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Pedometers?


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Now I know there are a ton of pedometers out there, and I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but I know there is a wealth of info out there in all you guys.

 

I'm looking for a pedometer that actually works. Not something that is only good for flat walks. I know I could use my GPSr to measure distance but that would be a pain if the hike I'm on has a bunch of switchbacks.

 

Can anyone recommend a reasonably priced unit that will work on "hilly" hikes?

 

Thanks

OG

 

Prophetically Challenged (or is that Pathetically?)

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Ok then. I looked around and found that there is no such animal! Pedometers measure stride and stride changes significantly when you hike uphill. (At least mine does!) So maybe what I need is a self-tracking device! icon_biggrin.gif

 

The reason I'm interested in this is because, dern it, I just want to know haw far I've actually walked! In the last couple of weeks I've hiked a couple of caches that both claimed they were approx. 2.5 miles one way. One of them I did in 40 minutes, the other took 1 and an half hours. Now I've averaged my hikes, and depending on terrain, (and even including short breaks), we average about a mile per 30 mins. (that average is from hikes with posted signs of trail length.)

 

Now I add in the aspect of "finding a cache".

Maybe I'm different, but I almost always enter the "kill zone" with the thought of finding it right off. Most of the time I don't. I never check the time when I start the hunt. So you can see how this alters my old hike method of timing my hikes. (Never trust a timing method, I'm a result of a bad timing method! icon_biggrin.gif)

 

I guess I'll have to resort to those rosery-type pacing beads. I just thought that, since we've been on the moon and all, that there would be some sort of technology out there for this purpose. *sigh*

 

OG

 

Prophetically Challenged (or is that Pathetically?)

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I'm confused. What exactly will a pedometer do for you that your GPSr won't do? Both measure distance travelled, but the GPSr does it more accurately. It also has a clock built in so you can easily time your hikes, as well as a speedometer so you can measure your point-to-point and average speeds... icon_confused.gif

 

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Pehmva!

 

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GPSr can track your distance traveled, but I think that if/when you lose the signal, the gps won't track the distance you walk when its gone.

 

At least mine won't credit distance back when the signal returns.

 

As far as Pedometers go... try www.pecentral.com do a search for pedometer and you will get some links. Go to the Pedometry link then "ask the experts".

 

You can ask them your question there. I'm pretty sure they won't make you sign up or anything to ask your question.

 

Make sure you let us all know if you find what you want.

 

"Sometimes you are a very large fool Perrin Aybara. Quite often in fact." Annoura Sedai (Book Nine of The WoT)

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I have a Sport Trac Pro, it does give me distance, but it's "as the crow flies". I'm not a crow, (born in the year of the rabbit, I think), a lot of the hikes around here, (that I'm interested in doing), require a lot of uphill climbing. If I waypoint where I start and look when I end, I get a satellite view of distance. Not an actual walked distance. Most of the trails here are not marked on maps that are downloadable to my unit.

 

Am I missing something here?

 

 

OG

 

Prophetically Challenged (or is that Pathetically?)

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Doesn't the Sport Trac have a tracklog or routes that you can save to show the distance travelled whether you walk in circles or a straight line. Most pedometers are highly inaccurate because they try to measure your stride and if you hike up and down hills or do not maintain a steady pace, it will not be accurate. Your GPS is much better at this. Take it out on a track sometime and see for yourself.

 

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The adventures of Navdog, Justdog, and Otterpup

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quote:
Originally posted by Og's outfit:

I have a Sport Trac Pro,


 

Having a basic yellow Garmin eTrex myself, I don't know about the Sport Trac's features, but I have to imagine it has an odometer!

 

My eTrex displays actual distance travelled (as long as it has sats--crow flight when if they're lost), top speed, average spd., current spd., trip duration among others...

 

I've used it to brag about how fast I've found caches, recorded the mileage my 73 year old father skied at Vail (25 miles a day), and check actual walking distance to caches versus crow flight to rate 'em.

 

I'm guessing a quick check of the manual, or another Sport Trac owner should reveal all!

 

HTH,

 

Randy

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My wife uses a pedometer for walking around the city and sometimes she uses it when we cache. If you are busy using your GPSr for all the various other things you're monitoring while caching and don't want to have to think about another extra, a pedometer can be a pretty handy extra.

Willow's has a clock so it lets you know how long you walked along with how far, how many strides and also hers has a calorie counter (because that's something she's interested in knowing about).

They are not the most accurate things in the world as they are dinging a counter when it senses a certain type of motion, for instance riding in a car or bus dings it the same way it dings for walking. So you have to keep a close eye on when you set and re-set it, etc.

 

Team Kender - "The Sun is coming up!" "No, the horizon is going down."

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My eTrex has a built in odometer. I've found it to be pretty accurate. I've compared it to published trail lengths and it's usually within 1. or .2 mile of what is published. I imagine the Sportrak has one as well.

 

A pedometer won't work well for hiking, unless you're only walkinbg on flat ground

 

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day" - Dave Barry

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Originally posted by Og's outfit:

I have a Sport Trac Pro, it does give me distance, but it's "as the crow flies".

 

If you go to the "position screen", then click the menu button, highlight "reset trip", and then "Yes" to confirm, you will start at 0000.00 on your trip odometer. Do that at the beginning of your hike, and it will track the distance you travel, not just "as the crow flies". (directions also start on pg 32 of the manual at the bottom of the page. I have the SporTrak Map, and it says on the cover it's the same user manual as the Pro) I find the manual hard to use, and have figured out half of the features without it, but I also find the manual easier to understand once I know the GPS better. Bass-ackward, I know, but that seems to be the case for me!

 

"I'm 35 Years old, I am divorced, and I live in van down by the river!" - Matt Foley

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As someone ealier posted about the eTrex, the Meridians (and I assume SporTrac) will use straight-line distance when there is signal loss. Otherwise, it does a good job of recording the true distance traveled.

 

stunod_sig.gif

"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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quote:
Originally posted by Og's outfit:

I have a Sport Trac Pro, it does give me distance, but it's "as the crow flies". I'm not a crow, (born in the year of the rabbit, I think), a lot of the hikes around here, (that I'm interested in doing), require a lot of uphill climbing.


When the sample rate is high, the trip meter odometer is pretty darn accurate (certainly way more accurate than any pedometer). However, to get a more accurate reading, it's entirely possible that MapSend takes into account changes in elevation when determining distance from a track log. If not, I'm certain one of our kick a$$ geocaching programmers could come up with a program to do so. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Now you got me wondering. Does the trip meter take into account elevation change? No reason for it not to...

 

--Marky

"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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The SportTrak has a trip odometer that is actual distance traveled as well, not just as the crow flys. It's the fourth screen past the screen that shows you what satelites you are aquiring. Down @ the bottom it says trip odometer and is the true distance the GPS has traveled. If you hit menu form this screen the 4th command down is to reset the odometer.

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quote:
Originally posted by Cruzin!:

I'm confused. What exactly will a pedometer do for you that your GPSr won't do? Both measure distance travelled, but the GPSr does it more accurately. It also has a clock built in so you can easily time your hikes, as well as a speedometer so you can measure your point-to-point and average speeds... icon_confused.gif

 

--

Pehmva!

 

Random quote:

http://sthomas.net/sigimage.php


 

Because when you walk with a GPS it measures your distance from a specific point... If you twist and turn it doesn't tell you how far you actually went... It's more of an "as the crow flies" measurement.

 

 

*has had a pedometer for 2 years and hasn't taken it out of the packaging yet*

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Hi All, icon_razz.gif

 

...the discreptencies with pedometers in general are very real...Pedometers don't work accurately unless you using one on flat ground (as many of you have already stated)...and you also must keep your stride length consistent for the duration of the entire trip(which you have also stated).

 

Marky hits the nail on the button when he says that gps units should not only measure distance travelled from point A to B using pre-programmed waypoints but also measures your virtual distance travelled simultaneously as you are in the process of moving the unit through space. Now his real point comes when explaining that handheld gps units with map download, and map reading capabilities, and more specifically topomap reading capabilities which if in effect you are travelling in an actual area on the planet for which you have a digital map of already installed into the gps units hard drive, then maybe the gps would also simultaneously actually take into account your elevation differences as you are moving the unit through space. But then again the accuracy with which it will measure your distance travelled will only be as good as the topo map....depending on what scale it is...you would need at the very least a 1:10,000 scale topo to even start being accurate within 50 meters(maybe if your lucky). The question is: if you are rock climbing up a 90 degree wall...would it still record the ditance travelled, from where you started to climb until you ended your climb. The Satelites signals available for civillian use will not be able to perceive elevation diretly(or at least i do not believe that we have it as a feature..yet)...unless you have a digital altimeter working hand in hand with the original gps software. Then and only then may you have a much more accurate system for effectively recording divided distances and total distance travelled. Wether or not you are trying to reach a pre-programmed way point, or just walking around and trying to lose yourself, without having any particular destination in mind and therefore without any pre-programmed destinations in your unit!

 

Does anyone know of any other discreptencies while using either pedometers...gps units inacurately measuring your distances?

 

TheCartographer

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quote:
The Satelites signals available for civillian use will not be able to perceive elevation diretly(or at least i do not believe that we have it as a feature..yet)...unless you have a digital altimeter working hand in hand with the original gps software.

 

Elevation is calculated on a civilian GPSr...it's error is much worse than horizontal position, but it's there. I have no idea if it is used in the odometer calculation, though.

 

stunod_sig.gif

"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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quote:

Because when you walk with a GPS it measures your distance from a specific point... If you twist and turn it doesn't tell you how far you actually went... It's more of an "as the crow flies" measurement.


 

I'm sorry Fly46, but I think you are mistaken about how the trip odometer on a GPS works. You are correct, that the distance indicated between the unit and the destination is the "crow flys" distance. The distance on the trip odometer indicates the actual "along the route" distance travelled by the unit since the odometer was reset.

 

I have always wondered, if you walk along swinging the unit back and forth, if it logs the actual distance the unit has traveled in space, or just the route distance. I suppose there is some minimum displacement that must take place before a distance is calculated and added to the total.

 

Aladin Sane

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quote:
Originally posted by Aladin Sane:

quote:

Because when you walk with a GPS it measures your distance from a specific point... If you twist and turn it doesn't tell you how far you actually went... It's more of an "as the crow flies" measurement.


 

I'm sorry Fly46, but I think you are mistaken about how the trip odometer on a GPS works. You are correct, that the distance indicated between the unit and the destination is the "crow flys" distance. The distance on the trip odometer indicates the actual "along the route" distance travelled by the unit since the odometer was reset.


 

To expand on this, the Garmin's "Trackback" feature WILL give you the actual mileage along the track, not just as the crow flies. The only time it gives "as the crow flies" is when providing distance to a waypoint.

 

In answer to the odometer across verticle question, I can tell you the speedometer is affected by elevation change. Ski faster down a much steeper slope and you won't find a much greater increase since the perceived horizontal distance travelled is reduced! (Which'll make it that much harder to ski over 50 mph...)

 

Enjoy,

 

Randy

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Not sure why some folks don't understand how a tracklog records distance traveled. I keep my GPS in a pouch on the shoulder strap of my backpack and it always keeps a consistent sat lock, and therefore a good tracklog. The topic about elevation change and distance travelled was dicsussed a long time ago on this thread and Bob Renner had a good explanation of how elevation change relates to distances travelled. Seemed reasonable to me.

 

19973_600.gif

The adventures of Navdog, Justdog, and Otterpup

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Ok, kids......Here's my analysis.... I was right there Is a wealth of info out there!

 

I went on a hike today that was supposed to be about 1.5 miles. I re-read my manual, like a couple of you nudged me to do. I re-set my trip odometer at the beginning, (the one I thought was just "as the crow flies"), I got to the cache site and BOOM! trip odometer said 1.3 miles! Oops I forgot to say that from the start, the cache was under a mile from the trailhead).

 

So as it turns out, I already have the best "pedometer" out there. What I don't have is a unit that has a manual that a explains it's capabilities in a format that a normal dolt can understand.

 

Thank you all for responding, I've learned a lot!

 

OG

 

Prophetically Challenged (or is that Pathetically?)

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When I download my track into MapSource (GPS V is what I have) I can look at the track log and compare to the map and see when I started and where. I can also see my track to see where it is I put the GPS V back in the backpack and started hunting for real. I also can then run the ruler over the track line and measure the distance fairly accurately, even if I lost lock and the track line 'takes a shortcut'

 

supermoe

 

"Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

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quote:
As far as Pedometers go... try www.pecentral.com do a search for pedometer and you will get some links. Go to the Pedometry link then "ask the experts".


 

I e-mailed and asked my question. Here is the response I received:

 

OG, in order for a pedometer to do this and do it accurately, you would need

to maintain the same stride length for every step that you take during your

hike. This probably won't happen if you are on varied terrain.

 

A pedometer calculates distance based on number of steps taken and the

stride length that you enter into the unit. If each of your steps isn't the

same length, then you would need to change the stride length in the unit for

each step you take in order for the unit to calculate correctly.

 

Remember--a pedometer calculates distance; it doesn't measure it like a

measuring wheel. A pedometer's core function is step counting.

 

--

Teresa Vollenweider

President

NEW LIFESTYLES, Inc.

5900 Larson Ave.

Kansas City, MO 64133

USA

Telephone: 816-353-1721

FAX: 816-554-1997

teresa@digiwalker.com

http://www.digiwalker.com (pedometer review) and

http://www.new-lifestyles.com (online catalog)

 

 

I just thought I'd pass this info on.

 

OG

 

Prophetically Challenged (or is that Pathetically?)

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I have a SporTrak Pro, and I use a cheap digital pedometer as well. Yes, your stride varies during a hike, but it varies both ways, both longer and shorter depending on the terrain. Overall, they are quite accurate. My pedometer and my GPS are seldom more than .01 miles different, even after several miles of hiking.

 

The key is to set the pedometer's stride length accurate. I measured out 100' with a tape measure. Then I walked it at a pace just slightly slower (shorter stride) than my normal walking speed. I figured that this would help compensate for shorter strides in rough terrain. I walked this several times, counting my strides, and averaged them. Then divided 100 by the number of strides to come up with my stride length.

 

We don't stop playing because we grow old...we grow old because we stop playing!

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If your GPSr isn't accurate, carry a large spool of rope. Tie it to your car and unroll it as you go. When you make a turn, put a stake in the ground to keep the rope in place. If you start off with a known length of rope, you'll know exactly how far you've travelled when it runs out. Carry enough rope for the expected distance of the hike, or you'll have to roll it up partway through your hike and start over. icon_biggrin.gif

 

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