SFR: What are the current good options for a hiking/fishing GPS?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Josh, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Nicolas Eckhardt

    Nicolas Eckhardt Member

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    That looks pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing. I really like that it is solar powered so you are never without an energy source. Looks like a good gadget. I would be interested to know how it performs for you.
     
  2. Kcahill

    Kcahill Active Member

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    That is actually pretty cool,it is amazing with the price coming down in GPS chipsets and touchscreens what creative people can do. I would be curious about the weather sensors and see how that works out for him, once you get yours you should post some reviews.
     
  3. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    To me, a GPX is a tool that can quite literally save your life. Unlike a map and compass, a GPS works in the dark or when heavy clouds or snowfall prevent line of sight dead reckoning. Set your route on the way in and then retrace it on your way back out. Batteries run down so bring an extra set as a precaution.

    Yes, there are all sorts of cheap, less-accurate implementations. Remember the ex-Army Ranger, highway patrolman who got lost hiking across the Cascades a couple of winters ago? He had an iPhone with a backpacking map app that he was relying on. It's one thing to use an iPhone to find a store a couple blocks away in downtown San Francisco. It's another to use it to find your way through a wilderness where the margin of error could cost your life. I was at a presentation he gave a couple months later. He said one of the dumbest things he did was to reply on his iPhone which simply didn't work under heavy tree cover.

    Just as many of here us recommend to someone looking for a fly rod, buy the best one available and get the crying over early.

    This is the model the SAR guys who found the lost highway patrolman used: http://www.rei.com/product/825494/garmin-gpsmap-62stc-gps There's simply no way a $9 app running on a smartphone is even in the same time zone.

    K
     
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  4. Billy McFly

    Billy McFly Active Member

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    I agree but always carry a map and compass as a backup. Electronic gadgets break...or get dropped in a creek.... I would never go out in the woods without a backup unless your on a well marked trail that you dont go off of.
     
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  5. Gary Thayer

    Gary Thayer Member

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    Regarding smartphone GPS verses a dedicated unit such as a Garmin or a Magellan, I believe the big difference has to do with the signal: Smartphones signals coming from cell towers, dedicated GPS coming from satellites. In the outback the satellite units have advantage, metro areas favor cell units. Have read of developments in Russia and the UK of work to combine both technologies into one unit.

    G
     
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  6. snarlac

    snarlac Member

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    I cast another vote for the Garmin 62 series, and NOT Delorme, etrex, and absolutely not a cellphone. Reasons I like the 62? a) strong reception even in canyons and some overstory - the antenna is unmatched, b) buttons (just say NO to touchscreen for GPS, c) very water resistant (at least mine is). The 62 series models vary only slightly in features, mainly the preloaded/downloaded maps that go with it and some other things (compass; camera); I got mine because it was on sale at REI, a year ago, and was again last week - not sure about this moment. There are lots of free digital maps (topos, streets, etc.) available that you can load into memory cards besides the pay versions that Garmin (and other vendors) sell, and they work fine, with less bells and whistles than the pay versions. I played around with the loading of aerial photo/satellite imagery, and haven't got much use from it due to the resolution. I wouldn't want a larger screen than what Garmin has now. Also, I've had good technical support from Garmin on learning the functions, and the BaseCamp program that Garmin provides for computer interfacing is convenient for looking at things on big screens and typing on keyboards if you are into that.

    The digital compass/altimeter feature is nice, but it does have to be regularly calibrated. I use the longer-lasting lithium batteries, and keep the unit on pretty much all the time when I am moving.
     
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  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    All true. (You may have seen the news that a launch-pad explosion of a Russian rocket took out 3 or 4 new GPS satellites the Ruskies were hoping deploy to move that technology along.)

    But to the OP's question about what to use when bushwhacking, not only does that argue for a satellite-acquisition device but also to one with a substantial antenna for both acquiring and locking on to those signals. Even my Garmin 60CSx's big-time antenna gets confused under heavy tree cover or in canyons resulting in the occasion 'gap' in a route.

    K
     
  8. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I have never used it for fishing but I have for certain photography adventures. I have stored coords for shots using my iPhone and later entered them into the pic's metadata using Lightroom. I'm to cheap to purchase a gps unit for my camera. Besides I don't use one enough to spend actual money on it.
     
  9. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    I'm A fan of the map & compass , There are no batteries to fail & when the nuclear holocaust comes & and the sateillites fall from the sky ... I'll still be able to get my ass home!!!
     
  10. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    Played with some at REI this evening. Gotta say, the touchscreen of the garmin Oregon series was pretty nice.
     
  11. Josh Smestad

    Josh Smestad aka Mtnwkr

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    Touchscreen is no bueno when you're wearing gloves, your hands are wet, or when very cold. Buttons are the prefered method on backcountry GPS's. See b) in Snarlacs post..
     
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  12. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    They're nice to have, but you're right OMJ - the dependency on the tech (this coming from a senior software engineer may sound odd) can bite ya in the ass.

    While exploring Sky tribs a couple weekends ago we had a kid and mom ask us for directions because they're GPS wasn't getting a signal in that location.

    I pulled out a giant paper map of the Sky basin, put it on the hood of the truck, and showed em where they needed to go.

    +1 for paper and knowing where the hell ya are the old school way.

    Sorry to semi-hijack, Josh, I realize you seem like the type o' dude that knows how to get around in the sticks without getting lost. Personally, I've been looking at full color gps / sonar / fish finders for my boat lately, and I have a little hand held Magellan GPS unit (old one) with a black and white screen that I put in my stuff in case I get in a pinch - helped me a lot when I got fogged in on the South Sound in my boat.
     
  13. Richard Torres

    Richard Torres Active Member

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    Once you leave the cellphone corridor, the GPS in your smartphone is worthless and you might as well throw your phone in the creek or use it as handy map paperweight. Get a decent GPS unit and you'll be fine.
     
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  14. Richard Torres

    Richard Torres Active Member

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    And the accuracy of every GPS unit is not that good with trees overhead unless you have enough birds flying directly over which is hardly the case since they are constantly moving. Certain hours of the day give you better results depending on the number of satellites that occupy the area at that time.
     
  15. Chris Selvar

    Chris Selvar Active Member

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    Josh, if you'd like you can borrow my Garmin 62S for a weekend if your near by. I understand that playing with a GPS in the store doesnt quite cut it when trying to make a decision. I did alot of reserach before I bought mine, based off of online reviews, friends experience, and cost to features I really believe the 62 series is the best GPS out there right now under $500
     
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