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 Wanted: Old smart phone w/ hiking apps 
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:46 pm
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 Wanted: Old smart phone w/ hiking apps
So I've been looking at getting a hiking gps and so many people have been telling me how much they like the hiking gps apps on smartphones and a lot of the other apps you can get for the outdoors. I unfortunitely have a lovely thing called student loans to pay for and cannot justify paying so much fpr the data plans.

I was looking to see if anyone was getting rid of their smart phones/upgrading and would like to sell me theirs. Many of the apps work without a data plan and I would really like to use the phone just for the apps. Please send me a PM if you'd like to discuss :D

Thanks!

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:50 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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An actual GPS is way easier on the battery than a smartphone, just to let you know.

I get 3-4 full days of hiking (24-30 hours) on my GPS before recharging/replacing the batteries. And those aren't long-life ones. With a smartphone tracking in GPS mode, an 8-10 hour hike day is about the best you might get (speculating here based on what I've observed in mine's power usage). And you can't just replace the batteries on the trail.

I'm also not sure exactly how the GPS for the phones work, does it use the same system as the dedicated units? How well do they work in valleys? I know the dedicated units do a lot better now than they used to, but still not perfect.

Of course, if there are other apps besides just GPS you want, yea that's different.

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NH 4K x6 || NH W4K || NE4K || NEHH || WNE4K 64/67 || 52WAV 19/52

My Trip Reports: http://mattshikes.blogspot.com/


Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:53 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Thanks for the response. I have thought about those things and I'm really interested in the other apps too and want to test out using a gps before spending more on one. Not sure if it'll be something I'll want to have on all my hikes or if I'll stay more low tech. It would be nice to have some reasurance in winter or on some of the NEHH peaks with no trails but I don't want to become more reliant on a gps unit. Wanted something more inexpensive that I can throw in my pack just in case.

madmattd, I didn't realize that a gps' battery would last that long! Gets me thinking. If anyone knows of a good gps that is under $200 (closer to $100 would be even better :wink: ) let me know as well.

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http://www.trailtosummit.com

NH 4K: 48/48
NH W4K: 48/48
NE67: 67/67
NEHH: 90/100
NH 4k each season: 192/192

Trail adopter of Osseo Trail (upper portion)


Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:00 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Location: Natick, MA
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All makes sense. A used smartphone would likely be the cheaper route, perhaps EBay? If cheap enough, it would definitely give you an idea if a GPS is something you'd like down the road. Plus as you said, you can put other apps on it, read a book by night, etc. Cheaper yet, perhaps a friend would let you borrow their app-loaded device for a couple hikes to get a feel for them? Probably only cost you a couple drinks ;)

I was given a Garmin Etrex 20 as a gift. Not a super-high end unit, but seems to do fine holding signals. Runs in that price range, ~$170. Your high-sensitivity models will run 2-3x that. You can load maps onto it and it takes microSD cards for extra memory. Nice to be able to load topos and trail overlays, if you want to know how much more of that steep section is left for example, there it is. I can certainly see uses there for finding the entrance back to the trees in winter low-visibility conditions.

I get the battery life I do by having the screen brightness almost all the way down, it's still easy enough to see. It's rated for ~21 hours, but I've used it for consecutive weekends and it's usually middle of the 4th day of hiking when I would need to swap the batteries, so easily 24 hours life. 30 is probably a bit optimistic now that I've had a decent night's sleep :lol: Perhaps the rechargeable NiMH batteries I use in it have a slightly larger capacity than regular alkalines.

Do note that GPS technology does better at holding a signal through an area of limited satellite coverage (i.e. a deep valley) versus trying to initially acquire a signal in such a spot.

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NH 4K x6 || NH W4K || NE4K || NEHH || WNE4K 64/67 || 52WAV 19/52

My Trip Reports: http://mattshikes.blogspot.com/


Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:48 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Allison, I have a GPS app on my iphone. I've used it a handful of times to make a "track" of my hike, but it kills the battery. I can rarely make it through a full 10 mile hike (average distance I'd say) without draining the battery. I like the app that I have (called Gaia GPS) and it's fairly useful to reference where you are (if you shut it off between uses), but it's not great for tracks (consistent use) and I'd never rely on it as a navigation tool.

Also, something to keep in mind is that most cell-phone GPS units use something called "Assisted-GPS" (I think) where it occasionally gets the signal from a satellite, but then relies on the cell towers for additional "help" with positioning. This may be why the battery drains so fast, I'm not really sure. I agree with Matt, it's probably best to watch eBay or Amazon and try to find a good deal there... shouldn't be to hard to find something decent in the $100-150 range. I'll be in the market myself, I'll probably ask my wife to get me one for my birthday or something.


Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:19 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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I have an old phone (original "droid") I used for just this reason. I have to carry at least one extra battery and swap it out half way through a day hike..if I'd remember lol



An example of battery life: I did Avalon, field, willey and mid-way back to field the battery died.

Good luck on your search!


Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:37 pm
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Leg Burner
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Just a reminder, if you are going to rely on electronics, bring a backup!!

http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/20 ... ls/1236797


Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:13 pm
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 4:30 pm
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Location: Nashua
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I have a htc tmobile g2 and use back country navigator. I always carry an extra battery or two if I'll be longer than a day. I'm getting a new phone next week, and you can have mine if it would help you...only prob is, it's pretty beat up and the lower part of the screen is usually non responsive,and occasionally presses itself (which is why I'm getting a new one, Samsung galaxy s3.)

The program works great for me for tracking as well as a gps, I download tracks when I can find them and import them into it. That said, not sure how well it irks without a data plan? I'm not too up on the technical aspects. But like I said, it's yours if you want it (after next week)

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:06 am
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Peak Bagger
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Ah... Just realized you posted this a month ago... Offer still stands if you need it!

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:07 am
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Flatfoot
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I have thought about those things and I'm really interested in the other apps too and want to test out using a gps before spending more on one.

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:55 am
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