/ GPS recommendation

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Rhi Rhi 04 Feb 2020

Any recommendations for a GPS for walking? Predominantly lake district and north wales walking. Would like good data re: elevation. Mid range in terms of price.

Thanks

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EdS 05 Feb 2020
In reply to Rhi Rhi:

Viewranger on your phone and a powerbank.

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Simon Caldwell 05 Feb 2020
In reply to Rhi Rhi:

A map and compass, plus a Grid ref app on your phone to check your exact location.

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Fozzy 05 Feb 2020
In reply to Rhi Rhi:

Map, compass & an eTrex 10 just in case. 

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SebCa 05 Feb 2020
In reply to Rhi Rhi:

A second hand Garmin Fenix3/3HR/5 off ebay?

Will give you grid ref if required, you can load routes and follow breadcrumbs. Battery life is brilliant and rechargeable and its a mulit function watch as well.

I use my garmin for all of the above, have a map and compass and a Garmin Oregon and to be honest the majority of the time I just use the watch to navigate. Plus it will track all your walks with all the data you require if youre bothered...if not then dont worry about it!

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Rhi Rhi 06 Feb 2020
In reply to SebCa:

Brilliant thank you, anything which you can get extra data from is always a bonus.

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PPP 06 Feb 2020
In reply to Rhi Rhi:

Okay, so I have/had following, ordered by their usefulness on the hills:

  • iPhone with ViewRanger and Android with Alpine Quest
  • Garmin Forerunner 645M
  • Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Sapphire
  • Garmin GPSMAP 64st handheld GPS device

Phones are OK when it's good weather, but then you really don't need a GPS device. They are prone to breaking and you'd need some oversized phone case to be able to hold with wet or cold hands. You probably don't want to put all your eggs in one basket either. I do have Viewranger on my iPhone and use it for trail runs, but it's pretty much a non-option to me. 

A watch without mapping and/or with a small screen (e.g. Garmin 645M) is pretty useless as it only allows you to follow breadcrumb trails. I don't think I am navigationally challenged, but still managed to miss a turn in... a desert... in daylight! Granted, I was running, but still. 

A watch with maps (e.g. Fenix series, pretty much) are somewhat more useful if you load a track before leaving, but the screens are tiny, they are cumbersome to use with big gloves on, pain to recharge on the move. 

A handheld device can easily replace a map and compass - I still take map & compass and I know how to use them, but I just can't be bothered. It has a bigger screen, nice controls even with big or double gloves, won't slip and can be bashed around. I had a mountain bike crash where the GPS was mounted on a handlebar and it was the first to hit the stump. A shifter broke, but I just cleaned up some wood from the device and it's still fine. I had it for 3-4 years now and it has a tiny dent on screen (either from sharp rock or ice axe as I have it swinging on the side). I used it at night, in whiteouts, when I was tired and knackered, etc. It potentially saved my ass more than once by now, or made it much more bearable. It's easy to know where you are, but also allows you to measure distance (in a straight line) to some destination. The only annoying thing is knowing exactly how much you've got left ;). 

There's a new version (GPSMAP 66st) which is somewhat improved, but I wouldn't hesitate to get an older version myself if I needed. 

Some extra notes:

  • Phones and some watches won't have barometric meter, which makes the elevation much more difficult to track. They can be a bit less accurate. 
  • You could go for a device that has InReach/SEND (Satellite Emergency Notification Device) which allows you to send messages and distress signals, but they are £££ and you'd need a subscription. It's probably worth the money if you have a loved one who cares and wants to know where you are.
  • Phones/watches make it slightly easier to sync to your phone/Strava if you care about it. I don't know if 66st allows you to sync to your phone, but I need to connect my 64st to a PC in order to upload activities to Garmin Connect/Strava. 
Post edited at 21:58
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SebCa 09 Feb 2020
In reply to PPP:

> A watch without mapping and/or with a small screen (e.g. Garmin 645M) is pretty useless as it only allows you to follow breadcrumb trails. I don't think I am navigationally challenged, but still managed to miss a turn in... a desert... in daylight! Granted, I was running, but still. 

> A watch with maps (e.g. Fenix series, pretty much) are somewhat more useful if you load a track before leaving, but the screens are tiny, they are cumbersome to use with big gloves on, pain to recharge on the move. 

Slightly disagree with this to be honest, I have used both breadcrumb and mapping on my 945 which is the same as the Fenix 6, if you're out in the hills and you have planned your route properly, then you quite simply follow the line, and as long as you're on the line you're going the right way. Especially if you use something like viewranger, plan it on the map, then switch to satellite and make sure your track is on the path or at least exactly where you want to go, its probably the most reassuring thing to just 'walk the line'.

The mapping side is great on the watch, features wise there isnt much there but its like the above but slightly more detail, so you will get paths, lakes, rivers etc. But this comes at a consequence that it impacts on battery life. Granted when you get to a 5 way path intersection it is a bit more of a skill, but then as soon as you set off in the wrong direction it will tell you. 

I appreciate this takes the sport out of navigation and having the skill cannot be substituted for anything. However if you want to go for a quick thrash around the hills with not having to worry about much other then I think this is the most simple way....but we have probably gone slightly off track...pun over. 

As for the recharging aspect, I had my Fenix running for 14 hours and it did that on one charge, power pebbles, chargers etc, they all form part of every day life, we charge our phones. My fenix far outlasts my handheld gps which soon wont even be making the cut into my bag, (doesn't quite outlast the map and compass but thats a different argument).

I do think the handheld GPS market will slowly be phased out eventually in favour of smaller tech and more powerful, this is just the start! 

Post edited at 16:11
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Graeme G 09 Feb 2020
In reply to Rhi Rhi:

OS Locate on iPhone?

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