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EastCoastDave


Jun 23, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Registered: Mar 9, 2011
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GPS
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So I'm thinking of buying a GPS. I know not everyone likes them and purest often talk about the lack of need of one and how useless they are in certain situations (heavy cloud cover, think forest, yada yada..)

For those of you that own a GPS. Which model do you own? What do you like? What do you not like? What features are the most critical to you?


rtwilli4


Jun 23, 2011, 4:19 PM
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Re: [EastCoastDave] GPS [In reply to]
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Definitely get one with a British lady, not American. Way more sexy...


Partner rgold


Jun 23, 2011, 5:11 PM
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Re: [EastCoastDave] GPS [In reply to]
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The sexy ladies notwithstanding, I assume we are speaking of the GPS units made for hiking?

As with all kinds of other gadgets, it depends what the intended use is. If you are going off trail in the back country, then a GPS can be enormously helpful, but you'll still need a compass and the associated compass and map skills, at the very least in a backup capacity in case your device goes down for some reason.

On the other hand, a GPS simplifies all kinds of complicated map and compass procedures (for example, navigating towards some chosen point on a map or designated previous location like your camp or car when obstacles prevent you from just following a bearing), and makes all kinds of things possible that you simply couldn't do with map and compass (such as determining your location on a map in whiteout conditions).

Models available in the last several years have been much better than the older units at getting satellite locks in difficult conditions.

One of the best features of virtually all GPS units is the ability to record a track as you walk and then backtrack along it from any point. This has saved me countless debilitating hours of blundering around in the dark when returning from climbs in places like Red Rock, where every corridor between bushes looks like the trail under headlamp light. The ability to backtrack is also incredibly helpful if you are driving around on unmarked back country dirt roads.

If you are going out for multiple days, battery life becomes an issue. You have to carry sufficient spares (you always have to carry at least one spare set) and, for longer trips, a solar charger.


clc


Jun 25, 2011, 9:45 PM
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Re: [EastCoastDave] GPS [In reply to]
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I've been using GPS's for 15 yrs now. I would go with a Garmin. Right now I have the garmin vista HCx. It works awsome.
Make sure you get a unit with digital compass and barometer. Obviously topo maps for the gps are 100% needed too, which can be easily pirate off the internet. SAves ABOUT $200.

In bad visibilty/white out conditions a real compass is useless compare to a gps. I know some will have a hissy fit over that statement.


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