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  1. #1
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    gps to get me back to the parking lot

    I've read about the bells and whistles on gps units for mtn biking, but I just want to get back to the parking lot. I seem to be navigationally challenged when cycling in the woods, so I need a gps to get me back to my starting pt.
    Apparently, the Garmin 800 doesn't do a good job of getting you back, so says one user. When retracing the rider's track, it doesn't indicate if you miss a turn etc
    Any advice ?

    Cheers,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    generally speaking, none of them will tell you if you missed a turn. Your best bet in most cases is to save a waypoint at the trailhead so you always know where you started. In some cases, you can find map data for your trail system (most is free. Garmin sells some maps, but trail coverage is poor) and you can visually select your route. Alternatively you can load someone else's ride (or one of your previous rides) and the GPS will show you whether you are following the same path or not.

    But will it tell you there is an intersection coming up and where to expect it like a car GPS? No.

  3. #3
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    Another option is a cheap GPS that can tracklog and throw it in your pack/whatever.
    Little harder on batteries, but can help keep an eye on where you is.
    Time wounds all heels...

  4. #4
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    I have an older Garmin 705. It can show you a "bread crumb" trail back to your origin so you can back track. You can also upload a saved gps track / course to it and it will alert you to turn with an arrow point you in the direction you need to go. I haven't used this feature in a while but I believe it would alert of an upcoming turn far enough in advance so it wouldn't be a surprise. As others mentioned, you can also just save a "waypoint" on the gps the the unit will tell you the direction and distance back to the waypoint.

  5. #5
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    I was hoping to ride out on the trails for a couple of hours creating my own track and then to retrace my track to the parking lot. I was hoping to see my track (in colour) and with an arrow pointing my way along the track as I progress. By keeping the arrow on the route (coloured line) I would find my way back to the starting pt. If I deviate from this line (track), I want to hear some kind of noise or at least see visually that I took the wrong turn.
    I obviously have no knowledge of gps units, but this seems pretty basic to me. Am I wrong?

    Cheers,
    Mike

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchurcher1 View Post
    I was hoping to ride out on the trails for a couple of hours creating my own track and then to retrace my track to the parking lot. I was hoping to see my track (in colour) and with an arrow pointing my way along the track as I progress. By keeping the arrow on the route (coloured line) I would find my way back to the starting pt. If I deviate from this line (track), I want to hear some kind of noise or at least see visually that I took the wrong turn.
    I obviously have no knowledge of gps units, but this seems pretty basic to me. Am I wrong?

    Cheers,
    Mike
    You can do this with a smart phone. iPhone or android would both do it.

    I use endomondo on an iPhone to do this. You can even pre load routes and follow those so you don't get lost.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchurcher1 View Post
    I was hoping to ride out on the trails for a couple of hours creating my own track and then to retrace my track to the parking lot. I was hoping to see my track (in colour) and with an arrow pointing my way along the track as I progress. By keeping the arrow on the route (coloured line) I would find my way back to the starting pt. If I deviate from this line (track), I want to hear some kind of noise or at least see visually that I took the wrong turn.
    I obviously have no knowledge of gps units, but this seems pretty basic to me. Am I wrong?

    Cheers,
    Mike
    the cheapest etrex can do this. it's a common function on all hiking models, so you can spend anywhere from $100-$600+ for a new one, or less if you buy an older used model. you can "backtrack" the track you just laid down.

  8. #8
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    How about using your cell phone (with GPS of course) ? There are several apps out there that help you locate your parked car in a mall. I don't see why that won't work for what we're doing.

    -S

  9. #9
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    I'm using a Garmin Edge 200, it has a return to start function as do all Garmin GPS units. I don't understand the comment about the 800 not doing a great job. It's simply reversing your steps.

  10. #10
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    As said above, pretty well any junk GPS will do what you want. Lots of cheap or older GPS's don't work well under trees and some are available with handlebar mounts etc.

    However, backtracking isn't as useful as you would think. I have a GPS I picked up on closeout for $25. When I go somewhere new, I set a waypoint at the parking lot. I shut it off, throw it in my pack and head out. When I'm ready to head back and if I don't know what direction to go, I get the GPS out and tell it to take me back to the waypoint. I just keep following trails that seem to work for the direction I want to go.
    Assuming you have looked at a map of some sort, you should be able to work it out.
    Most times, the best way back isn't the way you got there.

    If it was real deep wilderness, I guess I'd keep it on for a track.

  11. #11
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    Back Track.

    My Garmin edge 200 is useless for any type of navigation. While it does have a return to start function it does not allow you to zoom in on the track. Basically all it does is give you a general idea of where you started. It is 100% useless for deciding which turn you should take on a trail.

    I Also have a garmin egde 305 which does a great job of helping you find the car. It automaticlly puts a flag wherever you started the ride, and then shows a dotted line of where you have been. Its accuracy is impressive, By zooming in and looking at the dotted line you can tell within 5-10 feet if you have gotten on the wrong trail. It does not alert you to an upcoming turn, but if you are following a preloaded course it will beep if you get off the course. I upload courses to my edge as well as use it know my position relitive to the car all the time and it works great. The egde 205, 605 705 and 800 should all work in the same way. I am not sure what you read about the 800 but as far as I know it works in the same way. If you get a little lost you just pull up the map screen and head in the direction of the car, or back to the dotted line. Personally I think the edge 305 is the best value in the lineup at the moment. Does alot more then an edge 200 at basically the same pricepoint.
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  12. #12
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    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by mchurcher1 View Post
    Apparently, the Garmin 800 doesn't do a good job of getting you back, so says one user.
    Where do people come up with this crap?

  13. #13
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    I use a compass... in the woods... It works...

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