Brunton Get back home GPS?

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Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 8:03 am

I think that something like this is all I need to "Get Home" in a whiteout. It is all I use my current small GPS for and this one can store 3 whole waypoints rather than the singleton of my cheap red unit
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/brunton-ge ... eId=357164

Is it worth buying for this purpose at this price?
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Zapruda » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 9:27 am

Its an interesting idea at a good price.

Do you carry a smartphone Moondog? I find the GPS more accurate and faster on my Iphone than my old Garmin etrex 30. I use the Gaia Gps app to record POIs and cant fault it.
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 10:03 am

I do but the battery life is poor so I wanted a back-up. Getting lost in the whiteout a few years back is why I bought the GPS I have, it was also $24- and takes 3AA batteries and takes forever to get a fix.
OK so I just put my name on the drop, it will make Cecile feel a little easier, she worries about me getting lost
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Zapruda » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 10:26 am

Can’t put a price on piece of mind. Let us know what you think when it arrives.
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 11:09 am

MassDrop feedback is mixed but I don't need a dedicated GPS around the Falls Creek area, what I really need and what this appears to provide well is a "Home is THAT direction" function.
I had never been disoriented totally before but falling down and having the headlamp die and not knowing which direction camp was ? That was a little disturbing, a map and compass can only do so much when you have no point of reference
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Warin » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 11:26 am

Moondog55 wrote: a map and compass can only do so much when you have no point of reference


Map and compass need to be used before you need them.
At the start of your walk ... mark the map where you started from and the time.
After some time .. use the compass to find the rough direction of travel.
After an hour use map and compass to check where you are .. should be ~2km in the direction of travel you noted.
Use landmarks to triangulate where you are and check your estimate to triangulated location.

Continue doing that and you'll get better at it.

GPS ... turn it on and enable track recording. You now have a breadcrumb trail to follow home... if your batteries don't go flat.

The GPS is much easier .. but if it goes out you still need map and compass skills.

Best to keep an eye on your location from time to time no matter which thing your using. This helps you in determining where you'll stop, or turn back for that trip.
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Zapruda » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 12:21 pm

Warin wrote:
Moondog55 wrote: a map and compass can only do so much when you have no point of reference


Map and compass need to be used before you need them.
At the start of your walk ... mark the map where you started from and the time.
After some time .. use the compass to find the rough direction of travel.
After an hour use map and compass to check where you are .. should be ~2km in the direction of travel you noted.
Use landmarks to triangulate where you are and check your estimate to triangulated location.

Continue doing that and you'll get better at it.

GPS ... turn it on and enable track recording. You now have a breadcrumb trail to follow home... if your batteries don't go flat.

The GPS is much easier .. but if it goes out you still need map and compass skills.

Best to keep an eye on your location from time to time no matter which thing your using. This helps you in determining where you'll stop, or turn back for that trip.


Reading maps is a little different in a white out, Warin. I agree with what you have said for fair weather but when you can barely see your hand in front of you, the map can become useless.

It is also very hard to measure your distance travelled when skiing as you are constantly speeding up and slowing down and never doing a consistent speed.

I absolutely think people should be able to use map and compass when out bush but sometimes a dedicated GPS/Phone/Watch works best for skiing.

My preferred method is a GPS app on phone + Suunto Ambit 3 watch to measure altitude and distance travelled. Then maps and compass as backup in case of failure.

When all else fails I drop my pack and setup the tent and hunker down. I have only had to do this twice before in a white out when I didn't have the confidence to keep going.
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 4:13 pm

Don't know about these 'get back home' GPS units. Can see how they are fine for point to point straight line flat topography routes. For more complex topography, a mapping track recording GPS unit is far far better.
Just move it!
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 22 Mar, 2018 2:05 pm

GPSGuided wrote:Don't know about these 'get back home' GPS units. Can see how they are fine for point to point straight line flat topography routes. For more complex topography, a mapping track recording GPS unit is far far better.


I tend to agree. Might be useful above the treeline however if your in a whiteout situation and there were cliffs between you and your homebase, then using the direct line 'get back' function would be fairly dangerous.

More expensive but if your after a backup to get you home in an emergency consider a Sunnto or Garmin gps watch. Most of them have a track back function where it will calculate a return route by retracing your days travels. Plus you get much better battery life, altimeter, barometer, sunrise/set info, distance walked. lap time/distance and fully featured waypointed route functions.
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Re: Brunton Get back home GPS?

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 27 Mar, 2018 7:53 am

Time to comment as it has arrived
First thing is the size, it's a squashed matchbox, tiny and light.
Calibration took a long time; almost 15 minutes because of stupid operator error I was trying to do it over the recycling bin full of scrap steel, move to the wooden fence and it was a lot easier.
It arrived with homepoint 1 set as Sydney GPO for some reason but setting a waypoint is quick and easy. For what I need it is perfect. In a whiteout all I need is the general direction of home and the approximate distance.
It isn't a GPS as such, all it does is give general directions to get you back to the point you set and for finding your way back to a tent the limited 30metre accuracy is good enough, because if you miss it in one direction you can always quarter the box and come back
13 hours of usage time is heaps as it will be stored in the bum bag and only turned on if I get turned about like last time as battery life when turned off should be enough for a week or more.
It doesn't come with a padded safety case so I will stitch one up immediately from a scrap of fleece. I think of this as a "Back-Up" just like taking a second had torch or a spare lighter/dry socks.
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