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68 votes
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How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

There are a number of different ways to do this. Method using GPS, compass and Google Earth. Get the GPS coordinates of where you can see the tree from. Take a bearing with a compass to the tree ...
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30 votes

What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?

I'd give them whatever my device or map provided me, and let them convert to whatever their devices or maps use. Anyone used to receiving lat/lon coordinates regularly should be able to convert from ...
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  • 21.3k
24 votes

Are there any GPS devices with no transmission capability?

All GPS navigators on the market work as you’ve described. Two way communication is very battery intensive and costs money, so it’s only included in PLB beacons or devices like Spot, not your average ...
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  • 2,799
22 votes
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Are there any GPS devices with no transmission capability?

You are probably best looking at older and cheaper models to achieve this lack of functionality. Therefore you should look for models that don't advertise bluetooth connectivity, app integration or ...
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  • 396
21 votes
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Optimal use of available GPS devices when stranded

If you're not using the device to find your way, it is useless as far as the GPS functionality is concerned, no matter whether it's switched on or off. If I know they are looking for me, would they ...
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21 votes
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Can I record my route electronically when underground?

How would GPS trackers work when underground? Poorly I have no personal experience with Alltrails, but the GPS apps which I have used in the past mostly did not cope well with GPS reception being ...
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  • 12.1k
20 votes

Should I buy a GPS to calculate elevation gain/loss?

Vertical difference to summit: If you are just interested in reaching a minimum, it is often sufficient to compute the difference between the start and the summit, e.g. start at 1000m summit at 1800m ...
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  • 6,105
19 votes

Are there any GPS devices with no transmission capability?

Y'all are way overthinking this. Get an old and/or cheap smart phone. Don't put a SIM card in it. Install some basic GPS app and then tell it to forget the WiFi network (and turn off WiFi). If you don'...
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  • 301
17 votes

Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

I think you already answered your own question. Most dedicated GPS devices are more rugged, have better battery life, and don't require a data connection to work well. A phone has a lot of power ...
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  • 8,600
17 votes
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Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

Most GPS receivers in phones do not work nearly as well as stand-alone GPS devices. Usually, one wouldn't notice this because phones use assisted GPS where they get the orbital data and/or almanac of ...
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  • 286
17 votes

Can I record my route electronically when underground?

Assisted GPS is different from inertial navigation. It uses ground stations to transmit GPS almanacs and ephemeris for faster GPS start-up. There are also wide-area augmentation services such as ...
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  • 4,348
15 votes
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What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?

I would recommend UTM coordinates; it avoids the formatting uncertainty of lat/long and is better suited for ground operations. (Easy to translate to paper maps, define search areas, and calculate ...
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  • 8,358
13 votes

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

Take two compass bearings from two known GPS coordinates but different azimuths. Then just use the formula to calculate their intersection. Aviation Formulary -- Great Circle Navigation Formulae -- ...
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12 votes

Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

Let's go through the different aspects of phone versus dedicated GPS device point by point (however, quite surely without being complete). Basically you have to decide which points apply in your ...
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12 votes
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Is Gaia GPS inaccurate for distances?

GPS is simply not a good way to measure trail distance. This is because the raw GPS fixes have a lot of noise on them. If you take them literally, then you get a much longer distance than you ...
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  • 21.3k
12 votes
Accepted

When considering GPS battery life where are the best options?

From your three options, a Dedicated GPS unit is going to be your best bet. Smart Phones barely last a day. If you're out of coverage, the phone will keep searching for network and battery will die ...
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  • 2,338
11 votes

Should I buy a GPS to calculate elevation gain/loss?

Should I buy a GPS? Maybe (or rather probably yes), but you don't need one to estimate elevation gain or loss, and they may not be very accurate for this purpose. There are good reasons to buy a GPS;...
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  • 26k
10 votes

Optimal use of available GPS devices when stranded

Use the GPS to determine your position and then text or email that to your rescuers. That will be the end of the GPS's contribution to the rescue process. Staying put is generally best (saves your ...
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  • 11.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Is there a mobile app to easily send a SMS message with coordinates?

I don't know what phone you have, but there appears to be a relatively simple Android app called "GPS Coordinates GPS Location" that claims to be able to text your coordinates without requiring a data ...
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  • 434
10 votes

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

First thing I would try is to see if I could pick the tree out on Google Earth. https://earth.google.com/web/ In many locations, especially near mid-sized or larger towns and cities, even the tree ...
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9 votes

What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?

Always have a water proof map of the area you're traveling in ( one with coordinates on each side if you can help it ), and a compass you can use to triangulate your position with. You'll be better ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Geocaching: How important is having a dedicated GPS device instead of a smartphone?

In addition to the good advice Tullochgorum gave, I have been Geocaching for a couple years, i did it for about a year with just my phone, later i bought a dedicated GPS device, used it for awhile ...
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  • 2,634
9 votes

Help me interface these two nautical devices

Garmin GPSMap 182C and Simrad TP32 share the same language (NMEA 0183), but they do not have enough in common to talk about. The NMEA sentences that the 182C can transmit are GPRMC, GPGGA, GPGSA, ...
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  • 191
8 votes

Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

I use Timble GPS Hunt Pro on my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. You can download topo, BLM boundaries, private property and other types of maps that work just fine without a cell signal. The maps I use are ...
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  • 81
8 votes

Is Gaia GPS inaccurate for distances?

There are two main things that can go wrong with gps accuracy. The first is the quality of the signal, which can be less than for a dedicated gps unit (less space for an antenna and other design ...
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  • 22.5k
7 votes

Anti-theft tracking device: how to configure it to deal with the battery?

I can't help you with exact configurations. But as usual this kind of thing has a basic rule. The less it's activated, the less it will use its battery. Standby mode (time it spends counting the ...
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  • 1,970
7 votes

What specific features should I take into account when buying GPS device for Geocaching?

I'd say the following are important things to have: Good signal strength is a must - Geocaching will often take you into built up areas or wooded areas, and it's incredibly frustrating going round in ...
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  • 22.4k
7 votes
Accepted

What free/open source maps can I put on my Garmin etrex vista HCX for walking in southern spain?

I would consider using OSM as they are available for garmin devices.
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  • 8,011

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