GPS wristwatch help!

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    Nancy Rigler


    My husband will soon be doing more longdistance backpacking. I would like to get him a GPS watch for his retirement gift. I am clueless. Any thoughts, recommendations, etc. would be SO appreciated. He will be doing the AT among other, shorter trails.

    Kenneth Gurney


    Garmin makes some nice products that may be right for you… Garmin 101?
    The new Garmin 301 is “very” nice, but the only drawback is that it uses a rechargable lithium battery… 15hrlife, so unless you are just doing an overnight or can recharge on the fly, it may not meet your needs…
    And then there is the Suunto X9 Wristop GPS… I hear this is a sweet “Watch”, but hard to use. At $700… I am personally not impressed!

    Have fun

    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest

    1) check out BPL’s GPS reviews on this website. if i recall correctly, a Suunto wrist unit is reviewed – not too favorably if i recall correctly.
    2) i own a Garmin For-eTrex. mounts on the wrist/forearm. nice unit. many features. can “store” in memory 10 routes and 20 tracks. plenty of memory storage for storing frequently hiked trails. GPS reception is excellent at times. at others, it is intermittent at best. i live in southern CT. the hills (only 750′ high) AND heavy tree cover, when the leaves are on the trees, can interfere with GPS reception. i’m not sure, but i think you can get an external antenna for some (all???) of the Garmin units. if you can, then i would recommend it if hiking terrain similar to what i hike in. i’ve read elsewhere that the larger units from Garmin (i.e. non-wrist mounted) get better GPS reception, but i have no first-hand experience with those units.

    hope this info helps.

    Phil Barton
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oklahoma

    For what it’s worth, the Garmin Geko 301 uses 2 AAA batteries — either Alkaline or Lithium. I have only used mine a little so far. The battery life seems to be just as described here at BPL.

    Kim Skaarup


    Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia

    I own a Suunto X9 GPS watch. I have owned it since it first came on the market.
    As I also own a Garmin Gekko 101 I can see that the X9 in terms of GPS is nothing to depend on.!!

    As an ex-army officer I sure know how to navigate and the X9 just dont do any good.

    I would like to buy a Garmin ForEtrex 101 (with AAA).

    The X9 is VERY poor in GPS-reception, in forest and bad weather its just an expensive X6 which show you where you was yesterday.:-)

    I anyone would like to buy my X9 its for sell for say 400$.! (Sorry its 220 volt euro-charger).

    Buy your husband an nice watch Suunto X6 or the like and a Garmin ForEtrex 101 wrist mounted with AAA batteries.

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