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Discussion Forum - Gear ! - Help!

Author: Roy Turner
Posted: Fri 3rd Apr 2020, 19:36
Joined: 1988
Local Group: Vermuyden (South Yorks)
Hi Stuart,
Why put yourselve through all the anguish, you have the most reliable gear already with map & compass !!
As long as you are reliable in their use !!! Can buy quite a few of them as well compared to the cost of the modern gadget.
Author: Tony Willey
Posted: Wed 25th Mar 2020, 11:39
Joined: 1989
Local Group: Lakeland
My experience is not quite as extreme as David’s but my love/hate relationship with my Satmap is not dissimilar. I have a Satmap 12, upgraded from a 10. Rather more reliable than the 10, which lost buttons and seals at regular intervals to the extent that I would send it for an annual service, but the rubber seal on the charging point of the 12 is about to fall off which will not do wonders for the waterproofing. Easy enough to carry it in one of those small bags sold for mobile phones, but compromises screen visibility and shouldn’t be necessary in this day and age.
Most of the time it works fine, but currently has a habit of recording a climb/drop of several thousand feet for an instant in the middle of a walk, which destroys any height gain data. Also can take an age to lock on the 4 or more satellites needed, particularly when walking in a new area.
Of course I also have several hundred £s of map cards which only work on Satmap (and which I would have to pay to transfer to micro SD cards if I upgraded again to a 20).I guess I am stuck with Satmap.
Author: David Holland
Posted: Wed 25th Mar 2020, 9:43
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Cornwall & Devon
Hi Stuart. I doubt if there is anyone who has more experiences than me with Satmap. When they first came out I bought Satmap 10 and then the improved Satmap 12. And of course when the wonderful Satmap 20 arrived I bought that as well. I am now on my third Satmap 20 and am about to try to get my fourth !!!. I have never know a product so great in concept but so poor in terms of reliability. My present Satmap 20 ....... it never manages to get me through a days walk without some kind of failure. At the moment it does not like rain !!!!! it is supposed to be waterproof!. In the rain the image on the screen suddenly starts flicking and going around in circles. Eventually it just goes dead. I have been onto Satmap but they really dont want to know ( I think they know only too well). I think water is getting in through the battery flap but I cannot stop it. All my walking friends just think its a joke. Not to me. I try to use it every week. But NEVER does it come back unscathed. Even if it has only failed in recording distance or something. On 25 mile walks it regularly tells me I have done maybe 5 or maybe 90. Problem is that I have the entire 1:25k map on my Satmap 20. And I cannot use that on any other make. If I could it would be in the bin this morning. As it is I want my fourth.
Hope this helps you in making up your mind!!!! David,
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Sun 22nd Mar 2020, 23:44
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
When I was researching gps devices before buying, the best book I found was Clive Thomas's "GPS for walkers: an introduction to GPS and digital maps" (Jarroid 2006). Though it's now 14 years old, it has solid and still relevant advice and information about using a gps for navigation. The range of devices compared is of course out of date in terms of their interfaces and screen displays, but as the author says, what the various hand-helds (this is before they were wearable or came in phone apps) do is still much the same. The main conclusion of the book is not to rely on a single device and to always carry paper maps and compass as a backup in case of battery failure or damage. That still holds (and I do still carry the paper maps, now much annotated with *accurate* post-walk info), but these days a smartphone or phablet app such as ViewRanger might serve as a mapping-with-location backup. (But don't throw it over walls and fences, like I do with the mapcase).

Author: David Morgan
Posted: Sun 22nd Mar 2020, 19:58
Joined: 1994
Local Group: South Wales

Hopefully this site might help Stuart.
You will have two key choices. SatMap or Garmin. Both have their attributes and you will read / hear strong arguments for both devices. I'm a Garmin owner. Fully waterproof and very robust. It doesn't have the wonderful screen that SatMap has, but on the basis that four SatMap owners I know have all had issues with waterproofness / buttons falling off then if you need a robust unit go for Garmin.

SatMap's screen is second to none and also has the advantage of regional maps so mapping can be cheaper.

Happy to help you navigate the menu of Garmin if you decide to go down that route. I've been a user for 15 years and can't fault them at all.


Author: Stuart Bain
Posted: Sun 22nd Mar 2020, 17:42
Joined: 2017
Local Group: South Wales
Following the recent AGM in Easingwold I have been converted by the idea of buying a GPS handheld for long distance hiking by Alan Warrington. He made it seem quite easy and straightforward, but once I started researching I quickly became bewildered and confused! There are so many handsets and so many features I am on the point of giving up. I really don’t know what I want or need and I’m looking for an idiots guide to walk me through the model best for me and my budget. Does anyone know of a good website? I wish I hadn’t started asking Alan about them!!!

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