Author Topic: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?  (Read 1279 times)

fatmanwalking

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anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« on: 23:56:25, 17/08/20 »
I've seen some of those Polar RC3 GPS watches on ebay at about 40 quid. Which is a very old model, but you know.. cheap.
But generally speaking I wonder if anyone here uses a GPS watch. and their experiences?

ninthace

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #1 on: 01:37:57, 18/08/20 »
Not sure what it a GPS watch can do  that my phone doesn’t already do.  Perhaps I will learn.


Although I sometimes  use a Garmin Etrex for navigation,  every walk I do is recorded by the ViewRanger app on my phone. The phone doubles up as a map using VR or the OS app.  As soon as I finish a walk, I save the track.  VR gives me instant feedback in terms of ascent, descent, average speed, distance gone, time taken etc etc.  When I get home, the app synchronises with my account on the VR website so I can export the trace and details to my walk log.  While I have absolutely  no interest in instantly sharing walk details with others via apps like Strava, if I think a walk is worth sharing, I will publish on the ViewRanger website with a route description.  I also put a copy of the track on the OS app for others to use.


 My phone can also tell the time but I have a watch for that.
Solvitur Ambulando

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #2 on: 02:37:38, 18/08/20 »
I use a GPS watch to log my hikes on the few I do these days but not my other walks I just let the step counter pick those up. If you're proud of your walks or want to keep an "open diary" of them so others can engage with you about them, by all means log them, and get an app called Strava too.

The main thing a decent GPS watch can do that ninthace's phone can't is capture heart rate data. It's also more convenient to carry but this is less of an issue walking than other forms of exercise.

Not sure what to say about experiences, they do what they say on the tin generally.

Recommend you opt for a Garmin and avoid touchscreen models (the screens are fiddly while moving more quickly and get knocked) if you have running ambitions but cheap and cheerful to get you started walking as a motivational tool could be a good investment.  O0

I started off with a fitbit myself.
« Last Edit: 02:40:47, 18/08/20 by Rob Goes Walking »

fatmanwalking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #3 on: 06:48:40, 18/08/20 »
I must admit my smartphone does a brilliant job at logging the data. Main thing bothering me is that my phone is massive and I have to dig it out of my bag when I want to check the stats or whatever. When it's in my pocket it ends up hitting my knee or something and just generally irritates me. I reckon a watch would be much more comfortable all things considered.

ninthace's workflow sounds decent.

rob's suggestion of getting a fitbit does have me wondering if wearing a fitbit while using phone in bag to log gps would be a viable solution. I can see some potential pitfalls though. Like my phone model needs to be in performance power mode or it shuts logging off so it sort of eats battery, if I ever manage to achieve decent mileage this could be more of an issue than it is now, currently it's fine with plenty of life to spare between charges.

I don't know enough to really say but I get the impression that a step counter like a regular fitbit is only "sort of" accurate? The idea of having some deviation from reality bothers me.

I'm still trying to understand why It's so important to me to log all the data accurately. I don't really have a valid reason. Well, I am participating in some virtual walk thing this month, but I could just submit a spreadsheet with miles on it and not fuss so much. I did lose one day of gps data and it really upset me though.







Rob Goes Walking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #4 on: 06:55:30, 18/08/20 »
Don't know the exact error rate on pedometers but you're right in that they aren't completely accurate. Watching them count out while walking and comparing step counts along the same route they're not bad though. Some people say theirs pick up false steps, I think it depends what you do mine only pick up noticeable false steps digging, or rather, that's the only thing I do which generates significant false steps.

It's a motivational aid not a medical device  ;) What's better, I watched TV today or I did "around 15000" steps today? It's a matter of perception.
« Last Edit: 07:04:52, 18/08/20 by Rob Goes Walking »

pauldawes

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #5 on: 07:05:19, 18/08/20 »
I’ve not used a watch to navigate a country ramble, but have used my Apple Watch occasionally to navigate through city centres.


As ninthace has suggested it doesn’t do anything (for navigation)  a smartphone doesn’t (my particular watch has to be paired with a phone for most functions anyway)...but it allows me to keep phone in pocket and you can walk through city centre without looking at phone or watch (the phone “buzzes” in different ways..one way to tell you to turn right, another way to turn left.)


Don’t think there’s any really big advantage...but at 40 quid...if it gives a map grid reference, I’d be tempted to buy it as a back up navigational tool, if you’ve not got back up already.


On my particular watch agree with Rob that main benefit has been motivational...monitoring distance walked each day, speed, time standing up, etc has made a difference to me.
« Last Edit: 07:10:03, 18/08/20 by pauldawes »

watershed

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #6 on: 08:39:33, 18/08/20 »
I Use Viewranger on my phone.
A friend who is a self admitted  "gadget man" uses an Apple watch that he links in with his phone, I don't know why? he occasionally loses his recording because of issues handing over data. Still not figured why he does it, think it is because it has the facility so he will/has to us it??
I don't wear a watch.
My job didn't allow watches in case of snagging so have never bothered wearing one in nearly forty years
Redundant piece of equipment for me.
when planning a route I realise that the real recorded distance, will be about 10% further than the planned because of the number of way points I use differs from my footsteps, so I just figure that in to my reckoning.
That comes to be near enough.
I have found Viewranger spot on for my needs.
I set it to 1 Metre accuracy for my walks and on known walks appears very accurate
On a multi day walk in areas I am not familiar with I print of maps and take a compass with me for back up

WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #7 on: 09:05:13, 18/08/20 »
Just a quick reply before I begin my running and walking exercises for the day...  ;)

My GPS watch is my single most important piece of walking gear. I currently have a Garmin Fenix 6 and before that I had a Garmin Vivoactive and a Vivoactive 3.

Before buying my first GPX watch, I tried to use my phone as has been described. The battery would run down too quickly so I carried a USB battery which I would plug into the phone and carry both while the phone charged.

The Vivoactive watch was better than the phone, but its battery would only last about 7 hours on a walk, so I bought a short cable to charge it on the move (while still on my wrist!). It worked, but it wasn't convenient.

The Vivoactive 3 was much better in many respects and the battery would last a little over 8 hours. I had some niggles with it though (eg. I didn't like the touchscreen) so for Christmas my wife upgraded me to the Fenix 6.

The Garmin Fenix 6 is an incredible watch, but I'll only mention the battery life for now... We did a walk the other day that lasted nearly 10 hours and the watch still had 75% battery remaining at the end. And that's in default mode - there are other modes that allow it to run for weeks without charging!

That's one difference between a good GPS watch and a typical smartphone. More will follow!  :)

watershed

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #8 on: 09:48:10, 18/08/20 »


The Garmin Fenix 6 is an incredible watch, but I'll only mention the battery life for now... We did a walk the other day that lasted nearly 10 hours and the watch still had 75% battery remaining at the end. And that's in default mode - there are other modes that allow it to run for weeks without charging!

That's one difference between a good GPS watch and a typical smartphone. More will follow!  :)




This off course depends on your phone and walking needs
See wildwalking review.


https://wildwalkinguk.com/2020/01/07/ulefone-armor-3w-rugged-smartphone-review/


I intend to buy one of these when my own phone expires.
The large screen of a phone is a huge advantage over a watch.
Handy for phone calls too.
I think it depends on your requirements[size=78%].[/size]
For day walks in well sign posted areas I would consider a watch.
For wild areas there is a big advantage having the larger screen.
Horses for courses  ;)

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #9 on: 09:55:22, 18/08/20 »

The Garmin Fenix 6 is an incredible watch, but I'll only mention the battery life for now...

I have this watch too. It really is great, it's also very expensive and probably overkill for fmw's needs right now. The Vivoactive you mentioned is excellent value for the price but did you find the touchscreen annoying Dave?

WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #10 on: 10:22:14, 18/08/20 »
I have this watch too. It really is great, it's also very expensive and probably overkill for fmw's needs right now. The Vivoactive you mentioned is excellent value for the price but did you find the touchscreen annoying Dave?

I did find the touchscreen annoying Rob. The problem was mainly in rain, but also occasionally when damp. My sleeve would operate the watch in a random way that could be very frustrating.

The original Vivoactive didn't have the facility to lock the screen, whereas the Vivoactive 3 did. However, locking the screen meant that I couldn't view my various data screens easily... and I do like keeping a check on everything!  :)

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #11 on: 10:23:08, 18/08/20 »
I have the Vivoactive 4 and don’t find the touchscreen to be a problem. My Fitbit Charge 3 counts about 10% more steps than my Garmin watch. As the Fitbit would record steps while I was driving to and from work, I know which one I trust more. I also got fed up with the problems with Fitbit and its app.

WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #12 on: 10:29:46, 18/08/20 »
...
For day walks in well sign posted areas I would consider a watch.
For wild areas there is a big advantage having the larger screen.
Horses for courses  ;)

I don't see this as a case of either / or.

My watch complements my Satmap Active 20 GPS.

On a typical walk in a new area, I follow the route I've plotted on the OS Maps website on my handheld GPS.

I use my GPS watch to record the actual route I take and to provide instant data that interests me. (I'll mention its other uses later.)

I use my smartphone to take photos.

watershed

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #13 on: 10:37:06, 18/08/20 »
I don't see this as a case of either / or.

My watch complements my Satmap Active 20 GPS.

On a typical walk in a new area, I follow the route I've plotted on the OS Maps website on my handheld GPS.

I use my GPS watch to record the actual route I take and to provide instant data that interests me. (I'll mention its other uses later.)

I use my smartphone to take photos.




As I say horses for courses.
I just use my phone.
And take a camera for photos,
so only need two things at most.
occasionally just use the phone for photos, if not to worried about the picture quality.

gunwharfman

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #14 on: 11:11:01, 18/08/20 »
I don't wear a watch either, I just find it irritating. I just use my phone. When I'm hiking my phone is in a pouch hung around my neck. I bought it from Decathlon, ideal and cheap but it needs a wider more comfortable neck strap, the one that it comes with is too narrow and with weight can cut into my neck. I wonder why the designers didn't think of this? In my case, I just sewed on a strap from an old hiking stick, so much better! The top of my phone is always instantly grabbable, either to just look at it or to use it. I think an 'instant and ready for use' phone is an acquired skill, I keep trying to be 'quick on the draw' when I'm out and about but I'm still not fast enough when it comes to taking some photos.