I like to track the path when I cycling or hiking (e.g. this). Now I use my phone for this purpose which is totally inconvenient because of the battery.

So, I looking for something which can track my path

  • Ideally, without any display.
  • With a big enough battery.
  • Ideally, with an ability to put some marks on the track.

I tried to google, but it looks like Garmin watches have too many options. And spot 3 requires some annual plan which probably an overkill for me. Also, I don't need heart rate tracker/cadence/whatever sensors.

Are there any types of gps devices that fulfill these criteria?

  • 1
    How much battery life do you need? A phone with all data connections and the screen turned off, just logging GPS data can do pretty well – Chris H Apr 22 at 15:50
  • And the phone may not even need a sim card, an older model you can buy cheap might do. – Willeke Apr 22 at 16:02
  • in most cases – I need enough battery for a day of tracking – kharandziuk Apr 22 at 20:13
  • Garmin eTrex 10 ticks all thous boxes for around $US100 – user5330 Apr 23 at 9:05

For one day a phone will do it. Most android phones allow GPS in flight mode and there are plenty of apps that will log tracks offline (I use one called IPbike as a bike computer with data and WiFi turned off, for example). Some allow you to select how often to get your position, to save battery.

An alternative is an old non-mapping GPS. I've got an old etrex that does about 20 hours off a decent set of alkaline batteries. It records tracks (but you need a serial port to get them onto a PC). For navigating you would need to use it with a map, though it can display a route for you to follow, and a bearing to the next waypoint

  • I don't need any navigation, just a tracker. Also probably it's better to buy a dedicated tool instead of buying a cheap phone – kharandziuk Apr 23 at 8:28
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    A dedicated tool is liikely to be much more expensive. My point about the features of the old devices is that it's not navigation as we know it now. In fact the original Forerunner GPS running watch had very much the same features and enough tracking for you but nowhere near enough battery life. – Chris H Apr 23 at 8:34
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    You could consider repurposing a cat tracking GPS but they tend to need a subscription and/or SIM card, and it's not clear whether you can extract the tracks form the proprietary software – Chris H Apr 23 at 8:37
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    I've used my phone to track lengthy walks (15 hours) without an issue in the past. Obviously depends on the phone but this is totally possible. Ensure you've disabled wifi/bluetooth and use the screen sparingly to help make the battery last. – Liam Apr 23 at 9:32
  • The author of the bike computer app I use reckons he could get 24 hours of logging with the screen off on the same phone I have. (IPBike) Getting GPX files is trivial (@Liam) – Chris H Apr 23 at 9:38

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