Author Topic: Cheapest way to viewing gpx routes on tour without using your phone?  (Read 4585 times)

What is the cheapest way to view gpx routes on maps without using your phone when on tour with limited charging capability?

I'm guessing a dedicated GPS unit with AA batteries, but how cheaply can you get this.

Samuel D

Don’t know, but do you need it to be much cheaper than the eTrex 20x? Because that is not just fairly cheap but good at doing what you wish. A used eTrex 20 would be cheaper and also likely good (I have this one).

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Better in fact because the 'improved' x models have a dimmer display.

But this depends on context.  If it's for surveying/browsing your route and surroundings during stops or in the evenings, a 2x1 GPS screen with uninspiring wire-frame maps simply isn't going to cut it.  You need a large phone or small tablet, or a paper map.  Conversely, for actual reliable navigation on the go, day in day out on a long tour, an Etrex can't be beat.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Print them out before you leave?
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

+1 for the Etrex 20.

Excellent for on the bike routing - you need no more - in fact always amuses me that the Garmin "touring" is, from what I can tell, far far worse than the Etrex 20 for, er, touring.

Fair point from frankie about it being a bit of fag to see the bigger picture of an evening on the Etrex 20.

For this I'd recommend an el cheap Android Lenovo 7 or 8 inch tab with OSMand plus on it. You can have your gpx rootes superimposed on the offline maps.

You can even route offline with OSMand plus and then in theory transfer them by cable to the Etrex. This can be a bit wobbly though because of power issues.

If in a friendly power and wifi friendly pub (I recommend spoons for UK wandering) you can construct extra routes on tour on a small chromebook (recently picked up a new 11.6 inch one for £99 for this job) and transferring from there to the Etrex is trouble free via USB. The Chromebook is also handy for storing a library of routes.

Also handy as in very very very rare cases the Etrex CAN appear to lose all of its waypoints and routes. They are still there though, just a screwy indexing problem. With a small laptop of some sort, and a Chromebook is fine, it's a job of not many seconds to sort the issue.

So, the good news is you don't have to spend a lot.

Save the phone for making phone calls.

In fact I think you could just take an "old fashioned" non smart phone if there are no pressing business issues.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Also handy as in very very very rare cases the Etrex CAN appear to lose all of its waypoints and routes.

I used to have that problem a lot, across three different Etrex 30s.  Since adopting a policy of putting my GPX files onto the device itself, and not onto the mSD card, I've completely eradicated the problem.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
I think the cheapest way would be to use your phone. Get a premium account to Ride With GPS – I think this costs about £5 or £10 a year. This allows you to download all the routes and maps as tiles on your phone, meaning you can view them off-line. No data costs, vastly increased battery life compared to on-line. And no need to buy or carry or charge an additional device. Your phone does need GPS signal, of course.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Get a premium account to Ride With GPS – I think this costs about £5 or £10 a year.

Premium is USD80/year or USD10/month: https://ridewithgps.com/help/compare-plans
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Also handy as in very very very rare cases the Etrex CAN appear to lose all of its waypoints and routes.

I used to have that problem a lot, across three different Etrex 30s.  Since adopting a policy of putting my GPX files onto the device itself, and not onto the mSD card, I've completely eradicated the problem.

My gpxs, waypoints and route, ARE on the device itself. I use the card for the maps. I understand that this is good practice as, apart from the issue of storage space, it allows any boot-up issues caused by a wonky map file to be sorted by taking the card out.

I do use quite an old firmware version on my Etrex20 though - maybe a newer one solved this issue but I have always been wary of system updates for all sorts of reasons.

I stress that with my unit this issue is exceptionally rare.

Get a premium account to Ride With GPS – I think this costs about £5 or £10 a year.

Premium is USD80/year or USD10/month: https://ridewithgps.com/help/compare-plans

I think they are about to implement a price increase - not sure if you have incorporated that into your figures. In truth I have never understood why anyone uses that platform's paid for options. Never been tempted by even the free functionality.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
The paid Basic also gives offline maps for $6 a month or $50 p.a. Not sure if it's worth it overall but if you're only interested in the cheapest way to store routes for a one-month or less tour, $6 is a lot less than any GPS device. Whether it's cheaper than printing out pdfs depends on your printing facilities and how many pages you'd need.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

thanks for that cudz.

In that case I'd recommend OSMand.

Free.


Unlimited offline maps for a fiver for a lifetime unless I missed something when I signed up/downloaded it from googleplay.

Seem to remember that a year or so ago they were even doing it for half price.

You can even do routes offline - I have done it atent.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Seconded.  Does fail spectacularly on the 'not using your phone' aspect, unless you bring some other Android along for the purpose.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Get a premium account to Ride With GPS – I think this costs about £5 or £10 a year.

Premium is USD80/year or USD10/month: https://ridewithgps.com/help/compare-plans

I think they are about to implement a price increase - not sure if you have incorporated that into your figures. In truth I have never understood why anyone uses that platform's paid for options. Never been tempted by even the free functionality.

No, the prices are staying the same but they're moving some features from the free and basic plans to the premium plan. Thing like the advanced planning tools (currently basic plan), and adding POIs and customised cuesheets (currently free).

I can see why some people pay for it (especially the offline map functionality), but I'm happy with the various free utilities (although many suggest a donation) and getting my hands dirty myself.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Seconded.  Does fail spectacularly on the 'not using your phone' aspect, unless you bring some other Android along for the purpose.

PST, whisper it quietly Kim, I do not use a smartphone.

I take an android 7 inch tab.

I do take a phone but that is spectacularly incapable of plotting routes - it's an old fashioned phone with a mega battery life. Very good at making phone calls though.

all the best

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
+1 for the Etrex 20.

Excellent for on the bike routing - you need no more - in fact always amuses me that the Garmin "touring" is, from what I can tell, far far worse than the Etrex 20 for, er, touring.

Having played with cycleman's Edge Touring, I came to the conclusion that the "make me a circular route from here" feature was pretty nifty, and it has Edge cycling-specific features that the generic outdoor models lack, but otherwise agree.

The whole concept of starting and stopping recording, for one thing.  Handy on a race track, but a liability for recording audax/touring rides.  And don't get me started about internal batteries...

I've yet to see anything that's markedly better than my eTrex 30.  Everything Garmin have come up with since seems like a retrograde step (touchscreens!), and the other manufacturers seem to be mainly competing with the Edge.  Humbug.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
thanks for that cudz.

In that case I'd recommend OSMand.

Free.


Unlimited offline maps for a fiver for a lifetime unless I missed something when I signed up/downloaded it from googleplay.

Seem to remember that a year or so ago they were even doing it for half price.

You can even do routes offline - I have done it atent.
That does sound interesting. Going to have to investigate.  :thumbsup:
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
I take an android 7 inch tab.

I do take a phone but that is spectacularly incapable of plotting routes - it's an old fashioned phone with a mega battery life. Very good at making phone calls though.

I used to use this approach, but since I don't really do phone calls, my old-fashioned phone really needs to be able to do useful basic communications things like IRC[1] and email, as well as just SMS.  The Nokia E52 was brilliant (smart enough to be useful, dumb enough that it fitted in your pocket and the battery lasted forever), until Microsoft killed off some server that it turns out the email app depended on, even when configured to use an arbitrary IMAP account.

Now I use an older Android phone that's increasingly underpowered for modern apps and has okay-for-a-smartphone battery life, and a tablet with a proper keyboard for more serious communication and map type stuff (a combination of Viewranger and OSMAnd for just-in-time planning, with occasional dips into Google Maps for things like finding shops).


[1] Barakta and I use IRC the way hearing people use voice calls.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
We had a little Garmin discussion on yesterday's ride. I have an Etrex 20 and I'm very happy with it. My only criticism it its name makes me think of 1970s margarine! Someone else had an Edge – not sure which model but it's a quite common, small white one. It's had two "screen bleeds" in slightly less than the time I've had my Etrex. And there was an Edge Touring, which looked impressive to me due to its larger screen (smartphone size!), but the owner wasn't impressed with its mapping, which seems a major letdown,  or its touchscreen. And as Kim says, running on AA batteries is a big plus when touring.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

  And don't get me started about internal batteries...


oh go one Kim - kill kill :)

too many folk still fall for them.

thanks for that cudz.

In that case I'd recommend OSMand.

Free.


Unlimited offline maps for a fiver for a lifetime unless I missed something when I signed up/downloaded it from googleplay.

Seem to remember that a year or so ago they were even doing it for half price.

You can even do routes offline - I have done it atent.
That does sound interesting. Going to have to investigate.  :thumbsup:

You can try it for ever for free as I understand it - just a limited number of areas you can download.

Paying allows you to download everything. Though you wouldn't have it all loaded up at the same time.

The maps can be updated every month.

There is an additional payment if you want to download OSM map updates every day or whatever but I can't think why you would want/need to do that. You're  supposed to be out riding :)

Also additional payments for other stuff but it's all stuff I don't need/really want.

The interface can be a bit odd but there's a wealth of stuff in the POIs**. You can import your own gpx route files to show up offline. And you can also import your own POI files to show up offline - I have done that with a list of spoons thanks to a tool a friendly whizz on here provided for extracting the file from the spoons file (they no longer offer a gpx).

** you can even (and I must remember how to do it) search for and superimpose on the map showers. And I think it maybe shows the opening times of toilets in some entries. By the by, and I really really cannot remember how I discovered this, it will even show "brothels" on the map as a separate category.


Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Going back to the question of RWGPS's popularity, I think two reasons are that because it allows you to select a variety of different maps (and mix and match mapping within one route) it is flexible in its routing algorithms, and that it makes sharing routes easy.

Going back to the original question of viewing routes without a phone, if you do go for the option of planning at home then printing out on paper, a good one to use is cycle.travel, which is made by a cyclist!
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Going back to the question of RWGPS's popularity, I think two reasons are that because it allows you to select a variety of different maps (and mix and match mapping within one route) it is flexible in its routing algorithms, and that it makes sharing routes easy.

I use the ridewithgps planner quite a bit, particularly for longer rides. The main reason being that it seems to understand ferries. The strava route planner doesn't in this regard, which is a right pain... But then round here ferries exist a bit like bridges in many parts of the world. I used 2 on yesterdays BRM300, and that's quite low for a long ride.

I wish it had more route planning options tho, things like "avoid gravel", and surprisingly for a cycle route planner "avoid stairs" On a ride in Belgium I discovered much to my surprise that the bridge over one canal was infact a foot bridge with stairs both sides (with gutter for bikes). It was an official cycle route, but I'd hate to have met it on anything other than an upwrong. Last week on a 200k DIY I found a stair case on the cycle path that ride with gps had routed me down, fortunately I didn't find it at speed...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless

Quick question for the etrex users, do the 20, 30, and edge tours etc... have silly limits on number of track points in a GPX track? The 250 point limit on my etrex 10 is a right utter pain in the arse.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol

Quick question for the etrex users, do the 20, 30, and edge tours etc... have silly limits on number of track points in a GPX track? The 250 point limit on my etrex 10 is a right utter pain in the arse.

J
Don't know. Can check later. Never encountered any problem.

As for Strava and ferries, Strava's not particularly good as a route planner anyway.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)