Fenix 5 (and inReach Mini)

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech' started by edh, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I've just acquired both of these and face a bit of a learning curve; ostensibly they are for a research project in the USA later this summer (with a pilot study in the Dolomite's next month).

    Just wondering for Fenix (and their ilk) users...

    How have you set yours up?
    1. Favourite widgets?
    2. 'Best' Watchfaces?
    3. Apps you like?
    4. Anything else....?

    I'm currently using Hike 2+, a ToDo app (work reminders), and the GearMin Watchface.

    Early days, the metrics it generates seem impressive.
    Some functionality is a little 'hidden' maybe?
    Just Activated the inReach.....so I'll play with that (in a serious academic manner) over the next few days..
  2. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    I've used a Fenix 3 since early 2015 now and still use it every day for running, cycling & hiking. I see no reason to update yet (although the Fenix 5X Plus is pretty tempting... ).

    To be honest the Connect IQ store never really interested me. The watch is full of metrics and what is standard on it suits me fine.

    I tried the 'Hiker' app but thought the interface was too busy and confusing. So now I just use the standard apps.

    What I like is that you can fully customize your data fields. My Hiking-app has 3 screens with 4 data fields, and the one I look at the most has altitude, sunset, current time & walked distance. The one just under that has Vertical gain, speed, sunrise & direction.

    That's it, really. My Fenix 3 is pretty boring, I have no extra widgets or watch faces. I like to keep it simple.

    Do not use Ultratrack. It's not accurate, especially not during hikes with a ton of switchbacks. My Fenix 3 lasts 15 hours in GPS-modus; I carry a small lipstick charger (3000mAh) just for the Fenix. I really like data.

    You could also turn off Glonass as it has no benefits IMO. It saves a tiny bit of battery.

    I receive my Inreach Mini tomorrow and I'm bummed that I can't control it with my watch.

    So... I need a new watch. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  3. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    i use the gearmin face day to day as it has so many metrics on one face. Its small fields though so you need sharp eyes.... not for the optically challenged


    accuweather widget is good but needs a signal to update the weather. Ive found it really accurate for predicting when rain will start and stop although if on a gixer meet its not needed :D

    I dont really use it in gps mode much but configuring data fields seems fairly intuative
  4. theoctagon

    theoctagon Thru Hiker

    I’ve no interest in the watch but liking the mini so far in my very limited 30km of testing. Setup/activation took less than 20 mins. Seems easy to use.

    With the standard tracking option (10/2) I seem to be getting around 2% battery drain/hr. A lot more testing/use needed but I don’t regret buying it, yet
    edh likes this.
  5. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I'm a fenix 3 user...love it and wouldn't be without it...untill I can afford a 5 or 6 ....
    I'll check back in later...bed time
  6. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    So, my Inreach Mini has arrived.


    It is really tiny (& really orange); standard bic for scale.


    There's some bits included; a quick start manual in a ton of different languages, a carabiner, standard micro-USB cable, a holder and a allen wrench to attach the holder.
    I'll probably won't be installing the carabiner or the holder as it will sit in the back mesh pocket most of the time.


    I'll activate mine now and have a play with it on a bike ride in the wilderness of West-Flanders this afternoon.
    Chiseller, edh and theoctagon like this.
  7. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I used that code you mentioned for the free airtime.
    I activated mine yesterday.
  8. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Doesn't it drive you nuts, being constantly tracked, monitored, measured, and 'inreach' like this?

    Whatever happened to just wandering off, and around, and about, in order to get a (little) bit lost, and thereby find ones-self?

    - Asking for a friend - who is also doing some research :angelic:
    hillwalker66, edh, JKM and 3 others like this.
  9. Arne L.

    Arne L. Section Hiker

    No, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it :D

    I just like being in touch with home. I like letting my GF know that all went well at the end of the day. And a big part of my family likes the huge 'SOS' button on the side since most of my trips are solo.

    It's comforting, in a way.

    But I think your question is fair. But to me, these 'gadgets' improve my outdoor experience.

    And I guess I might be a little bit of an analytical type of person. I like knowing how much distance I've walked or how much vertical gain I've managed. I like to blame my running background for that, where data like splits & pace are very important.

    I like looking back at my walks on Garmin Connect just as much as I love taking pictures on the trail.

    It's all a part of the experience. For me.

    And I still get a (bit) lost sometimes
  10. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    After getting lost in the woods as a kid I've been a fan of not having anywhere to be, so you can't be lost, your just where you are.

    But these days I'm the same as @Arne L. I like looking at miles covered, average speed etc I guess its what's left of my competitive spirit!
    I just use viewranger, several £xxx cheaper than a Garmin!
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  11. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    I’m not into the data but if I’m solo i definitely want a safety button. Could also be nice to be able to message for something miserable but falling short of actual SOS.
    edh and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  12. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Exactly I'm not lost...

    I know exactly where I am - right here ...

    The fact that not everyone else knows where I am... :angelic:

    Is part of the joy for some of us :o o:

    But yes, peace of mind, emergency services and so forth.. Very sensible.. One day I'll wish I had one etc.. I was 'strenuously encouraged' to get a mobile phone, long after everyone else had one.. in case I had a tractor accident when working alone... Hmmn well, that was quite clearly a mistake.:confused:

    Ah yes.. @Enzo Competitiveness.. And with whom, prey tell are you competing??
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  13. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Myself obviously, who else is there?

    I too was late to mobiles. Working alone in the woods with a chainsaw it seemed sensible. No signal of course :banghead:
    edh likes this.
  14. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Hmmn, I guess I did used to compete with myself. Endlessly attempting to better everything - it gets a bit exhausting, after a while..

    Now I s'pose I just accept me as I am, and accompany myself, on trips as an encouraging, but non-pushy friend.. Much more fun, and sociable :)

    But we'd better shut up, off of, this thread now @Enzo.. Before we get into trouble. with you-know-who.. :bag:

    Edit.. I couldn't leave two guesses just sat there... I just couldn't :angelic: - It was making my toenails feel too tight :arghh:
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  15. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Whomever that ogre might be...

    I'm all for discussion about the place and role of technology in outdoor recreation.
  16. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    The thing is, it is such a cute little thing, it looks like a Pac-Man, that justifications start to collect ...
    Fair Weather Camper and WilliamC like this.
  17. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    It is kind of cute....Paul needs to make a dedicated pouch for them with a see-through DCF window.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  18. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Oh, you know.. That sometimes grumpy guy, who gets a bit testy with folks, now and then...:D

    I've had incredulous bike shop proprietors become quite annoyed with me, because I don't carry a bike comp on multiday tours.

    How can I live with not knowing how far I've been, or how fast, or having no stats on ascent and descent...
    How will Strava survive without my uploading this data??

    I tell them that I measure my trip success, based on number of cute cows in front of sunset pictures gathered.. :cool:

    Or successful kite launches.. :)

    Sure such columns, will appear on a spreadsheet somewhere afore long..

    And shouldn't that be whomsoever? :shy:

    And of course you like a discussion around place and role of tech in recreation..:rolleyes:

    It's always good to get someone else to do the work for you;)

    Us 'plebs' are onto you academic sorts and your 'collaborative' research game :).

    It's like luring easily led folks onto 'reality' shows to make cheap TV. :geek:
  19. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Does the antenna need oxygen or will it work covered? My thought process with this was to use it tied to the phone and watch so you dont have to interact with it unless needing the sos function and it could be chucked out of the way.
  20. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    You're right @Clare.. It's too cute.

    I want one now :cautious:

    Shan't put any batteries in it tho...
  21. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    DC rain video on youtube seems to indicate you can initiate SOS via the watch too so should have no need to use the device at all.
  22. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    It will work covered; they do pretty well under medium tree cover in my experience.

    Mine will be lanyarded away somewhere...although the temptation to fit it to a shoulder strap for that 'tactical' look is strong :biggrin:

    And as above; I'll do most of the interaction via the watch or the app.
  23. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    My ironman competing mate had 'beef' with a guy who beat his record split on a local path where the tri club train. Turned out the guy was on a bike and 'accidentally' had strava set on running....
  24. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Reckon an equivalent air of 'Tactical Gnarl' could be acheived thru attaching one half of a Fisher-Price walkie-talkie set to ones shoulder strap .. :biggrin:

    On a slightly more serious note tho ..

    Isn't it possible that all this visibility / findabilty tech has led to

    a) A misplaced sense of overconfidence in the inexperienced, possibly leading to more trouble.

    b) Further economic / tech ability, exclusion from outdoor activity, for those who will somehow get the feeling that they shouldn't venture out without all this stuff?

    c) An increased need to manage expectations of those left at base camp* - just because i could interact with you 24 / 7 doesn't mean I should - or even want to ... o_O

    *Our son did a classic one of these last summer - left a plaintive little " i'm a bit lost, and cold, and hungry, camping somewhere near a fjord, my phones about to run out of juice :confuseded: but Ill get back to you tomorrow" message

    Five days, and nights, of fretting later, he finally gets in touch - having forgotten all promises to contact, and blithely wandered off elsewhere - that sorely tested the 'Cool Momma Mettle' - especially as we were ourselves, due to go south - of course - once you find out that the little darlings are not dead - all you want to do is kill them :arghh:
  25. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker


    Guys and their 'beefs' ... :biggrin:

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