What do people use for GPS backup on tours

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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 3 May 2017, 4:22pm

ukdodger wrote:That's not a bad idea. Have you ever been forced into using it?

Yep, once or twice, and it's saved my bacon - though it's helpful if you have a bit of a basic understanding of the local geography anyway.
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landsurfer
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby landsurfer » 3 May 2017, 7:47pm

I have toured extensively in Germany and Holland when we lived in Jever, Gilenkirshen, Wildenrath and Bruggen ... with out a GPS ... They weren't available .....
Maps work so well the military use them ...
And not sure abut the cheese eating surrender monkeys but the Cloggies and Germans cant wait to impress you with their English ...
I worked in central Munich for 3 years ... The working language in our aerospace group was English !!!!
My German deteriorated ... but my English improved so much .... :lol:
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trilathon
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby trilathon » 3 May 2017, 10:35pm

never ever used a gps , are they good enough to use just like a map these days ? Say like google earth where you can scroll about offline ? That would be handy.

( sometimes I have a map, most often I look first for where the sun is in the sky, or the landscape around me.if that fails i'll ask someone. All of these systems I use can have occasional glitches, and patchy reception, but never need charging or batteries and they weigh next to nowt)
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ukdodger
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby ukdodger » 3 May 2017, 10:48pm

trilathon wrote:never ever used a gps , are they good enough to use just like a map these days ? Say like google earth where you can scroll about offline ? That would be handy.

( sometimes I have a map, most often I look first for where the sun is in the sky, or the landscape around me.if that fails i'll ask someone. All of these systems I use can have occasional glitches, and patchy reception, but never need charging or batteries.)


Depends what you're trying to achieve. If your pleasure is just in the touring a GPS gives turn by turn information so you dont have to think about navigating. But if you enjoy navigating as much as touring then your way is best.

Personally the only thing I have against GPS's is when touring in groups they allow a group to break up because everyone can travel at their own speed. So some comaradie is lost. Part of the pleasure in cycling.

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

Postby Psamathe » 3 May 2017, 10:54pm

On such a tour I'd expect you to never be too far from civilisation and shops and GPSs are pretty mainstream these days. So were your GPS to fail (get stolen or whatever) could you not manage to divert to nearest city or place with decent shopping centre and buy a replacement ? I can't see it adding a significant detour on the overall distance.

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby psmiffy » 3 May 2017, 11:07pm

ukdodger wrote:Depends what you're trying to achieve. If your pleasure is just in the touring a GPS gives turn by turn information so you dont have to think about navigating. But if you enjoy navigating as much as touring then your way is best.

Personally the only thing I have against GPS's is when touring in groups they allow a group to break up because everyone can travel at their own speed. So some comaradie is lost. Part of the pleasure in cycling.


Another question - :D - I dont think about navigation - It is not something I consciously do - It must happen but its not something i get stressed about or for that matter "enjoy" - do people really regard navigation as a separate activity while touring ?

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby ukdodger » 3 May 2017, 11:08pm

Psamathe wrote:On such a tour I'd expect you to never be too far from civilisation and shops and GPSs are pretty mainstream these days. So were your GPS to fail (get stolen or whatever) could you not manage to divert to nearest city or place with decent shopping centre and buy a replacement ? I can't see it adding a significant detour on the overall distance.

Ian


Dunno about that. First you'd need to find the right one then you'd need to get the right maps for it then you'd have to download the tracks meaning access to the internet. Not impossible but I think there'd be a lot of problems getting it all together. The best idea so far I think is writing the route down town by town and road by road using major roads provided bikes are allowed on them.

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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby ukdodger » 3 May 2017, 11:09pm

psmiffy wrote:
ukdodger wrote:Depends what you're trying to achieve. If your pleasure is just in the touring a GPS gives turn by turn information so you dont have to think about navigating. But if you enjoy navigating as much as touring then your way is best.

Personally the only thing I have against GPS's is when touring in groups they allow a group to break up because everyone can travel at their own speed. So some comaradie is lost. Part of the pleasure in cycling.


Another question - :D - I dont think about navigation - It is not something I consciously do - It must happen but its not something i get stressed about or for that matter "enjoy" - do people really regard navigation as a separate activity while touring ?


Well good for you.

Warin61
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby Warin61 » 3 May 2017, 11:17pm

In 'the middle of nowhere' the choices are few and far between, so a GPS is not so essential.. a good paper map with some basic knowledge of where you were, how far you have travelled and in what direction should see you good.

A backup for the GPS .. a smart phone with an app - OSMand, mapout, maps.me etc will get you something that functions much like a true GPS. Like an electronic thing they take some learning.

Personally I like to take a paper map, a GPS and a smart phone.

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

Postby meic » 4 May 2017, 9:26am

I had a GPS "failure" on my recent trip.
The track provided by Cycletravel.co.uk was taking me over some ploughed fields, for an excessive distance. The GPS's own routing offered the same ploughed fields (using OSM).
So I turned to the back up* sheets from the road atlas, to discover it was wandering on to the corner of a page that I hadnt bought.
So I just got on a main road (as it was evening and France gets uncannily quiet in the evening) and headed North West (my general direction) until I hit my GPS track again on the GPS.

I have had a GPS fail on a tour (it had had seven years of hard life, including many impacts with the tarmac but it was actually water ingress that killed it). I completed the tour with the pages from a road atlas packed as back up. It made the ride much slower and more tedious, having to keep stopping at every junction to consult the map, instead of just sailing along with a cursory glance at the screen.
Normally I dont bother with back up but the GPS unit was clearly on its last legs at the start of that ride.

*though mostly for perusing my overall progress and location during tea breaks (if it wasnt too wet or windy for looking at a map).
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foxyrider
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby foxyrider » 4 May 2017, 9:48am

I can't believe that this is even being discussed! Next it'll be spare stoves, wheels, why not take a spare tent - just in case?

Get a grip folks, learn to properly read a map, have a route list (towns you want to pass through) and get on with the riding!
Convention? what's that then?
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meic
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby meic » 4 May 2017, 10:09am

foxyrider wrote:I can't believe that this is even being discussed! Next it'll be spare stoves, wheels, why not take a spare tent - just in case?

Get a grip folks, learn to properly read a map, have a route list (towns you want to pass through) and get on with the riding!


Which map is that?
As pointed out, maps for a tour could weigh about a kilogram and cost about £50 for each tour.
A spare GPS weighs 160g and can have mapping for the whole world downloaded for free, not that one is needed they are much more resilient things than paper maps.

I doubt that anybody is avoiding maps because of an inability to use them, more a pragmatic decision that they are an inferior option for keeping you on track during a ride. Writing and storing a list of towns to pass through would be a tedious chore and of little use on my tours which have most of their junctions outside of towns and hundreds or thousands of them.
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Psamathe
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby Psamathe » 4 May 2017, 11:03am

In general terms backup/spares must become a balance of many factors.

Longer a trip, more likely something will fail but also the lower the impact and delay of sourcing a replacement. Somebody travelling the world does not depart with bags full of everything they will need for their 1+ years away - they replace/buy/discard along the way.

Shorter trip means failure is less likely but impact of sourcing replacement is higher (wasting a day seeking out replacement on a 3 day trip is not ideal), but chances of something that has a long and reliable track record failing in those 3 days is low.

How many spare tyres, chains, cables, handle bars, etc. do you take - there is a risk that a tyre could shred 2 miles after your 1st 2 km on foreign roads and the spare rip open 3 km further on, etc.

Ian

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 4 May 2017, 11:09am

meic wrote:I had a GPS "failure" on my recent trip.
The track provided by Cycletravel.co.uk was taking me over some ploughed fields, for an excessive distance. The GPS's own routing offered the same ploughed fields (using OSM).


Can you let me know where, so I can fix it?
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tatanab
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Re: What do people use for GPS backup on tours

Postby tatanab » 4 May 2017, 11:15am

meic wrote:As pointed out, maps for a tour could weigh about a kilogram and cost about £50 for each tour.
Not really since maps are used time after time unless making a one off visit such as my tour of New Zealand 12 years ago. My European maps are used many times over and replaced when too dog-eared.