Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 78

Thread: Getting the most from your GPS

  1. #1
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default Getting the most from your GPS

    Hi Everyone,

    I'd like to put out a feeler among this community about how GPS units are being used for hunting - and also to gather complaints and problems that hunters have with their GPS. Second, I'd like to gauge the community's awareness of homemade geographic information systems and the use thereof. I'm not going to have a booth at a sportsman's show, but if there is sufficient interest, I'd like to create some sort of how-to presentation for hunters to find their ways in the woods more effectively.

    1. Do you use a GPS?
    2. Do you collect waypoint, track, and/or route data with your GPS while in the field?
    3. Do you encounter boundary issues in your hunt area? Would a GPS solution make sense for these issues?
    4. Do you use borough, state, or federal land ownership records to decide where to hunt?
    5. Do you use Google Earth before or after a hunt?
    6. Do you know how to transfer data from your GPS to Google Earth? Do you know how to transfer data from Google Earth to your GPS?
    7. What do you know about land status as it applies to Alaska?
    8. Anything else?

    This stuff is incredibly easy. The software you'll need is free and our state DFG is creating tons of data that we can use.

    Shoot me a PM with some questions or make your issues our issues and respond right here.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Wow Skinny, this is one of the coolest posts in a long time. Your entering, I think, in to one of the greatest areas this forum, and the internet has to help outdoorsmen.............oh yea, and women!
    Learning and sharing GPS info is a huge deal to learning a hunt area.
    1. I do use a GPS
    2. Yes, I collect waypoints, rarely tracks or routes.
    3. Don't currently encounter boundary issues, but expect it to be likely in the future. GPS has alot of ability to help that.
    4.Don't currently use land records...........but I see the possibilities they pose.
    5. Don't currently use Google Earth..............but would welcome learning how to do so.
    6. Don't know how to use Google Earth much.
    7. I'm fairly knowledgeable of land status. GPS would obviously help others with that.

    Looking forward to this thread.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  3. #3
    Member TWB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    3,573

    Default

    My biggest hit with my Rino530hcx is inability to route river miles without setting a waypoint at very single bend.

    Unless of course I'm missing something
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  4. #4
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Yes I plug in waypoints, but I don't navigate to them with the GPS. Usually all I ever do is turn it on, get a bearing to the waypoint, then turn it off and use my compass.

    I tried to use google Earth to transfer data this past moose season, but the datum between the two were different and I couldn't figure it out.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default old etrex, new Legend

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    3. Do you encounter boundary issues in your hunt area? Would a GPS solution make sense for these issues?
    I'd love to mark my hunt's boundaries before heading afield, but don't know how.

    One of my proudest personal moments re: GPS-using, was before I started using Base Camp with my new Legend GPS, and before I could mark a waypoint by looking at Base Camp's topo, and then in the field navigating to it.

    I posted about it here, but that was years ago. I used free-downloadable enhanced USGS maps to find my route, then hit click with my mouse, which gave me lat/lon, and I entered that into my etrex GPS.

    Then I drove for many hours in my truck, and then ATV'd alone for 6 hours or so, and knew when I was .25 miles away from where I wanted to "turn left", and it was spot on. I had started to think I had overrun the spot by a few miles but lo and behold when it came up, I knew I was "there".

    Sorry to go on. I'd love any info on how to download a GMU boundaries into my nice new Legend GPS.

    P.S. I still carry the old (can't interface with a computer) etrex gps. My old waypoints are WAY more important than either the GPS hardware or this computer I'm typing on now.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Yes I plug in waypoints, but I don't navigate to them with the GPS. Usually all I ever do is turn it on, get a bearing to the waypoint, then turn it off and use my compass.

    I tried to use google Earth to transfer data this past moose season, but the datum between the two were different and I couldn't figure it out.
    You can change the datum used in the GPS in the settings on the GPS.
    Google earth is awesome.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    I'd love to mark my hunt's boundaries before heading afield, but don't know how.

    .................................................. ......................
    Sorry to go on. I'd love any info on how to download a GMU boundaries into my nice new Legend GPS.

    .................................................. ....
    I have all the Alaska GMU in a mapsource file. You can load them as a track in your gps.
    The file is huge, so it is best to just load the unit you will need.
    I've been working on the haul road corridor, just haven't had the time to finish it.
    I can send separate GMU's but the whole file is too large to send,
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Skinny D, yes on the questions.
    Been using GPS since they came out.
    I tutor here locally on GPS uses.

    One thing that would benefit hunters is to learn to use UTM's vs Lat/Lon.
    The benefit is in being able to estimate distances easier. And also easier to plot your location (for me) on a paper map using the GPS coordinate.
    You don't have to carry a Lat/Lon ruler.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  9. #9
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    1. Do you use a GPS?
    Yes. Have used them constantly for both work and play since 1994 (when they flipped the switch).

    2. Do you collect waypoint, track, and/or route data with your GPS while in the field?
    Yes. All the time.

    3. Do you encounter boundary issues in your hunt area? Would a GPS solution make sense for these issues?
    Don't have that problem myself, but plotting a boundary on a GPS is simple as pie.

    4. Do you use borough, state, or federal land ownership records to decide where to hunt?
    Nope.

    5. Do you use Google Earth before or after a hunt?

    Yep.

    6. Do you know how to transfer data from your GPS to Google Earth? Do you know how to transfer data from Google Earth to your GPS?
    Yep. But I use Garmin's MapSource software to do all my GPS data manipulation. Much more control that way.

    7. What do you know about land status as it applies to Alaska?
    Far too broad of a question to try to answer here. And I thought we were talking about GPS?

    8. Anything else?
    Sure. I teach classes to the Geocaching community on how to use GPS. I built my first trail map for a pre-mapping style GPS back in the mid-90's. I had mapped all the major trails in the Caribou Hills and had them in my Garmin GPS40 and then the GPS12XL when it hit the market. It was the first time we could just take off through the Caribou Hills, cross country in the middle of the night without any worry about where we were. When it was time to get back to civilization, we could scroll around the GPS for a minute and figure out what trail was closest, save a MOB waypoint for that intersect and just take off into the darkness with the GPS highway navigation screen telling you to ease to the left or the right to stay on track. Then, within a couple hundred feet (remember SA?) of your waypoint, you'd pop out onto a known trail and be able to head back to cabin or truck with total peace of mind.

    I think GPS is one of the greatest tools ever invented. The advancements are to the point where I'm nearly comfortable enough to not even bother to take a paper map and magnetic compass. I've not had to actually pull a paper map out of the storage pocket for navigation purposes in at least the last 8 years.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Yes I plug in waypoints, but I don't navigate to them with the GPS. Usually all I ever do is turn it on, get a bearing to the waypoint, then turn it off and use my compass.

    I tried to use google Earth to transfer data this past moose season, but the datum between the two were different and I couldn't figure it out.
    I do the same thing. I don't track routes. I just select previous waypoints and use them to get my bearings. After I get my bearings I turn the GPS off to save batteries. If I need to, I use a compass to hold the bearing. However when using a compass in AK you have to take into consideration the declination. I believe it is somewhere between 24-28 degrees, depending on where you are at. The other thing I use my GPS for a lot is for navigating on a river. It tells me velocity, distance traveled (which can be translated into river miles), and that allows me to pace my self accordingly while float hunting.

  11. #11
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I do the same thing. I don't track routes. I just select previous waypoints and use them to get my bearings. After I get my bearings I turn the GPS off to save batteries. If I need to, I use a compass to hold the bearing. However when using a compass in AK you have to take into consideration the declination. I believe it is somewhere between 24-28 degrees, depending on where you are at. The other thing I use my GPS for a lot is for navigating on a river. It tells me velocity, distance traveled (which can be translated into river miles), and that allows me to pace my self accordingly while float hunting.
    The only time I actually navigate with it is when I'm in the boat headed out into the inlet to a halibut hole. That's usually from Anchor Point. Been glad to have it to get back when the fog rolls in...

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Palmer, ak
    Posts
    473

    Default

    I have a nice gps but I really don't know how to take advantage of it. I try to mess with it but I seem to always mess things up.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
    I have a nice gps but I really don't know how to take advantage of it. I try to mess with it but I seem to always mess things up.
    What GPS do you have?

    Post the area that gives you fits. I'll bet somebody can help.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    205

    Default Get on it!

    Skinny D. GREAT topic!! A "how to" on some of your methods would benefit a lot of us. I use a Garmin Dakota 20 all the time and it saves me time and trouble. I've been using GPS since they came out and were a pain to use.

    I've used mine in Alaska (POW island, huge help getting way back off the road in the dark) but mainly in Montana.

    My answers:

    1. Do you use a GPS?
    Yes. All the time. Reason: great way to get where you're going in the dark. Save time on the way out in the dark. Getting back to hot spots, etc.

    2. Do you collect waypoint, track, and/or route data with your GPS while in the field?
    Waypoint: yes. Track: no but I wish I knew how easier. Route: sometimes I'll set up a route so I can hike in very early/no light. Nice way to go.

    3. Do you encounter boundary issues in your hunt area? Would a GPS solution make sense for these issues?
    Yes but I bought a public/private land chip and it's the bomb. Can barely hunt without it on checkerboard land, etc.

    4. Do you use borough, state, or federal land ownership records to decide where to hunt?
    Yes, see above. In Montana we have state land, BLM, forest service, park/state park, block management, etc.. Couldn't go without this information.

    5. Do you use Google Earth before or after a hunt?
    Yes, particularly when going to a new place to try to set a route in and out. Doesn't always work as planned but often saves a ton of time.

    6. Do you know how to transfer data from your GPS to Google Earth? Do you know how to transfer data from Google Earth to your GPS?
    Not very well either way. Do we need a paid membership to Google Earth or a premium? I'd really like to know how to do this.

    7. What do you know about land status as it applies to Alaska?
    Not much.

    8. Anything else?
    -Explain quick use of "man overboard" feature. It would be a big safety factor not just for boating but getting back to an escape route (near cliffs, etc.).
    -Managing battery life.
    -Per your question above: how to better integrate with Google Earth in and out, saving routes, using Google Earth features

    Great topic.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post
    I have all the Alaska GMU in a mapsource file. You can load them as a track in your gps.
    The file is huge, so it is best to just load the unit you will need.
    I've been working on the haul road corridor, just haven't had the time to finish it.
    I can send separate GMU's but the whole file is too large to send,
    Did you get it online?

  16. #16
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks Area
    Posts
    7,272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Did you get it online?
    PM me an email address, I have the gmu file for Alaska, I will send to you.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  17. #17

    Default

    What map datum does mapsoursce use?

  18. #18
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default MOB Feature

    I don't have current knowledge of how the other brands have this feature setup though I suspect they are doing it the same way (if they put a MOB feature in their units); most Garmin units have a single MOB button push for the "Man Over Board" feature. For instance, on my most frequently used Garmin GPSmap 76CSx model, the MOB is activated with the "find" button (top left button on the layout). It has "MOB" printed adjacent to the button. To activate MOB instead of Find, you just hold the button down for a couple seconds instead of doing a normal button push and release.

    The theory is, you are in motion and need to quickly capture the waypoint of a spot and navigate back to it (i.e. a man fell overboard while you're underway). Since you already have the GPS on and running, you simply press and hold the "MOB" key. The GPS creates a waypoint for your current position and automatically enters navigation mode to take you back to that spot. So, when you get your ship slowed down and turned about, your GPS is already pointing you back to the exact spot where you marked your MOB (which will be a little bit this side of the actual location depending on your speed and reaction time). Obviously, this feature is far more beneficial to a larger boat that will take more time and distance to slow and turn. And it won't have much benefit to a guy running a 14' tiller steer in a no wake zone.

    Here's another way to use the MOB feature: You're riding your ATV/Snomachine along a trail and see a terrain feature or something a ways off the trail that you want to go investigate, but you want to return to your current location on the trail, though you might be coming back by a different route from what you use to get over there. Hit the MOB button and your GPS will record the current waypoint and enter navigation mode. Head over to your sidetrack area (ignore the GPS screen for now). When you're done and want to get back to the spot on the trail that you left from, turn your attention to the GPS and it will be pointing the direction and distance on the navigation screen.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  19. #19
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pa18tony View Post
    What map datum does mapsource use?
    All of them. In the setup, you can pick any of hundreds of map datums and coordinate systems. Same with the GPS itself.

    Alaska is a tricky place. There are still a lot of paper maps that were done under NAD27. But you also have modern electronic mapping that is adjusted to the current WGS84. You run intro trouble when you try to mix and match between the two.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  20. #20
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Battery Life

    This one is actually pretty easy. Use NiMH rechargables. A pair of Energizer NiMH will run my GPSmap 76CSx for nearly 24 hours straight. The key to rechargeables is that you have to use them. They don't sit on a shelf for very long. The less you use them, the shorter their life expectancy. The more you use them and recharge them, the longer they will last.

    I also carry a set of lithium as my backup when going away from civilization and off trail. The lithium has a shelf life of at least a decade, so they are always there if you need them, plus they run for a LONG time when you do use them.

    If you're going out in sub-freezing temperatures, you won't be happy with the shortened life of rechargeables unless you are able to keep the GPS warm, so you should just use the lithium batteries for winter excursions.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •