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Old September 11, 2011, 05:06 PM   #1
Charles S
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Join Date: July 29, 2002
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Upgrade GPS thoughts

For the hunters, I have used a GPS for hunting, hiking, camping, navigation on land and water for a long time. I have experience with both Garmin and Magellan .

Currently I am looking at an upgrade to a Dakota 20 vs an Oregon 450t.

I appreciate anyone's thoughts and suggestions.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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Upgrade if you like and the device does what you want it to do. I'm still using an old entry-level Magellan. When I get out of my truck in unfamiliar territory, I set a waypoint at my truck, put the darned thing in my pocket and go hunting. If I ever feel lost or bored, I'll pull it out and ask it where my truck might be.

If I see anything else I want to waypoint, I take care of that in just a few seconds and go back to hunting/hiking.

I've never seen any reason to upgrade, but I learned land navigation with a compass and map.
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Old September 13, 2011, 09:23 AM   #3
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me and some of my group have been looking at the new gps units too, the oregons are at the top of our list (i think its the 550 we are considering). Its a lot of coin to drop, ive kind of been waiting to either find a deal or catch them in a price drop
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Old September 14, 2011, 05:56 AM   #4
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I just got a new surveyor's compass. My other ten dollar one bit the dust after 12 years. Didn't know they went up so much!!! $26.13 after tax seemed absurd but I was happier than a pig in #%@* when I found out it had a mirror!!!
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Old September 14, 2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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Bought a Oregon 450 about a month ago....from Bay GPS.....about $300 if I remember correctly.

Good points:

Easy to use
Cammands are intuative
Touch screne is nice
Batteries seem to last

Bad point

The screne is hard to read in almost any light.
With the model I bought you need to download a better map

Overall it's good.

But if I had to do it over again I might look at the Montana.....bigger screne.
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Old September 14, 2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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I've never had one until I figured out I had GPS capability on my phone . I just downloaded a simple waypoint app (free), and it tells me which direction the waypoint is and how far away. I don't use it often, but it helps if the woods have grown up and become unfamiliar since the last time I visited an area. Also does good at recording white perch beds on open water on the lakes.

I don't have any advice, but I am interested in hearing what makes one GPS unit better than another. I don't know much about them.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." -Amendment II, Constitution of the United States of America
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Old September 14, 2011, 10:50 PM   #7
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I use an older Garmin Rhino 130 and I upgraded the map with a map from The Rhino unites are great GPS unites plus a two way radio that works better than any other two way radio I have been around.
* (Swinging club) Whack! whack! whack! *

Nope, the old nag's still dead .
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Old September 18, 2011, 01:45 PM   #8
Charles S
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Thanks for your review bswiv. I appreciate the information.

I like the old Rhino series, but do not need the radio capability and honestly it is not an upgrade from my current Magellan.

For all of you offering advice on compasses, I have a number of high quality compasses including the current military style and very high end surveyor compasses. I actually teach orienteering.

The next time I want advice on compasses I will ask for it. I can do things more quickly and conveniently with a GPS than I can with a compass. I can find my unmarked trot lines that run in the creek bottom in the middle of a lake at night in a couple of seconds. If you can do that with a compass while navigating the boat by yourself and handling fish, more power to you.

I can wander deeply into terrain with no significant terrain features, while concentrating on the stalk, not focusing on the next scrub oak and counting steps. If you can.. great. I simply like the convenience of a good GPS.

If you don't like or need a GPS please feel free to post your thoughts on your own thread. If you don't have anything to contribute then you are welcome to keep to yourself.

I don't have any advice, but I am interested in hearing what makes one GPS unit better than another. I don't know much about them.
There are so many differences it is hard to address in one post, everything from speed, ease of use, map types, accuracy, weight, battery life, screen type, and visibility both at night and in daylight. The ability to use it for hunting, marine use, Geo catching if you wish, navigation when driving.

A little research will show you how many there are and how diverse their capabilities can be.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell
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Old September 18, 2011, 10:19 PM   #9
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I have the Oregon 450 and then I bought the $100 3 state sd card. It is wonderful, easy to use, I can see it just fine in all light conditions and its great for on the road too. Its very customizable, Id recomend it to anyone looking for a good GPS.
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Old September 19, 2011, 09:08 AM   #10
Join Date: August 20, 2011
Location: South Dakota
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I picked up a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX last year on sale for $199. I mostly use it to mark the location of an animal I have downed or make sure I'm on public land, and it works great for both of those applications. I have had a buddy with a Oregon 450 out on the hunt, and it is a superior unit, biut for my use the vista works great. It is SD card compatible and has a color screen. The screen is smaller that the Oregon series but still works well at letting you know where you are. Like I said, I use mine for simnple navigation purposes and thats all I can really give you feedback on. I'm no GPS expert, by far.
Happy Hunting!
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