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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Aggie View Post
    How do you like the SPOT? I’ve been debating between it and the InReach. I don’t really NEED a full featured device like the InReach, but when you add in the subscription and how you can pause Garmin’s subscription plus the ability to send custom messages, the Garmin seems like such a better value.
    I've like it for the three or four years that I've had it. If the hardware failed, I'd not rule out another SPOT, but I'd also take a look at the latest Inreach devices from Garmin. I don't care about texting, but like the confirmation of messages being sent. I don't care all that much about custom messages - the SPOT allow you to set up a couple of canned messages and that's been good enough for me. I've never sent an SOS on my SPOT, but the various status messages and tracking have worked flawlessly. It would really come down to the price of the service plans. Re: the stop and start plans - On the Inreach plan I looked at, the monthly fee for the start and stop was 40% higher than for the annual plans, so do your math and see where the break even point is.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Aggie View Post
    Thanks for the feedback,
    Decisions, decisions.....

    Have you ever used the Spot to track your route and pull it back up at home?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I've used it and it works pretty well. I added unlimited tracking to my service plan so use the 1 minute tracking for a better resolution. You can also set up a page with a live map and give the URL to loved ones. You can download a GPX from the site for something like 30 days afterwards. The iPhone app is basic but works well too.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Aggie View Post
    US sold iPhones have GLONASS? I hadn’t heard that before (I’m not doubting you, I don’t keep up on the specs, I just haven’t heard that before.)
    Do you know which version iPhone was the first to have this chipset?
    I think GLONASS was supported in the 4S. The 8, 8 Plus, and X now also support the Galileo (EU GPS) satellites.

  4. #44
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Aggie View Post
    Have you ever used the Spot to track your route and pull it back up at home?
    Sure. Below is a track from a sailboat delivery Chesapeake to the British Virgin Islands. You have to be sure you save your track occasionally. The last time I checked, Spot deletes points older than 30 days. I don't think they have changed that recently.

    You might be able to tell from the image that it is a screen shot from my phone. Spot has an Android app where you can bring up your track. Apple probably has an app, too; although I don't know for sure. I assume others can use the same app to look at your track; although I don't know of anyone who has done it other than Spot owners. Of course, there is a desktop web site for Spot to see your track, too.

    Another nice feature is, you can set up your Spot to post to Facebook and Twitter, so your followers can see where you are. Be sure to pay attention to the posting instructions. You must relink with social media after two months; otherwise nothing gets posted after two months. If you use the social media feature, be judicious about who sees it. You don't want to let some low life know no one is at home for a couple of weeks or months (assuming, of course, you live alone).

    Spot Capture.JPG
    BTW - In case you are wondering about the zig/zag off the coast of South Carolina, the boat's owner decided to head for shore (not my idea or recommendation) because a tropical storm was heading our way. Because we turned toward the coast heading for Charleston, the storm, by then a hurricane, went right over us. Ouch!
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  5. #45
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    I see no value to the Garmin units anymore. Cell phones and Spot devices beat them easy.

    I carry an android phone in a shock waterproof case and have a waterproof pouch that goes in. I also have spare ziplocks I add in if I am really concerned about submersion if crossing deep stream.

    It uses both the US and Russian GPS satelittes and I have Backcountry Navigator on it. I also load which ever Guthook app I need for the hike if applicable. Being able to use the Guthook app is a huge benefit. The compass does work (and I do carry a spare compass also).It works in airplane mode and last for a long time.

    Battery life when just checking where I am at occasionally is at least 5 days and sometimes more. I carry a small backup battery to recharge it and this adds in 3-4 days. This total well exceeds the days worth of food I can carry so it is easily sufficient. I have never run out of battery life. And I text home with it fairly often as well. I seldom call anyone unless I am in town so that is not an issue.

    For tracking I use a Spot Gen3. I would carry this anyway for emergencies (I really have no choice as I am under orders to carry it so the wife can tell I am not in Vegas at the clubs.

    Phones have much better screens than Garmins do and almost everyone is going to be carrying one anyway so it makes more sense. I would guess a large percentage of hikers now also carry Spots or Delorms also. Having a Garmin also just does not make senses to me.

  6. #46

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    What I like about InReach over the Spot is the confirmation of message sent. And while I've only used the texting once I think it could a very positive thing in an SOS alert in order to provide information to search and rescue

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    I know many hikers have talked about using apps such as Guthook or a free hiker bok to work with their cell phone. I havenít used either. There are also some really good GPS that come preloaded with Maps. Some of the hikers I spoked with briefly said they still used a GPS on their trip. Is there any advantage to using a GPS instead just using a cell phone? A GPS, even with the preloaded Maps, they canít tell you any information in towns. One of the advantage seems to be the GPS is more rugged compare to a cell phone?

    Wolf
    IMHO, it depends on now much you are going to actually be using the GPS. If you want a continuous track of your progress, a handheld GPS will work better. The GPS feature on a smartphone uses a lot of charge. In addition, the GPS are more rugged, etc. That said, it's also a separate piece of equipment that only does one or two things (some GPS's have good cameras), not all the things that a Smartphone can do.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hillwalker View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a GPS uses navigational satellite fixes to determine Lat and Lon whereas a cell phone uses cell tower fix information to determine that. If true, then a cell phone will not work as a navigational aide if no cell towers or too few are in range.
    From what I've read, the older GPS's on phones worked the way you describe. The newer ones don't need cell towers, etc. I've used mine successfully where I had no cell service.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Clifton View Post
    Another thing, my Garmin Oregon also has GLONASS, the Russian equivalent to gps. I find the unit is much more accurate if I keep GLONASS on, although it reduces battery time just a bit.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    iPhones (at least since iphone 4S) have GLONASS, but no way to choose which system. I think it goes by the strongest signal.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  10. #50
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    There is about 100-1000fold more money going into R&D of cell phone GPS than into the handhelds. If not Garmin&Co make the switch to Android and start using cell phone chips, they might die as a company soon.

    Android phones can use Wifi, cell towers and GPS signal to get a location fix - whatever the vendor (or the user) might have setup.
    They receive and compute GPS, Glonass and Galileo signal.
    While there is hardly any advantage in using Glonass, Galileo will be superior exactly for what hikers need:
    Higher data rate/speed, better accuracy, and limited two-way communication, similar to the DeLorme.

    Unless somebody is doing very specific tasks in the outdoors, a modern smartphone (+ powerpack + ruggedized case) would be way better than a dedicated GPS.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    There is about 100-1000fold more money going into R&D of cell phone GPS than into the handhelds. If not Garmin&Co make the switch to Android and start using cell phone chips, they might die as a company soon.

    Android phones can use Wifi, cell towers and GPS signal to get a location fix - whatever the vendor (or the user) might have setup.
    They receive and compute GPS, Glonass and Galileo signal.
    While there is hardly any advantage in using Glonass, Galileo will be superior exactly for what hikers need:
    Higher data rate/speed, better accuracy, and limited two-way communication, similar to the DeLorme.

    Unless somebody is doing very specific tasks in the outdoors, a modern smartphone (+ powerpack + ruggedized case) would be way better than a dedicated GPS.
    I havenít been keeping up with Galileo so I just did a quick crash course. If their SAR functions become operable from cell phones, that will be the final nail in the coffin to stand alone GPS units, in my humble opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #52
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    I don't own a handheld GPS. My smartphone does Just Fine Thanks. I produce my own maps for it - which means that my maps show what I want them to show (and sometimes I'll render a single-purpose map for a specific trip).

    I carry a 15 Ah power pack. With reasonably careful power management, the external battery lasts longer than the amount of food I'm willing to carry on a section. I have a full-on ruggedized pack, which means that it's the form factor of a brick, but it's also survived a dunking in a river.

    Delayed signal acquisition when out of cell coverage can be an issue - but it tends to be an issue only if I've not run the GPS for about 24 hours. As long as I acquire signal when I'm still in coverage, it will have a current ephemeris downloaded and be good to go.

    For what it's worth, the entire track of https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=4286650 was recorded on my smartphone, on three charges of the external pack. And I'm slow. I planned 8-10 mile days on that trip, and found by the end of it that 12-15 was more comfortable. Long Lake to Piseco (plus a side trip to Wakely Mountain) was a six day food carry.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  13. #53
    Registered User Kaptainkriz's Avatar
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    Nice track - what app do you use to record that data?
    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    For what it's worth, the entire track of https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=4286650 was recorded on my smartphone, on three charges of the external pack.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    I don't own a handheld GPS. My smartphone does Just Fine Thanks. I produce my own maps for it - which means that my maps show what I want them to show (and sometimes I'll render a single-purpose map for a specific trip).

    I carry a 15 Ah power pack. With reasonably careful power management, the external battery lasts longer than the amount of food I'm willing to carry on a section. I have a full-on ruggedized pack, which means that it's the form factor of a brick, but it's also survived a dunking in a river.

    Delayed signal acquisition when out of cell coverage can be an issue - but it tends to be an issue only if I've not run the GPS for about 24 hours. As long as I acquire signal when I'm still in coverage, it will have a current ephemeris downloaded and be good to go.

    For what it's worth, the entire track of https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=4286650 was recorded on my smartphone, on three charges of the external pack. And I'm slow. I planned 8-10 mile days on that trip, and found by the end of it that 12-15 was more comfortable. Long Lake to Piseco (plus a side trip to Wakely Mountain) was a six day food carry.
    Iíve recorded numerous tracks with just my phone. And the bonus is that with my watch I donít even have to pull it out to check distances. A couple of apps will even send waypoint directions to my watch.

  15. #55
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    Whoever said that the SPOT subscription is $169 is at least two years out of date.
    As of 2018 it's $199.95. I called them to cancel , not renew, my subscription and
    after a little wait they put me on the line with a manager that tried to convince me
    to stay with them by telling me about all the new Tracking features. Told him I couldn't
    care less about their tracking as I use a Garmin eTrex30. So I ended up getting a
    renew subscription at half price. $99.95. I can live with that.
    BTW SPOT doesn't do monthly, just a full year.

    Larry

  16. #56

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    If you're concerned about water and your mobile phone, I suggest looking at the LokSak products. Amazon offers a 4 pack of different sizes for $12+. The smallest is going to be my trail wallet (cash/cards/ID) and the next size up for my mobile phone, The other two will be put to use, sure.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy View Post
    Whoever said that the SPOT subscription is $169 is at least two years out of date.
    As of 2018 it's $199.95. I called them to cancel , not renew, my subscription and
    after a little wait they put me on the line with a manager that tried to convince me
    to stay with them by telling me about all the new Tracking features. Told him I couldn't
    care less about their tracking as I use a Garmin eTrex30. So I ended up getting a
    renew subscription at half price. $99.95. I can live with that.
    BTW SPOT doesn't do monthly, just a full year.

    Larry
    This is one of the reasons Iím leaning towards the InReach. I can live without the GPS display and just have tracking for when I get home. But the ability to pause your subscription during months you donít hike is very appealing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. #58
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    Default InReach Subscription ?

    So how much does the InReach subscription work out to be ?
    Yearly, monthly with cutoff and renew costs ?

    Larry

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Daddy View Post
    Whoever said that the SPOT subscription is $169 is at least two years out of date.
    As of 2018 it's $199.95. I called them to cancel , not renew, my subscription and
    after a little wait they put me on the line with a manager that tried to convince me
    to stay with them by telling me about all the new Tracking features. Told him I couldn't
    care less about their tracking as I use a Garmin eTrex30. So I ended up getting a
    renew subscription at half price. $99.95. I can live with that.
    BTW SPOT doesn't do monthly, just a full year.

    Larry

    Your numbers are correct although you're wrong as far as "a couple of years". The rates changed because they changed the plans within the last 9 months or so. There used to be basic service, unlimited tracking, and extreme tracking. Now the basic service include unlimited tracking, so whether you needed it or not, you got tracking. Looking at the new plan structure, the old basic + unlimited tracking plan renews as the new basic plan for pretty much the same amount. I also added the GEOS SAR benefit and they hit you with a maintenance fee. Still a lot cheaper than inReach if all you want is an emergency device, and you add in the relatively high cost of the inReach hardware. Thanks for the tip on the price being negotiable. I renew in April so it will be a good warmup negotiation for the annual SiriusXM haggle in May.

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Aggie View Post
    This is one of the reasons I’m leaning towards the InReach. I can live without the GPS display and just have tracking for when I get home. But the ability to pause your subscription during months you don’t hike is very appealing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Do your math before you commit to a plan. The monthly plans for inReach are anywhere from 25% to 40% higher on a monthly basis than the annual plans. The monthly plans also incur a $25 annual fee, so add $2/month when comparing on a monthly basis. Choose a plan, dial in on how many months per year you'll be using it, and figure the effective monthly cost. A very quick calculation shows the annual plan becomes a better deal (e.g., lower monthly cost) on the "Safety" plan at 9 months of use, about 8 months for the "Recreation" plan, 9 months on the "Expedition" plan, and about 9 months on the "Extreme" plan. The monthly plans sound great but really only represent a significant savings for someone who is only out sa few months in a year - which hardly seems to be the target demographic for devices like the inReach and SPOT.

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