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 hand-held GPS unit recommendations? 
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Leg Burner
Leg Burner

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:20 am
Posts: 36
Location: southern NH
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 hand-held GPS unit recommendations?
It would be nice to have one of these again, for bushwacking and in case I get off-trail sometimes. I used to own one model (eTrek??) about 4 years ago but was not impressed. It ate through batteries and would take 20 minutes to find the satellites, if it could at all.

I took it on several hikes and it took so long to find satellites that I had to leave it on while hiking ... useless for quick checks. Of course it would use up the batteries in two hours so ... basically it was useless for any decent trail hike! I gave it away.

I've since gone back to a atm-pressure based altimeter, which is great .. no batteries ... ancient tribal technology, what a hoot!


Still, I want a basic model which has good battery life and good reception sensitivity. Any suggestions?


thx,
Rob

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Thu May 26, 2011 6:35 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:13 pm
Posts: 2027
Location: Mt Lafayette Winter 2009
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Hey Rob,

I've owned a couple units. The first thing I would say is to use lithium batteries. Alkaline fade and fail and rechargeables don't seem to last long enough.

I would get over 24 hours of use with my etrex (I think it's the model you had too...yellow and basic)

I also find that the GPS unit is only half the story....good software is also key. I'm not impressed with the Garmin Mapsource but it does work. I just find that I want more hiker detail and less road detail. This s/w tries to cover the full range but I've ruin into some problems with Garmin's waypoints for summits.

2 things I found I wanted after using my etrex was an electronic compass and map feature..

For a good start and since you've owned an etrex, I'd consider the Garmin Vista HCX.

I currently own the Oregon 400t but it's a touch screen and I'm not thrilled with it. But it also has an automotive mode that's come in handy.
So it's a give and take.

I just wish Garmin provided more instructions with both their units and software. I find I have to figure things out on my own all too often.

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Thu May 26, 2011 8:57 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:40 pm
Posts: 1943
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I got a 76CSx from Amazon at Christmas - last year it was $589, this year, $229. Yeah, it's discontinued. Along with the electrically identical 60CSx, it locks and tracks really well. It's hard to find accessories, like a good carrying case.

As you point out, the software is marginal. I went with the free maps and the free WMNF trails (tracks) and so far those have been pretty good.

www.viewsfromthetop.com has more discussions on GPSes than you probably care to read.

Tim

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Thu May 26, 2011 10:47 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:13 pm
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Location: Mt Lafayette Winter 2009
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Hey Tim,

I bought a Timbuk2 bike messenger cell phone case that was a lot cheaper than the Garmin brand carrying case.
It has the velcro straps on the back so I can wear it on my pack strap on my shoulder, and it has the velcro opening so I can slide the unit in and out.
I never liked the Garmin window anyway, especially in winter, so I find I was taking it in and out of the case anyway

Here it is at REI but I think I only paid $7 for it on-line....just can't remember where.
http://www.rei.com/product/797682/timbu ... ase-medium

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Thu May 26, 2011 11:13 am
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I ended up with the official Garmin case for the 76CSx, but I had to add two loops of double-sided 3/4" Velcro to keep it on the shoulder strap.

Image

1. The load lifter strap, conveniently, has a loop in the end for the
2. carabiner which connects the load lifter strap loop and the belt loop
3. and add 3/4" double-sided Velcro strips for extra security.

This works out pretty well. The unit is a really good deal for that price! It was top-of-the-line for a while. Yeah, it's a little big, but I have big hands and middle-aged eyes so that's not a bad thing ;)

Tim

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Thu May 26, 2011 11:33 am
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Leg Burner
Leg Burner

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:29 am
Posts: 87
Location: Woodstock VT
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 Delorme?
You might want to take a look before you go with Garmin. Delorme it's primarily a map compost, I think, and their map packages really differentiate them. They also seem designed more for outdoors, so they're a little awkward in a car but great on a bike, in a kayak, our on foot. enjoy![/b]


Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:07 am
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