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Thread: Good gps for ak rivers

  1. #1
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    Default Good gps for ak rivers

    Hi Guys,

    I am new to Alaska and this will be the first year I can hunt. I am finding it hard to find people to hunt with since I am not from the area. So instead of getting super lost on an ATV I figured I would float a river or two this year to try to get my Moose, black bear, brown bear or caribou basically what ever I see. I feel more comfortable on a river than driving around on a four wheeler and who. My question is I am trying to find detail maps of rivers and finding that a little hard to be. But I thought I would feel better if I had a nice GPS to track location and make sure I don't get turned around. Is there a GPS that any one us, or topo map add on for GPS that gives good detail of the river. Any help would be great,

    Thanks
    Last edited by kingfisherktn; 08-29-2012 at 13:27.

  2. #2
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    I've always preferred a good topo of the area folded into a see-through plastic map case. That way you have a much bigger picture to look at vs. the small screen of a gps. If I can't look at the map and figure out where I am, I can use my gps to just give me coordinates to cross reference on the topo map.

  3. #3

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    I would agree, if you want detail you're better off with a good topo map sealed in a ziploc bag or some other waterproof container. If wanting a GPS, the Garmin 76CSx is tough to beat. It floats and is relatively water proof. That is, water proof if you drop it in water, I wouldn't try submerging it very deeply though. On my float trip last year I took a topo map of the river and loaded Garmin's MapSource base layer onto the 76CSx. The detail / resolution of the MapSource layer was not on par with the paper topo, but most major river features were discernable.

  4. #4
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good gps for ak rivers

    I have been happy with my Garmin Etrex Vista hcx. I got a 512mb micro sd card and loaded the free mti basemaps from http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/all .

    From what I've read the Garmin maps are based on this same public topo data. With the Garmin I use the free MapSource software with Google Earth. I mark my waypoint in Google Earth off the satellite maps and save them as a .kml file. I then use the free GPSBabble to translate the .kml to Garmin .gdb format. I can then add them into MapSource and upload to the GPS.

    It sounds hard, but after a few times it becomes real easy. I have a RAM mount for my jet boat and have saved tracks from low water runs. I use it for my speedometer and glance at it from time to time. Works good to make sure you stay on the right side of an island or see where the channel was last time.

    I wish mine had a bigger screen, although the smaller size is great for hunting and hiking. It is super sensitive and never looses signal and locks on instantly on power up. Price is definitely a plus with so many features in a waterproof unit.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  5. #5
    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    Default Good gps for ak rivers

    The Oregon/Montana are sweet map GPSs they are spendy and lack custom options the old GPSs had.

  6. #6
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    Mfly
    I have only used 3 GPS . The oregon 450 is by far the most convenient . I have to keep it close to the body when it gets cold.
    Love the ease of navigation while underway. I do carry topo maps of the area I travel...but use the Oregon for most situations.

  7. #7

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    My buddy showed me how to download the Garmin maps to a Nuvi for car it updates faster and has bigger screen than my handheld GPS. Works well running rivers in AK. Update rate is important when running downstream in a jet boat trying to follow your track!

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    KK
    How does that Nuvi work in sunlight and cold temps?

  9. #9

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    KK
    Were you able to download Topos to your Nuvi?

  10. #10

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    Answered my own question on Garmin.com...Unless you know of any free downloads out there?

  11. #11
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/all

    These are very comparable to the Garmin basemap, and FREE. I used MapSource to upload them to my Garmin.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  12. #12

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    Used map source and downloaded to Garmin Nuvi then select off road and downloaded maps.

    Used it last Sept in cold weather and sunlight less glare than my Handheld and bigger screen. Was able to use winshield suction mount to stand up and navigate at chest level while running. One person driving the other insuring we were on our trackback, works great with a lot faster update
    on backtrack while at speed.

  13. #13
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good gps for ak rivers

    Just found a used Nuvi on CL for $40. Going to load it up with all my maps and tracks tonight and see how it works.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  14. #14

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    I really like the Garmin Rino series GPS. They have not only great GPS functionality with maps etc, but are also two way radios. I've done float hunting trips with my dad down in the Kenai and the biggest benefit with the Rino series is that they have position locators of where my dad was at all times. So when we went hunting in the woods, I could see where he was since he had a Rino as well. Not that I was using it for hunting, but rather that it is stupid thick in the woods and wanted to know where he was for safety reasons.

  15. #15

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    Do let us know how that Nuvi worked out. I have one and I'm tempted to try this. I was looking for a new GPS and considering a 62s when I found this website. Seems like Garmin has it hands down. http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-gps-...hunting-alaska

  16. #16
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good gps for ak rivers



    Worked great, much easier to see than my handheld Vista. The big drawback is there is no way to edit or upload tracks. It does mark where you have been though.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  17. #17
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    Default help with maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post


    Worked great, much easier to see than my handheld Vista. The big drawback is there is no way to edit or upload tracks. It does mark where you have been though.
    hi
    , I have one of these can you please tell me how you down loaded the ak maps so I can do this thanks!

  18. #18
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good gps for ak rivers

    I used the MapSource software. You download the same way as any other Garmin GPS. There are tutorials with step by step instructions if you Google it.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  19. #19
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    OK, so I've been using Garmin GPS since the signal was first turned on. I use them all over the place, but the primary point where the GPS becomes important is on snowmachine when you can't tell the difference between one valley and the next or on ATV for pretty much the same reason. They help lead you to specific topographic features, trails, or geocaches. No matter what you do, get a Garmin. Second to that, avoid the touchscreen models (Oregon and such). Get one of the real GPS units... If you're walking and rarely use it, go eTrex. If you're over land, go with the 62 series. If you're over water, it is the 78 series.

    That said, I don't think I've ever looked at my GPS screen while running a river. What would be the point in this, unless you are looking to arrive at a specific waypoint or you're looking for a land-based terrain feature? If you're running a river (or driving a car, for that matter), get your eyes on the water, not a tiny computer screen. And it doesn't matter how quick the screen updates are, it will always lag behind "reality", so you should be looking forward if you want to avoid hitting the bank or another boat.

    Now open water is a whole different story and navigating complex channels in a delta would benefit, but you'd be doing so very slowly and it would depend on you having placed an actual track to follow. Thus basemaps would be irrelevant.
    Winter is Coming...

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  20. #20
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good gps for ak rivers

    I use mine mainly as a speedometer/odometer and occasionally to see which side of a gravel bar I went on last time. Nuvi works great for this with its large easy to read screen. Bluecharts also work on an sd card which would be great for Valdez.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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