Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?

  • 63 Replies

Offline LandCruisers4Life

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 244
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #60 on: February 05, 2008, 12:15:37 PM »
A lot of nay sayers on GPS here. However after having used GPS extensively in the military, I can tell you it works. I also have a healthy background in using map and compass too. I love compasses... I'd collect them if my wife let me. GPS is a great tool. Consider it just that, one of the tools in your navigational tool box. Always keep a topo map of the area you are visiting (in this case a trails illustrated BB topo would be perfect), a good map compass (Know how to use them, and if not find some way to learn). I have two GPS units in my Land Cruiser - the one in dash that it came with, and a Lowrance unit which is hand held and has worked well for me for years now.

I recommend Lowrance or Garmin GPS units. After having a majority of Magellan GPS failures while I was in the service, I cannot recommend Magellan.


Offline dkerr24

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1424
  • The worst day hiking > the best day in a cubicle.
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2008, 01:58:46 PM »
landcruiser:  I have to agree with you on the Magellan units.  My Magellan 210 sometimes will not see the satellites (even though I'm standing on open ground with clear view of the sky) and I have to restart it several times.



  • Guest
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2008, 02:33:10 PM »
I have hiked over a lot of desolate country and Viet Nam with only a map and compass.  Everything was fine.  Where the GPS really gained a place with me is in Idaho, Washington, Nevada and Oregon.  Those states were the ones I got turned around in while driving and seeing the scenery.  A lot of territory up there looks similar to the rest in between the spots of fantastic scenery and the gravel backroads wind around like nothing I have seen in Texas.   In five years I bet I lost track of where I was 40 or 50 times.  One chunk of farmland looks like the rest in the Palouse of Washington or the Bitterroots of Idaho.  The GPS got me oriented correctly and located so I could continue my journey with comfort.  Aside from this they are great fun if you play the Geocache game. I use the cheapest Garmin Etrex available ($88) at Target when I bought it years ago.  With a map all I need to know is where I am and I am good to go out and have tooooo much fun.


Offline presidio

  • Soaptree Yucca
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3509
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2008, 03:37:41 PM »
The 60csx looks like a nice unit, but I wonder how battery life is with a color display vs black & white.  A color screen seems like overkill for a handheld unit.

While color is not essential, it does make a world of difference in ease of use. There's only so much you can do with 16 shades of grey and speed of mental assimilation of data is much faster with color.

There does not appear to be any significant penalty for color; after all an LCD is an LCD for the most part. I use a GPSMap 76c. It will run 3 times longer on half the batteries of my old monochrome 12XL. Now, most of that difference is in improvement in the processor and display technologies, but unless you are buying a low end unit, color is pretty much your only choice anyway.

I would be way more concerned about non-essential doodads that are being added by all manufacturers in the never-ending gadget race. All of them eat batteries without adding anything to navigation. Those would be the LED lights, walkie-talkie modes, barometers, thermometers, cameras, games (why do you need games on a GPS?), MP3 players, secret decoder rings and such.

I would recommend a high end model without all or most of those relatively useless features (and it may be getting harder to avoid them). Large internal memory and the ability to use a data card of some type are much more important. Why pay for another piece of hardware that essentially duplicates the current state of cell phone feature overload?

Since the manufacturers are continually releasing new models, look for a generation or two back (but still in production) and you should find some good bargains as those prices drop when the new ones hit the market.
<  presidio  >
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)



All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments