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Distance hiked .......... in feet, yards, etc.


Newbie here.

Other than a Garmin hanging on the windshield of my vehicle for the past four or five years, I am totally new to the GPS world. Also, I do not own a smart phone as we have zero cell service at our home location (do have a cheap Trac Phone).

So, my wife and I do a lot of hiking on public trails. We are interested in "distance hiked" with zero interest in anything else that might be offered with any GPS device.

Question (which seems the answer is elusive): do GPS units show distance walked/hiked as we are hiking [on the spot]? If so, what is the increment(s)? Is such a feature available on all models?



  • sussamb 941 Points
    edited December 2017
    Basically yes. As for increments it depends, but most after a mile increment in 100ths of a mile.

    Equally there are phone apps that do the same. Note smart phones don't need a cell signal to do so as they work off GPS satellites, although I note you don't have one anyway.
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    There are a variety of reasons why the "distanced hiked" number can be inaccurate. This has been the subject of many discussions here and elsewhere. If you're serious when you say that's the ONLY feature you want, you might look at pedometers instead of GPS. I see a bunch of different ones in the $5 to $20 price range at WalMart (for example).
  • Yep, in my searches I come to the conclusion that the distance hiked is not always correct, such as going and back down a mountain.

    Interestingly, in 2014 and 2016, on two long road trips to Alaska, vicinity and return (almost 12,000 miles each time) the Odometer on my Van and the GPS were very close to the same. If I remember correctly, the difference in 2014 was only 17 miles and seems 33 miles for 2016. That is quite accurate over such a along trip.

    Well, for our purposes, we don't need or want anything fancy. We're not doing geocaching, point A to Point B, etc. We'll never be off the trail or spending a night out. We just do a lot of weekend hiking and was hoping a hand held GPS would provide the info. Many trails have signs indicating the distance to a particular view point or point of interest.

    In times past, I've carried my car GPS which records in 1/10 miles.

    Anyway, thanks for the responses ....
  • Boyd 2027 Points
    A Garmin eTrex 10 would be about the cheapest thing they offer. It is very basic and can't load maps. Looks like Cabela's has it on sale for $70 (costs $110 if you order it directly from Garmin).
  • Boyd,

    Yeah, I saw the eTrex in eBay and then done a Google search... seems it might be in the ball park.
  • alanb 557 Points
    edited December 2017
    I have been using my Oregon 550 to measure distance and speed on biking trails. I have found it to be very accurate, although the average biking speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour would probably give more accurate distance measure than you would get at hiking speeds. One thing I like about the Oregon is that in addition to measuring speed and distance, I can also measure and plot the elevation profile of the trail using the barometric altimeter.
  • sussamb 941 Points
    Adding to that I've had an Etrex 20 for years, that too I find very accurate. I've done a number of long distance walks, twice doing one that is 268 miles. Both times my GPS was only out by a couple of miles which in 268 I find acceptable.
  • alanb 557 Points
    Wow sussamb, 268 miles! That is a long hike. How many days did that take?
  • sussamb 941 Points
    edited December 2017
    Just over 14, 15th day's hike was just 9 miles ... first time I did it I had 27 miles on the 15th day so did it quicker this year :)
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