GPS recommendations.

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GPS recommendations.

Postby Swithich » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:59 pm

So I'm going to need a GPS for some of these NM mountains. Can I get some recommendations? The reason I'm posting here is I've heard you can download data for summits directly to the GPS from LOJ. So I want my GPS to be compatible so I can input a mass of coordinates and go peak-bagging for the weekend.

Other than that I don't know much about GPSs so maybe giving the lowdown on what to look for in buying a GPS. I'm going to have a similar thread at summitpost. Just FYI.

Thanks.

-Swithich
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby ChrisRoberts » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:37 pm

Anything from Garmin, been using three different models through the years, all have treated me well. I have the Garmin Summit Etrex, no complaints. I always carry a physical map, so I'm not the go-to for mapping software.
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby KentonB » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:38 am

I have an older Oregon model which has served me well for a couple years now. Overall, I like the unit, but there are a few quirks that bug me:

1. The display can be hard to read under certain lighting conditions. It's actually great in direct sunlight or with no sunlight, but cloudy/shady conditions make it tough to see... especially if you're wearing polarized sunglasses.
2. Also, the touch screen tends to get scratched easily... still works fine, but mine is pretty scratched up (then again, I've been pretty rough on it).
3. The touch screen often activates in my pocket... which drains the battery. Also, unless you lock the screen each time you put it away, you can find that you've inadvertently made several changes to the display when you pull it out again (I've had multiple custom fields change on me). I imagine most/all of the new touch screen models have this problem.

Otherwise, it's very accurate, finds a signal fast, and has lots of great features and customization options. Also the touch screen works well... even with gloves on.

I've also heard good things about the newer GPSMAP 62 line (rugged, bright, etc.)... but they are costly.

If you go with either of these options, make sure you select one with a "t" extension (it will include detailed Topo maps of the entire U.S.).

I'll add that one of my hiking partners, like Chris Roberts below, also has a ETrex and loves it. The screen is a little small, but it is very bright and he wouldn't think of swapping it for anything else.

Finally, click here for the thread about loading summits en masse from Lists of John (They are loaded to your unit as Points of Interest (POIs).)
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby davebobk47 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:06 pm

I have the Oregon 450 and it is pretty sweet although a little pricey. I waited til about this time of year and used my REI dividend and a gift card from xmas so I paid about $100 out of pocket.

Happy climbing! I miss NM :cry:
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby davebobk47 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:08 pm

oh, FYI about the "t" (i.e. Garmin Oregon 450t). It is the same GPS just with the software package included for $100. I would recommend not getting the included software. I've been able to download maps and everything free from various sites (found them via this forum).
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby John Kirk » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:53 pm

I picked up at Garmin Etrex 30 in October and have been pleased with it. REI has them for $279. Oregons are pricier and bulkier. Any Garmin model with a micro sd card slot or >1 gb internal memory is what you'll be looking for to do all things LoJ (and load free topographic maps from GISdepot to upload via Garmin MapSource).
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby KentonB » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:34 pm

davebobk47 wrote:oh, FYI about the "t" (i.e. Garmin Oregon 450t). It is the same GPS just with the software package included for $100. I would recommend not getting the included software. I've been able to download maps and everything free from various sites (found them via this forum).

Good point. I bought mine dirt cheap (it was a showcase model and they were phasing it out), but you're right... not worth the extra $100 if you can find what you need online. That said, I haven't seen good topo maps for New Mexico. Do they exist?
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Re: GPS recommendations.

Postby davebobk47 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:30 pm

KentonB wrote:Good point. I bought mine dirt cheap (it was a showcase model and they were phasing it out), but you're right... not worth the extra $100 if you can find what you need online. That said, I haven't seen good topo maps for New Mexico. Do they exist?


They do have NM maps - I lived in ABQ the past 3 1/2 years where I bought my Oregon. You can get them at GPS depot as John mentioned. The one downside to the Oregon (and most Garmins that I know of) is that there is no documentation/software support. The forums on this site are seriously the best you'll get for support.
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