Garmin Wearables for Spring and Summer Outdoor Activities
Speaking for pretty much everyone, it’s fair to say this has been a long winter and an even longer year. We handled the global pandemic and resulting shutdown in different ways. Some people started crosswords, some people picked up the phone and rebuilt old relationships, others tried building boats (guilty). And an overwhelming many reached deep into their closet, dusted off their hiking shoes and went to what seemed to be the one place that wasn’t closed — nature.
It has been called the “Great Outdoor Revival” — the mass exodus of people back into wild places. For some it was easy to fall back into old habits. But for others, the opportunity to explore new and different places leaves us with a question: How do we get started? This is where Garmin technology comes in. With the right tools in your arsenal, you’ll have no problem navigating what’s to come — whatever or wherever that may be.
GPS Smartwatch: Your Outdoor Companion
Garmin launched the first fēnix® watch in 2012. It was initially developed for Alpinists, so its ethos has and always will be built from the side of a mountain. Since the first fēnix, Garmin has continually developed wrist-based technology for outdoor enthusiasts. It has grown into the most comprehensive multisport wearable on the market, and many of its technologies have been adapted into different wearables for specialized purposes, from boating to endurance trail running.
As the fēnix family expanded, Garmin continued to integrate features for daily life, making it one of the most popular “everyday” GPS smartwatches available. Whether you’re wanting to track a treadmill run or get a better pulse on your fitness and health monitoring, the fēnix has become a digital companion keeping us on track with work and life.
However, as many people discovered last year, Garmin never stopped improving the outdoor heritage of the fēnix. With the launch of fēnix 6 Pro Solar watch in 2020, its outdoor features are as robust as ever.
Here are some features that can help you get started, stay safer and enjoy your outdoor experience more.
- In 2019, Garmin introduced solar charging to increase battery life. This allows you to focus on what you love doing outdoors and worry less about your charge.
- Knowing where you are and where you’re going is critical to staying safe in the outdoors. fēnix has access to multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) to track you in more challenging environments than GPS alone.
- ABC stands for Altimeter, Barometer and Compass, which are three critical data points when exploring new places. This helps you navigate your next trail with an altimeter for elevation data, barometer to monitor weather and a three-axis electronic compass so you always know where you’re going.
Built-in Sports Apps:
- Use preloaded activities profiles for trail running, biking, hiking, climbing and much more. These activities will track various metrics and then upload to Garmin Connect® so you can review information from your activity like calories, times, distance, the map of your course and much more.
- This provides details of every ride you take with mountain biking metrics, plus specialist Grit and Flow measurements that rate trail difficulty and how smoothly you descend, giving you a “score” to beat next time.
- If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean, you better be taking advantage of it. Recently introduced surf features integrate with Surfline Sessions™ (requires app downloaded to a compatible smartphone), which creates a video of every wave you ride in front of a Surfline® camera so you can watch them later and see how you did.
- Staying hydrated in the outdoors is critical. With this feature, you can log daily fluid intake as a reminder to drink up. When auto goal is enabled, you’ll even see estimated sweat loss after an activity, and your goal will be adjusted accordingly.
- If you are hiking, climbing or camping in various altitudes, everyone’s body acclimates differently. Altitude sickness is a real and dangerous thing. The acclimation widget shows your current elevation, acclimated elevation, and correlated Pulse Ox, heart rate and respiration rate so you can see how you’re holding up to the current elevation.
Other watches: The fēnix started it all, but since then the technology has been incorporated into various new watches. In fact, Garmin has a watch for almost everyone.
Wondering where to start? Here are a few to consider:
fēnix: You want the ultimate in outdoor performance. The face of adventure. The multisport king. This GPS smartwatch series is at the pinnacle of exploration and athleticism.
Instinct®: You want rugged. You want bold. You want a GPS smartwatch that doesn’t look like other GPS smartwatches. This is a great choice for those new to the outdoors.
Enduro™: You’re an extreme endurance athlete and you need a lightweight ultraperformance GPS watch with epic battery life. This one will help you go the distance.
quatix®: You’re a mariner. And you want a GPS multisport smartwatch that’s active on land and at home on the water. So here you go. Connect with your boat, in more ways than one.
tactix®: You’re on a mission to find a rugged GPS smartwatch with special-ops functions that help you travel in the shadows. This one will serve you well.
inReach®: Outdoor Communication
Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking they are going to have an emergency in the afternoon. This is especially true in the outdoors. When venturing into the outdoors this year, be sure to have your backup plan: a satellite communicator.
With inReach satellite technology from Garmin and an active satellite subscription1, you can stay in touch globally. You can send and receive messages, navigate your route, track and share your journey and, if necessary, trigger an SOS to help get assistance to you from the Garmin IERCC, a 24/7 global emergency response coordination center via the 100% global Iridium® satellite network.
Most people think about the “what-ifs” emergencies that may happen when they are outdoors. But what happens if an emergency occurs back home and you are out of cell phone communication range? Luckily, inReach allows two-way messaging so you can reach out to a loved one immediately.
Additionally, using Garmin Explore™, users can set up live tracking so family or friends back home can join in your adventure from the comfort of home. From a safety standpoint, this is very beneficial. For example, using live tracking, family or friends can check to see if you’re moving along your planned route. If you are, great — all is well. If you aren’t moving and you should be, they can check in to see if everything is alright. If not, they can arrange help.
A few tips before heading outdoors:
- Always let people know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
- What to use: Garmin inReach
- Educate yourself on where you are going and the surrounding area.
- What to use: A Garmin handheld GPS with its robust mapping capabilities
- Don’t just check that day’s weather, check tomorrow’s weather. If you plan to be out for an extended period, bring appropriate gear. Weather can change quicker than most forecasts predict.
- What to use: fēnix, Instinct, inReach to get up-to-date weather reports, including emergency weather alerts1
- Plan your route and stick to it.
- Mark your start and know how to get back.
- What to use: All Garmin handhelds GPS mark a waypoint; also, consider using the TracBack feature on your fēnix or Instinct
So, what comes next?
Summer and the opportunity to explore new places. After that, who knows? Inevitably, life’s ebb will flow again, and we will return to some new form of normal. If you choose to go back to the gym or continue working out at home, Garmin watches will still be there for you. All of the activities you loved pre-pandemic will be there post-pandemic and so will Garmin.
1Active satellite subscription required. Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communication devices. It is your responsibility to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the satellite communication device is intended to be used.