In a world where time is of the essence, our choices in wearables have become pivotal in helping us strike the balance between work, health, and fitness. Enter the Garmin Venu 3 Series premium GPS smartwatches – your ultimate on-wrist coaches, designed to not just keep up with your busy lifestyle, but to empower you to reach your fitness and health goals with ease. In this blog, we dive deep into the incredible features that make the Garmin Venu 3 Series the ultimate smartwatch for those who demand nothing but the best. The Power of Insightful Health and Fitness Monitoring At the heart of the Garmin Venu 3 Series lies its advanced health and fitness monitoring capabilities. These smartwatches provide you with a comprehensive view of your well-being, allowing you to make informed decisions about your health. We love these 3 features: Body Battery™ Energy Monitoring: Ever wondered if you're ready for that intense workout or if you should prioritize rest? With the Venu 3 Series, you can now see your energy levels throughout the day, helping you gauge when your body is charged up and ready for action or in need of some well-deserved restorative sleep. Sleep Coach: Knowing how much sleep you need is one thing, but understanding the quality of your sleep and how to improve it is a game-changer. The Venu 3 Series offers personalized coaching to help you get the most out of your nightly rest, tracking various sleep stages and key metrics. Morning Report: Kickstart your day with an insightful morning report, covering your sleep data, recovery status, daily calendar, HRV status, and more. You can even tailor this report to focus on what matters most to you. Your On-Wrist Personal Trainer Exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, and the Venu 3 Series ensures you're always on track with your fitness goals. These 4 features will help you keep hitting your fitness goals: Built-in Sports Apps: With over 30 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, including options for wheelchair users, you can effortlessly track your activities, whether you're walking, running, cycling, or hitting the pool. These smartwatches cater to everyone. Workout Benefit and Recovery Time: Understand how each workout affects your body and determine the optimal time needed for recovery, ensuring you're ready for your next challenge. Animated On-Screen Workouts: No need for personal trainers when you have animated workouts for strength, HIIT, yoga, and more available in the Garmin Connect app. These engaging visuals guide you through your exercises effectively. Garmin Coach: Access free adaptive training plans for 5K, 10K, and half-marathon runs, crafted by expert coaches, so you can reach your running goals. Stress-Free Living and Holistic Wellness Managing stress and maintaining overall wellness is easier than ever with the Garmin Venu 3 Series. Make use of any of these 5 features to help you find your zen: Stress Tracking: Stay in tune with your stress levels and find out if you're having a calm, balanced, or stressful day. Women's Health Tracking: For women, these smartwatches offer menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking, providing exercise and nutrition guidance. Meditation and Mindful Breathing: Combat stress and anxiety with guided meditation practices and track your respiration patterns to stay centred throughout the day. Jet Lag Adviser: When you're on the move, these smartwatches help you monitor your sleep and provide personalized tips to reduce jet lag. Hydration and Respiration: Stay on top of your hydration and respiration levels, ensuring you're always at your best. Enhanced Connectivity and Convenience In a world that demands constant connectivity, the Venu 3 Series rises to the occasion. These 7 features show exactly how the Venu 3 series strives to make your life that much easier: Make and Take Calls: Pair your smartwatch with your compatible smartphone to make and receive calls, and even use your phone's voice assistant to respond to messages. On-Wrist Texting: Android users can respond to texts using the on-watch keyboard. Music Playback: Download your favourite songs and playlists from Spotify, Deezer, or Amazon Music for a phone-free listening experience. Garmin Pay™ Contactless Payments: Effortlessly make payments at supported locations, so you can leave your wallet at home. Safety and Tracking: If you ever feel unsafe or if your watch detects an incident, it can send your live location to ensure you get the help you need. Connect IQ™ Store: Customize your watch with additional watch faces, data fields, and apps to match your style and preferences. Two Font Sizes: Choose between small or larger font sizes to ensure you can easily read your data, no matter the situation. The Garmin Venu 3 Series premium GPS smartwatches are a testament to the evolving world of wearables. They seamlessly blend advanced health and fitness monitoring, insightful data analysis, and convenience features into a stylish and functional package. Whether you're an athlete striving to reach new heights or simply looking to lead a healthier life, these smartwatches have got you covered. Discover the real you and unleash your potential with the Garmin Venu 3 Series – your personal on-wrist coach and your gateway to a healthier, more connected life.
As technology continues to shape the landscape of sports and fitness, Suunto, a leader in the field of sports technology, is once again at the forefront of innovation. Introducing SuuntoPlus sport apps, a groundbreaking suite of applications designed to redefine your approach to sports and fitness. These versatile apps offer a wide range of tools to enhance your training, introduce exciting features for your favourite activities, and seamlessly integrate additional devices with your Suunto watch. SuuntoPlus sport apps are like having a personal coach on your wrist, providing you with easy-to-use functionalities that offer specific benefits tailored to various sports and fitness scenarios. In this blog post, we'll delve into the exciting world of SuuntoPlus sport apps, exploring their features and how they can elevate your sports experience. Getting Started with SuuntoPlus Sport Apps To unlock the full potential of SuuntoPlus sport apps, it's as simple as browsing the selection in the Suunto app's SuuntoPlus Store and choosing the apps that align with your fitness goals and preferences. Once selected, activate them before you start your exercise regimen. With compatibility spanning across a range of Suunto watches, including the Suunto Vertical and Suunto 9 Peak Pro, these apps are accessible to a wide audience of fitness enthusiasts. Let’s explore the impressive lineup of SuuntoPlus sport apps and discover how they can enhance your sports and fitness journey. Training & Physiology HR Zones: Keep track of your workout's intensity by monitoring cumulative time spent in each heart rate zone. Fused Zones: Get real-time insights into your current intensity zone, optimizing your performance based on various metrics. Peak Pace: Stay informed about your peak running efforts in real-time during your jog. Peak Power: Get real-time statistics on your peak power efforts. Movement: Measure rapid movements using wrist acceleration, providing unique insights for sports involving quick motions. TrainingPeaks (HR): Gain real-time insights into workout effort and training stress with the Heart Rate Training Stress Score (TSS(HR)). TrainingPeaks (Cycling Power): Understand your cycling effort with real-time data on Normalized Power (NP), Training Stress Score (TSS), and Intensity Factor (IF). TrainingPeaks (Running Pace): Monitor your pacing with real-time data on Intensity Factor (IF), Running Training Stress Score (TSS(r)), and Normalized Graded Pace (NGP). Strava: Dive deep into your activities with real-time Relative Effort metrics, allowing you to quantify your work. Burner: Learn about the balance between fat and carbohydrate burned, dependent on your exercise intensity. Training Tools Manual Interval (Pace, Power, Hills): Easily follow your interval sessions on the fly with these manual interval sport apps. Sprint (Running Pace, Cycling Power): Automatically track sprints while running or cycling, providing data on number, distance, and time for each interval. Loop (Speed, Pace, Power): Automatic location-based lap insights help you analyse stats for each loop in your training session. Ghost Runner: Practice your pacing by chasing a virtual ghost runner for added motivation and improvement. Fitness Testing FTP Test: Designed for riders, this test estimates your Functional Threshold Power (FTP), providing insight into your one-hour average power. Cooper Test: Run as far as possible in 12 minutes to estimate your VO2Max value with this popular fitness test. Anaerobic Threshold: Approximate your anaerobic threshold for running, including heart rate and pace. Aerobic Decoupling: Assess your aerobic fitness by evaluating the decoupling effect during longer workouts. Bleep Test: Test your current fitness level with the widely used Bleep Test, perfect for team sports and beyond. Racing Race Companion: Equip yourself with essential information for races, ensuring you're well-prepared. Race Nutrition: Plan and follow your race nutrition timing while navigating challenging terrains. UltraRace Time: Stay motivated during long ultra races by seeing your current pace and its correlation to potential race times. Marathon Estimator: Get an estimated finish time based on your current pace, duration, and remaining distance. Half Marathon Estimator: Estimate your half marathon finish time with real-time data. RaceTime: Understand how your current pace relates to potential race times across various race distances. Sport Specific Shoe Tester: Test different running shoes' impact with a dedicated protocol, helping you make the right choice. Cadence Coach: Receive live cadence and stride length data to improve your running technique and prevent injuries. Running Economy: Assess your running efficiency by analysing input (heart rate) and output (pace with NGP). SwimRun: Get key stats for your swimrun race, including automatic transitions. Duathlon: Automatically switch between run and ride views during hectic race scenarios. Swim Timer: Get a better understanding of your interval swim sessions with interval counts and rest times. Gym Timer: Use the gym timer to track rest times during workouts. Tabata: Engage in high-intensity workouts with the Tabata protocol, consisting of 20 seconds of hard effort and 10 seconds of rest. Surfer: Gain insights into your surf session, including waves surfed and time spent. Golf Score, Tennis Score, Badminton Score, Soccer Score, Score Counter: Keep score in various sports, right on your wrist. Disc Golf: Keep score and measure distances during your disc golf games. Sail Racer: Synchronize your start time with the official race start for a countdown on your watch. Outdoor Experience Emergency Info (I.C.E.): Store essential contact information and medical details for emergency situations. Safe: Quickly access GPS coordinates and vital information about your current location and starting point. Climb: Monitor your effort while hiking, rock climbing, or running uphill. DirectPath: Understand the direct path between two points you've covered and assess your efficiency. Drink Alert: Receive reminders to rehydrate based on weather conditions. Last KM/Last Mile Pace: Get real-time rolling kilometre/mile pace data for trail running. CO2e: Learn how much CO2 you've saved compared to driving a car. Moon & Sun: Get information about moon phases, sunrises, sunsets, and more. Big Numbers: Enlarge your data display for better visibility during workouts. Variometer: Keep track of your vertical speed during outdoor adventures. Weather & Weather Forecast: Stay informed about weather conditions during long rides and hikes. Devices CORE Body Temperature: Pair your Suunto with a CORE body temperature sensor to train smarter and perform better. ActiveLook: Connect your Suunto watch to ActiveLook Smart Glasses to view key exercise data in your field of view. TrainRed: Use your TrainRed muscle oxygen (SmO2%) sensor for real-time feedback on muscle oxygenation, optimizing your training and performance. With SuuntoPlus sport apps at your fingertips, your sports and fitness experiences are poised to reach new heights. These apps are more than just features on your watch; they're your partners in performance, helping you achieve your goals and push your limits. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, SuuntoPlus sport apps provide the tools and insights you need to succeed. Suunto is here to accompany you every step, sprint, or summit of the way. Elevate your sports experience with SuuntoPlus, and let the journey begin!
In the ever-evolving realm of motorcycle communication systems, the quest for seamless connectivity is an unending journey. This latest update brings us closer to that goal by seamlessly integrating Cardo Dynamic Mesh (DMC) with Sena Mesh 2.0. This groundbreaking release is tailored specifically for the Packtalk Edge, Neo, and Custom, promising a new era of connectivity in the world of motorcycle communication. A Bridge to Connectivity As mentioned above, this exciting update is specifically designed for the Cardo Packtalk Edge, Neo, and Custom devices. It introduces a groundbreaking feature: the ability to connect Cardo Packtalk devices with Sena Mesh units through a Bluetooth bridge. This bridge allows both Cardo and Sena devices to connect and communicate with each other, creating what can only be described as a "Live Connection." This means that even if your connection is temporarily disrupted, it will automatically and seamlessly reconnect, keeping you and your riding buddies together. This update bridges the gap between Cardo and Sena, ensuring that riders from both camps can enjoy the benefits of Mesh communication without any compatibility concerns. Benefits in a Nutshell Let's break down the key benefits of this update: Cross-Communication: Cardo DMC and Sena Mesh 2.0 intercoms can now reliably communicate with each other using a Bluetooth bridge, creating a truly interconnected riding group. Automatic Reconnection: If the connection is lost for any reason, the Bluetooth connection will automatically recover, ensuring that your riding group stays connected. Improved Sena Intercom Experience: The update also enhances the intercom experience on the Sena side, offering a more reliable audio multi-tasking experience. Enhanced Fast Charging: Fast charging is now more robust and reliable, ensuring that your devices are always ready to go when you are. Bug Fixes: As always, Cardo and Sena have taken care of bug fixes to provide a smoother and clearer riding experience. Setting Up the Bridge So, how can you set up this seamless bridge between Cardo DMC and Sena Mesh? Here's a step-by-step guide: Initial Setup: First, ensure that both the Cardo DMC and Sena Mesh groups have been set up separately. Each riding group should consist of at least two units from different sides. Choose Bridging Units: Within your riding group, select two units—one from the Cardo side and one from the Sena side—to act as bridging units. These units should ride in general proximity to each other, up to 90 meters or 100 yards apart. Reconnection Attempts: If the connection drops during the ride, the Cardo unit will actively seek to reconnect with the Sena unit for a full 5 minutes before timing out. Device Compatibility: On the Sena side, the bridging unit should have a functioning Bluetooth intercom (Mesh-only units like Spyder won't work). On the Cardo side, any DMC 2nd Gen unit (such as the Packtalk Edge and NEO) will suffice. For Packtalk Custom users, an active "Gold Package" is required for the unit to host the bridge. Pairing Process: Initiate Bluetooth intercom pairing on both sides and wait a few seconds for the units to connect. Afterward, return the Cardo unit to DMC mode via the Cardo Connect app. Activate Bluetooth Bridge: Open the Bluetooth bridge on the Cardo side by tapping the intercom button three times. Start Riding Together: With the bridge active, you're all set to hit the road together, enjoying uninterrupted communication between Cardo and Sena devices. This Cardo Dynamic Mesh (DMC) and Sena 2.0 update brings riders together like never before. By seamlessly integrating these two communication giants, riders can enjoy the best of both worlds, ensuring that they stay connected and in sync on every adventure. So, grab your gear, set up the bridge, and start riding together, because the road is waiting, and now you're ready for it.
Test your endurance and ride for a good cause! VENUE: Fourways Mall (Main Promotions Court) DATE: Sunday, 21 August 2022 TIMES: 6am – 2pm REGISTER: Click here There will be only 60 slots per hour, hurry and book your spot. Receive a free goodie bag and there will be spot prizes up for grabs. There will also be a kiddies’ play area from 8am – 2pm. Proceeds go to children in need of reconstructive surgery. Time Slots 6am – 7am slot 7am – 8am slot 8am – 9am slot 9am – 10am slot 10am – 11am slot 11am – 12pm slot 1pm – 2pm slot Click here to register
On the evening of the 18th of March 2021 Kevin Bolton on behalf of NavWorld presented a Satellite Navigation Talk to the Monument Toyota Constantia and Rivonia Toyota 4x4 enthusiasts at Hobby Park in Krugersdorp. Just after 19:00 Riaan Kotzee introduced Kevin and handed the floor to him. Kevin Bolton is an experienced satellite navigation specialist starting his passion for the subject as far back as 1982 while still in the military. During his 43 years in this specialist field he has worked in South Africa, Turkey and a number of African countries, presenting talks and satellite navigation training courses to professionals and recreational enthusiasts. He has also visited Garmin Europe on three occasions to gain a better in-depth knowledge of their products. The presentation started by reminding us of the basics of navigation: Knowing where you are, Knowing where you are going, Knowing where you have come from, Keep orientated, Have an alternative plan, And lastly always a bit of common sense or keep calm. Followed by the elements of navigation: Distance, Direction, Time Once the introduction was over the basics of what Satellite Navigation can do for one while out in the unknown were discussed. The reason is that many people think that a GPS is a nice to have and not always necessary. It will give one a position / location (co-ordinate), latitude, longitude and height. It will assists one while navigating by giving distance, direction and time, between locations as straight lines like a stick man or as per road or tracks. The true value in the Garmin products is the TrackLog or Breadcrumb which will enable one to track your movement with metadata; date, time, location and speed per location / crumb. The TrackLog will also enable one to track back from where you have come within the accuracy of the satellite navigation device. Generally a satellite navigation device will give an accuracy of between three to five meters. The TrackLog technology in a Garmin has been used in many court cases to prove the accused, innocence or guilt. With the TrackLog capability a person can create accurate maps of an area and of your routes that you have travelled. And finally a satellite navigation device is a safety device making sure you are always pointed at your destination no matter how you try to confuse it, always giving the time and distance to your destination. Therefore you can never get lost. Kevin is a strong believer in safety and therefore believes that every tour group be it a single vehicle or a number of vehicles, there should be a minimum of at least two satellite navigation devices in the convoy if not at least one in every vehicle and two in the lead vehicle. In today’s world there are four major GNSS in the world being, NAVSTARGPS the American system, GLONASS the Russian system, Galileo the European system and Beidou the Chinese system. At present Beidou is only reserved for military applications by China and Pakistan. If all four systems were available we would be able to receive signal from more than one hundred navigation satellites. The next point that was discussed was how to select a Satellite Navigation System that you would wish to purchase. Breaking the crucial points into 6 headings. Listed below are just a few examples that would help guide you in making this selection. What do I need? A Satellite Navigation System for 4x4ing, must display maps, do street navigation, have a TrackLog, have a big screen, a minimum signal from two GNSS and something that has some level of water proofing. What do I want? A screen that shows sunrise and sunset, something that can take satellite imagery, touch screen, good battery life, able to be dash board mounted and as well as something that can be used as a handheld device. Features that are nice to have? A magnetic compass, with a hunting and fishing screen (when it will be a good day for hunting or fishing), Pitch and roll dials Features that are not needed? A barometer and a backup camera. Features that I don’t want? Camera Budget? The most important. It should be remembered that the top of the range might not always suit your needs and that you could get away with something cheaper. The question was then asked can a cellphone do the same job as a dedicated Satellite Navigation Device. In Kevin’s opinion and his answer, a definite NO. A cellphone does not have the required battery life, most cellphones would not have the TrackLog capability, if it did it would use data for map downloads in most instances which could be costly and that is if there is network coverage. A cellphone is ideal for street and city navigation but not suited for the outdoor adventures and 4x4ing. At this point he discussed the Garmin outdoor products that he would consider. To his knowledge Garmin is the only manufacturer that is still selling these outdoor products in South Africa, as all of the other top brands have either withdrawn from South Africa or have totally closed shop and their products are no longer supported or available in South Africa. The Garmin products that he discussed was: The Garmin eTrex series that are be ideal for hiking, hunting and maybe as 4x4ing backup’s devices. The second device that he discussed was the inReach mini and the new devices with this technology. The inReach technology is not a satellite navigation device but a Satellite Communicator for two way global messaging. Working off of the Iridium network for emergency communications, tracking and sharing of your location. Again safety. The next product which are not ideally suited to 4x4ing but only as back up devices due to the smaller screen size. As with the eTrex series the GPSMAP 65 and 66 series are more suited to the hiking, hunting and professional applications. It should be noted that some of these devices now receive not only the original L1 frequency but now the L5 frequency, improving accuracy. The GPSMAP 66i includes the InReach technology. The following product was the Oregon series devices the bigger version of the touch screen eTrex 35 but still smaller handheld devices. The next up was the Overlander a rugged outdoor device which is ideal for 4x4ing with a big screen, 4x4ing features and user friendly similar to the older Nuvi series devices. This is a device that is Aneroid driven. Built to military spec. This device was reviewed in SA 4x4 during the last year and Kevin believes a winner. The last outdoor device to be addressed was the new Montana 700 series. Kevin has recently reviewed this device with the heading: THE NEW GARMIN MONTANA 700 series, Monster or Beast – WOW Next on the agenda for the evening was to give an insight into a few new Garmin products on the way: The Garmin Enduro, a new sports watch with up to an 80 hours battery life in GPS mode. The Garmin Power Switch, a new digital power box, which can be used to control / manage up to six 12v accessories. The system can be expanded to control a maximum of twenty four accessories (4 x Power Switches). These Power Switches will work with most compatible Garmin 4x4ing devices and most smart phones. The limit, being a maximum of 30 amps per device. Important, not made to manage a winch. The last new device is the Garmin Tread. This device will be a winner for 4x4 enthusiasts and it is a mixture of the Garmin Zumo XT and the Overlander but with a 5inch screen. The device includes a VHF radio for messaging / no voice, with tracking to a maximum of 20 vehicles simultaneously. Tracking range of the Tread will be limited to the nature of the terrain. Due to only texting and no voice, no license is required in South Africa. It should be noted in some countries the device can have voice communication. However this feature is not in South Africa and therefore does not come with the required additional accessories. Once finished with the product overview the different mapping that can be loaded to Garmin satellite navigation devices was discussed, being: Street mapping for Africa (4 map sets), City Navigator Southern Africa with the 12 southern countries, East Africa, West Africa and Northern Africa. The newer Garmin product is Topo Active Africa (complete Africa) with contour maps (maybe more representation lines, less than contours, which have a height value). Topo Active Africa can do auto routing to points of interest but not to street addresses. Tracks4Africa mapping, which Kevin believes is a must for anyone traveling north of the South African borders and adds value to 4x4 adventure. The other “map set” is BirdsEye from Garmin which is satellite imagery similar to that of Google Earth. Some of the new devices has this capability now included in the purchase. If not it can be purchased for an annual fee and downloaded as per requirement. Due to the size of the files one would only download places of critical interest. Kevin believes that this does add value to a navigation experience. When enabled, this would show as a backdrop to any other map enabled. To complement the Garmin products possible accessories that could be of value and purchased additionally were discussed. Suction mounts (the new bigger suctions really work), dash mounts and air vent mounts Power cables, carry cases, protective screens, extra batteries for long trips incase and external antennas which he believes are not necessary for most devices these days but are a requirement if your vehicle prevents the satellite signal from entering the vehicle (example armoured vehicles or similar) RAM mounts are a product that also comes highly recommended with some of the larger and newer devices coming with RAM mounts in the box. Some comments were made that people should take a bit of caution when using a satellite navigation devices. Ensure that when inserting co-ordinates that they are in the same format and the same datum is used. Select the setting for the route you wish to travel, shortest or fastest. This does make a big difference to your desire route. A common fault is when people confuse a route (which is planned) and a Track / TrackLog (something you have done) When navigating to a town or city do not try and activate the route from the street address but from the town or city function. If looking for a point of interest or address ensure the search function is set for near you or near another major center. When searching for something ensure you are using the correct spelling. Most of the new names are in the latest map sets and that the old names still exist and have not been removed. In closing Kevin gave an introduction and a few tips when using the Garmin Base Camp program. Base Camp is a map viewing or mini GIS, software package, intended for use with Garmin GPS navigation devices. It will organize, save and create data, plan your trip with common datasets that can be shared between friends. The software should be used to plan your next hiking, biking, motorcycling, driving or off-roading trip. You can view your maps, planned routes, and marked waypoints. As with your satellite navigation device you must ensure that BaseCamp has the same and correct settings, while using the identical maps for planning your adventure. Before venturing out on your adventure plan and check your trip to ensure the desired information planned is what you want. Remember that some satellite navigation devices have limitations wrt the number of points in a route Please save your information in a logic format under My Collection and on your computer for future reference. The planned 60 minute presentation stretched into a 2,5 hour session with numerous questions from the audience afterwards. In the end a most enjoyable and enlightening evening for everyone.
Garmin South Africa recently announced a new satellite navigation device known as the OVERLANDER. As the name indicates, it is a multipurpose satellite navigation device aimed at the 4×4 market. It is a rugged street navigation unit that can take the knocks. I believe that its large 7 inch screen makes it ideally suited to the recreational market – large enough to see the content, but not big enough to obscure your view of the road. The Overlander was launched on Monday the 16th September 2019 in South Africa. Initially we started with the well-known Garmin GPS V and then moved onto the Garmin Quest but both these device’s limitations were their small screens. In 2009 Garmin launched the Quest the Nuvi 500 which was a favourite in the 4×4 community in its day. Times have changed and technology has advanced. Garmin have brought out other products but none could compete with the Quest and Nuvi 500. Now we have the Overlander and even the name is synonymous with its applications. Before going any further with this review I must state that I do not consider any cellphone or tablet navigation program /app ideally suited for 4x4ing. They are not designed for the off-road lifestyle as they have limitations. For example, when you travel beyond existing infrastructure they become problematic. Some are also limited in terms of inserting waypoints – which is essential in the off-road environment. They are made for street navigation and only street navigation. So, what makes the Overlander more appealing than any other current off-road satellite navigation device (other than the Garmin GPS MAP 276 Cx which can be rather costly when all the extras are added) For me, the Overlander’s 7 inch touch screen is a winner for a start. Whilst a touch screen has not always been my preference, this one is nice and convenient. (The 276Cx is not touch screen). The device is built to IPX 5 standards (dust proof) and MIL-STD-810 (a USA Department of Defence test standard). It is a street navigator that is made for the outdoors (4x4ing) that will not break if it falls. Unlike other makes, this device will navigate you to your destination even if there is no mapping information between you and your destination (by using a bearing). This device is able to get GPS, Glonass and Galileo signal – which means that if one system goes down (as recently happened), the device will continue navigating with the satellites from the other two systems. The battery life is quoted as “up to 3 hours” – depending on the backlight usage etc. This is an improvement on most street navigation devices, but limited when comparing to a Montana or GPSMAP 276Cx (which have removal batteries). The standard maps loaded are Europe, Middle East & Africa including Tracks4Africa data. I am not certain if this is a full version of Tracks for Africa, but as I have often said before, travelling into Africa without Tracks4Africa is equivalent to getting lost. The Tracks4Africa mapping is not upgradeable (quote the Garmin helpline). This device is loaded with Topographic maps but I am not sure that these are contours. They are more likely representation lines to indicate relief. There is 64GB of internal memory available for additional mapping but it also has place for a micro SD card for additional memory. This is a massive improvement when comparing it to devices of 15 years ago which only had 243Mb of memory and no place for memory cards. It has the new magnetic tight-fitting Garmin Bracket AND the box includes a compatible RAM ball adapter. Something I have not seen before…. it has Pitch and Roll gauges which add value. The Overlander can pair with the Garmin inReach communicators (sold separately) for two way messaging. A feature that I have never seen before in a Street Navigator is a digital compass (unlike the previous street navigators where direction was calculated from your positioning therefore you would have to move to be able to get a bearing). It also has a barometer to give a better height accuracy and is not reliant on satellite positioning to give height (which could be out at times). The device includes Traffic reporting capability – which is very useful in congested cities. This feature has drastically improved over the years. The device is also compatible with the Garmin BC 35 Backup camera but I believe this is a “nice to have” – not a necessity. I believe that this device has a very uncomplicated and understandable menu logic, which makes it extremely easy to use. Never seen before, the Overlander has 65 408 track log points. The 276Cx is limited to 20 000. One point that did disappoint was that the device could not take an external antenna but that is not necessary for most people. Currently there is nothing in this device’s price range that can match its capabilities and features for which it is designed, especially when considering the included mapping. The Overlander is not the Alpha and Omega of off-road navigation but does come close to it. As I have written many times before, when travelling in remote areas please make sure that you have a backup navigation system as things can go wrong. A second navigation device (in another vehicle) or even a paper map will assist if things go wrong and you become lost for some reason. As the rules for navigation say : Know where you are, Know where you are going, Know where you have come from, Keep orientated, And always have an alternative route. A point that should be remembered when purchasing this device is be sure that the sales person upgrades the device’s firmware as well as updates the maps to enable you to get your free map update before leaving the store. If buying from NavWorld it comes with well-known unmatchable backup support. Additional Comment : Recently Galileo (the European Satellite Navigation System equivalent to GPS and Glonass systems) did crash due to problems experienced at a Base Station in Italy, but in Galileo’s defence it is still under development and has not been declared operational yet. By Kevin and Christopher Bolton Edited by Jacqui Ikin
Who needs a GPS? Is it the end of the road for GPS navigator devices, or do they still have a place in the overlander’s kit list? Long-time contributor and GPS expert Kevin Bolton gives his opinion… A lot has changed in the GPS world in South Africa since I last wrote an article on the subject back in 2016 (with the exception of my January 2019 review of the Garmin GPS Map 276Cx, which I consider to be my ideal 4x4, general navigation and outdoor lifestyle device). While back in SA from my work detail in Turkey, I decided to touch sides with a few people in the GPS navigation ﬁeld. On my visits to a few retail outlets, there was a very obvious lack of street navigators (PNDs) on the shelves. Next, I noticed one could not ﬁnd a TomTom street navigator anywhere. The Garmin street navigators were available but demand has clearly lapsed. The reasons for this are two-fold. First, general street navigation in and around town is easily and accurately done on most cell phones (which are sold with numerous standard navigation apps). Second, a lot of new cars, including the less premium ones, are sold with built-in navigation systems. Many in the industry believe that PND’s (Street Navigators) will not be around for much longer (two years at best), mainly because mobile phone navigation apps and in-car systems will get you around the town perfectly. In my opinion, however, these are not true navigation systems and they are deﬁnitely not ideal for the outdoor lifestyle. The track log (or electronic breadcrumb) given on the Garmin street navigators is where the true value of these devices lie, showing the route you have just travelled. There is a story in a recent YOU magazine recounting how a couple visiting Italy drove round and round in circles without realising it. The breadcrumb feature on a proper GPS device would have showed them something was wrong. But back to Tom Tom PNDs and sports watches. Unable to ﬁnd them on retail shelves, I discovered comments on the internet to the effect that the company no longer had a local head ofﬁce or support centre. I contacted an overseas support centre who conﬁrmed that Tom Tom no longer had an ofﬁce in SA and had stopped PND and sports watch retail sales I also read that the Tom Tom Fleet management operation had been sold to Bridgestone. I was able to conﬁrm that Tom Tom Africa (the TomTom mapping company) is still in South Africa and growing from strength to strength. I have always considered their mapping to be among the best available for southern Africa. On the Garmin front, the company management has changed in recent years with many people being promoted into senior positions in the broader company from the South African ranks. Garmin are still going strong in the Outdoor, Fitness, Marine and Aviation ﬁelds – these markets are growing and sales have increased. The PND market is also down for Garmin, but there will have been some local boost resulting from the Tom Tom exit. It’s this time of the year again when Garmin launches new products, among them the Garmin Drive 52 and Garmin DriveSmart 55 and 65 series devices (the new name for a Nuvi/PND device). This announcement was made on the Garmin American website, so it is not clear which devices will be released in South Africa. There is also talk of new and/or upgraded outdoor products. Globally, the good news is that some of the new Garmin devices are not only receiving the American GPS signal and GLONASS (the Russian satellite navigation signal), but also the Galileo signal (the European satellite navigation signal). Having three satellite navigation systems will both improve the accuracy of the devices (to within 3-5 metres), and will give the signal more integrity and provide back-up if one system was to fail. To date I have not heard of the American signal failing but have heard of the Russian system failing on two occasions. Meanwhile, happy GPS adventures.
Designed for high impact intense Close Quarter Battle (CQB), this indoor field makes for exciting airsoft shooting action. It is equally suited to fast-paced breaching-type team play or ultra-conservative, careful action. You never know what will be around the next corner. Games can be extremely intense with slow movement as you don’t know which corner your opponent may be hiding in. Over 1000m2 of airsoft game area, the Killhouse is perfect for intimate team games, Team training, Bachelor parties, Birthday parties, Security firearm tactical training and casual game play as well. Centrally situated in Strydom Park makes for easy access and is conveniently situated right next door to the new, larger Airsoft HQ offices. Plenty of safe parking is available. Due to the close proximity of most shooting action, many players opt for pistol load out or Personal Defence weapon rifles like MP5’s, P90’s or the like. This is definitely not a sniper field! Face protection is compulsory and FPS limits have been lowered to limit the pain threshold. Nevertheless the action is still exciting and realistic. Only a limited number of players are allowed on the field at any one time and almost the whole field can be marshaled from above. This also makes it very effective for security companies who want to train tactical staff with proper gun handling and house breaching before putting a real firearm into inexperienced hands. Hostage situations or home break-ins can be simulated for training purposes, putting you up against real people. For airsoft game play, games are obviously shorter which allows for more variety and flexibility. Rough terrain and poor footing is not an issue on this field. Another nice feature of this field is the ability for us to go to darkened mode. With the lights off during the day it is not completely blacked out, but allows players to experience the difference of low-light conditions. At night, it is another story and torches would definitely be necessary. Due to the fact that the field is not affected by weather or other security issues it is possible that mid-week evening games can be arranged.
It has now been almost two years since I last wrote a Satellite Navigation article, so I thought it appropriate to start with a review of what I consider to be currently the ultimate 4x4 off-road GPS. This device has been created for the outdoors: it is rugged enough to take the knocks, yet is also user-friendly enough for street navigation. A few years back, I wrote an article describing what I would consider the ultimate off-road GPS. The Garmin Montana was launched shortly thereafter, which met 85% of my criteria, desired features and functionality. Garmin launched the 276Cx about a year ago, but I have only now been able to lay my hands on one. I can, in all honesty, say that it is most definitely an upgrade on the 276C. The stylish Cx looks and feels different, but its keypad is the same, and its user-friendliness and menu logic are very similar. It is rather like the older Garmin Montana (a 2011 model) but it is not touch screen. In fact, I prefer the button- driven functions to the touch screen. I find it important that it has a large (five-inch) screen with 800 x 480 pixel resolution, as that makes it a winner with me, and adds a tick to my 4x4/off-road checklist. Other features that contributed to my opinion (that it is an improvement and an upgrade), are: Garmin have doubled the Track Log from 10 000 to 20 000 Track Log points (breadcrumbs). The device now takes a standard Micro SD card – a big improvement on the old Garmin propriety card that was horribly overpriced. The internal memory has been increased to 8Gb (expandable with a micro-SA card). The dual-battery system can use 3 AA batteries (up to 8h of battery life) or the supplied 5000 mAh Lithium battery (16h of battery life). It also runs off the vehicle battery. The device receives both GPS and Glonass, the Russian equivalent of the GPS signal. Note that this feature needs to be enabled. This unit can take an MCX external antenna, which improves its operational ability in vehicles which have difficulty receiving satellite navigation signal through the front windscreen... which is more common than you would think. The negatives? An initial disappointment was the price (listed on the Garmin website, www.garmin.co.za, at R12 499, but available from Navworld at under R10 000), but then I considered that it is similar in price to any of the previous devices in its class when they were launched. My first Garmin StreetPilot, circa 2003, cost me R18 000... The small suction mount (same as the Montana bracket) has been retained. I believe it could have been made larger to carry the extra weight of this device. A larger suction mount is available, at a nominal extra cost of R200. Because of its size and weight, this is not a device that I would mount on my motorcycle or bike, and nor is it the ideal hiking device; but, as a 4x4 navigation tool, it has no current equal. FEATURES GPS + GLONASS. Altimeter. 3D Compass. 5-inch WVGA display. Connected through Bluetooth®, ANT+® and WiFi®. TTS guidance. Preloaded with TopoActive Africa maps. 1 year’s free BirdsEye Satellite subscription. High levels of customisability. Water-immersion-rated to IP67 standard. Pairs to smartphone, to receive Active Weather Updates, enable Live Tracking, access Weather Radar data, update Live Geocaching information and receive phone notifications. Can store 250 routes, 250 tracks and 10 000 waypoints. Dimensions: 191.5 x 94.5 x 44mm Weight: 450g (including rechargeable battery pack) If you have any further questions, contact Christopher Bolton at 011 791 0204/5. By Kevin Bolton
The Price MATCH does not apply to: - New store opening - Store closures - Online clearance sales - One day only sales such as but not limited to Black Friday and Cyber Monday - Deals on online classified or auction websites - Online pre-orders The Price MATCH does not apply to stock that is: - Used for instore displays - Is aged - Discontinued stock - Refurbished / second hand - Damaged The competitor in question must be in-stock of that identical item. The competitor must be a legitimate South African retailer, and the price match must include the cost of delivery. The price match does not apply to foreign stores, including foreign online stores. The items up for comparison must be the identical item, brand, barcode, and volume/weight. The warranty/guarantee period must be identical to that of the competitor product. The retailer deemed to be a competitor needs to be a valid VAT registered retailer – accredited by our suppliers as a reseller of their goods and brands that are in question.
I'm on a mission to find all the great kayaking spots in and around Gauteng. With that in mind, I headed out to Paddle Power on the Crocodile River, 4 km upstream from Hartbeespoort Dam and had my best paddle experience to date. Feeling your entire body work as you get into a paddling rhythm is a fantastic sensation, and you know you're doing good stuff like exercising your core, back, arms and legs – which is incredibly satisfying, especially if you're someone like me and spend way too much time sitting at your desk. But continually going around in circles on a small dam, albeit in a well-appointed kayak surrounded by greenery, can get pretty damn boring. The same scenery keeps gliding by like clockwork. Before you know it, you're almost on first name terms with all the coots (small water birds) defending their little territories around the dam, you've passed each one so many times. Okay, I'm pretty eccentric, so this most probably doesn't happen to you. But my point is, after putting in about six laps at Emmarentia, my mind begins to wander and I get bored. Here's the thing though: After paddling 6 km (one lap equals one kilometre) my body still has more than enough oomph to keep going, but I invariably stop and get out because I'm unstimulated. This is great for getting a couple of paddles in after work during the week, and seriously convenient as I live down the road. But when it comes to pushing myself physically and developing my endurance skills I need a much bigger pond. My next go-to place is Lake Heritage at Cradle Moon. Significantly larger than Emmarentia Dam, and only 36 km outside Johannesburg, it's a great place to paddle – and when I'm there I find I can naturally cover much more ground. Even better, when I'm taking a breather, I can just bob about in the middle, taking in the surrounding Muldersdrift countryside while appreciating the birdlife and watching game amble along its banks. They also have a great outdoor restaurant, so I always make a pit stop there before heading home. But at the end of the day it comes down to the same thing – I'm going around in circles, again. Paddle Power, my gateway to adventureWanting to broaden my horizons, I popped into Canoe & Kayak World and spoke to Robbie Herreveld – one of SA's most respected paddlers and kayak tourer of note – to get some advice. “Paddle Power,” he says right off the bat. “From there you can go 4 km down the Crocodile River and into Harties. Just keep on Malibongwe until you hit the Broederstroom T-junction and you're there.” Well, that was me sold. Two days later I was back, this time to purchase a really cool kayak life jacket – I was gearing up for my first mini adventure! On arrival, I found Paddle Power to be everything I'd hoped it would be. In many ways it reminded me of one of those rustic pub/eateries you can come across in places like the Eastern Cape. Following the colourful handmade “To the beach” sign, I walked through some dense indigenous vegetation and found myself on a small sandy area bathed in sunshine. Large enough to take a few tables and beach chairs, with enough space left over for small kids to play and build sandcastles, I thought it was a nice touch. To my left was the river, and up the bank on my right I could see the shaded deck of the Beach House restaurant that provides great views over the river. Paddle Power's main activities include river rafting trips and abseiling, but I wasn't there for that. On hearing what I was planning to do, Pat, one of the owners, warned me how low the water level was in some areas, commenting that some visitors have a complete sense of humour failure when they get stuck on a sandbank. This made me laugh – the whole point of taking on a paddle like this is to deal with what nature throws at you and work it out. If I'd wanted an uncomplicated, predictable paddle I would have stayed on a dam! Saying hello to the CrocodileNow I haven't messed about with small boats on rivers since I lived in the Eastern Cape during the mid 90's, but everything I'd learned soon came flooding back. My first “wake up call” was quite funny. The river bank dropped down about a metre and was fairly steep, with very little space for me to get my act together while climbing into my kayak. All was going well until I swung my right leg over the hull and my left leg sunk into the mud right up to my knee. Not sure how to extract myself, I gingerly lowering myself into the cockpit and somehow managed to wiggle my stuck leg free and give it a good shake (to wash off the thick mud) without tipping into the drink. Laughing at myself for forgetting how precariously sticky riverbanks can be, I headed out downstream on my way to Hartbeespoort Dam. When Pat mentioned the river was extremely shallow in areas she wasn't kidding. The first kilometre was fairly tricky to navigate, with me having to pay close attention to what the current was doing to pick out the deeper channels. Even then, the water was often too shallow to paddle, and I had to resort to using my hands to scoot myself along until I found a deeper section. But with all the sandbanks out the way, the river opened up and continuing on my way became a non-issue. With the current pushed me in the right direction, making paddling easy, I glided through the predominantly rural landscape dotted with expensive estates with views to die for. And the birdlife was spectacular. At one point, about one kilometre from Harties, I came across a vertical cliff that dropped straight down into the water. Dotted with precariously hanging trees, I paddled under the high-rise canopy and found myself completely engulfed by swirling swallows as they hunted insects for lunch. Then I noticed a pair of Malachite kingfishers hanging out on a branch close to the water not three metres away from me doing the same thing. It was a special moment, and exactly the kind of stuff that made me take up kayaking in the first place! My Harties experienceBefore I knew it I was entering Hartbeespoort Dam. The wide open, watery vista that greeted me I found completely liberating – I'd never paddled on such a big body of water before. So I struck out for the middle, not knowing where I was going, just that I felt free. Eventually, way in the distance, I spotted what looked suspiciously liked a yacht mast, so I changed direction to go investigate. Turns out I'd stumbled across the Ifafi Aquatic Club. After paddling closer to check it out properly, I then began considering my options. Although still feeling strong, I'm no Man Mountain and fairly new to paddling, so I didn't want to push things too far on my first major outing. With that in mind, I headed around the bay where the Swartspriut River enters the dam on my way back to Paddle Power. While doing so I came across a bird sanctuary chock-a-block with breading birds on their nests. The raucous cacophony of bird cries completely bombarded my senses, making the experience quite special – so I decided to take a well-deserved break and hang out watching them for a while. Heading back to baseBy now the sun had shifted somewhat in the sky and I realised it was time for me to start heading back. I had no idea how far I'd paddled, I just knew that when I eventually got back to the Crocodile I still had 4 km to go, and with the current working against me. Travelling against the current once I was back on the river proved to be quite interesting. Whenever I stopped paddling there was no forward momentum at all – I just stopped, then started moving backwards. This meant I had to paddle hard the entire way, it was my only option if I wanted to get back to my car and crack open a refreshing ice cold beer! Negotiating the shallow sandbanks proved to be particularly tricky. Although there was still just enough water to float my boat, it was too shallow for me to paddle, so the current kept swinging my bow downstream and back towards the dam. Knowing that it's always a mistake to fight a current, I went passively with it instead until I found my gap and headed back upstream. By the time I got back to Paddle Power I was happily exhausted, not to mention famished! So I settled down on the Beach House restaurant's deck for a couple of pints and some chow while I chilled taking in the view. And, as an added bonus, the one man band was knocking out some amazing blues – perfectly finishing off what had been an epic day. I've always known that I'd enjoy kayak touring, and now that I've completed my first mini adventure I'm chomping at the bit for more. In fact, I've already given myself a new goal; paddling the entire circumference of Hartbeespoort Dam – now there's a nice big circle for me to get stuck into! - (c) 2017 NavWorld To find out more about Paddle Power visit their website www.paddlepower.co.za
Kayaking isn't rocket science, neither is it particularly expensive, but it can give you a great workout. So if activities like going for a run or climbing onto a bike don't float your boat much, maybe you should consider giving paddling a try. That said, here's how I got into kayaking – hopefully my journey will help motivate you into taking up this amazing, multifaceted sport! Not all of us were born to run, or clock-up kilometre after kilometre along winding trails on a mountain bike. Fortunately, there are many ways for active types to burn calories, get fit and have some quality outdoor fun that have nothing to do with “mainstream sports”. I definitely fall into this category. I'll happily lug heavy camera gear around with me on a 15 km day hike. But if you ever catch me running, chances are something bad's going down – like I'm getting shot at! And I enthusiastically dumped my bike chain for the rush of an internal combustion engine decades ago. My main outdoor focus has always been water. (Although it must be said, hiking comes a close second.) My childhood passion, swimming, later morphed into scuba diving which, in turn, stoked my interest in powerboats and, ultimately, moved me on to sailing – where my interests remained stuck for longer than I care to remember. That said, I don't have a competitive bone in my body, so the thought of taking any kind of racing seriously just gives me the creeps. As a result I prefer more chilled, less structured activities where I get to push myself physically – often without realising it – while simply enjoying myself outdoors. So yeah, I definitely see myself more as a “weekend warrior” than a dedicated sports enthusiast. How I got into kayaking The kayak touring seed got planted in my brain back in 2013 when I signed up for a short offshore paddling course in Cape Town. However, I was still besotted with the 18-foot daysailer I had at the time, so it remained just a fun experience. But when I moved back to Gauteng last year everything changed – now landlocked, I had to come up with a radical new plan to get my “water fix”! Chad Andrews from Canoe Concepts playing model on our NavWorld photoshoot. It was November, and I'd met up with Chad Andrews from Canoe Concepts at Emmarentia Dam for a NavWorld photoshoot. I had recently interviewed him for a beginners kayak article I was doing titled Getting started: All the basic moves a newbie paddler needs to know and needed to illustrate the thing. Knowing that I was interested in paddling (albeit basically clueless!), at the end of the shoot Andrews casually mentions “You should seriously think about join the club, it's really affordable.” “Hey, why not!” I figured. “I'm already here.” So then and there I wandered straight into Dabulamanzi Canoe Club's reception to find out how the whole gig worked. What really surprised me was how affordable signing up was. Annual membership is just R720 (this diminishes as the year progresses), I also paid R100 for the SAMSA levy, along with R80 for my tag that gives me access to the showers and boat storage area. And, when I get my own boat (which I now have), storing it would only set me back an extra R1 000 per year. My luck was in timing-wise for the beginners paddling course, too. This cost R600, but courses aren't run regularly throughout the year. When the racing season is in full swing, like it is now, they shelve newbie training so members can concentrate on competitions. Considering the whole deal to be an absolute bargain, I paid up in full on the spot. Why joining a club makes sense I've completed enough boat competency courses to know how important it is to get the basics right before heading out on your own. And the quickest, most efficient way to do this is to join a club. For a start, you're surrounded by an amazing pool of knowledge – so you tend to not pick up any of those nasty rookie habits that are so hard to shake later on down the line. And yes, while I may not be competitive, I do want to develop an efficient paddling style. That way I get to work the main muscle groups that kayaking targets properly, namely my core, back, shoulders, arms and legs. It also means I can travel further with less effort. Even if you don't want to enter kayak marathons like these guys, you can still learn a lot by just observing their paddle techniques. Another advantage is you get answers to all your questions, often over a beer. And just by kicking back at the clubhouse, watching the “grown ups” doing their stuff, you get to understand what areas you need to focus on and why. Apart from that, you get loads of good informal advice. After I'd completed my beginners paddling course and was wobbling around the dam on my own, other paddlers would often stop and make constructive comments. Things like: “I've noticed you're not holding your paddle correctly, here's how you do it”, or “try this with your stroke, you'll find the blade strikes the water more efficiently”. In no time I was up to speed. And the beauty of it all was I didn't even have my own boat! I'd simply used one of the club's beginner K1 kayaks that are freely available to members 24/7. Apart from allowing me to practice enthusiastically over the December holidays without spending a cent, it also meant that I had some breathing space to save up for the touring kayak I wanted while still enjoying my new-found sport. I opted to pay for the beginners paddling course (comprising three Saturday sessions out of four) simply because I figured it was a really affordable way to get up to speed fast. That said, I could've gone a more informal route. The club throws in one free training session for newbies, which is enough to get you wobbling around and not falling in too often! Then you can either get a coach, or do your informal thing, relying on other paddlers to point out flaws in your form as you work it out for yourself. Finding the kayak of my dreams Paddling may be paddling, but how you go about it makes a huge difference. For example, you might want to enter marathons (which in my mind is best equated to road cycling), or go the touring route (the mountain bike equivalent). Then again, you could have aspirations to shoot rapids, or enjoy the hurly-burly action of kayak polo. And the boats used for each specific sport category are completely different. That said, I knew right from the get-go I wanted a touring kayak. But having wasted more money on boats than I care to admit over the years, I knew the best option was to buy secondhand. So I dived online and, after about a month of patient searching, I found an absolute bargain. My pride and joy ready and waiting for me to have some fun at Cradle Moon. I'd been coveting the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 touring kayak ever since I first saw it at the 2016 Johannesburg Boat Show, but I never expected to get one so soon. Imported from the US, and a real quality build with a solid international reputation to match, it goes for R20 400 new (including the rudder system). I found one in immaculate condition, including rudder, for just R7 000! And, to sweeten the deal even further, the guy threw in a paddle worth R1 500 and a bilge pump that goes for R300. This seriously freed up my budget – allowing me to get a good Holdfast kayak mounting system for my car, a set of quality lockable tie down straps, along with a good collapsible kayak dolly to easily move my heavy 25 kg touring boat to and from the water. Right now I feel like I'm living the life of Riley. I still have a few more kayak bits and pieces I want to purchase, and some of the compact camping gear on the market is catching my eye, but I'm sure I'll be sorted by the end of the year. Right now I'm just concentrating on having fun – paddling at Emmarentia Dam in the week when I can, and taking my new toy out to Cradle Moon over the weekends where I can train and enjoy myself surrounded by nature. I also feel new destinations calling, my wanderlust is definitely growing – it's going to be interesting to see where I end up next! - (c) 2017 NavWorld
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