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Worth bringing a sat nav?

Wales
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
Worth bringing a sat nav?

We are planning to hire a rv and drive from Vancouver to Calgary late August. We are wondering whether or not to go to the bother of paying to add a Canadian map to our uk sat nav and bringing it with us. We are capable of map reading and one of us has a good sense of direction(!) but have got used to using the sat nav in europe & find it really useful. Any advice/thoughts really appreciated - thanks in advance.

Hull
Level Contributor
773 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

Hi- Once out of Vancouver, I think you'll find there are far fewer roads than you will be used to in England (sorry Wales) and they are clearly signed; much less traffic also.

So, my vote would be a map, but there may be another aspect in that if you are looking for RV camp grounds, a sat nav may be useful? Right DEs?

You give no indication of timescales; allow enough time for the Rockies/ Icefields Parkway section- it's why you are going?

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
Level Contributor
27,161 posts
94 reviews
2. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

I agree with ATSF's general assessment of the situation.

As an RVer, I have never wished for a sat nav (GPS) system; the campgrounds usually provide fairly decent instructions on how to get to them, both in the campground guides and online, and they are usually well-signed.

I would strongly recommend you get campground guides from BC Tourism and Travel Alberta; they are free and have very complete coverage. You want BC's Super Camping guide, and Alberta's campground guide ("Keepin it real in Alberta"). You should be able to pick these up at Visitor Information Centres in both provinces, and the information is also available online at www.hellobc.com and www.travelalberta.com

Wales
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

Thanks to you both for your really helpful replies - maps it is, and we shall pick up copies of those you have recommended. Our planned route is Lytton (1 night), Wells Gray Park (2 nights), Jasper and Icefield Parkway (1 night at each), Lake Louise (2 nights) then Calgary. Hoping this sounds sensible and gives enough time to appreciate something of the area? It would be lovely to have clearer roads than we have here in Wales (wider too, I hope - certainly wouldn't fancy driving a rv around our twisty lanes!) Getting the impression tho' that the Icefield Parkway in the summer is something of a nose to tail procession - presume it gets pretty busy at this time of year?

Edmonton, Canada
Destination Expert
for Edmonton, Yellowknife
Level Contributor
1,367 posts
36 reviews
4. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

hi LostInWales,

This is off topic, but if you have a few nights in Calgary, the Calgary Welsh society could be having some events, if you were interested in joining some Canadian Welsh folk.

http://www.calgarywelshsociety.com/

My dad does alot of work for them and they have many functions year round, and they sometimes might take the time to show you around Calgary and area.

Wales
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

Thanks Suzanne - only 1 night in Calgary I'm afraid, but it was so good of you to take the trouble to think of us.

Western Canada
Level Contributor
1,115 posts
612 reviews
6. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

I am not sure how legal it would be to fly internationally with a GPS. I would think it could only be transported in your checked luggage with damage being an issue. A map is your best bet.

Dean in Canada

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
20,900 posts
112 reviews
7. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

"I am not sure how legal it would be to fly internationally with a GPS. I would think it could only be transported in your checked luggage with damage being an issue. A map is your best bet."

Huh? What are you on about? Legal? Rubbish point. I have had no problem carrying a GPS in luggage on flights. Damage? No different to any other bit of gear like a camera. Checked luggage? Well it would not be needed to be used while in flight. I have never had a problem transporting my GPS in carry on luggage either.

Edited: 06 August 2011, 15:36
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
Level Contributor
27,161 posts
94 reviews
8. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

Little-known fact: You must never, ever transport a barometer by air! Which is why my husband's expensive barometer is not as precise as it ought to be :(

We're not discussing barometers, nor are we likely to, but I just had to share ;-)

Western Canada
Level Contributor
1,115 posts
612 reviews
9. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

There was a case where a passenger was going to blow up a plane in the air over a metroploitan area and they foiled it. For a period of time they disabled the maps on the TVs in front of you as they didn't want you to know exactly where you where.

All you need to do is raise a flag and it will really stifle your ability to travel!

Dean in Canada

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
21,817 posts
130 reviews
10. Re: Worth bringing a sat nav?

I would never suggest packing a GPS (or any other expensive electronic gizmo) in checked baggage. It is NOT a problem to travel with a GPS in carry-on baggage - I just did it yesterday, as a matter of fact, and have done it many, many times.. Now, if you want to *turn on* the GPS while you are in the air, you should ask the flight crew first (they give the standard warning about any electronic gadget that sends or receives a signal). My father is a retired airline pilot and he has tried to use his Garmin GPS while on a flight (with permission) and it was not able to pick up a signal. Airplanes are equipped with GPS, but they have an antenna on the exterior of the aircraft.

To the OP, it won't really be necessary to have your GPS for navigation purposes in the Rockies, but you may find it handy. The North American maps have POI's - banks, restaurants etc. in their database, however, only you can decide if the cost of the map is worthwhile (mine was close to $100).

If you plan to hike, you may want to have topographic maps (if your GPS is one that can be used both in a vehicle and for hiking), but again, these maps can be expensive.

Edited: 09 August 2011, 16:33