Jun 3, 2007 at 12:27 pm #1223502
Hi, I have problems hearing the typical tiny beeps a typical wrist watch alarm clock makes. I need something louder for waking up prior to dawn while backpacking. Does anyone have any suggestions. So far the best suggestion I've seen is to get a 2.9 ounce shortwave/fm radio with built in speakers and alarm clock function, but ideally I would like something loud that can double function as a wrist watch or pocket watch too. See http://www.countycomm.com/gp4light.htm for info about the 2.9 ounce shortwave radio (an idea that was posted in one of these forums by the way by another). Thanks for any better suggestions!Jun 3, 2007 at 8:11 pm #1391081
Jonathan ChiappaBPL Member
@chiappajLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I'm looking for a similar solution with one addition. I would like an alarm that doesn't stop until it's shut off.
In general, what do people use to wake up?
– JonJun 3, 2007 at 8:55 pm #1391084
I asked the same question before… but didn't get any specific recommendations. In my case, I was looking for a watch/alarm for travel use. Sometimes, in hotels with lousy soundproofing, I would use ear plugs — but then I worry that I wouldn't hear the alarm to wake up for an early morning flight.
Sorry, I still don't know which watch has the loudest alarm. But in my limited experience, if you want loud, stay away from Timex. Casio is better.Jun 3, 2007 at 10:02 pm #1391087
Roleigh, Johnathan, I too became acclimated to the faint beeping of my wrist watch. Wrist alarms are useless. What I used to use, and highly recommend for you is the 90db ear bleeding shriek of 'The Banshee'. Do not use this at a public campsite for fear of retribution, but it is guaranteed to wakeup your group in time for the 'alpine start'. I used to take mine on business trips to GUARANTEE waking up for the flight, meeting, etc..
It weighs about 3 ounces, but a few pain pills before sleeping, and the banshee in the morning can squeeze a few hours activity out of every day on your trip; maybe that's worth it. What good is all that light gear if you are sleeping?
Its about 5 inches wide, 1 1/2" tall and 2" deep.Jun 3, 2007 at 10:06 pm #1391088
That thing looks bigger than some executive desk clocks! :)Jun 3, 2007 at 10:16 pm #1391089
I place my watch in a cup or pot (titanium)and face the opening toward my head. I THINK it helps a little bit.Jun 4, 2007 at 6:17 am #1391098
John S.BPL Member
In the past, some would say the Nike watches had loud alarms. Check campmor descriptions.Jun 4, 2007 at 4:43 pm #1391152
@hotrhoddudeguyLocale: New England
Or hows about trying wearing a warm hat or balaclava, and finding a place either towards the forehead, top of the head, or wherever it is bearable, I bet you'd hear it pretty well there. My Highgear Altitech, which is basicly a wristwatch on a carabiner, has similar problems. I tried it once on my bedside table and completly forgot I had set it until I woke up 5 minutes earlier due to another alarm several days later.Jun 5, 2007 at 2:28 pm #1391277
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
It's not dying with the most toys or lightest gear.
It's who USES (& hence enjoys) the gear the most that "wins".Jun 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm #1391280
Richard SullivanBPL Member
@richard-sLocale: Supernatural BC
I believe that most if not all of the Garmin GPS units have alarms. The one on my Venture Cx is not loud, but it's a hec of a lot better than any wristwatch. It also has a Snooze function.
I like the Ti-pot amplifier trick…must try!Jun 5, 2007 at 5:22 pm #1391289
John S.BPL Member
Eric, I agree!Jun 7, 2007 at 12:57 pm #1391534
I don't use a wrist watch. I carry a small cell phone (ya, ya I know back country and cell phones). There are places you can get reception and not others. Fine.
Anyway, leaving aside the ethics of cell phone in backcountry, it has a super aggro alarm that is much louder than any wrist watch. If you don't like cell phones and use a GPS unit, those alarms are loud too.Jun 7, 2007 at 8:09 pm #1391599
Denis HazlewoodBPL Member
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
My Pentax Optio has a very loud and persistant alarm that wakes me and everyone else within 20 feet.Jun 7, 2007 at 10:10 pm #1391614
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
That CountyComm GP4 radio is on my luxury list, but I usually sqeeze it in. Of course it's justifiable for weather reports and the flashlight too, right? Nudge, nudge :)
Check out Eagle Creeks 1.5oz clock: http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=39294391&memberId=12500226 . Casio makes a 2oz anchor: http://www.rei.com/product/693708Jun 14, 2007 at 6:31 pm #1392343
Ok, I have continued research on this. The downside to using the Garmin Rino GPS Alarm is the massive drain on batteries to keep it on all night. Here are two potential lightweight loud alarms.
Nike Lance 4 Alti/Compass Watch
Item Number: 93461
A good review of this watch is here:
"Echo-chamber to make the alarms extra loud (since racing outdoors at high speeds is seldom tranquil)."
"Extra-loud alarm – resonance chamber amplifies alarm for use in noisy outdoor environments."
The Invisible Clock-II
"Adjustable vibration intensity, beep volume, number of beeps – if you want the vibration soft and quiet you can set to low. If you want it strong, you can set to medium or high – same for the beeps. And you can set from 1 to 6 beeps."
It is very loud. It weighs 1.3 oz including the battery it uses (AAA) – if you use a lithium AAA, it would weigh less. I have an alkaline AAA in it now.
I have ordered the Nike watch and can not personally vouch for it but will update here when I get it. Campmor has a great return policy (the guy on the phone said up to 1 year!).
Some statements about this alarm:Jun 20, 2007 at 9:32 pm #1392903
Followup. I got the Nike Lance 4 watch and was amazed it weighs 3.7 oz versus the 1.7 oz of the Invisible Clock II (and that includes the belt clip to hold it on your belt). Also, I was not impressed with the loudness of the alarm. If I do not hold the watch to within 12" of my ear, I do not hear the alarm. My high frequency hearing is poor I admit, but I have no problem with the Invisble Clock II. I am going to do a return on the Lance. The compass and Altimeter and Barometer and Thermometer features are nice but not needed (if I have to put up with the $220 cost and the 3.7 oz weight).Jun 23, 2007 at 7:16 pm #1393223
More followup. The Casio $30 referee watch (you can get at Walmart but not online), featured here: http://www.findwatches.co.uk/referee-timer-p-685.html has twice the alarm strength (at least myself and the sales lady at Walmart felt) as the Nike Lance Armstrong 4 Titanium watch.
Furthermore, An ultralight weight battery operated radio (shortwave – 2bands, am radio, fm radio, clock, alarm clock) that weighs only 3.2 ounces (batteries removed–it uses 2 AA batteries), when the alarm goes off, it turns on whatever radio band/station you had turned on (prior to selecting radio off switch). It also has a built in flashlight. It is available here for $22:
The alarm stays on until you press it off.
Amazingly, this radio weighs less than the Nike watch.Jul 2, 2007 at 10:14 pm #1394204
My final finding is that the Brunton ADC Pro, which weighs 2 ounces without the lanyard, is the best multi-function alarm / watch to take hiking. It has a very, very loud alarm – my higher frequency hearing is very, very poor, but this alarm was very, very loud. It has a clock, backlighting, and best of all it has what I think is the best weather forecasting pocket meter there is–for it allows you to create custom storm alarms (which I'm figureing out now how to customize). The manufacturer dropped their MSRP to $180 (used to be about $250) and basegear.com sells this for $140 now.
* Displays current relative humidity, heat index, dew point and wet bulb
* Relative air density
* Air density
* Density altitude
* Displays current barometric pressure (in hPa,mb or Hg)
* Storm alarm
* Displays the past 24 hour pressure tendency
* Predicts the coming 12 hour's weather
* Altimeter alarm
* Ski run counter
* Current, max and average wind speed (in km/h, mph, ft/s, m/s, or knots)
* Shows current temperature
* Past 24 hour temperature tendency
* Wind chill
* Average wind chill and minimum wind chill
* Wind chill alarm
* Water flow meter
* Real time clock
* Time,day and date
* Chronograph operation
* Race timer
* Manual and automatic data logging
* IR data communication with PC using ADC-IR
* 2 year manufacturer warrantyJul 2, 2007 at 10:20 pm #1394206
Thanks for the post. I too am on a quest for the ever-elusive 'loud alarm' — but for traveling use. I wonder if Brunton makes a small and light alarm watch with just the basics — time/date, alarm, and countdown alarm???Jul 2, 2007 at 11:14 pm #1394209
Lets not forget our cellphones(mentioned once above); mines got three alarms, each with snooze. You are hiking with your cellphone, right?Jul 2, 2007 at 11:25 pm #1394210
I may be the only one left in LA who doesn't own a cellphone or subscribe to cable or Direct TV…Jul 3, 2007 at 4:00 am #1394222
Brett, we are leaving our cellphones behind. What is the purpose of taking them? We will be out for 17 days, their charges will die, they can't make calls while in the back country. They weigh more than 2 ounces too.Dec 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm #1464124
@rmatsonLocale: Brooklyn, NY USA
I have similar needs. I had a Polar heart rate monitor with loud and long alarm, which I could recommend. Interested in the radio above. Following up, I found the following sites with interesting lightweight gear incl. the radio/alarm mentioned, small straight blade razor and more. Haven't seen any of it in person, but I ordered the radio.Dec 13, 2008 at 12:44 pm #1464130
I hike in remote wilderness, such as the High Sierra Trail and the John Muir Trail. Cell phones do not get signal there. I have my phone waiting for me at trail-end. Waist of weight. This last summer I used the Invisible Clock II in vibration mode inside my titanium coffee cup and was able to get up every AM at 5:45 with no problem. It only weighed 1.7 oz. Completely worth it. First time I was able to always hear the alarm.
ps – oops, I did not do "show all" and responded not the latest posting but the one earlier. Anyway, nothing more to add other than the post-JMT writeup on how well the 1.7oz Invisible Clock II worked for me.Dec 13, 2008 at 12:54 pm #1464132
Good to know you found an alarm that works for you. As you know, I too have been shopping around and found something that works as well.
I don't know if it is 'the loudest' — but the el cheapo $14.99 Armitron Digital Sport Watch does have a pretty loud alarm — one that is significantly louder than Timex Ironman and Casio watches. It also has the basic stuff like stopwatch and countdown alarm. I bought mine at Target.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.