It is WAY cheaper than a new dedicated GPS, and as I said previously the only downside I can see is the battery situation, aka needing a charger for longer trips. I have thought of one more: waterproofing and/or durability maybe. But I suppose there are cases to secure against those problems, or possibly other solutions. Still, the advantage there is to the GPS without having to take extra precautions, at least it is with my Delorme.

But if a dedicated GPS is your preference, probably most any brand will get the job done, with the bells and whistles available determined by your budget of course, or what sale you can find.

Just as a place to start:
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Handheld-Gps-Reviews

http://gpstracklog.com/buyers-guides/ha ... yers-guide

https://www.rei.com/search.html?q=gps+h ... =min-price
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Re: Replacement GPS

#10

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:55 am

GregD wrote:You may want to have a look at this page. It seems to cover all the specifics of using a smart phone for navigation (at least for iPhone):

http://www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps ... ckpacking/

There seem to be 2 critical tasks:
1. Downloading all the maps for your trip ahead of time
2. Optimizing your phone settings for minimum battery use

The one downside I see is that my smartphone is more fragile and more expensive than a typical hiking GPS unit.
Great link!

But as far as the expense downside, don't you already own the smartphone? Also, would you normally carry it with you anyway, or leave it at the trail head in your car?
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Re: Replacement GPS

#11

Post by BillyBob66 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:00 am

I may consider this for $20:
https://www.amazon.com/EasyAcc-Ultra-Sl ... 27fe66e1c8

For some reason the copy/pasted link will not show up. But it is the EasyAcc 6000mAh Ultra-Slim External Battery Smart Output Power Bank Portable Charger with Built-in Micro USB Cable for Smartphone - Black on Amazon for $20.
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Re: Replacement GPS

#12

Post by GregD » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:10 am

BillyBob66 wrote:Great link!

But as far as the expense downside, don't you already own the smartphone? Also, would you normally carry it with you anyway, or leave it at the trail head in your car?
Using the phone frequently while hiking (with 2 dogs on leashes in my case) poses a significant risk of damage, and in the event the phone gets broken I'd need to buy a replacement.

Keeping the phone stored in my pack most of the time minimizes risk of damage.

So if the need is for an occasional GPS confirmation of your location I see no downside to the smartphone. If you need fairly constant GPS updates, for example off trail with insufficient landmarks for navigation, especially in challenging conditions, I would get concerned about the likelihood of damage - or loss.

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Re: Replacement GPS

#13

Post by Calait » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:04 pm

GregD wrote:You may want to have a look at this page. It seems to cover all the specifics of using a smart phone for navigation (at least for iPhone):

http://www.adventurealan.com/iphone-gps ... ckpacking/

There seem to be 2 critical tasks:
1. Downloading all the maps for your trip ahead of time
2. Optimizing your phone settings for minimum battery use

The one downside I see is that my smartphone is more fragile and more expensive than a typical hiking GPS unit.
:D GregD: I certainly have a ton of reading to do now, looks like great information, thanks.
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