GPS observation,/dumb question.

Playing with the Etrex yesterday. Turned it on , put it in my pocket,started walking . Took it out 10 minutes later and it thought we hadn’t moved. Apparently , it has to ‘see’ the sky?

I felt a little silly hiking with it in my hand. Do they make GPS mounts for hats?

They are picky
Mine works in a shirt or jacket breast pocket, and in the outside pocket of a backpack. But like you said, if it can’t see the sky, it might not work.

Now a hat mount would be a great visual!

It’s hard to see with

…your eyes closed too.

Yup! Thaar be a GPS…
dat yer kin’ mount on yer noggin. Ah’ built one a couple of years back, works a’mighty good too.


Its a real case for
a GPS case like mine that clips to a backpack strap. Or I suppose you could go to the surplus store and buy a shirt with epaulets. Then you could walk around with a (micro)chip on your shoulder.

Tilly has a GPS hat…

But seriously, my Etrex usually works in the lid pocket of my pack, so one would think it would work in a shirt pocket. Probably has something to do with the orientation of the antenna.


I’ll try again; I may have made a
mistake. I figured the thing is a reciver and should be able to catch a signal in a shirt pocket.

belt clip?
Like jsaults, I’ve had mine work when stored, in my bike seat bag.

What I’ve had to do…
I found with my GPS I had to make sure it acquired enough satelites out in the open first. After that it seemed good even inside the hatch of my kayak.

Get the case…
The newer units will get reception in your pocket.

When I had an older eTrex I would clip it to the top of the shoulder strap of my pack.

See here:

I imagine
that GPS reception is a matter of degrees. The receiver may lock on when in a shirt pocket if you are facing south, but not if you are facing north.

Likewise, a full canopy of leaves masks the signals more than bare limbs.

Reception under a Foil Beanie would be next to impossible.


It’s because…
… you’re so damned tall you’re blocking out the satellite signals!

same here
Had the same thing happen to me recently which was the first time I brought my Garmin Venture along.

If I just threw it in a coat pocket it wouldn’t see anything, but if I made sure the display was parallel with the ground - as it would be when holding and looking at it - then it was fine, even inside a pocket.

I still like the hat idea, but thanks
for these new ones.

I am not familiar with that model. I would not purchase a handheld GPS unit for hiking under canopy that didn’t have a port for an external antenna. If you model has an external antenna port just add a tiny patch antenna with velcro to the top of a hat. Have done a lot of mapping this way. Lots of different external antennas on the market if you look around - some will work better than others.

wrist mount
Be civilized.

A Garmin GPSMAP 60Cx, 60CSx, 76Cx, & 76CSx will do fine in a pocket so long as the antenna is sticking up a bit - and probably even if it isn’t sticking up. Since those models have a high sensitivity chipset it can get a lock under pretty poor circumstances. Heck, I can get a lock sitting in my house about 8 feet from a shuttered window.

A non-high senstivity chipset with a patch antenna (the kind the eTrex and Geko have) typically need a direct view of the sky.

The Magellan antenna does far better under cover than the Garmin in my experience. I can get a fix inside my house with my Meridian.

Never had the issue
The only time my etrex has been blocked was in a thick forest in the UK with extemley heavy downpour, or in steep cliffs in canyons

Also does not work right near the entrance to the submarine base at San Diego bay…

let it get a lock
first, then take your walk. IT takes a bit at first to get locked on. Reduced signal if in your pocket, but should work most of the time once it finds intial position. Typical performance, nothing wrong with your unit. I mean your gps unit.