GPS Newbie

Everything done outdoors! Experiences, ideas, tips, and places to go! Hiking and geocaching; backpacking and camping; cold-weather and snow camping, too!

Moderators: Site Admin, Moderators

GPS Newbie

Postby Mad Dog » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:25 am

Okay I am thinking about buying a GPS. What do I look for? Is it possible to download trail maps? Do they exist or can you only get street maps or Topo maps? Sorry if I am asking silly questions. I am hoping to use this when our troop goes hiking. Last time the SM seemed a bit lost in the woods. :roll:
Mad Dog

ASM - MBC
Mad Dog
Life
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:11 pm
Location: Northen New Jersey Council

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:22 am

It all depends upon how much you want to spend.
go to
www.geocaching.com
There is tons of information there and you can actually get a good price on a unit there.
NER Area 4 COPE/Climbing Chairman
NE Area 4 Venturing Chairman
"If You Ain't a Bear, You're a Meal!"
wagionvigil
Counselor
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Westmoreland-Fayette Council BSA

Postby Mrw » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:36 am

I have a Garmin 60cs (probably more than you need) and the topo maps that go with it.

The maps have the streets only and they are not actually all the way up to date either. I do use it hiking and even if the trail is not marked, you can see where you are in relation to roads in the area and track specifically where you have been. If you were to get lost, you could use it to track back to where you started and find yourselves!

You can compare lots of models on the Garmin website to help you decide which features you actually need or want and which unit is best for you. We did this and picked out ours and one for a friends who needed many fewer features and got a different model. We actually bought them from Amazon though, and they were much less expensive that way!
Mother of two Eagles and troop Advancement Chair
Mrw
Gold Palm
 
Posts: 1307
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:49 pm
Location: Greater Cleveland

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:43 am

Backpacker also has an area on their web site just about GPS units
NER Area 4 COPE/Climbing Chairman
NE Area 4 Venturing Chairman
"If You Ain't a Bear, You're a Meal!"
wagionvigil
Counselor
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Westmoreland-Fayette Council BSA

Postby deweylure » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:54 am

I just started looking at GPS units basics no map at bass Pro 100.00
Units with maps in Black and White screens 170.00 Color screens 200 plus

It depends on the features you want a fast processor or will a slower one work this adds cost. Magellan seems to be the leader in GPS tech you might want to browse their website as well as other manufactures.
The folks at REI and a clinic on GPS may help.

I also rely on my tech savy son coputers and electronic gadgets are in his realm .

Deweylure
deweylure
Eagle
 
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:23 pm
Location: DesPlaines Valley Council

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:57 am

I have a geko 201 Very Basic But I use it to geocache and do some basic navigation. If you have not tried geocahching it is a hoot.
www.geocaching.com
NER Area 4 COPE/Climbing Chairman
NE Area 4 Venturing Chairman
"If You Ain't a Bear, You're a Meal!"
wagionvigil
Counselor
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Westmoreland-Fayette Council BSA

Postby Chief J » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:33 am

I must echo Wagionvigil's sentiments. Checkout Geocaching.com or "google" GPS to get some background. These items like all electronics, vary from a very basic model (no maps, no electronic compass, black and white screen) up to a color screen with removable memory cards, downloads, etc. Prices also range from about $75.00 to $500 plus.

I don't know any that just have trail maps. Many of the mid to upper end units allow you to download maps. As far as the types of maps you can download, depends on the software you purchase. I know with my new Garmin 60Csx, I have an option to download topographic maps that are scaled either 1:100,000 or certain other topo maps that are 1:24,000.

Like all topo maps, the 1:24,000 will have much more detail on them than the 1:100,000 maps. This is where you will likely get your trail detail.

You can pick up an atlas of 1:100,000 topo maps for about $20 from most sport stores. If you want to get into the 1:24,000 you normally have to go the the USGS or find a map dealer in your area.

GPS units are a great tool, but you still need to have a detailed topo map of the area and a compass as well.

Best regards,
Chief J
Chief J
Bronze Palm
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:01 am
Location: Greater Pittsburgh Council

Postby deweylure » Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:07 am

What is the exact requirement for use of the GPS or an explanation of how it works.
Deweylure
deweylure
Eagle
 
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:23 pm
Location: DesPlaines Valley Council

Postby MisterChris » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:57 pm

deweylure wrote:What is the exact requirement for use of the GPS or an explanation of how it works.
Deweylure



Follow this link::

http://usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/bo ... ml#Camping

Camping MB Requirement 3, New 2006 Requirements.
Eagle Scout since 1978

Third of 3 Eagle Scout sons of OJ 'Jump' Solaas, promoted to heaven 05/1988

http://www.troopole97.com
MisterChris
Star
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:53 pm
Location: Chickasaw Council

Postby Chief J » Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:23 pm

deweylure wrote:What is the exact requirement for use of the GPS or an explanation of how it works.
Deweylure


As these units have become much more affordable, many people are beginning to use them for hiking and recreation. In a nutshell, if you know the latitude and longitude of where you want to go to, you can enter these coordinates into this unit, and it will plot a straight line course to where you want to go.

You can use this by plotting various points along a road or trail (waypoints) and effectively plot out your course.

The other thing the units allow for is it plots your track or where you have actually traveled and keeps a log so you can backtrack if you need to.

Camping Merit Badge added the use or discussion of how to use the GPS as a requirement in January 2006.

Best Regrds,
Chief J
Chief J
Bronze Palm
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:01 am
Location: Greater Pittsburgh Council

GPS

Postby riverwalk » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:48 pm

I would never tell a Mad Dog they asked silly questions, haha. Besides, it isn't silly if you need to know. I don't know, as I've never driven one of them thar thingies. But I also benefit from the answers our fellow Scouters so expertly type herein.
riverwalk
Bronze Palm
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:45 pm
Location: Circle Ten Council, North Central Texas


Return to Camping, Hiking, and Outdoor Fun

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest