Skip to Content
Register · Login
About Theme

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit Search

Read Board: Walking4Fun

Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941324 by koalacat
Jan 30, 2017 7:34pm
Thread
the following topic has been the reason why I haven't picked up a Fitbit yet

You do realize that the post is referring to the Charge and Charge HR, right? And... there's a lot of information we don't know about that post. I used to check my Fitbit when I rode the bus into town and despite the potholes and bouncing of the bus, it recorded about 5 extra steps. I'd be surprised if there was a pedometer out there that didn't record a few extra steps along the way, though.

But anyhow.... this reported problem might be related to a single type of device, or maybe the guy drives a heck of a lot on a road with lots of potholes or gravel roads, or maybe his car has worn out shock absorbers or who knows what else? And he drives an hour to and from work. That's a lot of driving! If he takes an average of 2,000 steps per day, an extra 2,000 from driving would make his numbers off by 100%! Someone else who drives 15 minutes to and from work and gets an extra 500 steps but walks 10,000 steps per day would have their numbers off by 5%--which isn't really a big deal.

The point is.... you aren't really going to know how it handles your situation until you try it. *shrug*

But... check the reviews on Amazon.com. That might give you some peace of mind. For instance:

  • The Fitbit Zip has 4 stars, and 61% of people give it 5 stars. This is out of 9,405 reviews--that's a lot of data to work with!
  • The Fitbit Charge averages 3.4 stars and only 47% of people think it was worth 5 stars--out of over 14,000 reviews.
  • The Fitbit Charge HR averages 3.7 stars and 54% of people gave it 5 stars out of over 35,000 reviews.
  • The Fitbit Charge 2 HR averages 4.4 stars and 71% of people think it deserves 5 stars. Not as many reviews as the others, but with over 5,000 reviews, that's still a lot of data!
  • The Fitbit One averages 4.3 stars and 69% of people gave it 5 stars with over 12,000 reviews.

So what's this tell us? The Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Charge HR are the most unpopular Fitbits out there and yes, they might definitely have issues. About 50% of the people who buy them aren't fully satisfied with either of them.

The Fitbit Charge 2 HR and Fitbit One are rated pretty well over all. I guess they must have fixed a lot of the issues people had with the Fitbit Charge when they developed version 2 of it. It's a remarkable improvement!

The Fitbit Zip kind of falls between the two in popularity. It's more suitable for my purposes and I like it, but I'll readily admit it's not for everyone either. It doesn't do much except count steps.

So.... Don't let the negative chatter about the Fitbit Charge scare you off from Fitbits completely. Even with those being the least popular models of the ones I looked at, 50% of the people who got it still gave it 5 stars, so there are a lot of people out there who like it despite whatever flaws other people report.

-- Ryan
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941333 by Green Tortuga
Jan 30, 2017 10:09pm
Thread
Yes, I am aware that it was the Charge/HR, which was what I was interested in for the past year or two. The sleep monitoring function was interesting to me. It still is since last week I was getting only three hours of sleep each day. Several people in that one topic had the issue. Other topics were made about it, too.

It did occur to me that Zip or One might not have the same issues as the Charge. I was unaware of the existence of an updated Charge. Although, maybe that is what people are picking up and posting about recently.

I think I mentioned the following on here a couple years ago. My phone's pedometer app was excellent until it started counting extra steps. There was a 2.5-3.1 mile walk which would get me around 5,000+/- steps. A thousand steps were on it at the start of the walk. The app registered over 10,000 before the end of the hike. It really frustrated me, and I stopped using Walking 4 Fun until a better alternative is found. The app also counts my driving as steps if crawling in Detroit traffic, driving through a park, or looking for a spot in a parking lot.

I am really hesitant to invest in a pedometer because of the cost and accuracy. I'm okay if it is 100 steps off, but a 1,000 or 4,000 off is a lot for me. It makes me feel like my results are a sham on W4F.
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941338 by koalacat
Jan 30, 2017 10:57pm
Thread
I am really hesitant to invest in a pedometer because of the cost and accuracy.

Just buy it somewhere with a good return policy, and if it doesn't count steps to your satisfaction, return it. I do that a lot with electronic devices I'm not sure about. Usually I keep it, but it's nice to have that return option just in case it doesn't live up to your expectations.

-- Ryan
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941343 by Green Tortuga
Jan 30, 2017 11:57pm
Thread
True. That is an option.
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941299 by Green Tortuga
Jan 31, 2017 5:35am
Thread
I use a Fitbit Zip

I'm starting to like the Zip and after reading the reviews on Amazon I thought I'd ask someone who I trust (you) about a couple of my concerns.

First is battery life. On my HJ-303 I get maybe 9-12 months out of a battery. I think I've replaced it only four, maybe five times, in four years. I'm reading in the reviews that the Zip may only have a two month battery life? Wondering what your experience is because on long hikes I'm sure you don't want to carry a bunch of spare batteries in your pack and the 2025 battery can sometimes be hard to find. At least it is around here.

My HJ-303 has a lanyard that holds the pedometer to my person should it come loose from it's holder. This has saved my pedometer from being lost dozens of times. I don't see that in the photos of the Zip. Since you take the Zip on your long hikes I'm guessing you find the clip strong enough to keep the device firmly attached to you.

And how about that tool for opening the battery compartment. That seems like a real problem. It's so easy for me to lose small things or just plain forget where I put them.

I always thought the Fitbit devices used GPS only to record distance and than converting that to steps based on height/weight, etc. But reading the reviews it seems it may be actually counting steps. Is this your experience?

I appreciate your thoughts and posts on this thread as well as everyone else's.
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941288 by Trekkie Gal
Jan 31, 2017 5:42am
Thread
Thanks for the info. I'm behind the times as I never heard of a Zip but I've only really started looking into Fitbit.

The Zip is just an activity tracker, while the One can track your sleep as well.

The Zip seems perfect. I don't need a device to tell me I'm not sleeping well. I already know that. :-)
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941317 by Ladymouse
Jan 31, 2017 5:44am
Thread
Well the HJ-321 is definitely less expensive. Does it have a lanyard on the holder to keep from losing the pedometer? Reading the reviews it seems to record some funky stuff I never use, however.
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941348 by BBStacker
Jan 31, 2017 9:01am
Thread
I'm reading in the reviews that the Zip may only have a two month battery life?

I replace the batteries about once every six months. I can't give you exact times since I don't record the dates that I change the batteries, but I'm pretty sure I've never changed more than twice in any calendar year. When I thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (immediately followed by the Tour Mont Blanc and GR 20)--about seven months in all--and only had to change it once the entire time.

Since you take the Zip on your long hikes I'm guessing you find the clip strong enough to keep the device firmly attached to you.

I just put it in a pocket. I don't use the clip at all, but it does feel pretty strong. If it's been attached securely, I'd be surprised if it would just fall off, but I can't really vouch from personal experience since I've never used it that way.

And how about that tool for opening the battery compartment.

Throw it away. You don't need it. =) The slot it goes in to open the Zip is the size of an aircraft carrier, and I just use a coin to open the device when I need it. Usually a dime or a penny. Nickels and quarters are thick enough that they'd be more difficult (though not impossible) to open the device with.

But reading the reviews it seems it may be actually counting steps. Is this your experience?

No GPS. It just counts steps then converts them into distance based on the stride you set. If you don't set a stride, a default stride will be assigned to you.... =) The only two things the Zip can do are count steps and tell you the time. It'll display distance traveled and calories burned, but those are calculated numbers based on step counts each day (which is probably the only reason it has to know the time).

-- Ryan
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941350 by BBStacker
Jan 31, 2017 4:47pm
Thread
It does not have a lanyard like the other one but I either keep it in my pocket or clip it on my waistband. It has been very much like the first one we used.
Re: Pedometer or FitBit?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941353 by Green Tortuga
Feb 1, 2017 4:36am
Thread
Thanks for the replies. I'm feeling so much better about a Fitbit now and the Zip is really my style.
I Goofed Somewhere
Board: Walking4Fun
Feb 16, 2017 4:17am
Thread
When I log my miles on W4F I always log the next morning those miles I walked the day before. I choose the "yesterday" option and log my miles. I think I really goofed this time, however.

On the 15th (Feb) I logged 6.4 miles to finish off the GAP. But I think I forgot to select the "Yesterday" option and all my miles went to "Today" - but I wanted them to be logged for the 14th. I have no record of any miles logged on the 14th so I think this is where I screwed up.

This morning I logged 17.7 miles on the 15th for the John Muir Trail, or so I thought. Turns out that 17.7 miles was added to the 6.4 miles from the 14th on the GAP. Totally not what I wanted.

Is there anyway to fix this?
I'd like 6.4 miles on the 14th to finish up the GAP and my register note to indicate the 14th.
I would like 17.7 miles logged for the 15th on the John Muir Trail.

Thanks, now that I have my Fitbit Zip I will probably sync it up to W4F next week to avert these goofs in the future.
Re: I Goofed Somewhere
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941940 by BBStacker
Feb 16, 2017 6:22am
Thread
i do this all the time. Ask Ryan.

So, you go into the 2/14 entry, and relog your correct entry. It will autocorrect to the right number of miles/steps for that day.

You go to the 15th and the John Muir Trail, and add the correct number of miles on *that* one and it will autocorrect to the right amount. And all will be right with the world.

Unless, of course, you put in 23,000 MILES instead of 23,000 STEPS and then you'll crash your entire account and it will take Ryan several days to figure out how to fix it.

~ tigs
Re: I Goofed Somewhere
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941940 by BBStacker
Feb 16, 2017 8:04am
Thread
I've gone ahead and fixed it up. =)

-- Ryan
Re: I Goofed Somewhere
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #941950 by Green Tortuga
Feb 16, 2017 6:33pm
Thread
Thanks so much
W4F, Fitbit, and Register Entries
Board: Walking4Fun
Mar 1, 2017 5:05am
Thread
So today I logged into W4F early and saw that Fitbit synched 13.1 miles for yesterday. As usual I verified this with the Fitbit app and for the first time saw a somewhat significant error (at least for me it was). The app showed that I covered 13.55 miles not 13.1.

So as I scrolled down through the photos, and really enjoyed the cute little pica, and winced at Karolina's bloody toe I got annoyed that all my miles aren't being recorded. So I went back and manually adjusted the miles to 13.55 and W4F gave me 13.6. But now I can no longer see the original register entry I made to adjust that. Not like it's a big deal or anything.

I was just wondering how all that works together. Why the register entries I saw when 13.1 miles were recorded were not the same as when I adjusted it to 13.6 miles for the same day?

Another thing that's starting to bother me with Fitbit as I near the end of the trail. I don't like wasting miles at the end of the trail so I usually add 0.1 miles at the end just to make sure I complete the trail. Any extra miles I walk that day I carry over to the next day to add to the new trail. Cheating? Nah! Just manipulating numbers a tiny bit. I still do all the work. So I'm wondering if I can shut off Fitbit just before completing the trail so I can manually close out the trail and than restart Fitbit synching a day or two into the new trail.
Re: W4F, Fitbit, and Register Entries
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #942422 by BBStacker
Mar 1, 2017 12:30pm
Thread
The app showed that I covered 13.55 miles not 13.1.

Distances are calculated, not measured. The Fitbit is only counting your steps and that's the only information sent to W4F. The distances on both Fitbit and W4F are calculated based on the stride for your account. If you didn't enter your stride, an "average stride" is used. I don't know how Fitbit estimates your stride, but Walking 4 Fun takes as much information is does know about you which could include gender, age and height then finds the average stride people have entered matching those statistics and uses that.

But in any case, the only way to get distances to match on both Fitbit and W4F are if you manually set the stride to be the same on both websites. They might not even wind up being exactly the same on the two websites due to rounding differences, but those types of differences would likely be minor.

I don't think the distances on one website are any more accurate than the other, though. The steps should always be the same, though. The calculated distances can be very different depending on your stride.

So I went back and manually adjusted the miles to 13.55 and W4F gave me 13.6.

Internally, W4F stores floating point numbers so it would have recorded 13.55 miles. (Actually, it's probably stored as something like 13.55000000001 or something ridiculous like that. Floating point numbers are funny that way.) But for display purposes, I don't want to display a stupid number like 13.55000000001 so I always have it round off to the nearest 10th of a mile--which is accurate for most purposes. =) But the thing to remember is don't sweat the small stuff. Your Fitbit might display distances with a precision to a hundredth of a mile, but there's no way your Fitbit can actually be accurate to that level of precision. If your Fitbit were entirely accurate, it really ought to say something like "13.55 miles--plus or minus 1.55 miles with a 90% confident level."

It's a false sense of precision, which is why I never have W4F display numbers smaller than a 10th of a number. But internally, it stores the numbers with much more precision than that.

But now I can no longer see the original register entry I made to adjust that.

It should show up somewhere. If you adjust the miles, it's possible the register entry is now a day "ahead" or "behind" you on the trail depending on if you added or removed miles, but it ought to be in there somewhere.

Why the register entries I saw when 13.1 miles were recorded were not the same as when I adjusted it to 13.6 miles for the same day?

You should see the same register entries--and maybe a few more for that extra half-mile you added. The register entries from that extra half mile would have been "taken" from the next day's register entries, though, so you'd lose some entries that next day.

So I'm wondering if I can shut off Fitbit just before completing the trail so I can manually close out the trail and than restart Fitbit synching a day or two into the new trail.

You can do that. I think it's probably easier just to let Fitbit sync the numbers, then change them after the fact. The day after a trail is finished and your Fitbit has synced, go in and remove the necessary number of miles/steps from the previous day. After the end of your first day on the new trail, go back and add the steps you removed from the previous day. Just wait for the day you want to adjust to be done and that your Fitbit has already synced all the data from the day before editing the numbers, though, so a sync doesn't overwrite your manually-entered data.

In theory, this should work, but I should mention that W4F will auto-check Fitbit data at something like 5:00 AM from the previous day just in case W4F missed a sync update. It's not supposed to overwrite manually entered data, but admittedly, I haven't tested it thoroughly. If there's a bug in there, your manually entered data might be overwritten. If it does, let me know--I'd like to know definitively if that code works correctly or not. But you can avoid the potential problem if you wait until the afternoon to manually update your step counts of the previous day.

Shutting off your Fitbit link and then re-activing it, theoretically can work, but it could cause similar problems if Fitbit syncs your data from the previous day to W4F and winds up overwriting your manually entered steps.

So I think just editing the steps after everything has synced is easier than unlinking and linking your Fitfit.

Actually, I think it's easier just to let Fitbit do whatever it does and not sweat the small stuff since distances are only estimates anyhow. =) You lose a mile or two of photos after walking of the end of the trail? Well, for all you know, you might not have even walked those miles to begin with if your stride is listed a tenth of an inch too long. *shrug*

-- Ryan
Re: W4F, Fitbit, and Register Entries
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #942442 by Green Tortuga
Mar 2, 2017 4:05am
Thread
Wow! Very thorough explanation. Thank you.

I dug deeply into the Fitbit App and eventually found the stride they automatically set for me. Surprisingly, it's based exactly on the same parameters that W4F uses. But in Fitbit's case they made my stride an inch longer than I have set in W4F. That may account for the discrepancy. I will re-measure my stride again and adjust as necessary both applications.

You should see the same register entries

I did not! When I first entered a register entry, with the 13.1 mile recording, there were at least five other register entries. After changing the mileage there was only one other register entry and I do not think it was included in the original entries. That's what threw me off on those. I'll poke around a bit on W4F today and see if I see those original entries. But I won't lose any sleep or steps over it.
Ryan is this you?
Board: Walking4Fun
Apr 10, 2017 9:33am
Thread
Re: Ryan is this you?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #944344 by Grrly Girl
Apr 10, 2017 9:50am
Thread
No that is not Ryan. Mainly, because that is not Ryan's backpack! Ryan does not wear a watch (and especially not on his right wrist) And Ryan never wore a shell on his pack. (too much added weight, for no return utility) It is amazing because all the walkers have pretty much the same "look" :-)

When I went to meet Ryan at the kick off for the Pacific Crest Trail I found out that all through-hikers look the same!! There were so many and they all have the same droopy hat and they all walk with a sort of a lope....a loping stride. A fellow would approach from a distance, "ohh I think it is Ryan!!" and he would get closer..."darn, not Ryan"

-Amanda from Seattle
Re: Ryan is this you?
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #944351 by Amanda from Seattle
Apr 10, 2017 10:05am
Thread
I knew you'd know immediately.
The watch seemed wrong too, to me.
New Trail Automatically Assigned
Board: Walking4Fun
May 16, 2017 4:15am
Thread
I just finished the Portugal Camino last night and usually when this happens I am asked where I'm going to next. But I see this time I was automatically assigned to the PCT. I elected to go to the Tahoe Rim Trail which I had partially completed some time ago and that appears to be happening - probably tomorrow - really not sure.

Anyway, I'm still learning the Fitbit thing so I'm assuming the automatic assignment was due to using that device. It's just the beginning of the day now so I'm wondering if all my miles today will go to the PCT or to the TRT since only one trail can have miles recorded in a single day.
Re: New Trail Automatically Assigned
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #945792 by BBStacker
May 16, 2017 8:26am
Thread
I just finished the Portugal Camino last night and usually when this happens I am asked where I'm going to next.

Walking 4 Fun will still ask you which trail you want to do next, but because Fitbit automatically syncs regularly, it reaches a point when more steps are coming in but you haven't yet logged in to select a trail and it's not sure what to do with them. So it'll pick a trail for you--at least until you log in and pick one yourself.

If there's only one day where you're on the "wrong" trail, you could just zero out the steps for that day, change the trail to the desired trail, then add the steps back by typing "fb" as the step count. It'll reload the steps from Fitbit and add them to the current trail--you're newly selected one.

I really need to set up a system where Fitbit users can select the next trail in advance so W4F will know what to do with your subsequent steps after you finish a trail. Not sure when I'll get around to that, though.

It's just the beginning of the day now so I'm wondering if all my miles today will go to the PCT or to the TRT since only one trail can have miles recorded in a single day.

If there are already steps recorded for the day, they'll go the trail that already has steps that day. If it's a day that has no steps yet, it'll go to your currently active trail. Like I said before, though, you can zero out the day's steps then when new steps are added, they'll go to your currently active trail.

-- Ryan
Re: New Trail Automatically Assigned
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #945792 by BBStacker
May 16, 2017 12:39pm
Thread
and when they told us, years ago, that computers would take over some day, we all laughed. First spell checker, embarrassing us all the time, and now this! Call for my carriage!
Re: New Trail Automatically Assigned
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #945810 by Maude
May 16, 2017 4:15pm
Thread
BBStacker,
You used to "complain" that I went past you too fast, now my pace is slower and you are the one who is passing by quickly ~~ Happy Trails and congratulations on another completion ~~
Ladymouse
Re: New Trail Automatically Assigned
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #945800 by Green Tortuga
May 17, 2017 4:37am
Thread
Thanks Ryan

If there's only one day where you're on the "wrong" trail, you could just zero out the steps for that day, change the trail to the desired trail, then add the steps back by typing "fb" as the step count. It'll reload the steps from Fitbit and add them to the current trail--you're newly selected one.

Did this - it worked! Woohoo!

I need to bookmark your response so I can remember in the future what to do.

Much appreciated
Re: New Trail Automatically Assigned
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #945819 by Ladymouse
May 17, 2017 4:53am
Thread
Thanks Ladymouse,
I loved complaining when someone passed me and I still do during real marathons (well, half-marathons or less). Sometimes when someone passes me I'll just look at them and tell them "You can't do that" with a wide grin on my face. I get some interesting responses sometimes. But it wasn't complaining, it was just fun banter that helps the time go by and the pain to be forgotten.

I wish I could have found this level of energy 40 years ago. I might have actually hiked some of these same trails we're doing virtually.

Happy Trails and keep walking. See you somewhere on W4F in the future.
BBStacker
I just started
Board: Walking4Fun
Jan 15, 2018 8:18pm
Thread
I got a Fitbit as a Christmas gift from my husband.
And I finally got set up on Walking4Fun!
I signed up for the Appalachian Trail. And I did 6 miles today.
That was a good day for me. So, ahh, this might take awhile.
I love that I have a virtual goal at least.
Re: I just started
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #955568 by Sits N Knits
Jan 15, 2018 10:01pm
Thread
I signed up for the Appalachian Trail. And I did 6 miles today.
That was a good day for me. So, ahh, this might take awhile.

Remember, it's perfectly okay to change to another trail for a change of scenery once in a while! =) When you go back to the AT, it'll pick up from where you left off. Essentially, you'll virtually be "section hiking" the trail instead of thru-hiking it!

Hope you enjoy it!

-- Ryan
Re: I just started
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #955570 by Green Tortuga
Jan 15, 2018 10:10pm
Thread
Remember, it's perfectly okay to change to another trail for a change of scenery once in a while! =) When you go back to the AT, it'll pick up from where you left off.

Soo... taht meens I can leeeve teh *hic* Wine FOuntain AND STIL COME BAKC TO IT????

NOW yoo teel me... *hic*
Re: I just started
Board: Walking4Fun
Reply to: #955570 by Green Tortuga
Jan 16, 2018 8:42am
Thread
I plan on through hiking. 😄
I wanted to hike it when I was a kid. But that seems unlikely now.
The photos are really nice so far.
I did walk a section. When I was a kid, my parents and I were on a road trip.
I can’t remember where. But I think we stopped at a park in NC. A part of the trail ran through it. I walked about 100 yards. I went back and I felt so tickled to tell my parents that I was on the AT!