GPS for dummies
This is a discussion on GPS for dummies within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I'm curious about GPS units, and if I can find a decent one in budget, I'd like to get one. We can't wait to start ...
March 1st, 2006 07:13 PM
GPS for dummies
I'm curious about GPS units, and if I can find a decent one in budget, I'd like to get one. We can't wait to start camping again when the weather warms up, and we may actually brave a hike when we're in Scotland.
Can any of you give some suggestions on a good GPS unit that's good for hiking trails (or off trails) and that also does road maps (I've seen some have voice directions, and I don't care for that)? Any tips on what to look out for and beware of would be appreciated.
Am I right that many usually come with a base map already installed, but you have to buy more? I don't now if it matters, but I'm working on a Mac, so I'll be plugging this thing up to it if I have to download maps from a website.
We have an REI store in town and I know they have GPS units there. Here they are, so if there's something there, that would be nice. We have a dividend to shoot there, anyway.
I'd like to keep it under the $400 range, but if there's a good one that costs a bit more, I'm open to it.
As long as my shiny new husband lets me, anyway.
"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa
March 1st, 2006 07:22 PM
Garmin seems to be the best I have found. For $400 or so you can get a nice mapping GPS. They are a bit difficult to run initially, but once you have used it a bit they become simple. I personally have put my Garmin thru HE -double hockey stick .
I have submerged a few times from kayaking and hiking. (slept in a puddle ,once it started raining) and use it for hunting and Geo caching as well.
Not sure about the mapping and software, as my model doesn't have those features.
March 1st, 2006 07:27 PM
A frind of mine who is a retired surveyor (and real compulsive about his tools, transits, maps and the like - and always had really good ones), has a Garmin. Pretty topnotch, lots of accessories, etc. There are some very nice ones for under $500 - just depends on the features you want.
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March 1st, 2006 07:33 PM
+1 on Garmin.
Tough and reliable. I used one in Australia in 1999...the "return to waypoint" arrow saved my butt several times.
Just have to remember to set your campsite as a "waypoint" before taking any hikes
The unit I had didn't have internal maps...it had to be used with topo maps. Wasn't a real issue, though.
This is probably all you would need: http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60/
"I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York
"They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper
March 1st, 2006 07:45 PM
Garmin is pretty much the best i've had one almost 10 years.
Couldn't tell you squat about the new one though
March 1st, 2006 07:54 PM
We have Garmin units in all our vehicles at work. Of all the mobile equipment I have to support, the GPS equipment is the only component I haven't had to pull for repair.
March 1st, 2006 08:32 PM
I'd recommend the Garmin GPSmap 60C or 60CS. You should be able to get one fairly cheaply since they just came out with an "x" series. The x series uses a new chip set but they cost over $400.
As for maps, they come with a base map which will cover the US. I'm not sure how they would work in Scotland. Most folks end up getting the additional maps. I use the Garmin Topo maps for hiking and Volksmarching.
If you are going to use the GPS for hiking in the woods I highly recommend a color GSP...... The grays are just to hard to see under some conditions.
EOD - Initial success or total failure
March 1st, 2006 08:51 PM
VIP Member (Retired Staff)
I have a Garmin Legend Betty and it is most useful - tho I hardly exploit it all that much.
I forget cost because I bought it from a guy on THR ages ago - but have not regretted getting it.
Chris - P95
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March 1st, 2006 09:08 PM
I have the Garmin 60c. Good unit so far. I would say easy to use although the screen is hard to read indoors without activating the backlight. However GPS units don't work so well indoors.
The Vista or Legend should serve you well. I use mine for navigation and geocaching.
You can purchase the Vista here for a good price.
Or is you want to go less expensive the Legend is a good option and you can purchase it here.
Here is last years model even cheaper.
You can also poke around that site and see if you like something else better. I like the Garmins, but that doesn't mean that other units don't work well. I like the new Garmin units because they take SD cards. That means I can load up SD cards with maps for any occassion.
March 1st, 2006 09:35 PM
I had to do some GPS shopping about two years ago. My Garmin eTrex finally gave up the ghost, after 2 deployments and a whole bunch of abuse. I researched around 15 different units, and ended up with another Garmin - this time a GPSMap 76S. It has a little larger screen than the eTrex series, built-in barometer and a great magnetic compass that is super useful while walking. A lot of GPS units will not give an accurate direction unless you are in motion. The satellites give them a location but no directional control, which is where the mag compass comes in handy; just follow the arrow. Newer models also have WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System), which increases accuracy down to around +/- 3m. That is a vast improvement over even a few years ago.
There are several map options. For me, between field exercises and hunting, a topo map was the way to go. Didn't really need any more resolution for driving other than the built in base map. I bought a Map Source CD set that covers the entire US, including AK and HI. Truly amazing the level of detail - down to each individual terrain feature. Really great for dismounted land navigation, as the hills, valleys, streams, etc are right on the moving map. Cost around $100 for the CDs, and $400 for the unit.
You can't go wrong with a Garmin!!
"Speed is fine, but accuracy is final." - Bill Jordan
March 1st, 2006 10:21 PM
Garmin but the Rino 120 you can download detail maps into it it is a FMRS and extended radio as well, and your other half can have one also, when He transmits it will show you on your GPS exactly where he is with respect to your posistion. These are around $225. a pop.
"The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century
March 1st, 2006 10:33 PM
I have a Garmin GP V. Have used it on treasure hunts, but most of the time have current maps loaded on it and use it in the car for trips. Kind of neat taking a trip and knowing exactly where you are and exactly what time you can expect to arrive. Not to mention it tells you when to make turns in unfamiliar territory. The only thing I don't like about the unit is limited memory. It's fixed at 18meg. So if you go on a long trip you have to be selective about what maps you download. Wish they'd make it with the capability to add additional memory. Don't know why they didn't do that.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the weaponry to make the difference.
March 1st, 2006 10:58 PM
Betty, here is a TON of info for you to search and decide on....
and if thats no good to you... I have a 10 year old Magellen 300 (old school) thats never been used. $75 to your door. You will have to download the operating manual from the magellan website. Arthur
March 2nd, 2006 10:43 AM
I forgot (don't know why) that you are a Mac weenie, like me. That makes the additional map thing a little harder right now. Garmin has announced that all their map products will be out for Mac (OS X) by the end of the year. Another Garmin option is that the "X" series take a memory card, and Garmin is going to start selling the map stuff pre-loaded.
Right now I'm using my wife's PC to load maps on my GPS. There are at least two web sites that are Garmin-Mac oriented, I'll get you the URL's if you want them.
If you think you're going to be going into the woods (tree cover) I'd sort of recommend the 60Cx ($449) or the 60CSx ($499) since those are the cheapest GPS's with the new sensitive chipset. Otherwise the 60C or the 60CS will be cheaper.
EOD - Initial success or total failure
March 2nd, 2006 10:46 AM
I think they have announced the "end" of the GP V. I use one in the car also, and love it, but outside the car it seems to run through batteries faster than I'd like.
Originally Posted by exposurecontrol
EOD - Initial success or total failure
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