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Gps Devices For Walking/hiking


kde
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Not sure if this is the right section, sure someone will put me right if its not.

 

As we have just got back into hiking, I am wondering whether its worth investing in one of the garmin units rather than keep purchasing OS explorer maps. Any advice/opinions /experiences or recomendations would be welcome

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I use a couple of iPhone apps. One is Memory Map. You can have subscriptions to a number of OS maps and it will show your exact location as well as direction of travel. This is one of the best apps. If you do not have an iPhone I would say look for one on ebay over the next week or so. .. The New iPhone 5 is supposed to be launched on Tuesday so if it is then there will be a lot of iPhones sold/dumped on ebay. So get an older one cheap and use it as your phone too. .. Possibly cheaper than a garmin device and you have a great phone.

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Hi there. I use a Garmin E-trex legend for walking and mountain biking, with the Garmin UK Contour mapping installed on the memory card. I also use Memory Map to plan routes, and then upload them onto the Garmin. Memory map files are essentially OS maps for your computer and the software is really easy to use for planning and even printing out maps.

 

I've been using this set up for a few years now, and I still believe the hand held unit is a current model. It has a great battery life and is really tough and is available at a reasonable price.

 

The maps on the Garmin are not that great though, and I found I need to rely on planning routes on memory map, and uploading the route to the Garmin.

 

It may be worth looking at the new memory map handheld unit, which comes pre-loaded with the UK at 1:50,000 (I think. .....)

As with any gadget, you need to want to use it and invest time into getting to know it, otherwise it will spend most of its' time in the bottom of the rucksack!

 

Happy rambling!

Edited by dalaifarmer
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They are fine until the battery runs out then you get lost. :rolleyes:

 

I only use an Etrex but son finds a Garmin with built in map better.

 

I find a map is better and use the gps to get a fix.

 

Some nice ones here. http://www. amazon. co. uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=garmin+etrex+30&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=9214568825&ref=pd_sl_5594oulswl_b

 

 

This is mine but it was £100 when first bought must be 20 years ago. :rolleyes:

 

http://www. amazon. co. uk/Garmin-eTrex-Handheld-GPS-Navigator/dp/B000PDV0CE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1317585734&sr=8-2

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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Hi,

We use a Satmap, it takes slot in cards loaded with O. S. maps. have used it both up in Scotland and in north wales on our days out,its fine -until you get in a narrow valley or under trees as it has to " see" the satalites. We have had an accuracy of less than 5 F,t. We used it last year to walk in to a bothy near Kinlochbervie, not much sign of a track on the ground but it kept us on the strait & ( very, at times ! ) narrow.

Batterys we carry spare set as well as the ( fully charged ) set in the unit, and a large scale O. S. map & compass----- just in case ! Unit comes in to its own in mist/ fog.

david 1220

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They are fine until the battery runs out then you get lost. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

True. . I do have a battery pack I carry too. . it is not heavy and will last all day if I need to use it. .. you dont look at the map for the whole route. .. just to check or from time to time. .. Not had a problem with it so far and had it a year. .... But Memory map is a great app and I think can be used on a number of devices. ...

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I have used my iPhone (3GS) with an OS map application, works OK but the the 3GS is known for not having the best GPS performance, so intend to go for a Garmin standalone unit. Garmin are just about to release a number of new devices known s the Etrex 10, 20 & 30 I think their performance is probably quite good. Buying the mapping for these can be quite expensive (in my experience buying 1:25000 maps for the iPhone is less expensive. The problem is that yuo need at least an iPhone 4 to get good GPS performance and they don't come cheap.

 

I know someone has made a comment about iPhone 5 soon to be available but it is surprising how earlier model iPhone's hold their value. I think the dedicated Garmin unit has a lot to offer, the ablilty to run on AA batteries is very useful, it is easy enough to carry spares, where a proprietary rechargeable may be more difficult to keep charged. My iPhone 3GS is a great device and has many uses, but the one thing I would have to admit is that the battery life bad . ..

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I bought a secondhand Garmin Colorado and UK maps from eBay for just less than £150 and so far battery use is quite low. I also use Memory Map to plot walks and transfer these to the GPS. My wife likes a map so we pop to the library to borrow one for the place we are going to - if they haven't one, then I print out the appropriate page from MemoryMap.

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I have not got the best money can now buy but its very competent.

I have an Etrex Vista "H" colour with full UK Topo maps installed.

If not obsolete they are close to it and so good deals can be had.

Be careful if looking at Ebay that you only touch the later model, the "H" version as the earlier one is painfully slow.

Topo mapping is far from equivalent in detail to OS but it cost less.

I recall it was still expensive something like £150.

 

Some later offerings and using a smart phone are very battery demanding; my Etrex has a quoted 20 odd hours and that is good. It only uses two "AA" batteries so carrying spares for it is no problem, bulk weight or cost wise.

 

Digital OS mapping cost can be very very expensive so study that issue carefully.

 

I use mine as other do in conjunction with the excellent Memory Maps [mine is only 50,000th scale Landranger] on my computer where routes can be planned or retraced by up or down loading between the Etrex and computer.

 

Now for "off my local patch" walks or rides I simply download the appropriate bit of OS 25,000th scale map from web site "Bing Maps" and print these off as a disposable copy. Saves having to fill the house with maps and cures the off map edge issue we always seem to meet in planning rides!

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I had a friend who was on Kinder Scout in a blizzard. He had to keep checking his compass to stay on course to get off the top. He had taken about 20 paces and went for his compass again and found it had gone.

 

Feeling about his collar he located the lanyard attached to the compass and found it had blown around behind him. Since then he has NEVER left home without a spare compass.

 

He had many sleepless nights thinking what could have happened had he dropped the compass and not found it.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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We use an app on I Phone called Outdoors GB. You have to purchase areas of maps but they are the OS maps and cheaper than buying hard copy. As a gps and nav aid we find it great. Of course hard copy do not suffer from flat batteries, but they also do not have little red dots saying 'you are here'

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Hi Everyone - One poster recommended the Memory Map iPhone app - i personally have this and it's a fantastic app, probably the best out there.

 

If you don't have access to a smartphone or are put off by the battery draining problems when GPS is in use, we retail the full Memory Map range of handheld devices which come complete with full uK mapping at 1:50,000 scale or the National Parks at 1:50,000 same depending on which version you go for. You can plot routes on your PC and then export them to your handheld Memory Map. Memory Map allow you to print out copies of your maps as well as use them on the device which generally goes down well with customers!

 

We do stock the Garmin range as well but you'll generally pay a little more for them and then have to add the maps but they're as reliable as any!

 

Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

 

Phil

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I find the iphone battery performance is rubbish so if you are navigating it goes flat in not time so I bought a Garmin Oregon 450 with OS mapping included for the UK. Look for inclusive bargains as the separate price for the maps is silly. Mine was 300 quid but well worth it. I use it for geo caching a lot as well

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Just to point out that there are many other phones other than IPhones, with GPS - my HTC Desire has GPS and is excellent. Not used it for walking but I know there are various free apps available and I assume you can buy OS maps to download onto it.

 

Most importantly, they are much cheaper than IPhones. ..(and just as good, IMO).

 

Having said that, if you're on an 8 hour hike, I doubt the battery will last. .. :(

Edited by nelmo
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  • 4 months later...

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but missed this when it came out. I've been using Android phones for a few years for offroad navigation, first an HTC Desire now a Galxay S2. Both work really well. For something cheaper the OHA uses a £100 LG GT540 for the same job.

 

For Software it really depends on what maps you've got. If you have Memory Maps then there is a beta version of the software for android (similar to the iphone software). However I use an app called MM Tracker for the android Market. Works very well with the older . QCT maps and is an excellent piece of software. Shows you where you are on the map, which way your facing and records the route youve taken among many other features. If you don't have the maps already then Viewranger is very good. Software is free then you buy maps online. All National Parks OS50k maps for example are £20, which is pretty good. For the penny pinching do it yourself types Orux maps is good. Software is very full featured (and complicated!) and completely free. Maps you make yourself using a PC program called mobile atlas creator. This used to be able to do OS maps but the OS got wise to this and decided to make life difficult (but not impossible if you know how ;) ). Anyway this also works very well.

 

The other issues mentioned here are battery life and waterproofing. Waterproofing I deal with by using a waterproof phone pouch. Aquapac are good but there are cheaper ones. Have used these in continuous heavy rain for long periods without problem. Another alternative is a wateproof rugged phone such as Motorola's Defy.

 

Battery Life. Well I usually I switch the phone in to airplane mode which switches off the phone transmitters etc. Usually where I go walking there's no signal anyway and this saves LOTS of battery. I only switch the screen on occasionally when I need to see where I am or where to go next. The phone keeps tracking the route while the screen is off so there's no wait to find position when switched back on. Used this way I reckon on using about 40% battery power in a 6 hour walk. So reasonable to expect a minimum of 12 hours with care. I think that's usable and if you want more carry a spare battery or a power pack.

 

Not for everyone I realise, but can be used very effectively. Of course you still need a map and compass and the ability to use them just in case, but I my opinion the phone is MUCH easier to use in general.

 

Lee

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I must be old fashioned. I have memory map on my PC. I print off and laminate the maps I need, then use them, along with a compass. ;)

 

I even earned some Kudos from my son when I got us Un-lost with a map and compass. Funny how he never made the connection that it was me who got us lost n the first place :lol:

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I must be old fashioned. I have memory map on my PC. I print off and laminate the maps I need, then use them, along with a compass. ;)

 

I even earned some Kudos from my son when I got us Un-lost with a map and compass. Funny how he never made the connection that it was me who got us lost n the first place :lol:

 

I do that too, print out and laminate maps for any walks we do. I also use an Etrex Vista HCx so I can plot the walk onto Memory map when we get home.

The Garmin is also useful for car journeys as well, I have the tracks plotted for a couple of trips from Home to the south of France. It is interesting, and keeps my wife busy, to have the TomTom telling me where and how far I have to go and the Garmin plotting where I've been.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use a Garmin Edge 800 with full UK OS mapping.

 

Although it is for cycling it doubles up great for walking. The battery life is over 9 hours and you can either follow footpaths on the mapping or upload a route to it and it will give turn by turn instructions just like a Tom Tom does in a car.

 

Richard. ..

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