I thought it would be pretty cool to record our tracks with a GPS for our trip to Antarctica. I’ve tried to record GPS tracks before on other trips using my Garmin but it was always battery hog and it was very inconvenient to keep it charged and turned on all the time. For this trip I thought it would be worth it so I searched for a Garmin map of Antarctica. After a bit of searching I found there wasn’t one made by garmin but I did find a free one here http://rwsmaps.griffel.se/ After a couple of hours of messing around trying to get it loaded onto my Garmin I found out that all the Garmin GPS devices don’t support maps above or below 60 degrees. This rules out Antarctica completely. The GPS will be able to give you the coordinates but it won’t show on the map. Pretty stupid design Garmin!!
Then I found this cool little gadget call the “Travel Recorder XT” by Qstar. It’s a simple little thing that just records your tracks. No display. 1 on/off switch. Nothing fancy. Just records where you’ve been and the battery life is much better than any Garmin GPS. Of course this one turned out not to be perfect either. I kept it on most of the trip but didn’t realized until I got home (no display to check if it was working) that it didn’t record very accurately that far south. The tracks were all over the place. Didn’t record anything at all in other places. Really not very usable.
In the end, the pictures of the charts with the route drawn in with a marker proved to be the easiest to use and most accurate way to show where we’ve been.
I used these to update my travel map at the top of my blog. Not exactly what I had in mind but when technology fails you can always do things old school with a pen and paper.