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Looking for advice...?

 
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dr_flie
Occasional Visitor


Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Looking for advice...? Reply with quote

My wife and I have recently become quite avid hikers and mushroom gatherers (the edible type). We have begun thinking of getting a GPS device which we could use to track our hikes and such and have no clue where to even start. I tried looking around this site, but kind of got lost in the information. We're hoping we could find something which has the following:

1) GPS
2) Camera
3) Ability to add applications easily (To track dates and locations along with pictures and possibly text)
4) Track paths taken so I could calculate total distance traveled.
4) Something portable preferably with decent battery life
5) Doesn't need high resolution graphics or anything. Just something that practical.

I would love if anyone could leave me a suggestion or two. Ultimately, I'm hoping for something that I'll be able to do something with other than hanging it from my windshield. Much appreciated.
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Tom59
Lifetime Member


Joined: Aug 05, 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello dr_flie Welcome

You may find more information on what you need at this site.

There could be some walkers around here who can help you out, but the majority only use Tarmac!

Edit to add this article by Lutz from our site.
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philpugh
Lifetime Member


Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 2003
Location: Antrobus, Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few of us walkers on this forum!!

To answer the original request for info...

Unfortunately there isn't any good 'do-it-all' device although some mobile phones come pretty close nowadays. Take a look at some of the newer Nokia models - however the GPS functionality leaves a bit to be desired.

You have two basic options.

1/ Simple hand held GPS (e.g. GARMIN eTrex etc)

These are units that tell you your current position, can follow a route etc. You load into them (straight lines between waypoints) and can log your outings. Using one of these and a good OS map you should be OK. If you have a digital camera there are various bits of shareware/freeware that can take the tracklog from your GPS and attempt to match it up with the date/time stamp on your digital photos. This is called georeferencing and the information will be stored in the header info in the photos. Batterylife is very good with these units - in excess of 24 hours on 2*AA for some.

2/ Mapping units Eg GARMIN Colorado/Oregon, Satmap Active 10..

These have the ability to display mapping (some have OSGB mapping capabilities jow some are getting it very soon). However they are significantly more expensive than the non-mapping units and their battery life is usually much less - unless you go for expensive battery packs. The mapping (esp 1:25k) is not inexpensive either!

It depends on what you want and how you prefer to walk. A basic unit and a good set of paper maps can be had quite inexpensively whereas the mapping units will be significantly more expensive.

All types connect to a PC and allow you to upload waypoints and routes and download tracklogs of your adventures.
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dr_flie
Occasional Visitor


Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the advice. I will look into the link as well as the suggestions. I suspected it would be hard to get an all-in one device, but since I already use a camera, the first option you mentioned might be the right way to go for us. Cheers.
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mattstachurski
Lifetime Member


Joined: Feb 02, 2005
Posts: 82

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about the n95 or n96 mobile phone with sports tracker, does everything you list and more with the right programmes on! plus the photos you take are shown on the track you took!
see.
http://www.sportstracker.nokia.com/nts/main/index.do
i know it says sports but it has a walking setting.
only downside is cost of phone unless you take a contract out.
I'd imagine there are some good deals on the n95 8gb now seen as it has been replaced by the n96.
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nick789uk
Regular Visitor


Joined: Aug 07, 2008
Posts: 61
Location: Leyland UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:44 am    Post subject: This may help Reply with quote

Hi I bought off ebay a smart phone the orange SPV M600 which was quite cheap which runs on windows mobile 5 also bought memory maps national parks for 30 and a GPS reciever now I have a phone with a camera and a PDA with OS mapping and GPS to plotmy way and save routs.There are quite a few second hand smart phones around or even PDAs with bluetooth or buy a garmin GPS basic modle etrex, hope this has helped
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mikealder
Pocket GPS Moderator
Pocket GPS Moderator


Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 19638
Location: Blackpool , Lancs

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to use the PDA based phone in the car and while walking so it is possible, but since purchasing dedicated devices for each mode of use I find the devices are better suited than the "Jack of all trades, master of none" - Don't get me wrong I still use the PDA, but prefer the SatMap for walking, in the car I tend to use the TomTom and for photography I use a digital camera.

If you do go the PDA route consider some protection for the device, a PDA won't last very long if it gets a soaking in the rain. I will never take a PDA out without the protection an Otter Box affords - fully waterproof and if you drop the device is stands a good chance of still working when you pick it up.
Nick you might be intersted to know the M600 fits the Otter 1900 case Wink and you can still use the touch screen through the waterproof screen when you lift the visor up.


- Mike
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