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GPS for outdoor pursuits

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by troutster52, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. troutster52

    troutster52 Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know if GPS counts as an edc item but I figure there are folks that do what I do that have experience with GPS so I figured it'd be worth asking. I am wondering about getting a GPS for hunting/fishing and misc outdoor pursuits. I'll be doing a boundary water trip in the summer, and an antelope trip in the fall, in addition to any other hunting/fishing/outdoor stuff I always tend to do. My phone is very mediocre, and won't support some the heavier duty features I think I need. I want it for navigation, distinguishing property lines, public vs private land, and marking waypoints for where camp is, where a good fishing spot was, etc. I am looking mostly at Garmin as I have had good experience with them in the past, but I don't want to spend a ton of money. Can anyone throw some advice out? I was specifically looking at eTrex 20x and eTrex 30X just because of the price point, but would love any advice.
     
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  2. cole3418

    cole3418 Loaded Pockets

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    I have the Garmin 64st. It is a bit expensive but I was in the same boat as you not wanting to spend a ton of money and after doing some research, I saved up and got an expensive one and I don't regret it at all. It does everything I want plus some. I mainly use it for backpacking but you can use it for any outdoor activity and I think it has a nautical mode also. Garmin also has computer software for it which allows you to view trip data, plan and pre route trips, download/upload maps and map packs, and a lot more. I don't EDC it but I do take it any time I will be out of cell phone range. I also like that it runs on AA batteries so I can change the batteries in the field. I don't have any experience with any other GPS units.
     
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  3. troutster52

    troutster52 Loaded Pockets

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    That is very helpful advise thanks. Do you remember what was better about the 64st than some of the cheaper models?
     
  4. cole3418

    cole3418 Loaded Pockets

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    I can't remember exactly. I read a ton of reviews. I think it was a matter of it having all the features I was looking for and it has really good range and an external antenna connection if you need additional range. I have yet to find a place that doesn't get satellite coverage. And the fact that it runs on AA batteries because literally everything I own runs on AA's and I have a lot of eneloops rechargeable batteries
     
  5. Stonerman33
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Stonerman33 Loaded Pockets

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    I picked up the etrex 30x on amazon last summer for a great price. You can even install maps for free onto the unit. I put the detailed topo on mine as well as the routable base map, without shelling out $100+ for the official garmin ones.

    My reasoning for a dedicated unit vs a phone is I go camping in the smoky mountains a fair bit and reception is non-existent in some places, so a phone is worthless.

    ETrex is a solid option without breaking the bank.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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    I bought the Garmin 64ST almost a year ago for under $300 and have used it primarily for tracking my mountain biking and hiking trips. I was able to get a good deal on Amazon which included a free one year subscription to Garmin's Birdseye satellite imagery. I've been in some areas with fairly thick overhead cover and I have never lost a GPS signal. The Garmin Basecamp software is helpful in letting me create custom tracks for upcoming trips. I have an upcoming trip to Hawaii and I'm using Basecamp to pre-load hiking trails into the unit. I can't speak about the Etrex models but I'm sure they are capable units,The Etrex models are all touch screen where the 64 ST have buttons, I believe the 64 has a higher resolution screen and some models have bluetooth capability. The only things Ive added is a GPS pouch to attach the unit to my backpack and a 64 GB microSD chip to increase the memory capacity.

    With GPS pouch
    [​IMG]

    Bad screenshot of the Basecamp software

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by DSRacing, Mar 17, 2018
    #6 DSRacing, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  7. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

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    I'd like to get this on my wishlist for geocaching. It's been a while since I was into geocaching until my old Garmin eTrex Legend died. I read a review on the 64st that said it is not compatible with Windows 10, so they were unable to download the birdseye maps. Have you had problems with it?
     
  8. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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    I can't answer that question since I don't have Windows 10. I checked Garmin's website and it looks like as long as you have downloaded the most recent update to Birdseye, the imagery isn't a problem. Once my subscription runs out, I'm probably going to look into conversion software to load Google Earth images into Garmin Basecamp.
     
    #8 DSRacing, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  9. cole3418

    cole3418 Loaded Pockets

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    I haven't tried it with Windows 10. I am running Windows 8.1 and I have had zero problems
     
  10. cole3418

    cole3418 Loaded Pockets

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    You might also check out www.gpsfiledepot.com. They have a lot of free maps for Garmin GPS devices.
     
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  11. cole3418

    cole3418 Loaded Pockets

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    That is a cool carrying case. I use a clip to strap it to my backpack shoulder strap

    https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Backpack-Tether-Accessory-Devices/dp/B00CHEJP6C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1521334776&sr=8-2&keywords=garmin+backpack+tether&dpID=41Uk3E-Uf1L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
     
  12. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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    I almost purchased the same backpack attachment that you have. I came across this pouch that kept the unit protected from dirt and the elements without obstructing the antenna. It attaches to my backpack with Molle clips.
     
  13. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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  14. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

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    Awesome pouch. My father, since deceased, gave me a Garmin GPSMap 60CSx for Christmas around 2008. It was a very nice, well researched gift. Unforunately, the processor won't run today's increasingly detailed maps. I'm almost not sure what to do with it where in the past (about 1.5 years) I generally just geocached with it. I wish I knew how else to leverage it. I'd really buy that pouch if were going to use it. I'm quite uncertain whether to make do, sell it and get an upgraded model, or move to a touch screen model.
     
  15. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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    There are a few websites that offer cash for older GPS units, though I don't know if you could get more money just selling it on-line or here on this site. Then you could put the money toward a newer unit.

    Back to the OP's original question pertaining to fishing, I brought my 640st with me on a overnight saltwater fishing trip last summer. A few charter boats I have been on in the past will charge you for a Mexican fishing permit then never cross over the international border. It's kind of difficult to argue with the Captain when there are no landmasses in sight.The 640 tracked the entire trip over two days on one set of AA batteries and confirmed we did actually cross the border on that trip.
     
  16. Guerilla

    Guerilla Loaded Pockets

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    It might be worth getting a used iPhone to use Gaia GPS. You wouldn't need cell service with it as long as you loaded the maps you needed while on wifi. I use it all the time for hiking in the mountains and for desert trails. You can load everything on your laptop and it syncs with the phone. Several different map types are available so you can do topographical or satellite. I can plan a route, load other people's saved routes, record my route as I'm moving, set waypoints and use the "guide me" feature. It is quite amazing and I don't use most of the features of it. It actually saved me this weekend when I took a wrong turn and was way off track while on a trail in my Jeep in Moab.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    https://www.4xoverlandadventures.com/navigation-app-choice-gaia-gps/

    You wouldn't actually need an iPhone, most android phones or tablets will work as well. You could get a Samsung Galaxy Tablet for under $100 off eBay and it should work.
     
    Last edited by Guerilla, Mar 22, 2018
    #16 Guerilla, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  17. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Ive got a Garmin 64s. I use it for when i go camping, cycling, canoeing or hiking and even use it as turn-by-turn navigation in my car and motorcycle! Its really a do-it-all gps unit. With the ever decreasing size in modern electronics the device is on the larger side (tho the large antenna does make it a really fast and sensitive gps) but if you plan to use it with gloves its just right! If you do not need all the physical buttons and need something more compact you could look at the touch-screen units garmin makes.
     
  18. Crazy Chester

    Crazy Chester Loaded Pockets

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    I would second this recommendation. Try Gaia for a little while. You can use it for free (doesn't do everything in the free version though) and then upgrade if it looks like it will work for you. A phone GPS aren't as accurate as a good Garmin, but there good enough for what I use it for. They also work when you use your cell signal. The good news, is that Gaia has pretty darn good maps (more on the subscription and premium subscription if you choose to go that way), and the phone screen blows away the Garmin screen.

    I tried Gaia for free and then did a 5 year basic subscription (they sent a coupon where it wound up costing something like $12 buck a year). I then bought a water resistant battery bank so I could recharge the phone if really using heavy. Good combo for me especially since I already had the cell phone.
     
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  19. speedy

    speedy Loaded Pockets

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    iPhone and Apple watch. There are so many apps that replace the need for additional equipment.