/ Wrist mounted GPS

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MikeMarcus - on 07 Dec 2017
I currently use the Viewranger app on my iPhone which is great. But it does mean that every time I want an update on my location, or to look at the map, I need to remove my phone from my pack or pocket which usually involves stopping. Because of this I've been looking at getting a something wrist-mounted.

As far as I can tell, the only GPS watch which shows OS maps is the Garmin Fenix 5X and that's is almost £800. Then the maps are extraordinarily expensive to buy on top of that (and crap quality by the looks of it).

An obvious alternative seems to me to mount my iPhone in an arm strap and attach it to my forearm/wrist rather than my tricep area. It seems wearing a phone like a large watch is such a simple idea that surely other people have thought of doing the same. However I've just spent a considerable amount of time looking around the web and I cant see anyone else doing it.

Am I missing something here? Is there an obvious reason why it wont work for running and map reading at the same time?

(One thing to note please, if any of you are tempted to tell me that I should learn to use a paper map and compass, I already can. I choose to use a digital solution to navigation for the same reason as I choose to email friends rather than sending them paper letters; it's convenient.)
JoshOvki on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I use a Garmin Forerunner 230 (costs around £220) which I have installed an App on that gives me a 6 figure grid ref, then I use a map and compass to make sure I am heading where I think I should be. I know it isn't exactly what you ask for but it is a pretty good compromise.

You can also get an app which is paid for dwMap ( http://dynamic.watch/ ), costs about $10 a year. You can plot your route online first, sync it to your watch via your phone, and it will draw a line of the route and an arrow for you. Again not a full OS Map but lets you know if you are not quite where you expect to be, and mixed in with a map it is really helpful.
MikeMarcus - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to JoshOvki:

I often go out without a predetermined route but a plan to improvise as I go. So I can make the run shorter, or longer, or add some scrambling/climbing in, depending on the conditions and how I'm feeling. This kind of requires the ability to look at a map at regular intervals.
Ciro - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Upper arm mounted works fine, and I imagine the main reasons it's preferred over forearm is less interference with what you're doing with your hands - a phone is a lot bulkier than a watch - and reducing the chances of catching earphone cables on things.

But if you prefer on the forearm there are pockets designed for that too

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Jogging-Neoprene-Smartphone-Motorola/dp/B007D5RV3Y

If you're otherwise happy with what the phone gives you, I'd spend a tenner on a strap over buying an expensive gadget
mbh - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Surely anything mounted on your wrist will give you a map so small that you would have to stop anyway to look at it properly? But maybe that's just my eyesight. Or, like me, you might think 'Thank God, I need to look at the map.Time to stop." On short dry runs I actually carry my phone in my hand if I need a map, in a dry bag if I can be bothered, or on longer off-road runs I now wear one of those running vests with pockets so that getting it out is no bother at all.
richlan - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Garmin 5x is around £600, comes with decent maps but lack contours in the uk, good contoured maps are free on Talkytoaster so not sure what you are looking at.
MikeMarcus - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to richlan:

The OS maps aren't free. 25K Ben Nevis and Clencoe (for instance) costs and absurd £49.99
mbh - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

You can subscribe to OS maps for c. £20/year and download any of them whenever you want.
MikeMarcus - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to mbh:

Download them to the Fenix 5? Link?
mbh - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

To the Fenix 5 or to any watch come to that I don't know, but to phones yes. I do it frequently to my iPhone.
richlan - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

Fair enough 1:50k is £11 here though, admittedly not OS but would be good enough for running......

https://talkytoaster.me.uk/product-category/tt-150k-look-n-feel-automatic-delivery-options/
MikeMarcus - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to mbh:

And similarly, I download them Viewranger on my phone. Which is why I'm enquiring about wrist mounting it.
SebCa - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I was sceptical about all this wrist mounted GPS stuff, if you want some pics DM me and I will send them through. Basically I have the Garmin 3HR, the 3 would do the same job and is significantly cheaper. My pics are on my twitter account which i don't think UKC will let me post.

I also did the same, backed up my map with view ranger and before you knew it laziness took over and it gives you the nailed on location and your battery is being hammered.

Then I started plotting my routes on GPX be in view ranger or what ever and uploading them to be Garmin, it basically gives you a bread crumb trail which you can zoom in on and follow, it doesn't give contour definition but its enough to know on the hill by looking at it which way to go. For me its a very simple way to quickly navigate with confidence and when push comes to shove I have the GR if required.

The age old battery argument.......I did an Ironman with mine, 13 hours of constantly recording data at 5 second intervals, the battery was still going strong at the end. Walking recording i think is about every 30....so the battery life is better.

Map and Compass....yep, have them. Yep know how to use them....but more than happy to try new things and adapt to the ever changing world! Not neglecting the fundamental skills just bolstering...another string to the bow one might say.

L rubertm on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:

I own a Garmin Forerunner 230 also. Quite pricey but works great. Easy to use, and battery life is really good.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:
My solution, mainly for cycling is this

Trail of bread crumbs on A suunto Ambit3 run which cost me £120. Prices fluctuate, it has gone up and down since. You need a big wrist but GPS accuracy is better than the Fenix

http://fellrnr.com/mediawiki/images/5/56/GPS_Accuracy.png

I have a phone in pocket for when I got confused

I'd say on a typical walk or bike ride in a new area I'm looking at the map or phone once an outing. A huge reduction

I'm not sure an OS map on a watch size display would help

The other option I have seen is wrist mounting a Garmin Edge bike computer. These support turn by turn sat nav for cyclists and walkers. They have an OK screen size. But they are pricey
Post edited at 10:26
MikeMarcus - on 08 Dec 2017
In terms of battery life, I've found huge increases by doing the following:

1) Switch iPhone to battery saver mode
2) switch off bluetooth, wifi, cellular radio, etc, just leaving GPS on
3) set viewranger to only update GPS position when requested (by tapping on the compass)
4) turn screen brightness right down

Even though my 2 year old phone can lose 35% battery on a half an hour train ride if I'm googling, checking emails, etc under normal circumstances, in this mode it will still last long enough for a 7 hour adventure in the hills.

A new phone would perform way, way better
mbh - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to MikeMarcus:


Those are good ideas. And battery life apart, when out in the dark this week I actually found the brightness of the phone screen to be a hindrance, since it dazzled my eyes each time I got it out.

What do people mean by 'a trail of bread crumbs' - it seems to be something that is intelligible on a watch sized screen and good enough for one to make the right call about which way to go most of the time??
goose299 - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to JoshOvki:
What’s the app for this 6 fig Grid ref?
Great idea to add to my watch
Post edited at 20:30
Y Gribin - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to goose299:

There are a few, but here's one
https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/os-locate

I also have a grid ref. as one of the screens on my Fenix 3 and it's great for quick location checks.
steelbru - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to goose299:

The same developer has written 2 similar things, each used in different situations

a) A data field, called "OS Grid Ref" that you can add like any other data field to one of the running ( and probably biking ) screens. But you need to be recording a run/ride to see that so...

b) an app, that you can page to ( using bottom left up and down arrows ) whilst not in recording mode, just like the steps screen, weather screen, etc. Can't recall what he called that, but if you find the data field, you can see other things on Connect IQ by same developer.
goose299 - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Y Gribin:

I have that on my phone but correct me if I’m wrong, you can’t put me on a watch.

JoshOvki said he had one for his Garmin 230, which I also have, hence asking what the app was called.

If yours is a Fenix 3, would the one you have go on the 230 too?

steelbru - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to goose299:

See my reply above for Garmin Connect IQ apps for the 230.

The Fenix3 was designed/sold as suitable for navigation, so the gridref is one of the fields you can choose to show straight out of the box, you don't need to load an app for it
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to mbh:
On my watch, which also has a compass, what I see on my wrist, is a line representing a pre programmed route. On this is an arrow representing and my location and direction of travel. The line of the route is correctly orientated.

In general that is enough. You can see a right angle bend in the line and know when you reach it. It is then obvious when you get to the turn and what to do

It can go wrong. Problems can be if the route crosses itself or if in a wood say 2 paths branch of right

But the main benefit is if the arrow is on the line you fine. Most navigation is confirming that you haven't gone wrong. The is done at a glance and saves loads of time and effort
Post edited at 22:37
Y Gribin - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to goose299:

> I have that on my phone but correct me if I’m wrong, you can’t put me on a watch.

Ah, sorry. Misunderstood what you were looking for.

mbh - on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

>Most navigation is confirming that you haven't gone wrong.

Yes, mostly that is what I want to do while out running somewhere unfamiliar or in the dark. Thanks for that.
goose299 - on 09 Dec 2017
In reply to steelbru:

Cheers bud. I’ll take a look

JoshOvki on 11 Dec 2017
In reply to goose299:

It is this Widget:

https://apps.garmin.com/en-GB/apps/07b03259-24c8-4828-b949-2e48ef04a2c5

its called "UK, Ireland and MGRS Grid Reference Widget"

I really like it because I press Up on my watch, wait a minute for it to get me and there we go.

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