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Author Topic: Gps units  (Read 2938 times)

MabencollinsE

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Gps units
« on: April 29, 2012, 09:04:46 PM »
Hello,
I am so happy I found this forum! i have started hiking about 6months ago and now I would like to purchase a gps receiver. I would like the following: minimally 10 hour battery life, compass, tack my hiking route, download my routes on my Mac or windows computer, high sensitivity, loaded with maps of local and state parks. I also would like to tack my routes in miles traveled. I have never used a handheld device so i don't know if buttons or touch screen matters. Can you start with a budget purchase, a mid price and the the ultimate. Thank you

Seldom

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Re: Gps units
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 09:16:09 PM »
Look here to get an overview:
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=145
The go to a store to look at the ones you think you might like.

MabencollinsE

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Re: Gps units
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 09:43:31 PM »
I have looked at the link you suggested, but as a newbie all of his is just information that i am not sure how to translate it into my desires.

Boyd

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Re: Gps units
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 03:54:31 AM »
loaded with maps of local and state parks

Does that mean you want the device to already have maps on it "right out of the box" so that you don't have to install anything yourself? If so, the models with a "T" in their names at the link "Seldom" posted will have pre-loaded topo maps for the whole US. These maps may be fine for the general use you describe, but not the greatest. They will only be able to show your position and not capable to giving driving directions.

The cheapest of these is probably the Oregon 450t, but that depends on how you define "cheap". The Oregon is a touchscreen device, if you want buttons then the GPSMap 62st would be comparable. These are going to be in the ~$300-$400 range. For the ultimate, it would clearly be the Montana 650t. That will give you the biggest screen on any handheld and lots of advanced features. It will also give you a built-in camera. It has a touchscreen.

Now if you don't really want maps pre-installed on the unit, the eTrex 20 is probably the cheapest device (under $200) but it is lacking an electronic compass (we could debate as to whether this really matters). It has pushbuttons. The Dakota 10 is going to be the cheapest touchscreen unit (also under $200) but I would avoid it because there is no memory card slot to expand storage.

Moving up, the GPSMap62s would be the mid-priced pushbutton model and Oregon 450 the mid-priced touchscreen. For the ultimate unit without pre-loaded maps, get the Montana 600.

You should really go to a store and see these in person because they are all very different and you may not appreciate this by just looking on the web.

Seldom

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Re: Gps units
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 07:11:49 AM »
To elaborate a little on Boyd's points, the "T" series maps aren't routable.  This isn't a big issue for hiking but it does mean you couldn't use them for turn by turn driving directions except as available on a limited routable basemap.  GPSfileDepot provides higher quality nonroutable topo maps for states (for free) than you can get on the "T" series.  You can buy 24k (higher quality) routable topo's from Garmin, but they are regional, so you'd need to buy a bunch of them to cover the whole US (assuming that's where you are).  You can also get quality routable road maps produced by Garmin, for reasonable prices, but personally, I don't recommend a handheld to give turn by turn directions unless it can speak (like a nuvi).  You can get free routable road and trail maps from http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/. , but these maps don't have contour lines.  Also, be aware that the maps from garmin.openstreetmap.nl and GPSfileDepot are both created by volunteers, so unless somebody's put your area of interest on it, you may not find it.

MabencollinsE

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Re: Gps units
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 09:31:57 AM »
Boyd and Seldom,
Thank you! This is exactly the type of info I needed. I am in the Pennsylvania area. I will look around and see where I can go in and try each suggested model out. I had planned to just order something and give it a go.  Does it matter if I plan to learn to Geocaching with the same device?

Seldom

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Re: Gps units
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 09:57:07 AM »
REI is a good place to look at them I know there's one in Conshohocken.  New units permit paperless geocaching. The things to look at in the store are display size, display visibility (touch screens aren't quite as good as button types), whether you like the touch screen interface vs. button interface, and whether you plan to handhold it or mount it on something like bike handlebars that will limit your angle of view.  My touch screen OR works ok as handheld, but would be hard to read on handlebars.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 10:18:32 AM by Seldom »

 

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