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GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?

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Offline dprather

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GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« on: January 12, 2020, 03:03:16 PM »
No offense taken,  I was just funning ya.

My wife is dogging me to add more technology to my bag of tricks.  She and my sons are just about insisting that I go all electronic.  I'm afraid that I'd feel naked not depending on map and compass.  Technology is generational.
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In most ways, the regular trails up on MdA are as clear as any on the Dodson or on The MV.  That is what I have learned about desert hiking - the scars of trails are forever.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 03:08:43 PM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline GWHayduke

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 05:13:13 PM »
You still take the map and compass! I added Gaia GPS and it's worth the yearly premium. There's maps to download for anywhere. I like to keep tabs on my hikes, so I record and keep stats on them. I put the phone in airplane mode to save batteries. Gaia works with or without signal since the maps are downloaded directly on the phone.

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Offline dprather

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 05:38:58 PM »
I still hike with a 5-foot broom handle as my hiking pole (but that is changing). 

I would really like to learn about the many uses of technology such as you describe.  My wife and sons would really like me to.

Sad admission: I used an ancient flip phone until about a year ago.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline presidio

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 05:55:41 PM »
She and my sons are just about insisting that I go all electronic.  I'm afraid that I'd feel naked not depending on map and compass.  Technology is generational.

The solution is simple.

Take the GPS, Satellite Messenger or other e-doodad.

But, also take your maps and compass. We're only talking a few extra ounces in total.

As you are experienced with map and compass, you can default to them whenever you want or when the batteries in the e-crutches die. Compare your map reading plotting against the digital determiner to check eyeball accuracy.

Since you know how to use map and compass, you won't be left in the lurch if you have to revert to manual technology.

Unlike those who don't carry map and compass, or who might but don't know/cannot figure out which end of the needle points north or what all those squiggly lines on the map mean, you always will be able to figure out where you are.

Position technology has achieved pedestrian utility by users and the wonder has diminished. I remember in the days before the satellite constellation was complete (when Trimble was THE device), waiting 45 minutes for enough satellites to be in view to get a location (the Trimble helpfully indicated when that would occur).

Ancient mariners (rhyming and otherwise), Coronado, da Gama, explorers of the West, and thousands of others would have killed for the ability we nonchalantly carry in our dedicated navigation devices and phones.

On the topic of navigation, I highly recommend viewing the well-regarded 2000 A&E move Longitude.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0192263/

Available on DVD (pricey) or watch it on Amazon Prime for $3.98.

It details English carpenter (and amateur clockmaker) John Harrison's solving of the vexing issue of accurately determining longitude (which, like the GPS signal itself, depends upon precise timing).

Latitude had been determinable as early as 600 BC, but longitude was not able to be accurately known until Harrison invented the marine chronometer. The first practical device was demonstrated in 1736, with an accuracy far eclipsing other period timepieces. It took Harrison almost 30 years to claim the monetary prize under the 1714 British Longitude Act, delayed by many issues but in no small part, initially, by the political and scientific agencies being dismissive that a mere carpenter could solve something everyone else had failed to achieve.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline dprather

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 08:05:08 PM »
All right e-experts...what can I add to my Apple iPhone?
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline congahead

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 08:10:33 PM »
All right e-experts...what can I add to my Apple iPhone?

Gaia GPS. Then you donít need a separate GPS unit.
"The animals here will generally try to avoid you, but the plants will hurt you every chance they get."

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Offline Flash

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 08:22:43 PM »
On the topic of navigation, I highly recommend viewing the well-regarded 2000 A&E move Longitude.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0192263/

Available on DVD (pricey) or watch it on Amazon Prime for $3.98.

It details English carpenter (and amateur clockmaker) John Harrison's solving of the vexing issue of accurately determining longitude (which, like the GPS signal itself, depends upon precise timing).
Thanks for the recommendation, Presidio.  I plan to watch Longitude one evening this week.

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Offline GWHayduke

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 08:53:11 PM »
All right e-experts...what can I add to my Apple iPhone?

Gaia GPS. Then you donít need a separate GPS unit.

Gaia GPS navigation works when there's no service and/or in airplane mode. (Your phone's location always works regardless of service. Google maps will not be able to give directions, but it does pinpoint you on the map and show roads. I'm sorry if you already know this. I've come across a lot of folks who don't.) Back to Gaia GPS, it has features like marking waypoints, creating routes, recording routes (with some pretty great stats if you're into that). You can download their maps and upload other people's map files into it. It has a ton more features, but these are the ones I use the most. Pay for the annual premium! It's worth it.

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Offline presidio

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 10:28:30 PM »
All right e-experts...what can I add to my Apple iPhone?

Gaia GPS. Then you donít need a separate GPS unit.

But keep in mind that 2 alkaline AA batteries in a GPS generally last far longer than the battery in your phone.  AA lithium batteries waaay longer.
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<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline dprather

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2020, 11:45:25 PM »
Thanks for the input guys.  My wife is all over GAIA.  Irony: the most patient woman in the world who habitually looses my stuff seems not to want to loose me!
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline Lissa

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2020, 06:13:58 AM »
Agree RE Gaia.  Have used it since 2012 (including 2013 OML) and it always worked great. Definitely my go-to unless Iím hiking a trail supported by Guthook. (Gaia is great for planning your own trips, Guthook has additional info for specified long trails like the JMT, PCT, CT, etc).

Generally I use map and compass to find my location, and use the app to ďcheck my workĒ.  Keeps my map and compass ability sharp while also providing that immediate check to make sure I donít just *think* I know where I am.

If youíre game for another doo-dad, consider the InReach mini. For solo trips the folks at home find it very reassuring to have a device that can actually transmit out and not just receive a signal in.  And for me on the flip side,I appreciate knowing my family can reach me in a crisis too.  There arenít a lot of events that would get me off trail early, but they certainly exist (ex: medical crisis back at home.) And I very much appreciate the knowledge that itís not just that I can call for help, but that my family can also call *me* if they need me.  As a Mom with kids, it definitely helps assuage any guilt I might have about heading out.

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Offline congahead

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2020, 10:25:59 AM »
All right e-experts...what can I add to my Apple iPhone?

Gaia GPS. Then you donít need a separate GPS unit.

But keep in mind that 2 alkaline AA batteries in a GPS generally last far longer than the battery in your phone.  AA lithium batteries waaay longer.

That's true, but kept in airplane mode (in which Gaia GPS functions just fine), my iPhone lasts four to five days in the field with no recharge necessary. If I take an inexpensive, lightweight portable charger, I can get an additional week or so out of it (theoretically, that is, as four nights is about my maximum before I want indoor plumbing.)

Because I'm going to take my phone with me anyway (rather than leave it in my car at the trailhead), it makes sense for me to use GAIA GPS rather than to purchase and bring along a redundant handheld GPS unit. I can also download the same USGS topo maps that I carry with me as hard copies (and which are my primary navigation source), plus pinch, zoom, swipe, etc. the maps on my phone.

YMMV.
"The animals here will generally try to avoid you, but the plants will hurt you every chance they get."

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2020, 11:49:35 AM »
One of the reasons Steel stopped using a Garmin was the ridiculous battery issue.  I-phone in airplane mode lasts for days and days, laying a track the whole time on Gaia.  Carry a recharge stick and multiply that amount

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2020, 12:59:49 PM »

YMMV.



Your milliampere-hours may vary?




....but kept in airplane mode (in which Gaia GPS functions just fine), my iPhone lasts four to five days in the field with no recharge necessary. If I take an inexpensive, lightweight portable charger, I can get an additional week or so out of it (theoretically, that is, as four nights is about my maximum before I want indoor plumbing.)

Because I'm going to take my phone with me anyway (rather than leave it in my car at the trailhead), it makes sense for me to use GAIA GPS rather than to purchase and bring along a redundant handheld GPS unit. I can also download the same USGS topo maps that I carry with me as hard copies (and which are my primary navigation source), plus pinch, zoom, swipe, etc. the maps on my phone.



Thatís pretty much my experience, too. Historically, I have always foresworn using a GPS unit for pleasure trips (as opposed to working trips, when they were used for data collection). Strictly map and compass for me. But Gaia became a game changer once I decided to start taking my smartphone into the wilderness with me. Initially, my iPhone was just a replacement for a dedicated camera. Iím such a crappy photographer that thatís just fine for me. Then my iPhone became a replacement for printed field guides. Then I added an astronomy app. By that point, it seemed ridiculous NOT to add Gaia, too, so I did. I donít depend on GPS, but I have found it useful as an occasional backup. Once each in my recent overnight OML hikes, Gaia proved useful after I briefly wandered off trail in the blackness of deep night.

If Iím judicious in using my 4.87oz iPhone7 in airplane mode, I can squeeze three full days of modest picture-taking, field-guiding, and GPSing out of it. With a fully-charged 10400mAh charge block, at a weight penalty of another 6.5oz, I can add at least another nine days if I donít let the block get too hot or too cold. I recently added a Lixada 10w solar panel (3.5oz) to the mix, giving me virtually unlimited rechargeability. Together with the two necessary USB cords, the whole setup comes in at just under a pound.

Compare that to the weight penalty of a simple Garmin eTrex 20x GPS unit (5oz), a traditional compact camera like a Canon Powershot G9 X (7.4oz), and a single set of replacement batteries for each (about 2oz) and the total weight is roughly 14.5oz. The longer the trip (two weeks? three weeks?), the more batteries needed. I used to go this route: either carrying many batteries with me and trying to keep them stored at good working temps, or caching them along my route (if possible) and hoping they didnít degrade in the interim.

Throw in a couple of printed field guides and the total comparable weight of that system goes up to maybe three or four pounds.

Seriously, though, the smartphone system obviously isn't as technically advanced as one made up of a suite of dedicated instruments with replaceable batteries; and during trips of only a few days, it's a bit of a wash weightwise. But for longer trips, I think USB-linked solar-charging gives significant weight advantages. And combining multiple functions into a single device has a certain elegance to it. 

Jack-o-all-trades-and-master-of-none works OK for me. I really, really like the simplicity and convenience of having one single intuitive instrument that does it all. Iím not a fiddler; I donít like juggling multiple finicky tools stored in multiple finicky pockets. My phone rides in a custom holster on my shoulder strap and itís the only instrument I have to fool with. I have the blessing of being a truly awful photographer, so I donít miss the admittedly superior qualities of even a modest compact point-and-shoot. Iíve never relied heavily (or at all) on GPS, so a Gaia-enabled phone is actually a bonus utility for me. As are the astronomy and natural history apps. If the whole system crashed or was lost, I wouldnít be. Iíd still have my maps at a fraction of an ounce each, and my 1.6oz compass. Iíd miss having a photo record of the trip, and the chance to ID that strange unknown plant, but Iíd still be able to use my tiny Fisher Stowaway Pen (.16oz) to document my trip in my tiny Rite-in-the-Rain journal (2.06oz).

My next big leap will be replacing my almost 20-year-old McMurdo FastFind 220 PLB (5.3oz) with a Garmin inReach Mini which, at 3.5oz, is both a PLB, a satellite messenger, a weather service, AND a GPS..... especially when... wait for it... paired with a smartphone!!! Itís also rechargeable via USB, which means itíll be compatible with the same charging system Iím currently using for my phone.

Iíll shave 1.8 ounces off my kit and greatly increase my abilities to communicate with the outside world. Iíll also be shockingly rich in moderately adept GPS equipment. Now, frankly, for me all of this navigational and communicative abundance is overkill. Iíll probably almost never use it because I go to the wilderness to absent myself from people and civilization and test my mettle. Itís possible Iíll never even pull the inReach out of its holster.  But, if things go to hell in a hand basket (and they seem to these days, with increasing frequency), I like the extra functionality of the InReach Mini. And, hey... itís still lighter than my McMurdo.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 08:22:17 AM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: GPS suggestions from Outer Mt Loop vs Mesa de Anguila?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2020, 01:09:44 PM »
I can also download the same USGS topo maps that I carry with me as hard copies (and which are my primary navigation source), plus pinch, zoom, swipe, etc. the maps on my phone.



Gotta admit, as my eyes get older, the Gaia zoom function is a very nice utility.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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