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View Full Version : Most used features of GPS


fisherman66
October 4, 2008, 03:25 PM
I'm trying to get a feel for what I NEED vs. what I WANT in a GPS to be used mainly for hunting on public land. I've used Garmin products in the past with success. I'm trying to decide between the eTrex product line, particularly the H, Vista, Venture and Legend. I WANT topo and an SD slot and an electronic compass would be nice, but I will have a magnetic along for the ride regardless. Turn by turn on the road would be nice too, but for the additional expense a base model Nuvi could be purchased at a later date.

What features do you use and what could you do without?

HiBC
October 7, 2008, 02:05 AM
I'm not telling you what is best for you.This is what works for me.
Weather socks in,like a snow squall,etc,just like satellite TV,the GPS is down.
I set my GPS up to read Military Grid Reference System.(MGRS)
I use the little black tic marks on the map margins of a topo to draw in the 1 km squares.I also draw declination lines on the map.I still use my map and compass,orientering style as my primary nav reference.I use my GPS(even a $69 Garmin Cricket) to give me an 8 digit grid co-ordinate.I use that to confirm(or deny) I know what I'm doing.That is on foot in the mountains.
In a boat,on nice days,I practice flying by instrument,following the display till I get to the ramp.It's good practice.

Blind faith in the GPS can leave me hanging,I figure.

sholling
October 7, 2008, 03:43 AM
I wish I could help but I'm green at this. Based on recommendations at GPS Forums (http://www.gpsreview.net/forums/) I just picked up a Vista on sale and I'm still figuring it out. The compass seems to work pretty well although I'll keep a magnetic compass in my pack as a backup. I added in a 2GB card and bought Garmin Topo USA maps and loaded the western 1/3 of the US while barely scratching the surface of the chip's capacity. Ease of use seems pretty good. Interestingly enough Topo USA seems to have streets as well. All that's missing so far is points of interest. Navigation can be set for on road or off road.

I was really tempted to wait for the DeLorme PN40 which is due out the 15th. The Vista is $300+ by the time you add maps. The $400 PN40 includes (I'M told) better topographic maps, and unlimited aerial imagery for the PN40 is only $29/yr. The big thing for me was I like the security of long battery life more than 3D imaging (Garmin Oregon) and aerial photos and a set of batteries is supposed to last the Vista 24hrs. I'll carry spares of course. It's just nice to know that if I break valued body parts that my GPS won't give out before I drag my butt out of the weeds.

What I'm not seeing the Vista (or others that I know of) do yet is let you set boundaries. That would be really nice for staying on public land and within zones. I could be wrong but I'm just not seeing the function. I guess it's because they are geared more toward hiking, bicycling, and geocaching than hunting.

Another nice thing about Garmin is that you can buy POIs from 3rd parties (http://www.poi-factory.com/). I just added 3000+ known speed and redlight cameras to my Nuvi. You can buy walking tour guides for the eTrex.

Good luck!

fisherman66
October 7, 2008, 07:45 PM
Another nice thing about Garmin is that you can buy POIs from 3rd parties. I just added 3000+ known speed and redlight cameras to my Nuvi. You can buy walking tour guides for the eTrex.

That's pretty neat.

I guess it's because they are geared more toward hiking, bicycling, and geocaching than hunting.

That's the rub I'm trying to get past. I can probably get away without base maps, but do I want to? A color screen would be nice. SD slot sounds nice and so does turn by turn nav. The longer I do that, the closer I get to $400. Part of me says get a 2 or 3 year old clunker of ebay for $50 and make due. The stale life of electronic gear makes using yesterday's technology so cheap. My wallet sure would prefer $50. But dang, topo sure would be nice.:p;)

Weather socks in,like a snow squall,etc,just like satellite TV,the GPS is down.
I think the new "high sensitivity" receivers might just beat the weather in most situations. I've used my laptop gps in light snow in WY with no problem. Texas doesn't really get much prohibitive weather though.

hogdogs
October 7, 2008, 07:59 PM
I am totally happy with a black screen and no map... All I need is bread crumb trail and man over board or what ever they call it on land units that just makes a mark and you can later name it.
Off shore trolling I can mark a "rip" current change and come back to fish it later. I can mark an un marked structure on the bottom then troll around it marking the edges and fish it crazy finding a HOT honey hole that isn't on the charts.
I can do the same for woods work too!
Brent

fisherman66
October 7, 2008, 08:02 PM
Thanks HD. That's what my wallet was really hoping to hear.

hogdogs
October 7, 2008, 09:19 PM
I have used Magellan, lowrance Garmin and a couple other brands in various configurations and am a devout user of Garmin. HANDS DOWN the most user friendly model to model and best at keeping features and commands similar across the board. If you can run one Garmin you can easily step up to any garmin and figure out the basics.
That is a fundamental safety issue for boaters, If I go overboard I hope some one aboard my boat can track back to me.
Brent

sholling
October 7, 2008, 09:30 PM
Really for me the backtrack or bread crumb feature was the most important thing as well. I think it really just depends on how much you're going to use it. I couldn't justify a $600 Garmin Oregon. I just won't use it every weekend and I have a Nuvi in the car. But I will use it for walking tours on vacations etc so a few extra bells were worth it to me.

If you can get by with base maps or limit the amount of optional topographic maps that you load at one time the etrex Venture HC is only $115. It holds 24MB of maps. I'd layout your wish list with priorities on a GPS forum and see what they recommend.

jbrown
October 7, 2008, 10:33 PM
I have 2 garmin gps V that I really get alot of use out of.I can use them on the street ,in my boat ,and in the woods,I bought them both new,one for $100 still in the box,a few years old.
The screen could be bigger and it would be nice if it was color,but they work just fine.

fisherman66
October 8, 2008, 08:57 AM
etrex Venture HC is only $115

I have found the Venture Cx for that price, but not with the "high sensitivity" receiver HC version. Can you provide a link for that price, please?