I need to condense the techy bits I carry, I seem to recall other threads on this if so please put me on to it.
What phone should I buy and an app just to get me Grid ref if required, don't really need screen maps. I only use the GPS for Oh sh*t moments if off course and the mobile for safety reasons. I do without both of these if abroad but family want to keep in touch here.
On a recent weeks walk I added my usual 2lbs of technology which I was not happy with (otherwise I carry only about 12lb.)- mobile, sports radio, mp 3 and chargers and spare batteries. I am a light user of a mobile at home and would probably want to buy one and continue my pay as you go.
When I have thought about his in the past the battery life of a new set up becomes critical. As I wild camp most of the time I would have to rely on resources of helpful pubs and cafes for charging.
Suggestions would be helpful.
I can recommend the OS app MyNGR which gives a grid reference and altitude height.
GPS may as well be witchcraft to me and though my blackberry has one I've never used it. In fact I don't use much of the technology on it other thn the phone & the e mail but that app is spot on.
My personal take would be that separating the functions into two units is likely to be the most practical route for light phone use and light GPS use. A smartphone (for GPS app) will have poor battery life and may well cost a lot more.
For a minimal GPS, have a look for the Garmin Gecko range: they may be discontinued but you can still get them. The 101 is fine and does what you want, but 201 and 301 do more (and may now cost no more). £60 to £80.
For a phone, a Pay As You Go deal on O2 (my personal fave network for hill reception) could get you a Nokia 100 for around £18 with 840hrs standby time and 7hrs plus talktime!
Simple is good in my book. Others may think different
Earlier (and now redundant) smartphones might be a good choice. Older Nokia phones have a good reputation for battery life, and a Nokia 5800 smartphone can be picked up secondhand on fleabay for £30-40 (get an unlocked one, or if technically-minded hack the phone, then you can use any SIM card).
As Mur mentioned above, airplane (flight) mode saves battery life - you can get 8-10 days life from a 5800 battery. With judicious use of GPS, ebook reader etc, a field battery life of 4-5 days is the norm. Third party batteries are cheap, but also variable quality - see here and here for info and good choices. With reasonable batteries at £2.75, you can take a few...
A simple app for displaying OS grid coordinates is "GPS coordinate converter" in Nokia's Ovi store here, see also here. This can be used on demand. TrekBuddy is a good & free "moving map" navigation app if you wish to upgrade at any time.
A good ebook reader is ZX Reader or Alternate Reader. Put the text to white and the background to black to save battery life, and read in the dark without a headlight! The screen is small, but it is do-able.
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