Favorite GPS Units... Features, Uses, Etc.

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

Postby teepeeayy » Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:13 pm

I finally got around to checking out geocaching.com, what a fascinating adventure this can be! What a great web site too, lots of links. I'm literally salivating over the GPS I'm about to order.

BTW, not to start an argument, sidetracking this post, but I think I really like the Garmin Rino 130. An ASM in the troop has a pair of 120's, its predecessor. He programs our routes to the campgrounds, etc, into them. We get routes and distances to turns right in front of us. The reason I like the Rino is because its also a radio on the FRS spectrum.

Anyone with experience with other handheld GPS'? (or is this question best posed as a new post? Mr. Moderator: your thoughts?)
Terry
teepeeayy
First Class
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:58 pm
Location: Broomall, PA

Postby RWSmith » Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:28 pm

teepeeayy wrote:I'm literally salivating over the GPS I'm about to order. ....I think I really like the Garmin Rino 130. An ASM in the troop has a pair of 120's, its predecessor. He programs our routes to the campgrounds, etc, into them. We get routes and distances to turns right in front of us. The reason I like the Rino is because its also a radio on the FRS spectrum.

Anyone with experience with other handheld GPS'? (or is this question best posed as a new post? Mr. Moderator: your thoughts?)


Done... BTW, excellent idea, "teepeeayy". I'm very interested in hearing about who likes what, and why... Would like to get one, myself.
RWSmith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1625
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:45 am
Location: Mecklenburg County Council

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:34 pm

I have had one for almost 2 years My geocaching.com name is zigadabuzz. My GPS is a Garmin Geko 201 Small but works well. We Plotted all the camp sites at our camp last OA weekend. Plus all major action areas 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 hops_scout » Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:50 pm

I want to get a Rhino 120 or so. Problem is the cost like everything else.

I'm thinking about getting a cheaper Garmin b/c I want to get one:)
Putting the Outing Back into Scouting
Rappel Tower D Youth Staff 2005
hops_scout
Site Admin
 
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:58 am
Location: Lewis and Clark Council

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:46 am

Some of the best prices for GPS are on th geocaching.com web site. I got my 201 for 30.00 cheaper than anywhere else.
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 teepeeayy » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:38 am

Our troop is off to Camp Rodney on the Chesapeake this weekend. The ASM with the GPS told me last night the area has several caches, so I'm about to embark on my first geocache hunt.
Terry
teepeeayy
First Class
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:58 pm
Location: Broomall, PA

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:40 am

There are several in that area. Go to geocaching.com and put in the zip code for the camp. Print out the sheets and have fun.
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 hops_scout » Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:25 pm

I'm tempted to go buy a Geko 101 at Radioshack! 79.99!!
Putting the Outing Back into Scouting
Rappel Tower D Youth Staff 2005
hops_scout
Site Admin
 
Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:58 am
Location: Lewis and Clark Council

Postby hacimsaalk » Sun Jan 09, 2005 12:17 am

my favorite gps is a compass. it never fails, it points u the right way every time, it is simple to use, and it reguires no batteries
Micah

PA


JASM and Assistant Patrol Leader
Life Scout
High Adventure Patrol Leader


Dept. 24
EMT
Jr. Firefighter
hacimsaalk
Eagle
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 10:58 am
Location: French Creek Council

Postby wagionvigil » Sun Jan 09, 2005 10:00 am

It is very important that everyone realize that a GPS unit is NOT a substitute for a compass. If you do not know how to use a compass learn it first before you buy a GPS unit. They MUST be used together. GPS units do not work well in dense tree cover or sometimes cloud cover. They serve a purpose but ;earn and depend upon the compass first.
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 teepeeayy » Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:45 pm

It is very important that everyone realize that a GPS unit is NOT a substitute for a compass.


Wagion, that's an interesting statement relating to the GPS unit. First, I agree completely, learn the compass. As far as the GPS unit is concerned, some come with digital compasses, which adds to the price. Many folks on geocaching.com recommend a compass regardless of the unit purchased. There's no substitute for the red and white floating needle.
Terry
teepeeayy
First Class
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:58 pm
Location: Broomall, PA

Postby spryken » Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:29 pm

I definitely agree that a GPS is not a compass. It fills a different role. What it is really great at is telling you where you are. You still need a good ToPo map.

As far as units, I have a Garmin eTrex Legend C. I love it, the little I have been able to use so far. For some general info on several different types you can check out http://gpstracklog.typepad.com/gps_tracklog/

That is my uncle's blog on GPS units. He has been using and reviewing GPS units for quite a while. I wonder why it took me so long to finally get one :?:
Eagle Scout - 1975
Occoneechee Council
Falls District
Troop 352
Assistant Scoutmaster
spryken
Scout
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:19 am
Location: Raleigh, NC

Postby JazerNorth » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:24 pm

I use to own a GPS unit. Then I decided how to read a map and identify where you are using a compass, and two land mark readings. Behold, I knew where I was. OK, not down to the meter, but I wouldn't be lost. GPS is nice for those who want to be lazy, but if you really want to keen in your survival skills don't use a GPS at all.

Just my 2 little bit of cents, that ain't worth much but 2 cents, worth.

JazerNorth
http://www.jaynorth.net - The home of Scout Tracker
JazerNorth
Life
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: Wisconsin - Bay Lakes

Postby spryken » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:52 pm

JazerNorth said:
GPS is nice for those who want to be lazy, but if you really want to keen in your survival skills don't use a GPS at all.


I agree about the survival skills. I prefer my scouts to be fully grounded in maps and compass work. I believe the GPS is a tool. Just that. No miracle fix. Knowing your position lat/long without a good ToPo does no one any good.

I don't know about lazy though. Seems to me it is more work. But that may just be how I use my GPS. I typically use it more as a trip log/record. I have found that not all trails are plotted correctly on maps. Surprise, surprise. Using free software, I can download my treks and update my maps. The research I do for hikes has certainly increased and the work after the hike is a little greater. But I have accurate records.

Also, if you use digital cameras, you can actually link your track logs with the pictures. All the picture files have a date/time stamp. Sync with the GPS and you have an accurate location for where the pic was taken.

Lot more work, but fun!!
Eagle Scout - 1975
Occoneechee Council
Falls District
Troop 352
Assistant Scoutmaster
spryken
Scout
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:19 am
Location: Raleigh, NC

Postby JazerNorth » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:03 pm

spryken wrote:I typically use it more as a trip log/record. I have found that not all trails are plotted correctly on maps. Surprise, surprise. Using free software, I can download my treks and update my maps. The research I do for hikes has certainly increased and the work after the hike is a little greater. But I have accurate records.

Also, if you use digital cameras, you can actually link your track logs with the pictures. All the picture files have a date/time stamp. Sync with the GPS and you have an accurate location for where the pic was taken.


Now that would be cool for the geek minded and hiking happy people. Oh, I am a geek and hiking happy person! Using it for that, would be good and fun.

Anyway, enjoy the GPS.

JazerNorth
http://www.jaynorth.net - The home of Scout Tracker
JazerNorth
Life
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:00 pm
Location: Wisconsin - Bay Lakes

MGRS Unit

Postby ThunderingWind » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:30 pm

So, which unit is best for loading military maps of the US? While I can read a map and use a compass, I prefer using the MGRS coordinates.

Also, what is the program that is free and can update the map files of which you speak( sprken )?
ThunderingWind
Gold Palm
 
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:16 pm
Location: longer affiliated with the BSA

Postby spryken » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:42 pm

The software is called USAPhotomaps. Unaffiliated.

I will give more details after I get home and can look at what I have and use.
Eagle Scout - 1975
Occoneechee Council
Falls District
Troop 352
Assistant Scoutmaster
spryken
Scout
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:19 am
Location: Raleigh, NC

Postby odin » Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:58 am

I have a Garmin E-trex that I use for hunting and mapping some of my treks in the woods. They are great tools, but do have limitations. While mine does have the electronic compass, always have a magnetic compass with you. Batteries do not last forever!! Having a good map is indispensable with a GPS. With a map and the GPS, I can triangulate my position on a map.

My GPS does not work well under a thick canopy or on very cloudy days. It needs to receive satellite signals for accuracy and both of those elements interfere with reception.

In conjunction with Garmin's Topo software, I've been able to download my treks into the computer and save them to disk. Retrieval at a later date is easy! One of the best uses I have of the tool is when I'm away on a business trip or vacation. I can download the area I'm going to visit and use that information when I get there. Need a restaurant? Query the GPS. Want to locate a museum? Query the GPS.
odin
Second Class
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:14 pm
Location: Daniel Webster Council, NH

Postby Mrw » Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:38 pm

I have two different GPS devices that we are actually using in tandem right now.

I have the GPS attachment for the laptop that works with DeLorme's Street Atlas. Obviously not very useful for hiking.

I also have a Garmin 60CS as well as the topo software for Garmin.

We use the handheld to keep track of speed and climbing when we hike on days we can't bike. We will use it the same way on the bike when it warms up a bit.

We are in the process of organizing a cross-state bike ride for July for 200 riders. We are using the laptop based software for route design and the laptop travels in the car and tells us turns, etc when we test drive routes to make sure they will work. Much easier than just maps when some of the roads are so small they are not on a lot of maps. This will make sure the route is marked accurately before the ride also.

The handheld will travel on the bike with us when we test ride the route in the spring and will help me map the bike paths we plan on using that are not on the maps. Topo is good for making sure we don't go up ultra steep hills when there is a better way.

We spend a lot less gas driving routes this way. The Garmin topo software does not have all the roads on it, including the one we live on (10 years!).

We will be able to upload routes for other riders with compatible handhelds before the ride from the Garmin too.

Neither of these would be a complete substitute for a good map and compass. My friend used to have a problem when she tried to mount here GPS on the back handlebar of her tandem bike. The captain's butt overhung too far and she would loose the signal!
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 hisdad » Tue May 16, 2006 12:58 pm

Hi, I have Lowrance iFinder GO, possibly the cheapest currently ($69) and even less used. This is a very basic system, but I like it for hiking. Very long battery life (48hrs on 2xAA -- I use rechargable). I leave mine on continuously while "on the trail".

Here is a useful site "Important features for a hiking GPS:" http://gpsinformation.us/main/gpshiking.htm

I absolutly agree with YOU MUST CARRY A MAP & COMPASS AT ALL TIMES with a GPS (and KNOW how to use the map & compass).

As an adult leader my reason for having and really using a GPS -- additional safety. In an emergency it takes time to triangulate your exact position, manual methods are prone to human error no matter how much we train. When giving your coodinates to rescue services they need to know how reliable your use of a GPS is. Getting an injured or ill person into hospital 20 or 30 minutes quicker may make a considerable difference in the outcome (heart-attack, stroke, any head injury, etc.).

So, I'm going to use my GPS all the time.
I'm going to backup this with using a map and compass all the time.
I'm going to advocate the above.
hisdad
Tenderfoot
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:11 am
Location: SFBAC -- San Francisco Bay Area Council 028

Next

Return to Camping, Hiking, and Outdoor Fun

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest