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Smallest simplest GPS receiver
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Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 01:07:01 MDT Print View


After reading here what people use for navigation I thought GPS receiver might be useful. What is the simplest UL GPS receiver. I need it to display current coordinates, nothing more. I think long battery life and good sensitivity are another important features.

Searching on ebay for something like that and found this:

It does have GSM also, so you can call from it. $60. However that color display is a disadvantage. Not that clear, and of course eats battery power faster. Why they put that LCD on it?

Any other options you know? Things like Garmin eTrex 10 are unacceptable, because of weight and unnecessary functionality. Need small and very simple device.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
watch on 06/28/2012 01:13:02 MDT Print View

I did also see some GPS enabled watch. But these are expensive for me. I mean spending $250+ on GPS is a no go. I would rather invest the money in lightening my big three items. If there are no ~$100 solutions, I will keep using my map&compass style.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 01:30:08 MDT Print View

If only it displayed UTM coordinates.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 01:43:55 MDT Print View

HOLUX M-241 BLUETOOTH USB GPS LOGGER weighs 62g (including AA battery) and displays current position in lat/lon. However, most land maps do not have detailed lat/lon marked on them, so this might not be useful for navigation.

James Berwick
(jhb0510) - F
Smart Phone on 06/28/2012 02:39:53 MDT Print View

I have an app on my smartphone which gives me a location, it was a free download and I have my phone with me anyway, so no extra weight!

Koen Derks
(Pantalaimon) - M

Locale: Netherlands/Norway
Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 04:46:25 MDT Print View

If you carry a compact camera: some models also have a GPS function,...

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 05:29:19 MDT Print View

Actually my Holux M-241 weighs 53 grams with a lithium AA which lasts at least 18 hours. If you print maps or have them printed (mytopo) you can easily have the lat.long grid put on instead of the UTM grid. I find the Holux very easy and accurate and it only costs about $65. It will also record, tracks, distance and give altitude.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Nice on 06/28/2012 07:32:16 MDT Print View

Great! Thank you! I actually use my own software (I wrote it :) ) for printing map of region of interest. I may generate either UTM or latt/long grid (I'm currently implementing this). So it's OK.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
No smartphone on 06/28/2012 07:47:26 MDT Print View

BTW, I don't use smartphone. It's expensive and more a toy than tool for whatever. Its battery power lasts for 1.5-2 days maximum. That makes it unreliable. Yes it is multifunction. You can even watch movies, but you need to carry or extra batteries with it or solar charger which is heavy and unreliable. I use Nokia 1280 which weigh 70 gram. I charge it once in two weeks, it has flashlight which I forgot to turn off and it was ON for the whole night wasting 25% of the battery! It is also my alarm clock and a cell phone. It has monochrome screen which is very readable. And yes, it costs only $20.

Why pay more?

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 10:58:55 MDT Print View


Edited by skopeo on 09/08/2015 14:54:21 MDT.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 11:23:36 MDT Print View

+1 for the Foretrex 401

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
weight v.s. maps on 06/28/2012 11:35:24 MDT Print View

IMHO a decent GPS reciever needs to display maps.

For a few ounces more I'd choose a mapping GPS to help make accurate route plotting or route change decisions.

Sometimes backpacking purchase decisions steered mainly by weight considerations can be the wrong decision once in the field.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 14:32:29 MDT Print View

Get an old Garmin Geko.


Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Re: weight v.s. maps on 06/28/2012 16:01:13 MDT Print View

> IMHO a decent GPS reciever needs to display maps.

but a decent map reading experience does not fit in a GPS receiver screen.

Paper for actual, useful, reliable map reading. GPS for coordinate location when needed. It makes a lot of sense to keep each tool for what it does best.

I'd also love to find something like what the OP asks for and it's sad years go by and nothing seems to turn around. I still keep and old Geko that works but it's too heavy for what it does for me. That Holux thing has been around for a while but only lat/lon? UTM is much more user friendly and it's present in any serious map. I'd expect it to be present in any serious reciever.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Re: weight v.s. maps on 06/28/2012 16:55:31 MDT Print View

I agree that a real map is the best way to go and use the GPS to pin point where you are when you need it. I have used the Holux in many SW canyons and other places to make sure the side canyon I want to exit is the correct on for example.

What I don't really get is the resistance to Lat/long vs. UTM. They both give you two numbers that you look up on the grids on the map and there you are. Sure UTM is in meters and more uniform across the globe and you can maybe find yourself down to the closest 10 meters but no one is that exact unless you are mapping something for future use.

Seeing as how the whole world was mapped using lat/long and it is still the main grid used in most applications I don't understand the difficulty. To me one is like speaking spanish and the other french, they both say the same thing.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: weight v.s. maps on 06/28/2012 17:49:32 MDT Print View

Harrison, Wilderness Press, Halfmile and Postholer maps are all in UTM. I'm not going to get those guys to republish their maps in lat/long. Since they are uniformly UTM, UTM makes sense. Every other maps I recall that pertains to the PCT is also UTM. What's the resistance to using UTM?

Mark Alvarez

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Smallest simplest GPS receiver on 06/28/2012 18:16:29 MDT Print View

+1 on the old Geko. If you want what you say you want, this is it.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
no resistance to UTM on 06/28/2012 19:31:56 MDT Print View

just trying to answer the original question of the smallest simplest GPS. Of course your list is PCT centric and I'm not sure a GPS is really needed there most of the time anyway. I think the OP is looking for a GPS for more off trail type uses.

I too wish the Holux also did UTM but it doesn't so I have adapted.

Edited by abhitt on 06/28/2012 19:32:56 MDT.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
UTM on 06/28/2012 22:56:06 MDT Print View

Checked out a Foretrex 301, and it didn't give UTM either. Am I missing something?

As far as UTM is concerned, you can pinpoint your location on a map, but I wouldn't want to do it in the field. So key points on the map are premarked with UTM coords at home, where it is much easier.

Have no idea how some of you get much use out of maps on tiny screens. I need to eyeball a huge area to effectively navigate, using water courses, peaks, etc., especially off trail, or in the numerous wilderness areas where the USFS is forever dropping trails and they become unrecognizable and even unsafe. I never see anybody out there, let alone anybody navigating with tiny screens with no UTM and no paper maps. Hmmmmm.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: UTM on 06/29/2012 00:02:01 MDT Print View

I hardly get any use out of the screen on my Garmin Oregon. I turn it on long enough to write down my coordinates, and then turn it back off. It's the wrong gps solution for the way I hike. I'd be looking to replace it right now if it didn't have a waterproof camera.