Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for me, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus with GB Outdoor GPS Map (Electronics)
This is my first GPS for walking, although I've used sailing GPS for a number of years. Bought the SATMAP for our coast to coast Wainwright walk because I liked the chunky feel, button operation and the link with OS maps. I've used it on Dartmoor with the 1:50K supplied and on the coast to coast with the 1:25K C2C map [cost 30 with offer].

I've had very good satellite reception throughout - it takes a few minutes to lock but then will stay locked all day. The weather was wet in the Lakes and Dales and the satmap came through almost daily soakings with no problems. Battery life [using rechargeable battery pack] was good, lasting 8 - 10 hours with no problem. I did use hibernation mode throughout, which reduces some tracking functions.

As a long time user of compass, map and common sense I'd wondered how I would take to using digital. Brilliant. My only worry is that always being able to find out instantly where you are within a few meters may erode those hard won skills of keeping track of position.

I found it more useful than I'd expected in wayfinding. The coast to coast is mostly track walking and these are often well defined but, as always, there are places where the path choice is not obvious, the track disappears or the route is impassable. The satmap allowed us to cope with these situations quickly, easily and with certainty. It was a great comfort a few times, when the mist was thick and the wind was howling, to be able to check that we were on course.

I carried but didn't use my paper maps of the Lakes on the walk, although they were good for group planning and reminding ourselves where we had been - especially on those misty days! The 1:50k paper map was good to drag out to get an overview of the route, especially on the longer, flatter sections in Yorkshire.

On this trip I used the satmap by creating a detailed route for each day in Xpedition and then downloading to satmap - very easy to do. A word of warning; the C2C routes supplied with the 1:25K map pretty much follow the line of the rights of way marked in green. These are not always reliable and I made my own routes using Henry Stedman's book and the aerial photos on Xpedition. There is one point at Loft Beck when following the green right of way would take you up the wrong side of the beck. I have also found that some of the Dartmoor OS rights of way do not follow actual tracks on the ground. Strangely, the tracks marked on the 1:50k OS seem more accurate.

Overall a very good, practical piece of kit that saved a lot of time on a long walk. Five stars because it worked for me.

Suggested improvements for the next update.

1. Rechargeable battery caddy so that you could change batteries without unplugging - you can do this with the AA batteries but not with the supplied rechargeable. I have some very good rechargeabale AAs which may solve this, but I haven't had a chance to try them on a long trip.
2. This would also make a reset quicker if the satmap freezes. I never got a freeze when out but it did go a couple of times when I was setting up routes, and you have to disconnect power to reset. Or perhaps just a reset sequence on the buttons?
3. I was never very convinced about the compass. Being used to the usual type of pocket compass I found the jerky variation on the satmap compass didn't inspire confidence. This is probably just me.
4. Cheaper 1:25k maps!
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