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The new Garmin inReach SE+ (yellow) and Explorer+ (orange) are best described as conventional handheld GPS units with satellite text messaging.

Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+

The new inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ were announced days after the New Year, immediately prior to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Last week I was able to inspect them first-hand and discuss them with representatives at Outdoor Retailer (OR). The original manufacturer of the inReach, DeLorme, was purchased by Garmin a year ago. So […]

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The Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, which has an optical wrist-based heart rate monitor. Sorry for the file photo -- I forgot to snag a photo during my press meeting with them.

Preview: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR, plus Ambit development plans

Suunto had one major product release, the Spartan Sport Wrist HR. And I learned of future development plans (or, more accurately, non-plans) for the Ambit collection. Spartan Sport Wrist HR The first GPS sport watch with a wrist-based heart rate monitor was the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, which was announced 12 months ago. But according […]

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The 5X has an over-sized full-color display with pre-loaded 100k-scale topographic maps.

Preview: Garmin Fenix 5, 5S, and 5X (with maps!) GPS sport watches

The fourth generation of Garmin’s Fenix GPS sport watch will replace the current Garmin Fenix 3 and Fenix 3 HR. Release date is March 2017. There will be three models: the Fenix 5S, 5, and 5X. You might be asking, What happened to the Fenix 4? The rep did not go into details, but referenced (completely seriously) the […]

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Ascending the snowfield on Thunderbird's north ridge. So long as the snow has not frozen hard overnight, it could be done comfortably in trail runners. But the precipice below the run-out is good motivation to wear crampons.

Notes for next time: Gear, logistics, & snow travel || Glacier Divide Route

For my next trip on the Glacier Divide Route, what should I remember from this past one? Logistics The drive to Glacier National Park from Colorado is intimidating — about 15 hours, depending on the final destination. But it wasn’t terrible, and it’s eye-opening to know that I can reach Glacier in 1.5 days even if I’m […]

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An oriented map, done in a few different ways. Normally I rotate the bezel to TN/0 degrees, then line up the edge of my compass (or the meridian lines inside the bezel) with the edge of the map. As a cheat, you can use grid lines on the map, but this will be slightly less accurate.

Map & Compass: Adjust for declination & orient the map

Backcountry navigation is an art. The basics can be learned quickly, like dead reckoning, reading a map, and using an altimeter watch. But extensive practice is necessary to seamlessly and flawlessly apply these skills in the field, especially when under duress or in challenging situations, like off-trail in a heavily forested area with rolling hills. […]

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The Suunto Ambit2, displaying my altitude, vertical gain, and vertical loss during a run.

Long-term review: Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch || Training + navigating revolution

It’s rare that a product radically changes my outdoor experience or gear systems. I include the Therm-a-rest NeoAir, SPOT Satellite Messenger (long-term review), and Trail Designs Sidewinder (gear list) on this list, as well as the the Suunto Ambit GPS watch, which is the subject of this long-term review. In short, the Ambit helped take my […]

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The Suunto Ambit2

Family tree: Key differences among Suunto GPS watch generations and models

Last updated: January 11, 2017 Suunto has released twelve distinct GPS sport watches, beginning with the original Ambit in 2012. This number does not include additional bezel, glass, and color configurations. Because older watches are still being sold, and because new watches will likely be introduced, I thought it would be useful to explain in […]

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