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GPS, Which to choose.So many!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
There are tons of GPS units out there. I need one that has a decent amount of usefull back country features and priced reasonably well. One that I dont have to buy tons of extras for, like topo maps of eastern and western us, pc interface cables, unless I have to. Are all of them even topo capable.

I always use map and compass but am deciding to get modern this year!
If someone could educate me on this matter I would really appreciate it !
post #2 of 16
I have the Garmin Etrex VistaC it's a great compact portable unit. You really need the topo maps and metro guides to make it useful. All of the Garmin & Magellan units come with a base map for north america, but for hiking, climbing or skiing out in the the back country, the topo maps are a must.

There is a learning curve to getting the most out of the gps. It's best to practice before you take it out into the woods unless you want to get really lost

It's saved me more than once, esp when navigating in foggy conditions when you can't use visual landmarks to guide you.

Also it's nice to be able to download your trip onto the computer to review later. The waypoint marking is great for pinpointing key locations if you're planning ahead or marking that secret stash of pow so you can find it again next time.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info!
post #4 of 16
I bought the Gramin eTrex Vista a few years back. It came with everything I needed except the topo maps. It has a built in compass and altimeter, but honestly, now that I have a watch with those I wish I hadn't spent the money for those features. The battery life is much shorter with the compass on, so I turn it off all the time anyway.

But it's done what I've needed, combined with the National Geographic Topo map software it's a powerful tool.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_rick
I bought the Gramin eTrex Vista a few years back. It came with everything I needed except the topo maps. It has a built in compass and altimeter, but honestly, now that I have a watch with those I wish I hadn't spent the money for those features. The battery life is much shorter with the compass on, so I turn it off all the time anyway.

But it's done what I've needed, combined with the National Geographic Topo map software it's a powerful tool.
We used the National Geographic Topo software (my friend has a copy) to map our bike ride one day. We had fun with it. It and the Garmin did a respectable job even though we were riding in an area with lots of large trees.
post #6 of 16
I have a Renault Laguna GPS system. Cost about $35,000. Doesn't do heights. Does do distances/speeds, good European maps. I think it's great, but it's crap in the back country, only works on groomed blacks or gentle greens.
It also has 4 wheels at the corners, an engine up front, and room for 5 people inside it.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
You pated 35,000 for that junker ! LOL



J/k
post #8 of 16
I've been researching this for a while. So far I've decided to get a GARMIN 76CS for skiing, canoeing, and (since it works in the car too) car travel. There are plent of neater more expensive voice-activated units made specifically for auto use, but I'm guessing you want it for skiing.
post #9 of 16
Another reference point: I've had the eTrex Legend for some years. It's sturdy, easy to carry and pretty reliable. The Vista, mentioned above, is a snazzier version in the same line. I haven't had any other unit to compare it to, so I can't say something else might not be better, but I've liked it.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
my unit will be used for skiing backcountry and any other outdoor thing I do that would require I dont get lost No need for gps in my car at all. Never needed it there before no need to put it there now.Maps do fine for driving, and I pretty much know how to get where I 'm going most of the time in a car
post #11 of 16
I just picked up a new Garmin Foretrex 101 with bike mount for $82 on ebay. It comes with a wrist strap, is quick, powerful, battery efficient and really small and light. I don't think you need any more bells and whistles than it offers for navgation, route logging, keeping track of miles skied, whatever. I've used those things since they were $10,000 and I had to sneak them out of the office. Just like computers, unless you are a nerd, you really don't need a fancy one these days.
post #12 of 16
I love my Mag. Explorist 600. Check them out. www.tigergps.com
post #13 of 16
I agree with Ghost. I have ownded the older Garmin GPSMAP 76S for years, and would love to upgrade to the color display of the 76CS. I know there are very few people over 40 here () so, keep in mind some of the GPS units can have completely unreadable displays. Just too small and not enough contrast. The GPSMAP 76CS has one of the best displays going, and its a very powerful navigator. Sorry to say you also have to buy the maps.

Limitations of a GPS: you can get guided right into a cliff zone and never know it. The contour interval is over 100 feet and the resolution is poor. Be sure to look at a 7.5 minute map if you head to backcountry, so you know where to expect dangerous features.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider

Limitations of a GPS: you can get guided right into a cliff zone and never know it. The contour interval is over 100 feet and the resolution is poor. Be sure to look at a 7.5 minute map if you head to backcountry, so you know where to expect dangerous features.
Thanks for that info I will surely keep that in mind!
post #15 of 16
I just found out that the gps is in stock. I'll be picking it up soon. He He I wonder what the ski patrol will say when I tell them I had to shush their runs to get the vertical profile with my GPS76CS (S is for barometric altimeter equiped).
post #16 of 16
Some useful websites:

http://www.gpsinformation.net/ - Lots of good reviews

http://www.gpsnow.com/ - usually have the best prices around, but you have to add the product to your shopping cart to see the price.

http://www.tvnav.com/ - ditto above. Check amazon.com also

One comment on the Garmin GPSMAP-76S, when used for navigating in a car. I have one (wish I had the color screen), and it has one limitation I found. When notifying you of a turn, it will not be able to tell you which way to turn (L or R), you have to know, or you have to pull over and look at it's map if it's not immediately obvious. It can only warn you "APPROACHING TURN" and "TURN", it also will not be able to tell you to take the second off-ramp, for example. Such are the tradeoffs for a GPS model designed for multi-purpose use, (Outdoor/Hiking, Marine and Automobile travel). That's the only dissapointment I have with it when using it for auto navigation.
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