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IntensiveCareNurse "IntensiveCareNurse" (UK)
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Energizer 1Hour Battery Charger Fast-charging Accu with 4x AA 2300mAh Batteries Ref 638892
Energizer 1Hour Battery Charger Fast-charging Accu with 4x AA 2300mAh Batteries Ref 638892
Price: 20.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb charger & batteries., 4 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are extremely powerful ACCU batteries (batteries that can be topped up at any state of discharge without decreasing the battery life unlike older technology rechargeables).
The one-hour claim of the charger is 100% accurate, in fact the charging time can be actually less.
I purchased the item to provide the batteries for a Garmin handheld GPS, and the charged batteries have consistently achieved the manufacturers given run time of the GPS).
You wouldn't normally expect that to be odd, although reviews of that GPS have stated that Garmins claim of a 20 hour battery life are "exaggerated"...
Not with these batteries & charger, which I think says a lot.

PS: Shop around to get this for under 3 fivers.


Ladies 2 Tone Rectangular Silver Watch With Long 14-18cm Strap (R0121.02.2)
Ladies 2 Tone Rectangular Silver Watch With Long 14-18cm Strap (R0121.02.2)
Offered by QBD Watches
Price: 5.05

4.0 out of 5 stars Just doesn't look or feel like a very cheap watch..., 4 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My title says it all really.
This is an extremely elegant looking watch for just over a fiver.
The watch accuracy, finish & build quality have proven excellent since purchase.


Sorbothane Double Strike Insoles - Red/Grey, Size 11-12 EU 46-48
Sorbothane Double Strike Insoles - Red/Grey, Size 11-12 EU 46-48
Offered by SDA-Direct
Price: 24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made a very real difference., 4 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I walk a lot & do as a consequence suffer various foot pain issues & I purchased these to replace the thin stock insoles on a pair of decent quality new walking boots.
The difference in comfort during walking in them, and foot pain as a consequence after my walks is remarkable.
They are easy to cut to fit and it is obvious they will continue to work well for a very long time, as the rubber appears pretty durable.
I have noted the odd review stating that their thickness can turn a close fitting pair of shoes/boots unwearable because of the increased tightness. I don't doubt that if the footwear is pretty close fitting already.
These are up to 1cm thick at the heel-part (less so elsewhere), so I would say that if the footwear has even a small amount of toe-room and spare width then there should be no problem.


Garmin GPSMAP 62s + Transalpin Pro 2012
Garmin GPSMAP 62s + Transalpin Pro 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but think about how much cheaper TOPO maps can be purchased seperately., 3 Feb 2014
I have now owned this fantastic device for a few months and have walked hundreds of miles with it.
Before buying, all of the technical stuff within the reviews concerned me a little (and the odd review stating it being difficult to navigate its many functions)... All I can say to that, is please don't worry. I'm no technology genius, and it can be used by anyone to navigate straight out of the box...
Yes, there is a LOT more it can do if you want it to, and all of that does come intuitively the more you use it. I personally think that it is a mistake to buy this and try to comprehensively understand how to use it to its full from day one.
Because of this, I'm just going to discuss the essentials here & a bit about "Basecamp", the free Garmin companion software with which you can plot routes and download them to the device.
You'll have all the time in the world to learn how to use its finer functions...

It seems there are two schools of thought about GPS for outdoor pursuits... The first school states that it is almost a crime to use one either on its own or without the backup of a good map and compass... My school of thought (the second) states that although I can use a map & compass, my time off work is so sporadic that I often have to cram my walking/hiking into half or one day bat best. Navigating with maps does take more time, often necessitates pauses and is very fiddly (consulting a folded paper map in the pouring rain whilst pleasurable to many is not for everyone).
With this device I can plan & download a trip of an evening, then simply follow it on the device without missing a step or missing out on the scenery.
I do always carry a map & compass if walking in an area in which an outright device failure would put me in any danger of getting lost, but these stay firmly in my bag...
In short, if you have a busy life & walk/hike outdoors for the exercise & beauty of your surroundings, then this device will suit you more than most.

Back to the device:

DO NOT BUY THE DEVICE WITH THE PRE LOADED ORDNANCE SURVEY LANDRANGER MAPPING! Why? Because it can be legitimately purchased for as little as 22 elsewhere (you have to Google quite a lot, but it CAN be done). All you do is slide the Micro SD card into the SIM like compartment underneath the batteries. Changing to other SD maps is simply a case of changing the card. Overseas maps can also be purchased for a similar figure. I purchased he Garmin TOPO France card (entire country of quality 1:25 IGN mapping) for just 22 (Garmin direct price 279)!!! All mapping loaded into the device is visible for preparing trips on Basecamp when your device is plugged into the computer via USB. You really need no more. Please note that some SD card mapping takes up to an hour to load onto Basecamp when using it for the first time.
As a matter of interest, some reviewer worked out that to buy all of the download OS maps that you get in the Landranger mapping it would cost an equivalent of over 1000!!!
Yes, SD card mapping is certainly the way to go...

The best batteries to get IMHO are the Energiser Recharge ACCU NIMH 2300 mah. I purchased four with a fab one hour charger for 15. Without the charger they are just 5 for 4. Purported battery life is up to 20 hours, which might just be possible with these energiser cells if backlight was turned down to minimum.
The truth is that you don't really need the backlight anyway, but I haven't even bothered turning mine down, as I still honestly get over 15 hours of use with the Energiser cells as is.
The battery warning guage is a bit of a joke, though, as it shows the full full 4 bars right up to the end. Once it drops to 3 bars, then your batteries are about to go kaput. All you do is take a spare fully charged set & changing them does not even require the current track to be reset. Just pop them in & continue for another 15 hours.

Finally, what's the GPS62s like?

1) It's tough & waterproof (although it won't float).
I use a carabiner clip and para-cord to attach it to a loop on my rucksack. That way I wont lose it & it wont sink to the bottom of a deep a water feature.
2) As stated above, it's battery life isn't beatable by anything else for comparable money. This is a big plus.
3) It will always find adequate satellite reception... It even works in some buildings... Deep forest will not phase it.
4) The device itself is extremely accurate. The Landranger OS 1:50 mapping does occasionally show a slight deviance from the taken path (but not more than, say 10 metres, so it isn't confusing at all).
I am certain that this is generally the fault of the OS mapping (and not the device), as utilising the same satellites the actual path might show slightly to your left only to correct and then drift to your right as you proceed.
Most of the time, it is totally bang-on, and to expect the OS map to be consistently bang on to the nearest foot might be expecting just a little too much.
I have no doubt that the GPS is also not always on the button too, but am convinced most of the anomalies are down to the mapping.
This is just an observation, as the OS UK mapping is just incredible in its detail & really does accurately show just about EVERY right of way you could wish to take. Despite not always being pinpoint accurate, I have never had a moment to pause or doubt where I am supposed to go.
Comparable to the TOPO France mapping (which does not show absolutely all walking paths but is adequate), the OS UK mapping is unbeatable.

I know I have said loads, but I have tried to keep it simple so that first time buyers of this type of technology can have the confidence that they can at least easily get started with this great little device. I have deliberately left all of the other technical abilities out (compass, elevation plotting, distance stat monitoring, barometer, teasmaid... only joking with that one...). as those things are easily learned after buying it if needed.

Finally, a word about basecamp:

The first time using Basecamp to plot your itineraries, you (like me) might find it a little (un) user friendly. All I can suggest is that you stick with it... There are tutorials available online from Garmin, although they are not always that helpful.
Can I suggest that you forget plotting a walk or hike with "route" (create a new route), as "route" is misleading, as it will only follow ROAD contours on mapping & not paths or trails....
To be precise, it will plot the route wherever you place it, but the minute you press "create route", your hard work goes to pot as the software modifies your plotted track to follow all of the surrounding road routes.,...
Always instead use create a new TRACK, and your route will be stored and transferred to your device exactly as you plot it...
I pulled a few follicles out sussing that one out (and in association with the other odd Basecamp foible), I now however completely love the Basecamp software, which DOES become easier to use with time...
It is actually great fun plotting your itineraries (either from walk books or by constructing a totally individual route from the hundreds of available rights of way) & downloading them ready for use to your device (which will hold loads & loads...).

Talking personally, I love walking & this device has honestly improved my walking experience far, far beyond it's actual cost...
I hope that that lot is some help to someone...


Garmin GPSMAP 62s + Topo Germany 2012
Garmin GPSMAP 62s + Topo Germany 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but consider how much cheaper TOPO maps can be found seperately., 3 Feb 2014
I have now owned this fantastic device for a few months and have walked hundreds of miles with it.
Before buying, all of the technical stuff within the reviews concerned me a little (and the odd review stating it being difficult to navigate its many functions)... All I can say to that, is please don't worry. I'm no technology genius, and it can be used by anyone to navigate straight out of the box...
Yes, there is a LOT more it can do if you want it to, and all of that does come intuitively the more you use it. I personally think that it is a mistake to buy this and try to comprehensively understand how to use it to its full from day one.
Because of this, I'm just going to discuss the essentials here & a bit about "Basecamp", the free Garmin companion software with which you can plot routes and download them to the device.
You'll have all the time in the world to learn how to use its finer functions...

It seems there are two schools of thought about GPS for outdoor pursuits... The first school states that it is almost a crime to use one either on its own or without the backup of a good map and compass... My school of thought (the second) states that although I can use a map & compass, my time off work is so sporadic that I often have to cram my walking/hiking into half or one day bat best. Navigating with maps does take more time, often necessitates pauses and is very fiddly (consulting a folded paper map in the pouring rain whilst pleasurable to many is not for everyone).
With this device I can plan & download a trip of an evening, then simply follow it on the device without missing a step or missing out on the scenery.
I do always carry a map & compass if walking in an area in which an outright device failure would put me in any danger of getting lost, but these stay firmly in my bag...
In short, if you have a busy life & walk/hike outdoors for the exercise & beauty of your surroundings, then this device will suit you more than most.

Back to the device:

DO NOT BUY THE DEVICE WITH THE PRE LOADED ORDNANCE SURVEY LANDRANGER MAPPING! Why? Because it can be legitimately purchased for as little as 22 elsewhere (you have to Google quite a lot, but it CAN be done). All you do is slide the Micro SD card into the SIM like compartment underneath the batteries. Changing to other SD maps is simply a case of changing the card. Overseas maps can also be purchased for a similar figure. I purchased he Garmin TOPO France card (entire country of quality 1:25 IGN mapping) for just 22 (Garmin direct price 279)!!! All mapping loaded into the device is visible for preparing trips on Basecamp when your device is plugged into the computer via USB. You really need no more. Please note that some SD card mapping takes up to an hour to load onto Basecamp when using it for the first time.
As a matter of interest, some reviewer worked out that to buy all of the download OS maps that you get in the Landranger mapping it would cost an equivalent of over 1000!!!
Yes, SD card mapping is certainly the way to go...

The best batteries to get IMHO are the Energiser Recharge ACCU NIMH 2300 mah. I purchased four with a fab one hour charger for 15. Without the charger they are just 5 for 4. Purported battery life is up to 20 hours, which might just be possible with these energiser cells if backlight was turned down to minimum.
The truth is that you don't really need the backlight anyway, but I haven't even bothered turning mine down, as I still honestly get over 15 hours of use with the Energiser cells as is.
The battery warning guage is a bit of a joke, though, as it shows the full full 4 bars right up to the end. Once it drops to 3 bars, then your batteries are about to go kaput. All you do is take a spare fully charged set & changing them does not even require the current track to be reset. Just pop them in & continue for another 15 hours.

Finally, what's the GPS62s like?

1) It's tough & waterproof (although it won't float).
I use a carabiner clip and para-cord to attach it to a loop on my rucksack. That way I wont lose it & it wont sink to the bottom of a deep a water feature.
2) As stated above, it's battery life isn't beatable by anything else for comparable money. This is a big plus.
3) It will always find adequate satellite reception... It even works in some buildings... Deep forest will not phase it.
4) The device itself is extremely accurate. The Landranger OS 1:50 mapping does occasionally show a slight deviance from the taken path (but not more than, say 10 metres, so it isn't confusing at all).
I am certain that this is generally the fault of the OS mapping (and not the device), as utilising the same satellites the actual path might show slightly to your left only to correct and then drift to your right as you proceed.
Most of the time, it is totally bang-on, and to expect the OS map to be consistently bang on to the nearest foot might be expecting just a little too much.
I have no doubt that the GPS is also not always on the button too, but am convinced most of the anomalies are down to the mapping.
This is just an observation, as the OS UK mapping is just incredible in its detail & really does accurately show just about EVERY right of way you could wish to take. Despite not always being pinpoint accurate, I have never had a moment to pause or doubt where I am supposed to go.
Comparable to the TOPO France mapping (which does not show absolutely all walking paths but is adequate), the OS UK mapping is unbeatable.

I know I have said loads, but I have tried to keep it simple so that first time buyers of this type of technology can have the confidence that they can at least easily get started with this great little device. I have deliberately left all of the other technical abilities out (compass, elevation plotting, distance stat monitoring, barometer, teasmaid... only joking with that one...). as those things are easily learned after buying it if needed.

Finally, a word about basecamp:

The first time using Basecamp to plot your itineraries, you (like me) might find it a little (un) user friendly. All I can suggest is that you stick with it... There are tutorials available online from Garmin, although they are not always that helpful.
Can I suggest that you forget plotting a walk or hike with "route" (create a new route), as "route" is misleading, as it will only follow ROAD contours on mapping & not paths or trails....
To be precise, it will plot the route wherever you place it, but the minute you press "create route", your hard work goes to pot as the software modifies your plotted track to follow all of the surrounding road routes.,...
Always instead use create a new TRACK, and your route will be stored and transferred to your device exactly as you plot it...
I pulled a few follicles out sussing that one out (and in association with the other odd Basecamp foible), I now however completely love the Basecamp software, which DOES become easier to use with time...
It is actually great fun plotting your itineraries (either from walk books or by constructing a totally individual route from the hundreds of available rights of way) & downloading them ready for use to your device (which will hold loads & loads...).

Talking personally, I love walking & this device has honestly improved my walking experience far, far beyond it's actual cost...
I hope that that lot is some help to someone...


Garmin GPSMAP 62S - Worldwide
Garmin GPSMAP 62S - Worldwide
Price: 191.86

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but DON'T buy it with additional maps and shop around for best price..., 3 Feb 2014
I have now owned this fantastic device for a few months and have walked hundreds of miles with it.
Before buying, all of the technical stuff within the reviews concerned me a little (and the odd review stating it being difficult to navigate its many functions)... All I can say to that, is please don't worry. I'm no technology genius, and it can be used by anyone to navigate straight out of the box...
Yes, there is a LOT more it can do if you want it to, and all of that does come intuitively the more you use it. I personally think that it is a mistake to buy this and try to comprehensively understand how to use it to its full from day one.
Because of this, I'm just going to discuss the essentials here & a bit about "Basecamp", the free Garmin companion software with which you can plot routes and download them to the device.
You'll have all the time in the world to learn how to use its finer functions...

It seems there are two schools of thought about GPS for outdoor pursuits... The first school states that it is almost a crime to use one either on its own or without the backup of a good map and compass... My school of thought (the second) states that although I can use a map & compass, my time off work is so sporadic that I often have to cram my walking/hiking into half or one day bat best. Navigating with maps does take more time, often necessitates pauses and is very fiddly (consulting a folded paper map in the pouring rain whilst pleasurable to many is not for everyone).
With this device I can plan & download a trip of an evening, then simply follow it on the device without missing a step or missing out on the scenery.
I do always carry a map & compass if walking in an area in which an outright device failure would put me in any danger of getting lost, but these stay firmly in my bag...
In short, if you have a busy life & walk/hike outdoors for the exercise & beauty of your surroundings, then this device will suit you more than most.

Back to the device:

DO NOT BUY THE DEVICE WITH THE PRE LOADED ORDNANCE SURVEY LANDRANGER MAPPING! Why? Because it can be legitimately purchased for as little as 22 elsewhere (you have to Google quite a lot, but it CAN be done). All you do is slide the Micro SD card into the SIM like compartment underneath the batteries. Changing to other SD maps is simply a case of changing the card. Overseas maps can also be purchased for a similar figure. I purchased he Garmin TOPO France card (entire country of quality 1:25 IGN mapping) for just 22 (Garmin direct price 279)!!! All mapping loaded into the device is visible for preparing trips on Basecamp when your device is plugged into the computer via USB. You really need no more. Please note that some SD card mapping takes up to an hour to load onto Basecamp when using it for the first time.
As a matter of interest, some reviewer worked out that to buy all of the download OS maps that you get in the Landranger mapping it would cost an equivalent of over 1000!!!
Yes, SD card mapping is certainly the way to go...

The best batteries to get IMHO are the Energiser Recharge ACCU NIMH 2300 mah. I purchased four with a fab one hour charger for 15. Without the charger they are just 5 for 4. Purported battery life is up to 20 hours, which might just be possible with these energiser cells if backlight was turned down to minimum.
The truth is that you don't really need the backlight anyway, but I haven't even bothered turning mine down, as I still honestly get over 15 hours of use with the Energiser cells as is.
The battery warning guage is a bit of a joke, though, as it shows the full full 4 bars right up to the end. Once it drops to 3 bars, then your batteries are about to go kaput. All you do is take a spare fully charged set & changing them does not even require the current track to be reset. Just pop them in & continue for another 15 hours.

Finally, what's the GPS62s like?

1) It's tough & waterproof (although it won't float).
I use a carabiner clip and para-cord to attach it to a loop on my rucksack. That way I wont lose it & it wont sink to the bottom of a deep a water feature.
2) As stated above, it's battery life isn't beatable by anything else for comparable money. This is a big plus.
3) It will always find adequate satellite reception... It even works in some buildings... Deep forest will not phase it.
4) The device itself is extremely accurate. The Landranger OS 1:50 mapping does occasionally show a slight deviance from the taken path (but not more than, say 10 metres, so it isn't confusing at all).
I am certain that this is generally the fault of the OS mapping (and not the device), as utilising the same satellites the actual path might show slightly to your left only to correct and then drift to your right as you proceed.
Most of the time, it is totally bang-on, and to expect the OS map to be consistently bang on to the nearest foot might be expecting just a little too much.
I have no doubt that the GPS is also not always on the button too, but am convinced most of the anomalies are down to the mapping.
This is just an observation, as the OS UK mapping is just incredible in its detail & really does accurately show just about EVERY right of way you could wish to take. Despite not always being pinpoint accurate, I have never had a moment to pause or doubt where I am supposed to go.
Comparable to the TOPO France mapping (which does not show absolutely all walking paths but is adequate), the OS UK mapping is unbeatable.

I know I have said loads, but I have tried to keep it simple so that first time buyers of this type of technology can have the confidence that they can at least easily get started with this great little device. I have deliberately left all of the other technical abilities out (compass, elevation plotting, distance stat monitoring, barometer, teasmaid... only joking with that one...). as those things are easily learned after buying it if needed.

Finally, a word about basecamp:

The first time using Basecamp to plot your itineraries, you (like me) might find it a little (un) user friendly. All I can suggest is that you stick with it... There are tutorials available online from Garmin, although they are not always that helpful.
Can I suggest that you forget plotting a walk or hike with "route" (create a new route), as "route" is misleading, as it will only follow ROAD contours on mapping & not paths or trails....
To be precise, it will plot the route wherever you place it, but the minute you press "create route", your hard work goes to pot as the software modifies your plotted track to follow all of the surrounding road routes.,...
Always instead use create a new TRACK, and your route will be stored and transferred to your device exactly as you plot it...
I pulled a few follicles out sussing that one out (and in association with the other odd Basecamp foible), I now however completely love the Basecamp software, which DOES become easier to use with time...
It is actually great fun plotting your itineraries (either from walk books or by constructing a totally individual route from the hundreds of available rights of way) & downloading them ready for use to your device (which will hold loads & loads...).

Talking personally, I love walking & this device has honestly improved my walking experience far, far beyond it's actual cost...
I hope that that lot is some help to someone...
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2014 10:57 PM GMT


Garmin GPS Map62s + GB Map -
Garmin GPS Map62s + GB Map -

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but DONT buy it with the maps & shop around for best price!!!, 3 Feb 2014
I have now owned this fantastic device for a few months and have walked hundreds of miles with it.
Before buying, all of the technical stuff within the reviews concerned me a little (and the odd review stating it being difficult to navigate its many functions)... All I can say to that, is please don't worry. I'm no technology genius, and it can be used by anyone to navigate straight out of the box...
Yes, there is a LOT more it can do if you want it to, and all of that does come intuitively the more you use it. I personally think that it is a mistake to buy this and try to comprehensively understand how to use it to its full from day one.
Because of this, I'm just going to discuss the essentials here & a bit about "Basecamp", the free Garmin companion software with which you can plot routes and download them to the device.
You'll have all the time in the world to learn how to use its finer functions...

It seems there are two schools of thought about GPS for outdoor pursuits... The first school states that it is almost a crime to use one either on its own or without the backup of a good map and compass... My school of thought (the second) states that although I can use a map & compass, my time off work is so sporadic that I often have to cram my walking/hiking into half or one day bat best. Navigating with maps does take more time, often necessitates pauses and is very fiddly (consulting a folded paper map in the pouring rain whilst pleasurable to many is not for everyone).
With this device I can plan & download a trip of an evening, then simply follow it on the device without missing a step or missing out on the scenery.
I do always carry a map & compass if walking in an area in which an outright device failure would put me in any danger of getting lost, but these stay firmly in my bag...
In short, if you have a busy life & walk/hike outdoors for the exercise & beauty of your surroundings, then this device will suit you more than most.

Back to the device:

DO NOT BUY THE DEVICE WITH THE PRE LOADED ORDNANCE SURVEY LANDRANGER MAPPING! Why? Because it can be legitimately purchased for as little as 22 elsewhere (you have to Google quite a lot, but it CAN be done). All you do is slide the Micro SD card into the SIM like compartment underneath the batteries. Changing to other SD maps is simply a case of changing the card. Overseas maps can also be purchased for a similar figure. I purchased he Garmin TOPO France card (entire country of quality 1:25 IGN mapping) for just 22 (Garmin direct price 279)!!! All mapping loaded into the device is visible for preparing trips on Basecamp when your device is plugged into the computer via USB. You really need no more. Please note that some SD card mapping takes up to an hour to load onto Basecamp when using it for the first time.
As a matter of interest, some reviewer worked out that to buy all of the download OS maps that you get in the Landranger mapping it would cost an equivalent of over 1000!!!
Yes, SD card mapping is certainly the way to go...

The best batteries to get IMHO are the Energiser Recharge ACCU NIMH 2300 mah. I purchased four with a fab one hour charger for 15. Without the charger they are just 5 for 4. Purported battery life is up to 20 hours, which might just be possible with these energiser cells if backlight was turned down to minimum.
The truth is that you don't really need the backlight anyway, but I haven't even bothered turning mine down, as I still honestly get over 15 hours of use with the Energiser cells as is.
The battery warning guage is a bit of a joke, though, as it shows the full full 4 bars right up to the end. Once it drops to 3 bars, then your batteries are about to go kaput. All you do is take a spare fully charged set & changing them does not even require the current track to be reset. Just pop them in & continue for another 15 hours.

Finally, what's the GPS62s like?

1) It's tough & waterproof (although it won't float).
I use a carabiner clip and para-cord to attach it to a loop on my rucksack. That way I wont lose it & it wont sink to the bottom of a deep a water feature.
2) As stated above, it's battery life isn't beatable by anything else for comparable money. This is a big plus.
3) It will always find adequate satellite reception... It even works in some buildings... Deep forest will not phase it.
4) The device itself is extremely accurate. The Landranger OS 1:50 mapping does occasionally show a slight deviance from the taken path (but not more than, say 10 metres, so it isn't confusing at all).
I am certain that this is generally the fault of the OS mapping (and not the device), as utilising the same satellites the actual path might show slightly to your left only to correct and then drift to your right as you proceed.
Most of the time, it is totally bang-on, and to expect the OS map to be consistently bang on to the nearest foot might be expecting just a little too much.
I have no doubt that the GPS is also not always on the button too, but am convinced most of the anomalies are down to the mapping.
This is just an observation, as the OS UK mapping is just incredible in its detail & really does accurately show just about EVERY right of way you could wish to take. Despite not always being pinpoint accurate, I have never had a moment to pause or doubt where I am supposed to go.
Comparable to the TOPO France mapping (which does not show absolutely all walking paths but is adequate), the OS UK mapping is unbeatable.
Another thing I really must add is the fact that it has physical buttons and not a touch screen. I cant think of a day out walking this Winter without wearing my gloves, and having scrabbled them off just to use my touch screen mobile phone really does outline the advantage of this. Just like anything else, initial navigation of the buttons take some care so as not to hit the wrong button (ive got fat fingers), although total ease of use soon becomes second nature. Having an official tight fitting Garmin cover on mine, the plastic screen window does make the keys a little harder to feel and physically activate.

I know I have said loads, but I have tried to keep it simple so that first time buyers of this type of technology can have the confidence that they can at least easily get started with this great little device. I have deliberately left all of the other technical abilities out (compass, elevation plotting, distance stat monitoring, barometer, teasmaid... only joking with that one...). as those things are easily learned after buying it if needed.

Finally, a word about basecamp:

The first time using Basecamp to plot your itineraries, you (like me) might find it a little (un) user friendly. All I can suggest is that you stick with it... There are tutorials available online from Garmin, although they are not always that helpful.
Can I suggest that you forget plotting a walk or hike with "route" (create a new route), as "route" is misleading, as it will only follow ROAD contours on mapping & not paths or trails....
To be precise, it will plot the route wherever you place it, but the minute you press "create route", your hard work goes to pot as the software modifies your plotted track to follow all of the surrounding road routes.,...
Always instead use create a new TRACK, and your route will be stored and transferred to your device exactly as you plot it...
I pulled a few follicles out sussing that one out (and in association with the other odd Basecamp foible), I now however completely love the Basecamp software, which DOES become easier to use with time...
It is actually great fun plotting your itineraries (either from walk books or by constructing a totally individual route from the hundreds of available rights of way) & downloading them ready for use to your device (which will hold loads & loads...).

Talking personally, I love walking & this device has honestly improved my walking experience far, far beyond it's actual cost...
I hope that that lot is some help to someone...

PS: It REALLY is extremely tough. Left on car roof (in Garmin cover) and drove off. Watched it bounce down the road in the rear view mirror, thinking "thats the end of that"...
Picked it up & no damage whatsoever excepting a scuff to the metal carabiner clip that the unit comes with...
I doubt many have tested it in this fashion.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2014 11:24 AM GMT


Garmin Dezl 560 LMT 5 inch Sat Nav for Truck/Caravan with Lifetime Maps and Traffic
Garmin Dezl 560 LMT 5 inch Sat Nav for Truck/Caravan with Lifetime Maps and Traffic
Price: 246.80

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK for Towing & Trucking, with a few niggles...., 2 Jan 2014
I have now used this extensively for both car use & towing a caravan.
In the past, I have always had Garmin Nuvi's which I have always rated. This unit works pretty much the same (excepting the obvious advantage to truckers & caravaners), but with the following positives & negatives over it:

POSITIVES:

1) The lifetime map updates is pretty good, and takes some of the sting out of the price.
2) The traffic info (which works by detecting mobile phones that are closer together than the norm on routes) really does work FANTASTICALLY. Set preferences to automatically detour when jams are detected, and this unit WILL get you there more quickly. Its kind of satisfying to avoid jams whilst everyone else proceeds into the jam lemming-style.
Having this also free for the lifetime of the unit is another aspect that makes the price seem more reasonable.
3) The lane guidance is helpful.
4) There are many voices pre-loaded, including one that speaks place/road names (quite fun as well as useful, as the pronunciation is often funny).
5) The caravan/truck aspect generally works pretty well (but see below).
6) Loads ready to use pretty fast from plugging in (faster than my old Nuvi).
7) Allows exact dimensions of caravan & car to be input, although exactly how scientifically well this effects the route choice is anyone's guess.
8) Changes easily & quickly between car, caravan or truck modes.

NEGATIVES:

1) The "Points Of Interest" (POIS) are not visible generally. On every Nuvi I have owned, just press the (-) magnification button until the screen shows every POI in the area you are (supermarkets, cashpoints, fuel etc). This also works by a search by map. even if searching a locale 100's of miles away.
The Dezl shows NOTHING in this manner. If you want to find somewhere you either do a search by the exact name (Tesco, for example), or a generic search (such as "Supermarkets"). All you then get is a LIST of destinations (or destination), giving you no real idea of where it is excepting "11.5 miles East", for example.
It is just so helpful to see all of the POIS, as it quickly gives you a far better idea of what is available.
If wishing to find a campsite you know exists somewhere in a locale 100's of miles away on a Nuvi, no problem... Just centre in on the map to that locale (from wherever you are) and you will see the site. Click on it & you can then save that point of interest...
With the Dezl you are completely stuffed... It will not even list the campsite in a general or name search until you are within 40 miles of it... You could do an address search, although these are rarely particularly accurate in France (for example).
I guess the Nuvi has spoiled me here & if anyone has a cure for this, Id love to know....
2) I have also found this units POI database limited. Sometimes it just cannot find an input pub or restaurant by name, for example (all you get is a never ending hourglass symbol).
3) Some of the European data is wrong... It seems to take literally years for a new roundabout in France to get included in the Garmin French database for example. In fairness, this map data problem in France applies to the whole of the Garmin range (and possibly Tom-Tom and others too)... Having said that, the inaccuracies in France (I cannot speak for other European countries) do not cause undue problems, as you still get there safely.
The UK mapping is totally faultless by the way.
4) The final gripe... The caravan/truck avoidance seems to work exceptionally well in the UK, although (again) does tend to screw up in France (on the very odd occasion). Twice, whilst bypassing French towns I know very well in caravan mode, the unit has tried to take me down tight town centre routes, even though a wide & more direct bypass route is far more obvious & easy.
I do travel a lot in France, though & this has only happened on two occasions out of hundreds.

This is still a very good unit, and even with its foibles (and seemingly pointless backward steps in comparison to even early Nuvi's re; POIS) I am still pretty happy with it.

PS: Make sure you download the free Garmin voice "Dr Nightmare"... Pretty funny (well, at least for a while).


Brasher Hillwalker II GTX Mens Hiking Boots - Chocolate
Brasher Hillwalker II GTX Mens Hiking Boots - Chocolate
Price: 83.99 - 120.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't go far wrong with these beauties..., 2 Jan 2014
Deciding to elevate my walking hobby from the level of occasional 5 to 7 mile walks to 30 miles a week (and every week if possible), I needed some serious kit but did not want to spend an absolute fortune. Firstly I looked at the generally slightly cheaper trainer type, finding nothing for reasonable money that did not leak according to reviews on Amazon & other sites. Even the expensive stuff had more than a few criticisms ranging from water-tightness to comfort & grip, and nestled amongst even the best examples of the Berghaus brand were some tales of water ingress & lack of longevity.
I then realised that nothing but good old leather walking boots would stand a chance of surviving the punishment my 1500 mile annual regime would throw at them.
I looked at the market carefully as I had set myself a 150 limit, and Brashers consistently came up as a top choice in reviews and discussion forums, and I could find little credible criticism of the Hillwalker II GTX.
I was surprised at how lightweight they felt when I received them, although this really has not appeared to reflect on their toughness... Indeed, I have yet to find a single review complaining of a quality issue or early failure... They are a well made pair of shoes that are light to boot (sorry about the rubbish pun).
During the first 20 miles I found that the left boot caused discomfort to my shin bone, although this disappeared thereafter (once the boot had "broken in" a little and had had leather cream applied). Nothing more than I expected from a new pair of boots being used heavily & I am a wide fitting.
I have had no problems thereafter in around 200 miles of use to date.
The boots roll extremely well from heel to toe, and the are supposedly deliberately designed to provide extra toe room to allow the frontal foot bones to flex & roll naturally. I don't know about that, but there was plenty of toe room in mine which does not present a problem as the foot is firmly cradled behind the toes (so there is no movement in the boot that could conceivably cause toe crush). It is a very comfortable walking experience.
Now I know that I have only used these for 200 miles of walking so far, but that has been in the most atrociously wet walking conditions I think that I have ever experienced. I have walked wet & boggy long-grassed fields, flooded farm tracks and even crossed a ford in these beauties. They have yet to experience dry walking conditions, and for this reason I state categorically that these boot will not allow ANY water ingress unless the water level rises above the actual top of the boot... Even then the great fit (at least in my case) seems to keep actual ingress down to a bare minimum.
So in a nutshell, these are totally superb boots that I absolutely treasure, but I'll update this after a year & if they fail in any way....
I do have some confidence in them at the moment..

PS: Just a tip, but its well worth purchasing a pair of "Sorbethane Double Strike" insoles to replace the stock insoles. This isn't a criticism, as the stock ones are perfectly fine & all that you could reasonably expect. The Sorbethane insoles do however increase the comfort & minimise the risk of foot problems for high mileage walkers.


Walks to Wet Your Whistle: Circular Walks, with a Pub, in Shropshire and Along Its Staffordshire Borders
Walks to Wet Your Whistle: Circular Walks, with a Pub, in Shropshire and Along Its Staffordshire Borders
by Roger Seedhouse
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous walk book, with one or two flaws...., 24 Dec 2013
Having now completed five of the walks in this fab little walk collection, I have a great deal of praise for it.
I did expect a book that plagiarised and borrowed from many long published Shropshire walks by the likes of Ordnance Survey, the AA & the like. Not so, as these walks are highly original and clearly borne from an author who has spent a great deal of time researching routes and skilfully tying rights of way together.
My title suggests flaws, and the majority of those problems have simply come about due to the passage of time...
One of the five walks was horrendously difficult to navigate with the book alone, and I must have walked 12 miles instead of 8 because of unclear route markers, long disappeared stiles and subtley changed landscapes. This was however only painfully evident on the one walk (the one taking in the Shropshire Union Canal and the Wharf Inn), and I strongly advise that an OS map for that area be purchased before attempting it... Having said that, I did manage to finish that one eventually, with only 30 minutes of Winter daylight to spare...So it was an adventure (if at times an annoying one) regardless of my criticism.
Looking at the books credits, I have worked out that some walks must have been devised up to 25 years ago (date of sought right to publication 1988). This of course explains quite a bit.
Having said that, the other walks were completed with ease, despite the low quality maps drawn by the author (which are, in the main, still reasonably accurate).
Another problem is the fact that so many pubs have now closed down due to recession. On the walk I mentioned above, there are 2 possible pubs to lunch at... The Wharf Inn is now sadly shut, and as for the other pub (The Wheatsheaf), I was actually stood next to it when asking of its whereabouts to a local farmer... He actually laughed, saying "its behind you"! It was too... well back ten years ago that is, all now remaining a gorse covered demolition site...
If relying on the pub references (& not taking sarnies like me), please make sure you Google in advance.
The last & greatest flaw? The book construction is very weak... My copy already has a split spine and loose page chunks, as it is absolutely impossible to treat as you might a coveted book whilst sat in an armchair at home. In order to use whilst hiking along you will quickly be fighting the urge to fold the book in half (backwards along the spine... Sorry, lovers of physical books... Unforgiveable, I know!!!!). It is otherwise just far too unwieldly.
When comparing it with the seemingly immortal quality of the green OS walk books, it is absolutely miles away in terms of durability... I do suggest the simultaneous purchase of a thick and wide roll of clear adhesive tape...
I have been as critical as I could possibly be, but the fact remains that you would be mad not to purchase this book if you love walking and have easy access to Shropshire... Just one of the walks is more than worth the entire books purchase cost (even the ill fated one I have described above, which was still...erm... fun). But then theres the Worfield & Rindleford walk (for one other example). Now the memory of the beauty of that one will remain with me until I happily return to it again.
An absolutely superb compendium in a limited market.


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