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GPS sport watch settings for road running races & the Boston Marathon

By Andrew Skurka / April 24, 2017 /

A GPS sport watch like the Suunto Ambit3 Peak and Garmin Fenix 5 offers pace, distance, heart rate and other data on a current, average, cumulative, and lap basis. I consider my GPS watch an indispensable tool for training and racing, especially in longer events like marathons and trail ultras, when early on I need…

Preview: New Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+

By Andrew Skurka / January 15, 2017 /

Garmin announced two new inReach devices shortly after the New Year, immediately prior to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES): inReach SE+ inReach Explorer+ 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 the inReach+…

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

By Andrew Skurka / January 13, 2017 /

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…

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

By Andrew Skurka / January 12, 2017 /

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. The three models vary in both size and features: Fenix 5S Fenix 5 Fenix 5X You might be asking, What happened to the Fenix 4? The rep did not go into details, but…

Win the GaiaGPS app for Android or IOS || Holiday Giveaway #5

By Andrew Skurka / December 12, 2016 /

We’re getting close to the end, today and then a final grand prize tomorrow. Good luck! Yesterday’s winner Congrats to Bill R, yesterday’s winner of the Platypus Platy Bottles. Today’s giveaway With the GaiaGPS app, my smartphone has the same functionality as a conventional handheld GPS unit. In many respects a smartphone-as-GPS is an even better system:…

Altimeter watches: Made obsolete by the GPS sport watch?

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2016 /

For over a decade I wore daily an altimeter watch like the Suunto Core, also known as an ABC watch because most models feature a barometer and compass, too. My favorite was the now-discontinued Highgear Summit, which had the three basic functions, plus a stopwatch with 100-lap memory, easily navigable screens, oversized type, and quick-glance…

Long-term Review: Suunto M-3G Global Compass || Fast, adjustable & ultralight

By Andrew Skurka / November 28, 2016 /

If I only occasionally needed to “find north” to roughly orient a map or to follow a short bearing, a basic magnetic compass like the Silva Starter would be sufficient. But I rely more heavily on my compass than that, since I often backpack in low-use areas where signage is unreliable and trails can be intermittent, as…

GPS sport watch settings & displays for backpacking

By Andrew Skurka / August 2, 2016 /

Most backpackers wear a simple watch, an altimeter watch like the Suunto Core, or no watch at all. My pick, however, is a GPS sport watch. In this post, I will explain how I customize the watch’s settings and displays for backpacking trips. The case for a GPS sport watch I used a simple watch…

Map & Compass: Adjust for declination & orient the map

By Andrew Skurka / July 16, 2016 /

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.…

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

By Andrew Skurka / July 9, 2016 /

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…