To GPS or not to GPS...

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by rhyang » Thu May 27, 2010 2:25 pm

I don't use mapping GPS, just want something to read off position and take waypoints / navigate to waypoints. The elevation reading can be useful too. Some more info in this thread -

National Geographic Topo is pretty much sufficient for my needs -- I just print out a map with UTM coordinates prior to my trip. A lot of maps you might buy these days come with UTM grids on them, too. I always bring an orienteering compass anyway, so an electronic compass is unnecessary.

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by nhluhr » Thu May 27, 2010 5:19 pm

cabouckaert1 wrote:I bought an extra vista hcx a couple of years back and really like it. Haven't really used it for serious mountaineering, but mainly for mtb, hiking and running. Great to be able to download tracks off the internet and constantly discover new trails in your area.

Free maps are quite widely available and its quite easy to find 'unlocked' Garmin maps on the internet, good way to save money because the maps aren't cheap if purchased..
Be wary - "unlocked" garmin maps are copyrighted material and illegal to distribute. There are plenty of free/open maps to get (which are better than Garmin's anyway) that there's no need to expose yourself to legal risk.

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by Day Hiker » Thu May 27, 2010 6:16 pm

Diego Sahagún wrote:
nhluhr wrote:
tfcfool wrote:I am having the same thought as to whether to buy one or not as well. I looked around a bit and it looks like some people have found a way to get around buying the maps (see below)? Has anyone heard of that/have any experience? I'd rather not have to buy a BUNCH of maps for anywhere I go on the GPS, but maybe that's just the way it works. Also, if you don't buy the maps, will the GPS still at least give you your grid coordinates so you can find it on a paper map? If these questions are too OT let me know.

A search of internet resources shows a strong GPS community who shares the maps they've constructed for their own GPS units, in many cases far superior to Garmin's products. 1:24 topos, building footprints, national surface streets, and more. Do a quick search for a veritable online GPS file depot and you should be all set ;)
(from an REI review).
I am pretty sure I posted exactly that above... there are many resources for free maps, free tracklogs, etc. There are many free maps out there that have better detail, more POIs, and are more up to date than what Garmin offers.

OT :?: POIs :?:


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by mrchad9 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:42 pm

I found GPS useful in a whiteout, and in the woods in the winter- with snow on the ground and not much to orient by. Other than that it just seems to be a toy.

One for the car- that's different- I have a hard time without that now. Holds POI, phone numbers, nearby hotels and restaurants...

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by cp0915 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Little more than a toy, but great fun!


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