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Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle

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GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 16, 2015 09:33AM
Been looking for a GPS unit to aid in hiking.
Is this a good unit: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle?
Thanks for any help.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2015 09:56AM by snorkus.
Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 16, 2015 10:29AM
What mobile phone do you have?

At this point, my iPhone 6s Plus has a bigger screen, very accurate GPS, and great maps and software and I don't feel the need to go back to a dedicated GPS unit. I use Gaia GPS which has both iOS and Android versions.

Chick-on and I are often within 0.1 mile over 10+ miles. He's looked at my tracks, said they looked good. Basilbop and I have owned older Garmin units over the years. I feel no desire to go back to a dedicated unit.

The extra benefit of using my phone as my GPS is that I have entertainment and reference books (wilderness medicine, guide books, dictionaries, you name it) and other materials on my phone. It's a terribly handy device and I only have to feed and care for one unit instead of many. And I save ounces overall, as well.

Do what you feel comfortable with though!
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 16, 2015 11:57AM
JKW: I was thinking about downloading either Gaia or Backcountry Navigator, since those seem to be the main players in the market. Do you have any experience with the latter? I assume from your post that you're super happy with Gaia.
Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 18, 2015 03:10PM
I looked at Backcountry Navigator when I was still considering Android as a viable platform for me. That was early days for the product. I'm sure it's improved greatly since then. At least I'd hope so. But I abandoned Android. (Not relevant to this forum, might discuss privately, if interested in reasoning.)

Gaia GPS has been great. Only feature it doesn't have which I sometimes miss, but the website does, is measuring distance between two points on marked trails. I don't really use that feature much. I guesstimate because staying on marked trails... that hasn't been happening so much, and frankly, the variance between guessing and measuring doesn't really impact us. Oh, and if could get Google Satellite imagery on.. that would be great, but I haven't really been that concerned about that. Probably can be done, but not with a few simple taps right now. I'd need to research that. But no time right now...

Tracking has been excellent. I like having four always on stats (customizable) on map page while tracking, and full stats a couple of taps away.

Sharing data is excellent and I can easily email .kml and .gpx files in one go.

Importing .gpx files is easy peasy, just open the attachment, choose Gaia GPS as the app, and it's saved to my phone and when I am on the internet, syncs with Gaia Cloud and the track is accessible on any of my devices, or on the website.

The developers have been responsive, and seem to be constantly trying to improve the experience.

Now that iOS supports GPS-on in airplane mode, my battery life is stellar. (more on this later, it looks like). (NOTE: gaia and iOS 9.1 GPS-ON had a glitch that was easy to work around.)

YMMV
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 16, 2015 12:34PM
Quote
snorkus
Been looking for a GPS unit to aid in hiking.
Is this a good unit: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle?
Thanks for any help.

If it is this:
http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-eTrex-Bundle-Topographic-BirdsEye/dp/B00AMAQ0SY

Then no. Do not bother with the 100k map. You want 24k.

I use the eTrex 30 ... which is a great unit... with only The Sierra loaded on it...
and it works a treat... though ... as JKW has stated... you may want to look into
simply using a smart phone...

Discussion you should read is here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,79179,79201#msg-79201

Honestly... I would recommend simply the eTrex 20... since once you load a 24K map...
all you need do is look at the topo line to see your elevation...

Anywho... I still love my eTrex 30... but there are lots of much cheaper options...



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2015 12:08PM by chick-on.
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 16, 2015 12:37PM
fwiw...

I recommend this case for the Garmin eTrex 20/30:
http://www.amazon.com/Case-Garmin-eTrex-Special-Black/dp/B006BIUAQY



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 16, 2015 12:41PM
w/r to maps...

You may want to do some exploring... / searching ...

For free stuff out there... i.e. equivalent to 24K... (7.5 topo)
http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=279029



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2015 06:51AM by chick-on.
Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 17, 2015 08:29AM
What do you guys do about battery life on your smart phones? My Android battery wont last 2 days with the GPS enabled.
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 17, 2015 07:31PM
Solar chargers.



Old Dude
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 17, 2015 08:25PM
Quote
Franklyn
What do you guys do about battery life on your smart phones? My Android battery wont last 2 days with the GPS enabled.

Old Guy said Solar Chargers...

That is useful for a LONG trip... for shorter trips... there are LOADS of external batteries out there.
EnerPlex, Tenergy, Anker. With lots of different mAh capacity.

So many out there... some with huge capacity. Even with a solar charge you will probably want
something like a external Tenergy with 2600mAh capacity to charge up during the day..
Then use that to charge your electronics at night...
Lather, rinse, repeat.

Some phones now (read : JKW's iPhoney) have a REALLY NICE BATTERY and will last
a few days with GPS enabled... she may say more...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 17, 2015 11:13PM
Quote
chick-on
some with huge capacity

Saw one at Costco that'll even start your car.
Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 18, 2015 03:26PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
Franklyn
What do you guys do about battery life on your smart phones? My Android battery wont last 2 days with the GPS enabled.

Old Guy said Solar Chargers...

That is useful for a LONG trip... for shorter trips... there are LOADS of external batteries out there.
EnerPlex, Tenergy, Anker. With lots of different mAh capacity.

So many out there... some with huge capacity. Even with a solar charge you will probably want
something like a external Tenergy with 2600mAh capacity to charge up during the day..
Then use that to charge your electronics at night...
Lather, rinse, repeat.

Some phones now (read : JKW's iPhoney) have a REALLY NICE BATTERY and will last
a few days with GPS enabled... she may say more...

Sorry for the delays... wanted to pipe up quickly but...

So, for solar chargers... nowadays rarely use. Would have to be EXTENDED trip (week PLUS). We did use the Goal Zero Nomad 3.5 charger. No longer made. Charge an external battery, like the Tenergy 2600 mAh battery, then use the battery to charge the phone. People didn't understand that and tried to charge their iPhones directly with that solar charger. Bad idea. Lots of needless fussing and returns. Product dead. And I didn't want to carry a bigger panel.

Portable batteries improved, and now you can get in many sizes. Personal favorite right now is the Anker 2nd Generation Astro. Its 6700 mAh is enough to charge my phone from full dead twice. At full speed (2 A). Or, as is more typical, tops off my iPhone once a trip needed or not, and might be used to refill Chick-on's Nexus or his bluetooth battery. Or a rechargeable headlamp. Oh, and I use to to charge my Band. This "smart" charger has circuitry to prevent being accidentally drained, so charging a low-draw device like the Band is actually the trickiest. I keep bouncing it to wake it, and my Band charges for a few minutes. It doesn't take long.

As for the battery life on my iPhone 6S Plus. I burn about 20-25% battery from mid-length to full days of always-on tracking. While tracking, I leave the screen off. But I check often. The screen-on-at-full-brightness-in-sunlight is the biggest drain on the battery. But I use it when I want to and that's my burn rate. I've been supremely happy with it. On a 5-day trip, I was down to 20% at the start of the day.. but got wimpy and topped it off with my Anker. Mid length day about 5-6 hours. Full day is 8+ hours, or 12+ miles of mixed terrain.

If I used my phone to watch movies, I'd be tapping into my Anker more often, I'm sure.
Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 18, 2015 05:15AM
I guess the smart way (les weight) is for me to get a smartphone. Thank you all for the input.
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 18, 2015 10:59AM
Quote
snorkus
I guess the smart way (les weight) is for me to get a smartphone. Thank you all for the input.

You might want to consider going with an inexpensive AT&T GoPhone edition of a Lumia Smartphone as discussed in this sub-thread of the REI thread:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,79179,79201#msg-79201

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2015 11:00AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 18, 2015 11:57AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
snorkus
I guess the smart way (les weight) is for me to get a smartphone. Thank you all for the input.

You might want to consider going with an inexpensive AT&T GoPhone edition of a Lumia Smartphone as discussed in this sub-thread of the REI thread:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,79179,79201#msg-79201

.
Sigh...

Thanks! that's the thread I said above... NOT
(had pasted the eTrex20 ... sigh..)
THANKS!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: GPS units question: Garmin eTrex 30 TOPO GPS Bundle
November 18, 2015 03:32PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
snorkus
I guess the smart way (les weight) is for me to get a smartphone. Thank you all for the input.

You might want to consider going with an inexpensive AT&T GoPhone edition of a Lumia Smartphone as discussed in this sub-thread of the REI thread:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,79179,79201#msg-79201

.

Basilbop does this. He has an iPhone 6 Plus. But leaves that at home and carries the Lumia 640. Drives me nuts in a way. The Lumia is ATT. We are Verizon, so no "phone/data". It's strictly used as a tiny tablet. The iPhone is vastly superior in many ways... BUT it costs a LOT more to replace. Which is why I was rocking a LifeProof case and have AppleCare + (added costs to an already pricey device), but hey... Now as I wait for yet another lifeproof case to be designed (grrr, addicted to the lifeproof cases - never worried), I'm in a candy shell grip I like very much. And I use a cheap ziploc bag for water/dust protection when needed. AppleCare+ is not optional for me, so that's a sunk cost.

Benefit of my way.. i have ALL of my regular apps, emails, notes, references, photos, videos, you name it ALWAYS with me. And when we hit civilization, I'm ready to go!

YMMV, do what makes you happy.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2015 03:34PM by JustKeepWalking.
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