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Messages - jolly47roger

For weather protection, I use an Aquapac which is light and totally waterproof.

I can work the buttons and touchscreen through it and as it hangs round my neck I won't drop the phone.

And it's good for reading a Kindle in the bath, too!
I think the price depends on which country you are in. In Britain, I pay 7.50pounds per month for 200 minutes of calls, texts and 500MB of data. But there are plans where you just pay for usage as long as you buy something every few months.

But to use a smartphone for GPS you do not need a cellular service at all. Indeed, if I am not expecting calls I switch to airplane mode when on the trail and this prolongs the battery life. You can load the maps from a PC via USB or wifi and the GPS/GLONASS signals are not part of the cellular spectrum. In clear conditions I get 5metres accuracy or better.

An alternative (but heavier to carry) is a tablet with GPS and no cellular function at all. This has zero recurring cost.
With a dedicated GPSR, you get one App and access to a limited set of maps.

With a Smartphone, you get a choice of apps and, usually, the ability to add your own maps.

I use an Android Nexus when hiking, quite often without carrying a paper map. I use Back Country Navigator and MyTrails - when I need more screen space (e.g for planning a route the night before) I put the same maps on a iPad and use GalileoGPS. Since having a moving map to see where I am going, I never load a digital route in advance of a trip.

Apart from Open Street Map, many counties are now offering free digital maps. In New Zealand you can post off a hard drive to a government agency and receive it back fully loaded with maps.

200 pounds (~$300) buys a very powerful device nowadays. And it will make calls, send texts, deliver Emails and a whole lot more.

For me, the future is the smartphone.
GPSU ( is good for converting KML to GPX - and lots of other formats, too. The free version is usually sufficient.
Map Making Support / Summits
February 04, 2016, 12:47:00 AM
I am attempting to compile a map for several sources. Everything is working well except for named summits. I am using this MP code :

Label=Pen y Fan~[0x1f]886

The summit appears correctly in Basecamp but on an Etrex only the summit icon appears and the text + height only display in the title area when the pointer is over them.

Any assistance welcomed!
I'm struggling to understand this. Have I missed 'use only on Garmin devices' somewhere on this site? I have no plans to offer a conversion service nor to distribute converted maps.

As this site currently operates, a file is downloaded (possibly paid for), processed trough a program and loaded onto a portable device for personal use. Where does it say the program has to be Mapsource or Basecamp and the device Garmin?
If you can get the trails as .plt files and the maps are raster images there is a tool [FTC disclaimer missing from this post] that will do what you want : Load the map and calibration; Load track Overlay and save the image with the tracks on it. You can then take the saved image and create a Garmin Custom Map.

Moderator's note. Please follow the current FTC guidelines when recommending a software that you are receiving compensation from.