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Old February 7, 2013, 02:50 PM   #26
FlySubCompact
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What Shep said. Totally agree on having a compass. Even better...a GPS, an orienteering compass and a back up compass. (Comapasses can break too.)

That GPSfiledepot site is a treasure trove for Garmin maps. Topos are the main thing, but they also have "transparent" overlay maps that you can run with the topos. Government "land ownership" is a really nice overlay. Topo data and you can tell if you are one gubbmint land or private, at a glance. My wife and I have taken up hiking again and there is a "trail" overlay that has the whole AT and a lot of other, popular trails. That map overlay has all the waypoints for the AT's shelters, camps, water holes, etc. Just remember that that site's content it all user compiled, so a small donation helps keep the lights on. A $20 donation is a pittance compared to what you'd pay Garmin for lesser content.
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Old February 7, 2013, 03:00 PM   #27
shredder4286
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That overlay for public/private land would be really nice. Especially in CO where some 75% of the "national forests" are private land. At least that's what it seems like when you're hunting.

That website deserves a couple dollars I reckon. They're saving people a considerable amount.
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Old February 8, 2013, 05:27 AM   #28
FlySubCompact
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The land ownership overlays are either "east" or "west" side of the US.

My brother lives in WY and I rigged his car GPS with an SD card that had the western states government land ownership overlays. He likes that for when he is looking for government land to fish on. That overlay map even differnciates between state and federal.

I live in the SE and use the eastern LO maps. From what I've seen, most boundaries are fairly accurate. You have to take in to consideration that there will be inaccuracies because the original data comes from the government. So it is more "ball park" than precise. Same thing happens when you type in an address into a car GPS and it misses the exact place. That is not the GPs unit's fault, it was the original government data. The GPS is capable of 30' accuracy.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:51 AM   #29
shredder4286
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I checked out gpsfiledepot for WA, they have quite a good selection of stuff for the entire area surrounding me. Pretty darn good resource.

I'll have to take my etrex out next weekend and give a report. I'll only be in CO for 2 more weeks, so I guess I'll enjoy Cheyenne mountain one last time

Last edited by shredder4286; February 8, 2013 at 06:05 PM.
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Old February 8, 2013, 03:14 PM   #30
BuckRub
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Garmin etrex-H. Get a used one or Walmart has new in sporting goods for about $90.00 Theyre worth they're weight in gold.
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Old February 8, 2013, 06:07 PM   #31
shredder4286
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Quote:
etrex-H
A guy had a used one on AT for $50 shipped, but I wanted to be able to put topos on there and expand the memory. So, I got the Etrex 20. It should be at my house by the end of next week.
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:32 PM   #32
BuckRub
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yes the H cannot add toppos. Its a very simple gps and works really well in all terrain. Hope yours works well for you.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:17 PM   #33
FlySubCompact
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Etrex H is a good basic unit, like Buckrub said, but also very limited.

About any Etrex with an "H" are good, but computer connectivity is something you look for if interested in adding maps. Some older Etrex units with computer connections were great too, but had serial connectors. Look for ones with USB unles you have an old computer with a spare serial port.

I saw a clearance Etrex Summit HC at a local Academy store. $69. Nice little unit, but only had 25 meg of internal memory. 25 meg in my state (Alabama) would hold about half the state in topo maps. Not bad if your pursuits are in a local area.

BTW, On older Etrex units, the letters mean:
H-high sensitivity
C-computer interface
X-expandable memory

The new line of Etex are the 10, 20, 30. 10 is basic, but has high sensitivity, the 20 adds computer inteface/mapping, the 30 adds e-compass and altimeter sensor.

Last edited by FlySubCompact; February 9, 2013 at 01:29 PM.
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Old February 9, 2013, 01:41 PM   #34
shredder4286
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Quote:
The new line of Etex are the 10, 20, 30. 10 is basic, but has high sensitivity, the 20 adds computer inteface/mapping, the 30 adds e-compass and altimeter sensor.
You are spot-on, sir.

The 30 was a good bit more in $$$ so, I decided that I could probably live without a barometric altimeter and e-compass (especially since I don't know personally what it's like to have them) and still have a good unit that does what I need it to.

I'm really looking forward to using it in WA here in a couple of weeks.
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Old February 9, 2013, 03:51 PM   #35
Colokeb
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gps on android phones

I see that you got a Garmin. But for others still viewing, there are some free or very low cost gps map systems for android or apple smartphones..... and they precache your map so you dont need cell signal. Your phone gps does the job.

One lets you photograph or scan or download a map ahead of time. It is called custom maps. I have stored local BLM, atv, and dept of wildlife game units with boundaries. Being able to just photograph a map you have or borrow is pretty slick. You can have the same area in topo, aerial or road and trail.

Another is maverick pro running microsoft maps which you merely zoom and browse before going out....either topo, road, or sat photos.

Another is gaiagps costing about $12 or so giving all kinds of downloaded maps and topos.

Lastly, google maps have recently allowed you to save their online maps for offline use.

—--------
I have owned 12 different chartplotters or gps units. Two failed.
If you are out in the boonies where there is no cell signal, you would keep it off....therefore minimal battery usage. Free or $12 can buy a backup battery vs $165 garmin and leave $$ on the table.
Garmin can't show maps from six or more different sources. I currently own three garmins, but the most expensive HcX died and they will not honor a repair even though it was run once then put in a drawer but wouldn't come on again just out of warranty.

I can't tell you how many times I or a friend were out and needed a gps but didn't take it along. But that equally capable smartphone was on hand.
With the ability to share the exact same map via a jpg file, photo, or paper such as a Delorme book, you get some collaberation benefits.


These are a heck of a lot better than running a base level garmin

Last edited by Colokeb; February 10, 2013 at 02:49 PM. Reason: reply
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Old February 9, 2013, 05:07 PM   #36
shredder4286
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Quote:
Your phone gps does the job.
And what about people who want to repeatedly use their source of maps for a week + at a time, away from civilization, where there are no walls to plug into? Extra "smart" phone batteries are an average of $50.

A garmin etrex can run up to 25 hours on 2 AA batteries, which can be simply replaced.

Also, modern "smart phones" are notorious for having an endless list of problems leaving them unreliable at best. Out of the few I've had, I wouldn't trust the life of a tick with them.

I'll stick with a traditional GPS.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:17 AM   #37
FlySubCompact
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Phone GPS apps can work well, but they do zap the battery. Quick. I run an app called Backcounry Navigator Pro. It is really nice and works as accurately on my Android as any dedicated GPS. It even stores offline maps for when out of cell service.

If that is all you have, there is a work around to save battery life. This also works with a GPS where the battery is almost dead. Some phone apps and most handhelds will store waypoints. The waypoint lists will store the name, the distance from your current location and bearing (degrees) from your current location.

All you need is a decent baseplate compass. Decent Suunto's or Bruntons are less than $20. Just let your phone or GPS aquire a satelite lock to update your current location. Go to your listed waypoints and find the distance and bearing to your intended destination. GPS or phone app says: "Truck-1.2 miles-bearing 124 degrees". Dial in 124 degrees on the compass, turn off the GPS or GPS function on the phone to save power and follow the compass for a mile. When close to the target turn the GPS or phone GPS back on and finish finding the destination if needed.

Note that the only real hitch with this is for folks who are in an area with a high varience with magnetic declination. Study that in a orienteering book or online.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:45 AM   #38
kilimanjaro
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A Garmin will do fine for getting around, although DO NOT rely on it or any other GPS to function when you really need it to function, near dark and getting colder, two miles from the road.

You MUST carry a paper map and compass, and know the lay of the land. YOU are the instrument that will get you out of the woods in the snowstorm.
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Old February 11, 2013, 04:51 PM   #39
Jack O'Conner
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I've been an active hunter since 1968 and have never owned a GPS.
- Buy a decent compass and a Boy Scout manual

Jack
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Old February 11, 2013, 07:11 PM   #40
shredder4286
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Hmm... My original post-

Quote:
Anyone have experience with a simple, fair-priced, reliable GPS they could reccommend?
Your comment-

Quote:
I've been an active hunter since 1968 and have never owned a GPS.
- Buy a decent compass and a Boy Scout manual
I hear ya, Jack. But I was born almost 30 years after you began actively hunting. Technology is something I've grown up with. I appreciate it, but don't completely rely on it.
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:14 AM   #41
johnwilliamson062
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Do the boy scouts teach land nav with a compass anymore? I don't think the military does.

I was going to suggest mine, but it seems it hasn't been produced for near a decade.
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:27 AM   #42
hogdogs
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Quote:
I wouldn't trust the life of a tick with them.
Wasn't long ago and folks were saying that about the GPS system while they were trying to use the LORAN-C system...

JohnWilliamson, As of 6-7 years ago, BSA taught map reading and trail blazing skills... The concept was called "Orienteering"...

Kind of a lost art even in the scouting circle and the boys usually only learned of it at the larger weekend campouts...

Brent
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Old February 14, 2013, 06:13 AM   #43
HiBC
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Everybody will have their own preferences.My brother has the high ech Garmin Rhino,its nice,gps /radio that keeps track of your buddy.

I have done ok wth a cheap Garmin Cricket.

Have you ever been watching satellite TV when a storm came in and you lost signal?.The same thing will happen with a GPS and that is interesting when a white out snow squall hits you November at 8000 ft plus.Got the Tee Shirt!

On the margins of a standard USGS 1:24,000 topo,are little black tic marks.Those represent tje 1 kilometer squares of the military grid reference system.I take a straight edhge and draw that grid on my map.

I also put in a few declination ref lines,about 14 deg east in Colorado.

I set up my GPS to give me MGRS(military grid reference system) instead of lat/long

I navigate with my map and compass.If I get uncertain,I can verify my position with an 8 digit grid coordinate.The I go back to map and compass.

Now,one situation the GPS is king,fishing lakes in Canada,with all the fingers and coves and islands and trees,and they all look the same.
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Old February 15, 2013, 03:16 AM   #44
FlySubCompact
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HiBC, I do the exact same thing with my printed maps...

Except I use good old UTM (related to MRGS).
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:32 PM   #45
wooly booger
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The Garmin E-trex 30 or the Dakota are two very simple excellent gps units. I would also go to a retailer or online and get a card called huntinggpsmaps.com

This chip gives all landowner info as well as hunting game units, etc. I know they are available for Montana, Wyoming. They are located in Missoula, MT. The chip overides the 100K scale on the gps and converts to 24K.

Garmin has the best customer service of all the manufacturers.
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Old February 26, 2013, 03:30 AM   #46
FlySubCompact
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Wooly,
You can get free government land ownership overlay maps at GPSFiledepot.com
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Old February 26, 2013, 06:30 AM   #47
ice9_us
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I use my phone... access to google maps is a God send when hunting.. easy tocfind closest
Lake when hunting new place.. among other stuff
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Old February 26, 2013, 12:11 PM   #48
wooly booger
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@flysubcompact

They show government land ownership only, not private ownership, nor hunt unit boundaries.

In states like MT, this is very important. Many hunt units have different regs. EX...339 You have to draw a permit for a brow tine bull. Right across a creek or pass or road, you are in 343 which is brow time bull only.
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:56 PM   #49
FlySubCompact
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Wooly,

That is interesting. Did not know about the different units. What does that cost?
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Old April 11, 2013, 11:22 AM   #50
VTCamp
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GPS vs Map & Compass

A GPS is a nice piece of gear but you should also be proficient with a 1:24,000 topographic map and compass. I carry a military lensatic compass with Tritium illumination and a topographic map for where I am going to be. Having the map laid out ahead of time allows for a map recon of the area in which you will be operating. There are great military manuals available that cover map and compass work. The best part of a map and compass is there are no batteries to replace or signal disruptions. I also get my maps laminated which makes them water proof and a good overhead shield from the unexpected rain storm. Contact me and I'll give you more info on where I get my gear.
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