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GPS and other electronic devices – essential outdoor equipment

By on 31. October 2016

Garmin 64s – GPS device

Garmin 64s is something like an electronic outdoor brother. I still use paper maps as well, but only as “overview maps”. I use GPS maps in terrain. Garmin 64s is quite a big device, but it is excellent. It has high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver and 3-axis electronic compass with barometric altimeter. It is waterproof, temperature proof and almost unbreakable. There is only one thing to improve – the screen. After first year the screen was full of thin scratches so I have started to use screen protective foil on it. Sometimes, if you need some special function,  it takes a while to find it in the menu. But generally it is the best choice to buy. Alternative (cheaper) device I would buy is a Garmin eTrex 30x – may be in my next life.

Globalstar Spot – satellite messenger

Globalstar Spot is a very useful device especially if you travel alone. It communicates with the Globalstar satellites and sends your position (and movement) to the special map site. You can send a private link to your family and friends and they can watch your outdoor steps. There is a messaging button and an emergency button in this device as well. It also cooperates with rescue services. You can use several Globalstar services, but all of them are commercial. I use an older version of this device. A new version is available now (2016) – SPOT Gen3. If you think about it, find out the maps’ coverage first. In Himalayas (Nepal) and Patagonia it does not work properly, there is bad coverage. But for example it is good in Europe, Island, Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). (more…)

Map sources – Commercial and alternative GPS outdoor maps for Garmin device

By on 22. October 2016

How to get maps for my GPS Garmin device?

If you want to use commercial Garmin maps, you probably have to buy them. They are not cheap. But there are a lot of alternatives that will help you with orientation and navigation on your trek. You could download (stolen!) commercial Garmin maps for older Garmin devices (for example Garmin Dakota), but it is not easy to use them in the new Garmin devices such as the Garmin 64 series and newer. I work with the Garmin 64s device. I bought some commercial GPS maps but mostly I work with free map alternatives. This post deals with my favorite GPS map websites.

Commercial GPS maps for Garmin devices – map sources to buy

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GPS software and Apps for orientation and navigation

By on 8. October 2016

Hi-tech trekking

I made a decision to share some of my experience I have gathered during my travels. I used to use basic equipment during my trips ten years ago – usually a map (a paper one) and a compass. Today…today everything is much more sophisticated, hi-tech, smart and also expensive. There are many tools, gear, apps and on-line technologies you can use for comfortable planning of your trek and for navigation in the middle of wild mountains.

2016 apps options

This article deals with apps, windows software and on-line tools for outdoor activities. It is 2016 right now, so if you read this post later, some of these apps and tools may not exist anymore. I won´t  write about the best apps in the world either – I am going to write about apps and technologies I currently use. I am going to write about the maps and gear as well, in different posts later on. (more…)