Author Topic: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?  (Read 1268 times)

ninthace

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #15 on: 12:18:56, 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!  :)
Perhaps you need to change your phone.  When I selected my phone, two of my considerations were battery life and memory.  My Samsung A50 uses less than 10% of its battery per day, rising to perhaps 15% if I am running Viewranger.  The 128GB of storage holds plenty of maps.
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WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #16 on: 14:32:10, 18/08/20 »
Perhaps you need to change your phone.  When I selected my phone, two of my considerations were battery life and memory.  My Samsung A50 uses less than 10% of its battery per day, rising to perhaps 15% if I am running Viewranger.  The 128GB of storage holds plenty of maps.

Actually I have changed my phone because I was referring to what happened over three years ago; I always get my wife's old phone when she upgrades, which she's done a couple of times since then.

I hadn't heard of the A50 but googling it suggests it's a cut-down non-waterproof version of what my wife has now - a Galaxy S10. I've browsed a few reviews of the A50 and although the battery life in normal use is often praised, I can find no reference to the battery life with GPS active - only advice to turn off GPS when it's not required because of the battery drain.

It is of course necessary to refer to battery usage with GPS turned on if we're to have a level playing field. So, for example, my Garmin Fenix 6 watch has approximately 40 hours of battery life in (non-power-saving) GPS mode. With GPS turned off, the standard battery life is about 14 days. There's also a power saving mode giving 48 days.

I'm not sure, but are you claiming that your A50's battery will last almost a week when running Viewranger with GPS turned on?

WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #17 on: 15:03:36, 18/08/20 »
Not sure what it a GPS watch can do  that my phone doesn’t already do.  Perhaps I will learn.
...
Some GPS watches have a built-in heart rate monitor. I accept that not everyone will find this a useful feature, but I do.

I wear my watch nearly 24 hours a day. It constantly measures my heart rate and provides me with what I find to be useful information. For example, I know that my average resting heart rate for this month is currently 48bpm - down from 57bpm in April when we bought a treadmill. I also know that my current VO2 Max is 46 ml/kg/min (superior) - up from 42 ml/kg/min (excellent) in April when we bought a treadmill.

I also like to check my heart rate when I'm exercising near my limit - whether walking briskly up a steep hill or running.

There's also a feature known as 'incident detection' on some GPS watches that have HR monitoring. If the watch detects an abnormal (or even lack of!) heart rate, it can instruct a paired smartphone to automatically send messages to pre-determined contacts giving your location. This feature can also work as a silent panic alarm when triggered by a long button-press.

But whether or not any of that is of interest, or whether it matters not in the slightest to you, will you agree that a GPS watch might well do something your phone doesn't already do?

veracocha

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #18 on: 15:30:54, 18/08/20 »
I am sat in a hotel in Bassenthwaite after just arriving back from a nice walk relying only on my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro. The playback tells me nicely what I achieved and what my heart was up to (approximately anyway) I have the Oregon 700 and my smartphone which can all do the same job. It's my first time out with the Fenix. For someone who's entire business life has meant having a phone pretty much glued to their ear awaiting problems this watch is the death knell for that I-phone. The Oregon, very capable is just too fiddly touching that screen. The Fenix, so easy via the buttons and I'm impressed with the detail on the screen and I don't need my glasses to see it. A day in and I'm absolutely delighted with it. Overkill for a hiker but for the sports enthusiast I can't imaging ever needing anything else.

ninthace

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #19 on: 16:27:25, 18/08/20 »
Actually I have changed my phone because I was referring to what happened over three years ago; I always get my wife's old phone when she upgrades, which she's done a couple of times since then.

I hadn't heard of the A50 but googling it suggests it's a cut-down non-waterproof version of what my wife has now - a Galaxy S10. I've browsed a few reviews of the A50 and although the battery life in normal use is often praised, I can find no reference to the battery life with GPS active - only advice to turn off GPS when it's not required because of the battery drain.

It is of course necessary to refer to battery usage with GPS turned on if we're to have a level playing field. So, for example, my Garmin Fenix 6 watch has approximately 40 hours of battery life in (non-power-saving) GPS mode. With GPS turned off, the standard battery life is about 14 days. There's also a power saving mode giving 48 days.

I'm not sure, but are you claiming that your A50's battery will last almost a week when running Viewranger with GPS turned on?
Yes the A50 is a budget version of the Galaxy and does most things that the Galaxy does for a lot less money.  I only use ViewRanger when I am moving so it should last a week but to be honest I have never tried.  I usually top up the phone every 2-3 days.  It recharges far more quickly than its Samsung Predecessor.  My phone normally has location on so I assume it is using the gps any time it needs to.
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ninthace

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Some GPS watches have a built-in heart rate monitor. I accept that not everyone will find this a useful feature, but I do.

I wear my watch nearly 24 hours a day. It constantly measures my heart rate and provides me with what I find to be useful information. For example, I know that my average resting heart rate for this month is currently 48bpm - down from 57bpm in April when we bought a treadmill. I also know that my current VO2 Max is 46 ml/kg/min (superior) - up from 42 ml/kg/min (excellent) in April when we bought a treadmill.

I also like to check my heart rate when I'm exercising near my limit - whether walking briskly up a steep hill or running.

There's also a feature known as 'incident detection' on some GPS watches that have HR monitoring. If the watch detects an abnormal (or even lack of!) heart rate, it can instruct a paired smartphone to automatically send messages to pre-determined contacts giving your location. This feature can also work as a silent panic alarm when triggered by a long button-press.

But whether or not any of that is of interest, or whether it matters not in the slightest to you, will you agree that a GPS watch might well do something your phone doesn't already do?
Your last sentence is perfectly correct, that is why I asked.
While I know what VO2 is, I have no idea what I would do with the information tbh.  Same with heart rates.  Many years ago. I was involved in a analysing heart rate as an indicator of cockpit workload - the results were completely unreliable Interestingly, I believe I read that the normal readings from a blood oximeter at Everest Base Camp, would get you into an emergency room if they were measured in the UK.
I always worked on the assumption if my heart stops, I will notice at about the same time as the watch does.  The other bells and whistles that go along with it, if reliable, sound very impressive though - here's hoping you never need them.  O0   
Following Mrs N round today in this humidity, at the pace she sets,  would probably have set it off every 5 mins.
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Rob Goes Walking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #21 on: 17:21:25, 18/08/20 »
I have the S10e and if I recall it lasts about 10 hours in aeroplane mode with ViewRanger recording a track. The S10 presumably lasts longer.

Rob Goes Walking

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While I know what VO2 is, I have no idea what I would do with the information tbh.  Same with heart rates.

Possibly not a lot walking unless you're very heavy/unfit then you could use it to control your exertion. I keep my heart rate within a certain range (zone 3, 70-80% of max) on most runs now as a way to stop getting injured, it's also much more enjoyable. I do 5K in zone 5 (90-100% of max) usually. The very heavy and/or unfit person might want to look into doing similarly with walking to help avoid overtraining.

fatmanwalking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #23 on: 04:01:55, 19/08/20 »
that fenix 6 looks incredible :o

WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #24 on: 10:21:25, 19/08/20 »
It was getting a GPS watch that started me on the road to becoming a walker.

I'd given up smoking a few months earlier and I wanted to do a bit more exercise than I'd been doing.

My wife would often drive to Canterbury for a 'pampering' session of some sort on a Saturday. Canterbury is just over 6 miles away and we live near an off-road track that goes to Canterbury and passes through woods and farmland. So I started walking to Canterbury to meet my wife after her sessions, and be driven home again. I used to be very proud of myself for walking more than 6 miles!

Then her 'pampering place' moved to St Margaret's-at-Cliffe which is a few miles along the coast from Dover. So I went with her and filled my 2-hour wait with walking along the clifftop and exploring paths in the area. 2 hours equalled about 8 miles, which I thought was amazing!

So I'd begun to walk for pleasure, but only really on Saturdays.

Then I was given a Garmin Vivoactive watch for my birthday. I set it up and headed out for a 4 mile test walk. I was hooked! I could see exactly how far I'd walked and exactly how fast I was walking, and I started to go further (and faster, but that was less important). I wondered if I could walk to a certain point and back and whether I could do 10, 15 and 20 miles. I felt a huge sense of achievement when I first walked a new record distance (and I still do!).

I owe all of that to the GPS watch. Yes, a phone can perform many of the same functions, but a phone would never have got me doing what I did.



richardh1905

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #25 on: 08:30:39, 24/08/20 »
I carry my phone in a small pouch with "Molle" webbing straps (the sort of thing much loved by survivalists and wannabe SAS types), which I attach to a thick belt [/size] - just the right size for a phone and some poo bags for the dog. Bought it from ebay, mainly for dog walks, but I do find it useful on longer walks without the dog too, as it attaches to my backpacking rucksack hip belt strap.


Regarding watches - I have a Polar A300, no GPS, and the step counter is not to be trusted (no step counters are). I mainly used it in conjunction with a heart rate monitor whilst running and swimming, but I also like it as a watch.


Do look at battery life if you are buying a GPS watch, something to consider if you are doing a really long walk.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

WhitstableDave

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #26 on: 09:03:24, 24/08/20 »
...
Do look at battery life if you are buying a GPS watch, something to consider if you are doing a really long walk.

Absolutely, and for me battery life is the key factor when choosing a GPS watch. I hate it when the battery runs out before the end of a walk and all the data is lost!

As I wrote a few posts back, battery life can vary greatly between watches. My Garmin Vivoactive would last about 7 hours; my Vivoactive 3 would last between 8 and 9 hours; while my Garmin Fenix 6 has lasted about 10 hours with 75% charge still remaining.

Regarding step counting on GPS watches: I've checked the accuracy of my watches on several occasions by (manually!) counting how many steps I take over a distance of 1 mile on reasonable terrain at a normal brisk pace. The results have been remarkably consistent - very close to 1,700 steps per mile. I've checked the step count countless times on my solo walks at the 10 mile and other marks, and the step count has always been close to 1,700 steps per mile.

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #27 on: 15:31:38, 24/08/20 »
Step counters work much better on concrete streets I've found, they miss steps out in the country.

richardh1905

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #28 on: 16:01:44, 24/08/20 »
Step counters work much better on concrete streets I've found, they miss steps out in the country.


They are worthless in the mountains, pace length varies so much.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: anyone using a gps watch to log their journey?
« Reply #29 on: 16:16:54, 24/08/20 »
The distance thing estimate from steps is worthless anywhere but the step count is only worthless if you don't care or can't live with it being a bit inaccurate. As a motivator it's great but the distance of the GPS is probably a better motivator in the mountains. As for my daily walks, while some people log them with GPS I find this overkill and step counting works better as a passive, always listening device.