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Started by BKSLDR7, July 28, 2009, 09:02:53 AM

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I just thought that I would post my recent experience using a
Nuvi 855(mainly made for automobile navigation) for extended hiking. 
I recently bought the 855 because
of it's huge screen. Knowing that the battery life was only about
4 hours,  I bought an extra battery.  Here are some of my observations
after two 13+ mile day hikes in the Sierras of California.  I ran tracklogs
continuously but kept the screen dimmed to 20% and locked except when
reading the unit.
1) 3-1/2 hours was about max on a battery.
2) in walk mode tracklog waypoints are about 15 seconds apart (that interval
is not really necessary-30 seconds would be just as useful)
3) Nuvi warns visibly and with audio when battery life is low
4) two batteries are not enough for 8-11 hours of hiking if tracklog is run
continuously- 3-4 are necessary.  If one only brings the 855 out of sleep mode
for occasional position checks with no tracklog then 2 batteries might suffice
for a long day of hiking.  BEWARE-BATTERIES ALWAYS DIE AT THE WORST TIME!  :-)
5) Even the large screen is not easy to use for cross country travel if trying to
decipher detailed topo data. 
6) Preloaded waypoints are really helpful
7) Transferring a lat/long position on a GPSr to a printed TOPO map in the field
is not easy or quick and wastes battery time.  It works much better to preload
waypoints into the GPSr and print them on the printed TOPO map.

I'm still glad that I bought the 855 but I prefer printed maps as my primary
navigation aid, especially for cross country travel.


Quote from: BKSLDR7 on July 28, 2009, 09:02:53 AM
7) Transferring a lat/long position on a GPSr to a printed TOPO map in the field
is not easy or quick.
Did you try this with the GPSr set to UTM coords?  The USGS topos have this square grid on them.
I would guess that preload waypoints and printing them would still be better.


I knew about UTM coordinates but haven't learned to use them well enough.
I just read another tutorial and plan to start using UTM.

This is a nice tutorial->

And for compass work here ->

But yes, preloaded waypoints are still preferable to trying to go from GPSr
to map in the field. The less of that the better.