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#92478 - 03/13/08 05:52 PM Looking for a hiking watch
David_b Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/05/08
Posts: 1
Does anyone have any recommendations for a good hiking/backpacking watch? I'm looking for a lightweight watch that should have: Compass, Pedometer and night-light ability etc.

I have a local REI next to me, does anyone have any experience with their watches? They seem pretty pricey.

Thanks

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#92479 - 03/13/08 07:06 PM Re: Looking for a hiking watch [Re: David_b]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I just use a cheap casio with a nite lite feature. the light is useful when getting up and finding your headlamp. beyond that, I like an alarm on it. as for compass and pedometer features, I've never had the need for that - I have a real compass with me if I'm going to need one.
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#92480 - 03/13/08 07:25 PM Re: Looking for a hiking watch [Re: David_b]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I have a fairly cheap Timex ($35 IIRC) that keeps very accurate time; also has a count down timer, stop watch, and alarm functions, as well as a compass. The compass does seem to be passably accurate, from my experiences playing with it, but I always take a real compass if the situation requires it. My watch compass is strictly backup.

Really the question is why I bother to wear my watch anymore (entrenched habits of a crotchety elder?). Both my GPS or my cell phone keep better time than my Timex, and the GPS certainly tracks distances far more accurately than any pedometer of which I am aware <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#92481 - 03/13/08 08:35 PM Re: Looking for a hiking watch [Re: David_b]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Electronic watch compasses really suck power from the battery. I use this on my strap. Zero power consumption, cheap, visible at a glance without changing screens, much less likely to fail on you. Not good for pinpoint navigation with a map but neither is a wristwatch compass.

I never met a pedometer I liked. They are marginal at best even when accurately calibrated on level ground. And when your stride changes on uneven terrain accuracy goes out the window.

I would recommend a basic, cheap, waterproof Timex with a backlight and the mechanical compass on the strap. I like the the Ironman series.

That being said, I also like my Suunto Vector but mainly because of the barometer/altimeter. And since I'm getting older the larger numbers are easier to read.

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