Reccommend me a Garmin GPSMap please ?

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 Newbuild100 16 Sep 2023

So, I am after one of the above handheld devices but im thoroughly confused (!)

I dont want to spend money on a unit that is capable of far more than I need it for BUT my priorities are as follows . .(1) I will be doing a walking event that will be in the dark hours at times so I will require it to alert me if i go off route. (2) I need to be able to download a gpx file to it. (3). Given the time that will be taken on the event (up to two days)..Battery life will have to be good. (4). Given the distance/hours taken in the event, will it have to have 1000's of "waypoints" ?!

That is maybe it really !

I realise I can go out and spend a £1000 on one of these units and it will do all the above. However, are the more "entry level" units capable of my needs ?

Thanks everyone. Yours naively .....NB100

 Brass Nipples 16 Sep 2023
In reply to Newbuild100:

You would struggle to pay £1000 for a GPS. That’s way over the mark.   But it seems rather an expensive purchase just for one event.   Why not use map and compass and headtorch?  Failing that just use your existing phone?

 steveej 16 Sep 2023
In reply to Newbuild100:

Have you tried the OS Map app on a smart phone?

Its about £30 for the year for the entire UK.  Ive used it extensively for running ultras and hiking all over the country for the last few years.

You can plot routes on it and save them etc.

You can download Gpx files to it.

You can also get a gps watch polar/garmin/coros and download the gpx to that and that will warn you if you go off route.

I love my Coros Apex for the amazing battery life and great functionality.

Take a small power bank with you.

Post edited at 14:08
OP Newbuild100 16 Sep 2023
In reply to steveej:

Thought about it Steve, but my phone is old and not too good lol. Thanks tho

 AgentOrange76 16 Sep 2023
In reply to Newbuild100:

I use a Garmin Etrex with AA rechargable batteries. It will last 12-18 hours of use and you can just swap out the batteries when they run out. 

I dont use the navigation function rather I follow a track. I walk mainly in daylight so either have a clear idea of the route or just refer to the map to check if the path looks unclear.

It will do navigation but dont know how much that will impact the batteries.

Number of waypoints will be dictated by the complexity of the route. If your route is fairly straight or on obvious wide tracks you can use less waypoints. E.g if walking a motorway you can set a waypoint at each junction as you just need a general direction to the next point and the route is obvious. if walking somewhere with lots of twists and turns you will need to pick up each of these.

 petegunn 16 Sep 2023
In reply to Newbuild100:

I've got Garmin Etrex 30 and used it as a back up on my BG round a few years back, the batteries lasted for my 22hr round.

I now use it on my bike, rather than a cycle one as it's quite small and it allows me to upload gpx files and then follow the "track" 

Bought it second hand for under £100 but that was 8 years ago so probably cheaper now.

 inboard 16 Sep 2023
In reply to Newbuild100:

Why not buy a new phone then?

 SouthernSteve 16 Sep 2023
In reply to inboard:

> Why not buy a new phone then?

For what you want. I would also buy a big new iPhone or similar with mapping on and carry a small battery charger. It will be lighter more versatile and be better value on a day to day basis. However my old GPS is over 15 years old and still working, so if you have lots of use for the latter the finances could be argued differently. Using ANQUET rather than OS mapping in Airplane mode , my the phone will go for a couple of days (GL3D for instance) with some times when I have switched it on for calls and texts.

Looking at Garmin, you could get a very capable GPS with colour mapping on large screen and with a subscription emergency satellite services for £650. 

 Howard J 17 Sep 2023
In reply to Newbuild100:

You're specifically asking about the GPSmap, which suggests you want one which displays mapping. Some of the more expensive eTrex models also do this.  The reason I went for the GPSmap 66s was that it has physical buttons, which are easier to use than a touchscreen when it's wet or when wearing gloves.

Like most modern devices, the GPSmap does far more than I need, and straight out of the box I haven't found it entirely intuitive to use. It's worth spending some time setting it up to your specific requirements and customising the menus.  I also have notes on my phone with reminders of how to perform some of the functions.

My eTrex is one of the simple ones without mapping, so I can't compare how the more advanced models are versus the GPSmap.  

I bought mine from GPS Training. They have a lot of useful information and advice about different models on their website, you get a lot of access to online training if you purchase from them, and they do in-person and online courses.

Whichever you go for I'd advise looking for a deal which includes OS mapping.

 AgentOrange76 17 Sep 2023
In reply to Howard J:

I have TalkyToaster mapping on my Etrex, I follow tracks so the arrow remains in the centre of the screen and I have the map zoomed to allow about 200m of path ahead. Generally I just use the 2 zoom arrows to zoom in to check a tricky junction then zoom back to my preferred default. The little joystick can be used to scroll along which takes a bit of getting used to but, and my main reason for use over the phone, I can clip it to a strap on my rucksack, remove it one handed, zoom in/out and scroll one handed and reattach it all with gloves on. 

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