Do you GPS?

Cameras, GPS, headlamps, solar chargers....talk about it all here.
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gmcpcs
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Re: Do you GPS?

#16

Post by gmcpcs » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:00 am

Good information!

I have to say that the gadget factor yearns strong inside of me, but I have learned it is a total crap shoot. I love my android phone, my offline GPS apps though, are not so good. I have one, Backcountry Navigator, that I used back when I had a Windows Mobile phone to geocache. It worked fine then, and since I had paid for it, I kept it updated to the current year. I go out so seldom, and I don't put myself in situations (mostly) where I can't backtrack to a location and start over. I have other apps also, and being able to download a USGS map for the area you are going is cool.

What happens to me is that I get my apps, waypoints, maps, all downloaded and working fine while I am at the house, and when I get it out where it is supposed to show me where I'm at, it just starts getting gimpy. (App won't load, can't find the downloaded map, etc.) Once, I did do a hard boot on the phone, and it started working fine. Then you're dealing with battery drain. But it's cool to watch your track plot out on the map you downloaded.

As far as map skills go, I was in the Navy Reserve, called up to play detainee ops with the Army. We did what we called "Army 101" at Ft. Bliss, the part that is in Southern NM. We had a classroom course in navigation using the grid system. Then they turned us loose in groups of 4 or so, and we were supposed to navigate with a milspec gps unit (weighed about 7 pounds) and our maps and pace counts. I tell ya, if it wasn't for those guys riding around in the HMVs with the big orange flags sticking up, we never would have found our end. (We would still be out there wondering where we were going today)

Of course, you could see the sun, and the distant ridge line, so we weren't actually "lost", but finding a specific waypoint by pace counting through sand dunes and around scrub brush hillocks was totally ridiculous for us. I like the grid system though, and I wish I had better map skills. I'm afraid that with my diminishing eyesight due to age and having to squint to read small print, it will be harder to get better with it. It would be nice if we could get a hammocking trip going where we used regular compass and paper to get to where the food line started. At least there would be motivation to get it right!

Take it easy,
GMCPCS


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BillyBob66
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Re: Do you GPS?

#17

Post by BillyBob66 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:47 am

brianb2 wrote:So, back to the original question, for backcountry I use my phone and an app called MotionX-GPS. Interface could be better, but otherwise it's been great. I've heard Gaia is really good but I didn't want to pay $20 when I already had something that worked. A bunch of folks I know use Avenza, but you have to use PDF maps with GPX data.

I also use Caltopo.com to plan trips and print maps. You can load all your GPX data and share it with others. Handy.



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I have a Delorme PN-60 which also has a built in barometric altimeter and magnetic compass, and picks up signals much better and quicker than my previous GPSs. And so far ( a year or 2 ) I have not had it crap out on me. However, usually these days I prefer to use my IPhone with iHikeGPS. It is so easy to use, I can read the topos better on the larger screen, has touch screen, infinitely easier to use if I need to type in anything, etc. The only flaw I can find is the battery situation. I can carry spare AA batteries with my PN-60, not so my iPhone.

I have not used it much yet, but I also just got a Delorme InReach Explorer, primarily in order to be able to send and receive text(with no phone signal), as well as an emergency button to call in the Calvary if I am near death or severely injured . This one has a GPS built in, which I think might not be a good thing to pay for because the GPS is so basic, you can not load maps etc. But, at the big sale price I was paying, the one with the GPS was very few additional $ or weight, so I just went ahead and got it, and will have it as a back up. Or, if I want to use it as a GPS with topo maps, it will work in cahoots with my iPhone and an app, for both full GPS/map features and texting(no phone signal required). But that still leaves me with the same battery limitations as my iPhone. So, this unit is mainly for texting/e-mailing or calling for emergency help where there is no phone signal, and I have not yet decided how- or if- I will use it's GPS functions.
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Do you GPS?

#18

Post by iamyendor » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:16 am

Mostly a map and compass guy here! I bring along My eTrex20 just to verify my map/compass skill set, periodically .

Recently added an inReach Explorer to the kit, primarily for the communication ability . I've found its GPS function is the same as my eTrex without the topo maps selected. Nice unit i must say.

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Re: Do you GPS?

#19

Post by ADVStrom14 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:28 pm

At the risk of hijacking the thread...

Since I have not really been out of cell phone range yet, I have not used GPS outside of GMaps on my phone but I have been trying to do a little reading to figure out what is the best route to go. Those of you that use a dedicated GPS unit like the Garmin or eTrexx, etc. does it work in areas where you do not have cell service?

I have been looking at the InReach Explorer and I posted a thread to ask a few questions and some pose some scenarios to get feedback. You can view it viewtopic.php?f=88&t=1299. I am going out in December for 7 days and so I am trying to close the gap on this stuff. Thanks!
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Re: Do you GPS?

#20

Post by johnspenn » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:14 pm

I use Avenza in conjunction with CalTopo. When you safe PDFs in CalTopo they have the GPX data that Avenza uses. I always bring paper copies JIC but so far using the App with the CalTopo PDFs has worked like a charm.

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Re: Do you GPS?

#21

Post by brianb2 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:23 pm

johnspenn wrote:I use Avenza in conjunction with CalTopo. When you safe PDFs in CalTopo they have the GPX data that Avenza uses. I always bring paper copies JIC but so far using the App with the CalTopo PDFs has worked like a charm.
These two together are a solid option.


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Re: Do you GPS?

#22

Post by BillyBob66 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:29 pm

ADVStrom14 wrote:At the risk of hijacking the thread...

Since I have not really been out of cell phone range yet, I have not used GPS outside of GMaps on my phone but I have been trying to do a little reading to figure out what is the best route to go. Those of you that use a dedicated GPS unit like the Garmin or eTrexx, etc. does it work in areas where you do not have cell service?

I have been looking at the InReach Explorer and I posted a thread to ask a few questions and some pose some scenarios to get feedback. You can view it viewtopic.php?f=88&t=1299. I am going out in December for 7 days and so I am trying to close the gap on this stuff. Thanks!
Just realized: did this not get answered? I remember answering some questions at your other thread re: InReach Explorer. But as to your question here: Yes, with the typical GPS, or for that matter a GPS app for your smart phone, you DO NOT need a phone signal. You just need a GPS signal, which is available world wide, no phone signal is needed. There is a built in GPS device built in to the phones for the last several years. And of course, same thing for the dedicated GPS units.
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Do you GPS?

#23

Post by ADVStrom14 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:01 am

BillyBob66 wrote: Just realized: did this not get answered? I remember answering some questions at your other thread re: InReach Explorer. But as to your question here: Yes, with the typical GPS, or for that matter a GPS app for your smart phone, you DO NOT need a phone signal. You just need a GPS signal, which is available world wide, no phone signal is needed. There is a built in GPS device built in to the phones for the last several years. And of course, same thing for the dedicated GPS units.
I did, but I appreciate the follow up. :)
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -E. B. White

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Re: Do you GPS?

#24

Post by Calait » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:43 pm

sarge wrote:This just popped up in one of the news sites I visit:
After reading this article I plan to redouble my effort in checking my routes of travel, but will not give up my GPS :!:
Any day in the outdoors is better than a day at work.

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