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need help with a gps watch
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Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
need help with a gps watch on 06/14/2013 12:53:26 MDT Print View

I have a few trips coming up id like to use a GPS watch to navigate to way points.

Also, i would like something i can download a track file to overlay onto google maps or something similar.

I really don't know much about GPS's and GPS watches, since i'm very competent using a map and compass. however, i think it would be fun to use one.

Anyways, any recommendations?


bayden cline
(pyro_) - F

Locale: Ontario Canada
Garmin Fenix on 06/14/2013 13:06:26 MDT Print View

I recently got a garmin Fenix and have been happy with it. Granted i have only been able to use it a couple of times so far. Just wish it had more room for maps on it

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
need help with a gps watch on 06/14/2013 14:55:58 MDT Print View

I'd suggest that you skip the GPS watch if it's for backpacking purposes. Unless you need one for training (biking, swimming, running) and only occasionally will be using it as a backpacking GPS, I'd recommend getting a GPS that has batteries that can be changed.

You specifically mentioned you like to keep a track log which means the GPS watch would have to be on all the time you are moving. That will burn out most GPS watch batteries in a day and you will have to carry a charger of some sort.

I'd recommend looking at the Garmin Foretrex 301 or 401. It can be worn as a watch (supposedly... I never would), but it's a very good non-mapping GPS with a good battery life and weighs about the same as most of the GPS watches. The watch strap is very clunky but easily replaced with something lighter.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: need help with a gps watch on 06/16/2013 21:15:08 MDT Print View

i wouldn't mind a watch with training features, and i can charge on trail if i bring my small solar kit (to also keep my camera charged via USB micro).

i've looked into the foretrex, and i would really rather have something that is a wrist watch. the foretrex's are just too big.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: need help with a gps watch on 06/16/2013 21:20:30 MDT Print View

I was wishing for a simple GPS that just gives coordinates. I would never rely on a phone, but I learned that the digital compass on my iPhone spits out coordinates at the bottom of the screen. Great for experimenting. Also, if you touch the coordinates, it gives the address-- never tried that in the back country :)

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: need help with a gps watch on 06/17/2013 06:44:13 MDT Print View

I picked up a Suunto Ambit last year for tracking runs. Excellent battery life. I have used it to track runs over 14 hours at 1 second GPS intervals on a single charge. You can set it to 1 minute intervals for significantly longer battery life.

I've never loaded a track or waypoints in it, but I know that it can be done.

It can be charged on the trail with USB. Your solar charger will work. I prefer to just carry a battery brick though for charging my electronics on the trail.

I've also been happy with its relatively short initial satellite acquire times. And the GPS and altimeter seem rather precise. I can often see which side of a trail I was traveling on when looping back over the same trail and for loops I have never seen the total ascent and decent differ by more than 20 feet or so. For a 24 mile loop run I just did over the course of 6 hours the total ascent showed 4920 ft and descent showed 4910. Battery was 40% drained.