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#295884 - 04/30/20 09:08 PM Re: GPS help! [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2862
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: gulliamo
Why not get a decent smart phone + app?

I use a Samsung Galaxy S10 and Backcountry Navigator Pro. It works 10x better than any dedicated device I've ever used.

(I also have a SPOT I activate very occasionally when I go waaayyy off grid for a really long time.)

I have a phone with Gaia installed although I haven't messed with the software much. My main issue is that my Android has a sealed battery; the phone is fairly new so the life is pretty good but it's not uncommon for an app running in the background to deplete the battery in short order. The beauty of the GPS is that it uses AA or AAA that I can easily replace in the field. So if you rely on a phone when the phone battery dies you've lost everything- comms and nav.

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Staunch traditionalist speaking up. GPS devices definitely have their place, and they are very helpful, f not essential, but the good old USGS 1:24,000 quad maps should be available for any serious enterprise - the paper versions, that is. Best if they are waterproofed and full size. That way you can slice off the blank margins for use as fire starter. Try that with your InReach!

You don't want to know how I learned this......

Yeah, I have paper maps and a compass. Just looking for a bit more capability and some redundancy/backup.
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#295885 - 04/30/20 10:35 PM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
teacher Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 910
I'd recommend the Garmin inreach (not the mini) because it has both the GPS and the message functions. Its cheap insurance that you can text home if you're late or send for help. It has several subscriptions including the ability to pause it during the off (not in use) seasons.

#295891 - 05/01/20 04:29 AM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
gulliamo Offline

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 176
Loc: Denver, CO, USA
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus

I have a phone with Gaia installed although I haven't messed with the software much. My main issue is that my Android has a sealed battery;

If you're going to carry spare AAs why not carry a cheaper, more powerful, rechargable Li-Ion backup battery?

Also, put any modern phone on airplane mode and most will last for days. GPS will still work on airplane mode!

Thus, my phone (in airplane mode) plus a $30 rechargeable pack will last for ~10 days of backpacking. It doubles as my camera, my notepad, can send text (even in crazy no-signal remote places occasionally) and can easily carry almost every map you can think of (I usually carry 4-5 maps of any given area).

I should add... my rechargeable pack also recharges my headlamp, my lighter, etc. Weight matters (to me).

Edited by gulliamo (05/01/20 04:30 AM)

#295893 - 05/01/20 06:19 AM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2862
Loc: Big Sky Country
I am dubious of rechargeables. Yeah, phone batteries are pretty reliable but I like having primaries on hand that can be instantly swapped. For one thing lithium primaries are much lighter than Li-Ion batteries. And swapping out primaries if immensely faster than charging from a USB pack. And again, my phone is not ruggedized nor remotely waterproof.

I realize mine is not a popular opinion but it's pretty firmly set in my mind.
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#295896 - 05/01/20 02:43 PM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7447
Loc: southern Cal
I am areal fan of rechargeable batteries. i do carry lithium primaries as last ditch backups, for the same reasons - they are lighter and very durable. What I will do with my 18650 lithium ions on long trips, is carry an extra lithium-ion and when the one in the appliance gets low, swap it out and get it recharging while the appliance continues in service.

i can theoretically go forever, working like that....

Forme,the higher energy density of lithium-ion batteries is worth the slight additional weight. For short, intermittent use, this is not a factor.
Geezer in Chief

#295897 - 05/01/20 04:11 PM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
I carry AA NiMH spares. I make a point of not using the Oregon’s recharging function. It works, but I try to not make a habit. Simpler to carry NiMH spares.

The NiMH batteries that come from Garmin are in a sleeve that allows them to charge in the Oregon GPS. Other batteries can be used, but if they aren’t in the sleeve, the GPS won’t allow them to charge. The sleeve is what prevents someone trying to recharge alkaline or lithium primary batteries — the power won’t flow.

#295934 - 05/03/20 10:01 AM Re: GPS help! [Re: chaosmagnet]
WesleyH Offline

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 98
Just a thought here,

When you depend on two devices to accomplish a single task, ie a phone to interface with an inreach device, you have twice the chance of failure. More stuff, more chance to fail. . .

I totally understand that the idea of two devices and certainly a decent GPS is expensive, but, what alternative is there?

I can't say I have been greatly impressed with Garmin's GPS. They used to have a few competitors in the handheld GPS market, but today not so much. I know Lowrance dropped out of the handheld market several years back, and I've not seen anyone use a Magellan handheld in some time. Fewer manufacturers means less competition and my feeling is that Garman has slipped in the innovation department in the last 20 years.

#295936 - 05/03/20 10:09 AM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2862
Loc: Big Sky Country
I hadn't shopped for GPS units in ages, and back when I owned one it was a Magellan. I was surprised to see virtually nothing but Garmin on the market and felt that was a bad sign.
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#295940 - 05/03/20 03:21 PM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
pforeman Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 191
Loc: Iowa
Way back in the day... I got a "state of the art" unit: Magellan Meridian Platinum - and I'm still using it today. Sure, there are better units - color screens, faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound but - I still like my Magellan brick. Originally I got it for hunting and used it to mark the "good" spots and the records it generated helped me find them again and to get back to 'base' too. As it is mostly rural area and it doesn't change much the unit I have still chugs along nicely.

I've looked several times at the new ones and almost got a Garmin Oregon when it was on sale and I had a coupon too but, the price was still such that I just could not bring myself to get it.

Sure I use the one built into the car (still take my Magellan too) but I've always depended on a compass and the paper map. The car gps helps a lot in the urban environment but I don't totally trust it and always try to verify what it is telling me with paper and/or another source.

As for the Magellan - I don't count it out yet - I ran across this site and am exploring it now as a way to maybe 'upgrade' my old tech and keep it in service for several more years.

As for what GPS to get - I'm not sure what would be "best" as you need to evaluate your conditions/needs to see what fits such as my Magellan still being ok for me the same may not work for you.

I also saw this just posted and it sounds interesting too:

Garmin Seeks FCC Ruling or Waiver to Obtain Certification for Part 95/Part 25 Device

The FCC is seeking public comment on an April 24 request by Garmin International for a declaratory ruling or a rules waiver to obtain equipment certification for a handheld unit that combines a low-power, terrestrial Part 95 Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) transmitter and a Part 25 emergency satellite communication module in the same device. Section 95.2761(c) precludes combining MURS transmitting capabilities in equipment that is also capable of transmitting in another service, with the exception of Part 15 unlicensed services.
Garmin's proposed product is a handheld unit that will include two transmitters: a low-power MURS transmitter for short-range terrestrial communication, and a previously certified Part 25 module that will allow emergency communication via the Iridium satellite system under a blanket license held by Iridium. End users would have to subscribe to the Iridium service.
Garmin argues that the purpose of the original equipment authorization restriction was "to prevent consumer confusion with other terrestrial services that either had different licensing regimes or were for different types of communications" and that it is inappropriate in this case. Garmin asserts that a waiver would serve the public interest because "the certified Part 25 module in the MURS unit would allow emergency communications to the outside world at the push of a button." The FCC seeks comment on the waiver request.
Comments are due by May 28, with reply comments due by June 13. Interested parties may file short comments via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing Service (Express). Visit the FCC's "How to Comment on FCC Proceedings" page for information on filing extended comments.

Sorry this got so long... I've been cooped up a lot lately!

#295944 - 05/03/20 08:16 PM Re: GPS help! [Re: Phaedrus]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2862
Loc: Big Sky Country
Interesting! Thanks!
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

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