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GPS on horseback

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  • GPS on horseback

    If you had a GPS device, with it's own power source, and you put "home" in when you left the trailers, if you got turned around out in the woods, and had a "signal", would it give you the direction you are supposed to go to get back to where you started?

    I'l like to be able to ride out to do photos on hunt days, hopefully get in a good position, to get some action, but not have to keep up with the group. While I'm going to try to spend some of the summer getting familiar with the territory, and I have a good sense of direction, but it would be nice to have a "backup" device if it works that way.

    I am not a techie. I do not have a smart phone. Yet.

    Please don't laugh out loud at my question.

  • #2
    Depends. A GPS device that has roadmaps may not be very useful. You can, however, get a GPS device that's meant for use by runners and hikers that will help you. They even have wearable ones!

    I HIGHLY recommend checking out recommendtions - endurance and trail people would know.

    Here's an example: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=30026&ra=true


    • #3
      Yup. The hiking ones will. I have a Garmin eTrex that is pretty easy to use/read, and I have the Garmin Foretrex (wrist model) for when I can't juggle the larger unit. Because the screen is small, it's a little harder to use/read, but picks up a signal very well.


      • #4
        There are apps on Smart phones to track your ride, but tracking back to the trailer means you'll need a cell signal.

        I'm not sure what cell coverage is like in your territories, but around me there can definitely be dead spots in the woods.


        • #5
          We have a little one that will draw where you have been so you can backtrack and I think if it were dead flat you could cut off the corner so to speak, go as the crow flies. Bear in mind you might wind up with a large hill or ravine or some other feature on your way back as the crow flies . I think for extra money we can get USGS quad maps input into it so we can see terrain.

          I wonder if there is a Google earth app - that would be great if you were somewhere with signal.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the imput guys

            It's still in the early stages, I'm hoping to get out enough this summer I won't need it.

            But could be a cool thing just the same.


            • #7
              My only concern about the cell phone GPS hiking maps is that they EAT your battery life. If you find yourself injured or stranded, that is not the time to be at 5% battery life.


              • #8
                The latest Garmin models for outdoor adventuring will fit your needs if you can afford them. They use either AA batteries or Li-Ion battery packs and use both GPS and GLONASS signals allowing for significantly improved accuracy. You can use both topographical and road maps as well as sat imagery to get wherever you want to go.
                Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


                • #9
                  not sure this is a good idea....

                  Do you have permission from the hunt to do what you are proposing? From all the landowners whose property you might cross? Remember that just because the hunt is out there doesn't mean you can be out there. Most hunts would frown upon folks just out there riding around especially for photos. You might get in the way, cause an impact on the sport, cause injury or be injured yourself. There are liability concerns too. There's a reason we are always told to "stay together".
                  My concerns are not the GPS. But if you need it; then that's another reason for you NOT to be out there. You do better to stick to a car with a knowledgeable driver who has the permissions.


                  • #10
                    2ndyrgal is a member of the Carmargo Hunt, so would have permission.
                    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


                    • #11
                      On my Android phone I use "My Tracks". It shows where you started and where you are. Like others said, if you were lost you could use the track to back track to an area that you are familiar with. The other good point was battery use on your phone. I start out with a fully charged battery and in a 2 hour+ hunt it will drain the phone down to 75%.

                      Good luck!


                      • #12
                        I ride with GPS

                        I'll take GPS with me when I ride, both recreational trail and foxhunting.

                        I have a Magellan eXplorist 610 which gives extremely detailed track information, but is a battery hog, so I save that for hunting.

                        I use the free app Endomondo for my iPhone for everyday trail riding.

                        Good stuff. Lots of fun to see where you've been and how fast you were going......


                        • Original Poster


                          I am a hunt member and I know the rules. I have not yet cleared this with the TPTB, but I think most of the members would be tickled to have pictures other than a: the backs of their heads, or b: standing still at a check.

                          I have had two shoulder surgeries and I have a lovely horse that does not mind going off on his own. Some of the country has places that I could just sit and wait and I'd likely get some lovely shots. I'm not sure I'll do much past hilltop at this point, and I thought it would be a different way to participate and come up with some lovely gifts for friends.

                          I would never ride over land or photograph anything without permission. I have a very good sense of direction, but have not hunted all the territory enough to be 100%. If the weather holds out this summer, I won't need a GPS (I've helped folks who've hunted places more than a decade find their way back, but I'm getting a little long in the tooth, and I figure if the technology exists, why not?

                          Cell phone service is a bit spotty, so I'll have to think further.

                          Thanks for the replies.


                          • #14
                            Of course, the horse has a built-in GPS that has got me home more than once!
                            "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                            • #15
                              Even without cell service "My tracks" for Android devices will record a track. It won't show you the background map which it needs cell service to download but it will allow you to backtrack.
                              Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                              Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                              Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                              • #16
                                If I download the map of the "hunted" area on my Gaia app on my iPhone I will be able to see where I have been as well as trails, roads, creeks, etc. I have used this app many times out hunting when I can't stay the whole day. I can find my way back to the trailer and get there either by the same trails, but in reverse, or by roads. I am careful to ask the Master which would be best.


                                • #17
                                  I use every time I ride or walk or run my Garmin 305. It is rechargeable. Easy to use. Goes on your wrist. The 305 is superior for picking up a satt signal under heavy cover of trees.

                                  I have on several occasions had to use the trakback feature. And sure enough, it took me right back to the trail head or wherever I started. Any time there was a turn it would beep and notify me in advance of an upcoming turn and give an arrow.

                                  I use mine for horses, biking, trail, endurance riding, running, and sometimes if we go a city walking/running and we do not know the area. I love that it tells you your mileage, speed, and time. "How far have we been?" Check your wrist!


                                  • #18
                                    I am still using my Garmin e-Trex Legend for hunting and trail riding- it must be 5 or 6 years old by now.

                                    Sometimes I'll track a whole ride, sometimes I'll just mark where the trailers are. Where I ride there generally is not cell service.

                                    Sometimes I just mark the trailer or camp location and turn it off unless I need it. Either way, I carry spare batteries just in case.

                                    When riding in a lot of places in these parts, if someone is injured in a remote area, a helicopter will only come if you can provide the GPS coordinates. Of course sometimes that means you might have to mark those and then ride to wherever you might find cell phone coverage, but that's still better than some alternatives if medical attention is needed.

                                    Mine isn't wearable, so sometimes I loop it around my neck, sometimes on saddle, sometimes in pocket, depending. It will lose satellites in woods or some tight canyons but finds itself when you emerge.

                                    Now I am thinking of an amusing tale- when hunting in Montana a group of four declared they were going in, and headed the wrong way. I politely observed that they were going in the wrong direction, the trailers were 'thataway.' They didn't believe me, after all I was as new to the neighborhood as they were, so I pulled out the GPS and showed 'em. They STILL went off in the wrong direction.

                                    Long story short, we finished our lovely day of hunting and they were NOT back at the trailers before we were. In fact they got rather panicked, tied horses up somewhere along the way and begged a passing vehicle to get them back to the trailers.