View Full Version : barometer/altimiter

07-10-2004, 08:53
Any one use a barometer/altimiter on the trails ? I like to find a cheap one , if i can find one , just so a may get a heads up on incoming weather ...if they are effective in that manner?

07-10-2004, 09:52
I have used a barometer for several years. If you are on a know trail, they can be useful in determining your approximate location. If you can't get a compass bearing due to trees or have no know landmarks.

They show weather trends but rapid changes in altitude can make that less effective. Many GPS units have them built in.

I have been using a Sherpa from Brunton, about 2 oz., I think I paid $75 on Ebay. It handle temp and wind speed so it also can be used wind chill if you do winter camping. has a clock so it could replace a wrist watch.

Moon Monster
07-11-2004, 21:22
I use the Timex Helix because I got it on sale. In fact, Campmor has it for $60 right now: http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=36962976&memberId=12500226

It's performance is fair to good. Though, I've seen cold fronts move through over night with the measured pressure not moving much at all (<5 hundreths of an inch Hg). Other times under a week of stable high pressure, it would drift incessantly. But, on average, it performs well for altitude on a couple of calibrations a day. As good as $60 will get, at least.

07-12-2004, 09:28
I love these things. They are great for helping pace your climbing. I had a sherpa and really liked it. I have one in my Suunto Watch now which is OK, but I think maybe not as accurate as the Sherpa. The ability to keep accumulated ascents is cool too. I.e., it keeps track of total climbed if you are going up and down. I was amazed coming out of Hot springs that it was over 5000 feet of accumulated climbing that day. BTW, my Suunto has a bad habit of going blank every week or so. I think the battery connection is cheezy.

APPLE in Austin

07-12-2004, 18:35
I own the Suunto Vector and have used it on weekend trip out west where I tend to do some buswhacking. But on the AT I would have had no use for it. For one thing, they are heavily influenced by changes in weather (barometric pressure) so you are always having to calibrate (enter reference elevation values). The other thing, at least with mine (Vector), it that it's huge and when I'm out for a long hike like my thru on the AT last year it's not something I would want around my wrist all day.