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Kindle Books

Kindle book - My Lanzarote. 10 walks and a personal view

Kindle Book And A Pub For Lunch

5 Walks In The Yorkshire Dales

 

 Use Of GPS Receivers

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. They work on the same basis as satellite navigation in cars in that they receive signals from satellites orbiting the earth. At any one time, they  receive from up to 6. The satellites belong to the American military.

From these signals, a GPS receiver can calculate where it is horizontally and if sufficient signals are received, they also give your altitude.

Once your route is entered, you simply follow the arrow or simple map screen.

Some of the best known are produced by Garmin and their basic model, the Geko, is shown in the picture below. It is about the size of a mobile phone and cost me about 80 from Amazon. I believe this has now been superceded by the Garmin eTrex. With greater expense, you can now get receivers which include built in OS maps. Even some mobile phones now offer a GPS facility.

Garmin GPS receiverFurther information a GPS instrument will provide is:

* Current Location;

* Altitude;

* A "breadcrumb" trail of where you have walked -with  which you can retrace your steps if necessary;

* Waypoints;

* Trip time;

* ETA;

* Distance walked;

* Speed;

* Very accurate time (atomic clock);

There are also various other features depending on which model you get. Some of the more advanced (and consequently expensive) models even have OS maps built in viewable on screen.

 

 

They come with comprehensive instructions and there is not the space or necessity to repeat everything here. However one or two points.

They can be configured to provide your location in a variety of formats depending on where in the world you are. In the UK, you would set it to give OS references.

If you use them for nothing else, they are a boon if you are lost and will tell you to within feet exactly where you are by means of a full OS Reference , e.g. SD 95034 62711. You can then relate this to your map, rounding the reference to SD 950627.

GPS receivers are not reliable under trees and need to have an open view of the sky. If navigating your way through a forest in the absence of clear paths, you need to use a compass.

To get the best use from a GPS receiver, you really need some mapping software for your computer. These enable the route to be plotted on an on-screen map then downloaded to the GPS receiver. The software is however quite expensive. The best known names in this field are probably Memory Map and Anquet.

There is also a free GPS software package available from GPS Utility. This works well but you have to scan your own maps then calibrate the scanned map carefully to ensure the OS reference points are where they should be.

An alternative to your own software is an amazing website Where's The Path. Here, you can upload a GPX file and see the route on a 1:25000 OS map side by side with the equivalent Google satellite photo. You can also plot your own routes.

Another site where you can plot your own routes then download them in GPX and other formats is bike.co.uk

To download routes from your PC to a GPS receiver, see EasyGPS.

Routes for walks described on this site can be downloaded to GPS receivers using either MMNav (Memory Map) or .gpx (universal GPS Exchange Format) files.

To view GPS receivers  at competitive prices click here   GPS Receivers

Visit the Happy Hiker (in Association with Amazon) on line Hiking Store to buy mapping software.

All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.