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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: A Better GPS

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Sep 6, 2023 2:50 AM # 
Backstreet Boy:
Any recommendations?

I'm finding that for mapping, the phone GPS tracks have limitations that I'm ready to cast away. Or at least tame a bit.

Plus, what if I die out there? Or get injured? Where there's no cell service? Something with location transmit would be helpful too.

Anyone satisfied with a unit they use regularly?
Sep 6, 2023 4:14 AM # 
Yes, but my Garmin Glo (Garmin Glo II now, if buying new) would at most satisfy your first paragraph of expressed desirements.
Sep 6, 2023 8:21 AM # 
I'm not sure about location transmit. I don't think I have ever considered it. Never been so far way out there, I guess. I do now carry a phone in my pocket.
For mapping with a tablet I have the GNS 3000.
But most of my mapping is very old school, drawing wilth colored pencils onto a paper copy of the map taped to a map board and covered by a sheet of Mylar. Here much time is saved by drawing the feature 'roughly in place' and by being able to confirm its location later by my gps track that has been loaded from a watch to Garmin Connect and the gpx tracks are available for uploading to OCAD. My watch of choice is the Garmin Forerunner 235.
Sep 6, 2023 12:06 PM # 
cell phone doesn't need cell signal for location services although it can help with acquisition times and in some conditions.
As jtorrans mentioned, the Glo 2 Bluetooth works really well :
1, You can place it up high for consistent line of sight.
2. with an iPhone you can get up to 4 hertz rather than the normal 1 (up to 10 with an Android).
3. It handles stopping really well so you get way less of the meandering track.

Sort of downside - The 2 has GP and Glonass only I'm hoping for multi band with the dual freq GNSS as found on many of the latest watches.

i use (iPhone) an app 'GPS Data' to make sure the iphone has switched to the Glo (and at 4 hertz) as you can't control - it picks what it thinks is the best source although i have never seen an issue, lots more flexibiliy with Android
Sep 6, 2023 3:22 PM # 
Regarding location transmit: without cell coverage, there's no phone or GPS tracker that will be able to transmit anything. If you're serious about this while really out in the nowhere, you'll need either a sat-phone with emergency beacon function, or emergency locator beacons that f.ex. airplanes have.
Probably you won't be able to set this thing off against your mapping income with the tax authorities, but hey, you can try...:
Sep 6, 2023 3:40 PM # 
I missed the desired for a location transmit capability. The Garmin Inteach mini and bigger ones will do this through Inmarsat but require fairly costly subscriptions. Although they can be used as Bluetooth gps they are not well suited to this, especially for mapping.
The latest iPhones have built in emergency satellite communication ability - not sure on the worldwide roll out, not to mention a new iPhone is an expensive thing.
I would really separate the goal of a good mapping tool from the separate desire for Emergency communications.
Sep 6, 2023 4:03 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
InReach "safety plan" is $12/month if paid annually. That might be for the manual location ping, so not super helpful if you die, but perhaps if you get hurt it would help.
Sep 6, 2023 7:37 PM # 
The Columbus P-10 Pro bluetooth GPS looks good. Anyone using it?
Sep 6, 2023 9:24 PM # 
nice specs but i can't seem to find a Bluetooth version of this model. it is focused as a data logger so paying for storage mechanism etc Could connect to Android through te USB but not iPhone. might be missing a bluetooth version. should be great with laptop or tablet with USB.
Sep 7, 2023 11:05 AM # 
Concur with those opinions above: Garmin GLO2 for the mapping GPS. Also wear mine on hat's brim. I've put some bright tape on it too, after a couple of times on hands and knees finding it in the leaf litter when it got knocked off.

If you feel it necessary, use a Garmin InReach for a satellite-based "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Instead, I carry a day-pack with season-appropriate clothes, emergency kit, enough water, etc to be able to hunker overnight if needed. Having thought through this I'm-pretty-far-off-trail-wandering-around-by-myself, I am consistent about:
-sending a text like: "Into the woods, time, parking: ___, mapping: ___"
-sending another: "Out of the woods, time, where I'm headed"
-turning on phone's location-sharing (google maps) to the same person...SAR folks will tell you the location pings come in awfully handy.
Sep 7, 2023 9:42 PM # 
Another rec for the GLO2 for mapping, though mine is just in a zip lock bag tucked under my hat. Under typical New England forest I usually get 1.7-2.2m accuracy paired with OOM on Android tablet.

And also routinely send my wife an into/out of woods text along with my planned mapping duration for the day.
Sep 8, 2023 8:33 PM # 
I need to tell my mapper husband about all your best practices ("planned mapping duration" and "Out of the woods, time, where I'm headed" ... I never know, which has caused some angst).
Sep 12, 2023 6:40 PM # 
Backstreet Boy:
Thanks for all the testimonies! I like the wearing it on the head idea. And the device reports.
Sep 13, 2023 3:32 AM # 
We've had this discussion I think. For help in an emergency anywhere, carry a personal locator beacon. Works wherever you are in the world. OF COURSE its a business expense for a paid mapper.

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