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TOPIC:   Phone app vs GPS 


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
4/23/12 4:59 P

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I think the phone app works fine for shorter hikes where cell signals are available - unfortunately, too many of the places I go are [A] out of reach of a signal and/or [B] more than 4 hours, which is the limit for my battery if it's trying to search out a signal - if I'm in my home zone, it will last longer but when roaming, it eats up the battery fast!!

As for taking a power source, not sure what you meant there - a solar charger? Those take HOURS to replenish the battery and the app will drop all data if the cell is rebooted to change to another battery - there aren't many places to 'plug it in' out in the wilderness so for any backpacking or long hiking trips, the cell app just wouldn't work - I like having the Garmin and, of course, taking a map. I do know how to use a compass and have one but generally just read the topography and match it to the topographical map - sometimes that doesn't work but usually it does.

Whatever the source of our navigation info, let's all make sure we STAY FOUND and have fun!
emoticon

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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APONI_KB
APONI_KB's Photo Posts: 156
4/23/12 8:33 A

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I have a Garmin 60CSx - love it. It took a bit of tinkering around to figure it out and I'm still not fully utilizing it. The app on the phone works fine except that I seem to lose my signal when I most need it. Of course I also carry and old school compass and a map. I have a horrible - HORRIBLE sense of direction so yea all of that is really necessary.

“That’s silly...or a powerful mathematical equation, I can't choose which....” Doctor Who


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SUNNYARIZONA
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4/15/12 10:40 P

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I have RUNKEEPER....and app that tracks my hikes, walks, etc. It worked fine out in the wilderness canyon of Romero , Catalina State park. Tracked the whole way....AND that battery lasted fine. Just be sure to have turned off ALL unecessary aps, to save power.

PLUS take along a power source if needed to charge your phone. Those are really handy...

MY NEW saying: (borrowed from Delila)

"If you want to do something, you'll find a way, if you don't, you'll find an excuse."


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RONDARC
RONDARC's Photo SparkPoints: (137,494)
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4/15/12 1:59 P

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emoticonMe too! But I do like my shoes, well, hiking boots!!emoticon

~~ Ronda~~

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Border Collie Lovers - Team Leader
Lets Go Hiking - Team Leader
Dog Lovers Team - Team Leader
SP Class of June 3-9, 2007 - Team leader
Our Herding Dogs - Team Leader

I'm celebrating my SIXTH anniversary with SparkPeople in the June 3-9, 2007 class.



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
4/15/12 1:30 P

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Well, I have to admit that I'm a gear junkie - some women have tons of makeup, shoes or other things - I have tons of tents, backpacks and other hiking-related gear, haha! So I guess it's my addiction!

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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RONDARC
RONDARC's Photo SparkPoints: (137,494)
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4/14/12 6:15 P

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Actually mine is an H, that shows you how old it is, LOL. Mine can use the mapsource software but it's not map compatable, which would be nice.

~~ Ronda~~

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Border Collie Lovers - Team Leader
Lets Go Hiking - Team Leader
Dog Lovers Team - Team Leader
SP Class of June 3-9, 2007 - Team leader
Our Herding Dogs - Team Leader

I'm celebrating my SIXTH anniversary with SparkPeople in the June 3-9, 2007 class.



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
4/12/12 1:58 A

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Still haven't gotten mine out of the box - sigh! DH went on a trip and, well, let's just say he gets a little crazy for awhile before he leaves so it's very distracting. But he's going to be gone for 12 days so I really think I'll have time to do a lot of things around here, including getting out my GPS ;-)

Do you have the 20 or the 30? I've had a Summit and a Vista before and both worked pretty good but I've lost track of where they are - plus these are newer and use the SD maps, which I'll figure out 'later' - fun times ahead!


Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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RONDARC
RONDARC's Photo SparkPoints: (137,494)
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4/11/12 5:12 P

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I have a Garmin e Trex too and I love it!! I actually bought it for DH for Christmas one year but I've seem to taken over ownership. lol.

~~ Ronda~~

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Border Collie Lovers - Team Leader
Lets Go Hiking - Team Leader
Dog Lovers Team - Team Leader
SP Class of June 3-9, 2007 - Team leader
Our Herding Dogs - Team Leader

I'm celebrating my SIXTH anniversary with SparkPeople in the June 3-9, 2007 class.



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
4/7/12 9:54 A

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My REI dividend was burning a hole in my pocket so I got a Garmin eTrex 20 after talking over all the models with their expert. I may have use later for one of the higher-end models but it seems like this one will do everything I need/want to do for now.
emoticon
Soooo, next step is to figure out how to use it, haha! Seriously, I got it but haven't taken it out of the box yet because I've been so busy - should have time in the next couple of days, tho, and will use it on Tuesday's hike - fun, fun, fun!
emoticon

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,364
4/7/12 12:51 A

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practice....I'm sure you'll figure it out!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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HAWAIIANMAMMA
HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo Posts: 2,792
4/6/12 10:29 A

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The Garmin was great! It didn't lose signal once, which was awesome. It took some fiddling around, but I was able to figure out how to get actual walking distance on it. The guy at the store said it would give me that, but i could only get "as the crow flies" distance until I really sat down with it. But I'm also not very tech savvy. Lol

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,364
3/29/12 9:52 A

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Have fun with your new toy!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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HAWAIIANMAMMA
HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo Posts: 2,792
3/27/12 8:21 P

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I ended up getting a Garmin 62 series. It has an ezternal antennae that the guy said was def worth the extra $ if I'm hiking in canyons. Well I'm descending about 3k feet tomorrow (5300-2300), so I'll let you know how it works out on Sat or Sun when i get back!

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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WATERFELON
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3/25/12 6:20 P

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I'm going to try one of those solar battery chargers for my phone this summer while I'm out on some day hikes. I want to see how well, if at all, it works before I take it on a longer hike. I like the features of my android tracker, but yeah, it does eat the battery in short order! My brother has an iPhone with a tracking program and has the same problem. I think it's b/c in order to track, the phone has to be in constant use, there is no resting state or the power saver mode can't be used with the program running. I use my battery operated gps most of the time, but it is a very basic Garmin model-and mostly that's for geocaching. The gps is good enough for getting there and back, but it does not keep track of elevation or the "me" features like calories burned.

I agree and wish I were better at using topo maps, but the good old fashion map and compass is the most dependable navigation tool. But the bells and whistles of a good program tracker are so fun!


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KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,364
3/25/12 1:09 P

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I like my Polar RX800CX for tracking (it has a GPS unit, but only for monitoring, you can't use it in the field to see where you are, but it does give me my mileage when it's working right, which is most of the time) It also monitors altitude, heart rate,calories burned, lap times. It's not cheap, but I love if for all that it does. Good luck at REI, always a fun place to look around in....I may head over there myself this afternoon!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
3/25/12 11:40 A

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I plan to get a new GPS soon, too, so please let me know what you end up getting - in the past, by the way, I've had several Garmin devices and have seen other hikers with various brands over the years - the Garmin seems to work best for most people and some of the others always seemed lose signal a lot. HOWEVER, my info is 'dated' and there are always a lot of changes going on in technology so I need to review all the info [ I have $200 REI dividend burning a hole in my pocket plus a small gift card and a pair of shorts to return so was thinking of using all of that to help with my purchase!]

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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HAWAIIANMAMMA
HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo Posts: 2,792
3/25/12 11:08 A

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Thank you, ladies! I will keep all that in mind when i head to rei today. We do have a couple compasses and a book. The GPS is more to track how far we went in how much time and elevation change. It's something I've been thinking about for a while bc I'm always out hiking where there is not necessarily a good map to get that info from and my phone sucks a lot of the time. I figure a 3-day hiking/camping trip is the perfect excuse! Lol I will let you all know what i go with!

Edited by: HAWAIIANMAMMA at: 3/25/2012 (11:09)
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE
LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo Posts: 33,955
3/24/12 10:52 P

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I have used both of these options and sadly, neither is perfect. The cell phone app will not work in your situation - for one thing, it needs to get a cell signal to work and most backpacking areas don't have reception. Mine uses up a lot of battery time - the phone goes dead after 4 hours, sometimes less. It also loses connection and gives weird data as the result.

The GPS is a lot better but you may still have problems in canyon areas because it needs to have a satellite line-of-sight connection. The batteries in the GPS unit will also run down after a certain amount of time, varying by which model you're using, etc - so even though it's 'better' IMO than the phone app, it's not 100% perfect.

If you know the route you are taking in advance, you can use a Topographic program to print out the route and elevation profile - if you don't know the route before, getting the GPS coordinates and storing the route can be downloaded into most Topo software to do the same thing after the fact.

Good luck - let us know what you choose! [and REI is the best - they can give you excellent advice!]

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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KAYOTIC
KAYOTIC's Photo Posts: 12,364
3/24/12 2:17 P

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Check with the REI folks about reception for either one. I have a GPS that goes along with my HRM, and it goes in and out sometimes (and there is a battery there too....) and in woods it barely works, I think around tall buildings it's a problem too, so it may not work well in a canyon (and the phone likely would not as well) I think the GPS probably would work in many places that you wouldn't have phone reception, but really, the best thing is knowing how to navigate by map and compass as a back up, even with a phone or GPS. Or being careful to look back and make note of where you are coming from, especially at trail junctions or off trail sections.

I think we can become too dependent on technology, and when that fails we are at a loss unless we have some old fashioned techniques in our skill set.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: 125 lbs, just to see what that looks and feels like! Hit it: Feb 2013!

H: 5''4" 49 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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HAWAIIANMAMMA
HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo Posts: 2,792
3/24/12 10:22 A

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So I'm spending a couple days hiking and camping next week. I've seen phone apps that track your route and elevation, but if I'll be in a canyon will it even work? I'm also concerned about my phone's battery life. My aunt just bought a handheld GPS for her hiking trips. Does anyone have any experience with these? I'm going to REI this weekend. Also, if i bought a GPS I would use it on ALL my hikes, not just this trip. ;-)

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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