What do people use for GPS backup on tours

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honesty
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby honesty » 4 May 2017, 11:12pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:I'll sometimes take a simple typed list of the villages I'm planning on passing through - enough to get me from one place to the next with the aid of signs, and in extremis you can ask a local.


That's pretty much how we used to drive across France to Italy. Written list of towns with the distances in km between them, maybe the road number we were looking for if the map showed it before hand. There was usually an AA or Michelin atlas lost down the rear seat footwell and under something or other I we really got lost.

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sabrutat
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby sabrutat » 5 May 2017, 2:56am

Never used a paper map. Never needed to.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 5 May 2017, 8:15am

I'm a Search and Rescue volunteer, so don't use anything other than OS explorer. The batteries never run out, it doesn't need a view of the sky, it works in conditions that might make a satellite lock difficult, and it costs a fraction of the price.

In SAR we spend a lot of time retrieving people who rely solely on GPS or, even worse, phone based GPS apps.
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby pwa » 5 May 2017, 8:22am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:I'm a Search and Rescue volunteer, so don't use anything other than OS explorer. The batteries never run out, it doesn't need a view of the sky, it works in conditions that might make a satellite lock difficult, and it costs a fraction of the price.

In SAR we spend a lot of time retrieving people who rely solely on GPS or, even worse, phone based GPS apps.


Just because I'm nosey / curious, where do you do that?

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 8:24am

A rather strange choice.

GPS can be quite hampered by dense cloud and tree cover but I have never failed to get a location since moving on to the HCx from the older version.
On the other hand I have often enough been in forest and/or fog that totally prevented me from getting a visual on any landmarks that could be used for navigation.

Of course local knowledge trumps all other forms of navigation but fog makes even that much less effective.
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 5 May 2017, 8:57am

How did you navigate to the forest in the first place?
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 9:09am

In any and every way, it has been a long life with many forests.
Right now I live on the edge of the forest, so it is pretty easy, take the first left three times.
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mark a.
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby mark a. » 5 May 2017, 9:15am

This thread is refreshing. This forum has a tendency towards the traditional, since if people have been touring successfully with the CTC for a hundred years then any newfangled tech that isn't steel frame, downtube shifters and rim brakes must be viewed with suspicion.

And yet in this thread the conversation almost borders on incredulity that it's possible to tour without a GPS.

Great!

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby pwa » 5 May 2017, 9:23am

mark a. wrote:This thread is refreshing. This forum has a tendency towards the traditional, since if people have been touring successfully with the CTC for a hundred years then any newfangled tech that isn't steel frame, downtube shifters and rim brakes must be viewed with suspicion.

And yet in this thread the conversation almost borders on incredulity that it's possible to tour without a GPS.

Great!


I use GPS and paper map, and it is possible to tour without GPS. But bet open to both. They both have their pluses. The interesting thing is how you combine them. Either on its own is lacking.

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meic
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 9:35am

Either on its own is lacking.


Which is true for those who need everything. It appears there are plenty of us who only really want the benefits that one system provides and dont long after the benefits of the other system.
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby pwa » 5 May 2017, 9:46am

meic wrote:
Either on its own is lacking.


Which is true for those who need everything. It appears there are plenty of us who only really want the benefits that one system provides and dont long after the benefits of the other system.


Whatever floats your boat, as they say. There is something to be said for going Ray Mears and leaving some helpful stuff at home, cutting your mind off from "technology" in an effort to get back to basics. Personally, especially when walking, I carry a paper map and a GPS, and which I pull out depends on exactly what I want to know. Neither take up much room or weigh much. The real challenge for me is tearing my gaze away from the GPS or paper map and actually taking in the environment I've come out to experience. I get to engrossed in the game of navigation.

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 9:58am

I get too engrossed in the game of navigation.


This strikes me as a fundamental point in this "debate". Using a GPS on the handlebars pretty much removes the game of navigation for those who dont want to bother with it.
I download a track from cycletravel, cut it up and filter it into GPS friendly tracks and load them in the GPS. Then all I have to do is look down at the GPS every once in a while to check that my green line is overlaying the magenta line of the track. Sometimes I can have sailed a mile or two past a turning without even noticing because I am not paying much attention to the navigation.

All the planning and preparation, the overview and map reading is done at home, in comfort with some Michelins, a PC and a mug of tea while being restricted by childcare duties.
Out on the trip, I (mostly) just cycle.
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby pwa » 5 May 2017, 10:06am

meic wrote:
I get too engrossed in the game of navigation.


This strikes me as a fundamental point in this "debate". Using a GPS on the handlebars pretty much removes the game of navigation for those who dont want to bother with it.
I download a track from cycletravel, cut it up and filter it into GPS friendly tracks and load them in the GPS. Then all I have to do is look down at the GPS every once in a while to check that my green line is overlaying the magenta line of the track. Sometimes I can have sailed a mile or two past a turning without even noticing because I am not paying much attention to the navigation.

All the planning and preparation, the overview and map reading is done at home, in comfort with some Michelins, a PC and a mug of tea while being restricted by childcare duties.
Out on the trip, I (mostly) just cycle.


I can see how that is attractive. But I have a strong passion for landscape, geography, etc and love to be able to understand the land around me and where I am in it. A GPS with its inevitably small screen gives you the pointers you need to move along your chosen route (on road, not always off road) but gives you a tunnel vision. What would happen if I changed my mind and took that path on the left? A glance at a paper map tells you. Finding out on a GPS is less attractive, so you probably don't bother. Just my take on it, not a prescription for anyone else.

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby mjr » 5 May 2017, 10:10am

If you want to look at where that path on the left goes, just pinch and drag to zoom out and look around the map. Not sure why it's more of a problem than unfolding/refolding a paper map?

Lance Dopestrong wrote:In SAR we spend a lot of time retrieving people who rely solely on GPS or, even worse, phone based GPS apps.

Presumably not often from tarmac highways, though!

The most lost I ever got was relying on a paper map, up some hills in the Lake District, when the fog came down and hid any landmarks I could use to orientate myself. I'm also 90ish% confident the map contained some sort of error - possibly out of date due to water washing a path away, but that map was still on sale in a local shop and you'd hope they'd withdraw it if they knew it was dangerous. In the end the phone GPS app (on Symbian, which hints at how long ago it was) got enough of a fix for me to combine it with the phone compass and retrace my steps back to the tarmac.
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meic
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby meic » 5 May 2017, 10:18am

If you want to look at where that path on the left goes, just pinch and drag to zoom out and look around the map. Not sure why it's more of a problem than unfolding/refolding a paper map?


That may be true on a larger phone or other electronic screen device but on a Garmin GPS with it's small screen I totally agree with pwa on this point (and the rest of his post).
It is an inherent shortage of the handheld GPS unit's capabilities.

It is also a point on which paper maps are limited, in order to have larger scale mapping, needed for detail you need to carry a lot of paper. Or just one tiny microSD card with a large screen electronic device, but of course that needs more electricity etc etc.
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