View Full Version : Looking for a new GPS need help

11-05-2013, 19:27
Looking for a new gps I'm learning bushwhacking and compass skills where i can get lost easily, plus i like to carry a gps with me too. I am not a gram counter, so weight is not a issue but i would like a divide what is not a brick.

what I'm looking for is a gps that can give me grip point location, pre load way points, and a ok battery life. A plus would be one with a severe weather alert (using barometric pressure sensor but i don't know if there accurate).

I ws looking at etrex 20,30
foretrex 400

i don't want to spend too much i don't need all these fancy features. any GPS users some help please
ps my phone works great at this but i want to save its battery and don't want to use it for that

Wise Old Owl
11-05-2013, 20:05
Before you get too deep = you are 25 and new here... how about getting a full featured app - like Backpacker for the smartphone... then decide.

11-05-2013, 21:07
I have all trails pro on my iphone 5s, loaded with the whole AT on it and I love it, just want a GPS as a back up or is it a waste of money???

11-06-2013, 10:15
dedicated GPS is usually more ruggedized, battery life is about equal these days.

I use a smartphone with GarminFit running in airplane mode and bring a recharge battery pack - could use a solar charger for a longer trip

Another Kevin
11-06-2013, 11:36
If you go the smartphone route: remember to reboot the phone and go to airplane mode at the trailhead. I've had batteries unexpectedly drained by a runaway background app. (I think the app had something to do with that curly guy in the hoodie.) Set the backlight to the lowest brightness that you can still read the screen, and try to resist the temptation to read it frequently. Turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and in general any features that you're not using, especially radios.

I use Backcountry Navigator and find that it performs reasonably well.

Some of the newer smartphones have GPS nav systems that are surprisingly full featured. (WAAS or DGPS equipped, barometric altimeters, configurable loop filter time constants, ...)

For weekend trips, I recharge my phone with a MintyBoost. A pair of lithium AA will get it to full charge from about 40%, which does fine for a day's hiking with the GPS running. One of these days I may get a proper external battery pack from an outfit like New Trent.

REMEMBER THAT GPS IS A CROSS CHECK. Your primary navigation is eyeball, map, compass, wristwatch, and altimeter (if you carry one). Knowing where you are should never be dependent on a device that could have a dead battery.

11-06-2013, 18:00
i want the gps as a check, but there is so much stuff out there. watches with altimeter and barometer (is that accurate, some have storm warning).

I have a solar charger, biolite stove, and a battery pack for diff hikes so power is not really a problem.

I think i want to get away from smart phone (they break easy)

Wise Old Owl
11-06-2013, 18:14
Biolite is heavy for the AT - So you do not need a dedicated GPS.

Another Kevin
11-06-2013, 18:56
I think i want to get away from smart phone (they break easy)

That they do. I use an Otter Box on the trail. It helps some. I've managed not to break my current one, which is now due for its 2-year replacement.

11-06-2013, 19:03
very true! I use to own the otter box but i lost too much money with it, drunk nights at the bar money would stick to the case (sticky). I switched to the life proof case and love it waterproof too!

Wise Old Owl
11-06-2013, 20:59
JoeH you are a great guy but you are so over thinking this. Relax it's just walking. a-lot.