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Thread: could use a hand choosing the best handheld gps

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    Default could use a hand choosing the best handheld gps

    Looking for the best Garmin gps for multi purpose use- but mainly for hunting/hiking. I've looked over their website- but I'd rather have opinions from folks who've used them. We want rugged & EASY TO USE!

    Thanks for any time you've spent giving me your opinion!

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jubilation View Post
    Looking for the best Garmin gps for multi purpose use- but mainly for hunting/hiking. I've looked over their website- but I'd rather have opinions from folks who've used them. We want rugged & EASY TO USE!

    Thanks for any time you've spent giving me your opinion!
    I was just in your shoes a few weeks ago and went through a ton of reviews..
    I found for what I needed the Garmin 550 was hard to beat and was able to purchase it off Amazon for $244.
    Its been great so far during the few times I used it. I even figured out how to get free maps to it. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    +1 for the Garmin 550, just make sure to lock the screen when you put it in your pocket. Mine ended up in Russian and it took me an hour to get it back right.
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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    +1 for the Garmin 550, just make sure to lock the screen when you put it in your pocket. Mine ended up in Russian and it took me an hour to get it back right.
    I hope you wernt pulling it out to find your way back to the truck when that happened lol..

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimano 33 View Post
    I hope you wernt pulling it out to find your way back to the truck when that happened lol..
    Worst, had it around my neck on a float hunt looking for the takeout. It has a touch screen and it is unlike an iphone, it can be used with gloves on. I just make sure to lock the screen now, which is an easy step.
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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Worst, had it around my neck on a float hunt looking for the takeout. It has a touch screen and it is unlike an iphone, it can be used with gloves on. I just make sure to lock the screen now, which is an easy step.
    Yep, that would officially suck..

    So when you say lock do you mean just hold the power button for like 3 seconds?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimano 33 View Post
    Yep, that would officially suck..

    So when you say lock do you mean just hold the power button for like 3 seconds?
    If I remember right, you hit the power button and it brings up a menu and then touch lock screen.
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    Always been a huge fan of Garmin. Back when there was poor coverage over the North Slope Borough many devices didn't work but our Garmin's did. I can tell you when we hiked 5 miles west [one in our group didn't have a bow] from the Haul Road at Franklin Bluffs it was Garmin who got us back to our vehicle when all four of us thought otherwise... That said, I'd like to offer this ~ we didn't get to the 5 mile point until after lunchtime and after waiting for the heard to settle, harvesting and butchering 4 bulls, it wasn't until 2:30 the next morning until we returned to our truck. Lastly, I really need to include this bit of information ~ not only did our Garmin get us back to the truck [when everyone doubted its accuracy] {you ready for it?} it brought us to the exact spot where not quite 24 hours prior the waypoint was entered! [not to the front bumper and not to the rear bumper but exactly to the passenger door where the waypoint was entered] This is back in the days of the GPS 4! We've since used the 5 and the 5 Plus but I assure you there are models out there now that are light-years ahead of the technology we were using at the time. My hunting partner for elk and bear in Idaho has a newer model and I'm very impressed with its graphics, compactness, reception, coverage, color, and accuracy. For now [9 years and counting] I will continue to use my old 5 Plus I purchased from Cabela's Bargain Cave in Boise ID for half price [it had not yet even been initialized] Hope this helps and no I'm in no way associated with the Garmin firm. Good Luck with your search!

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    Member shimano 33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    If I remember right, you hit the power button and it brings up a menu and then touch lock screen.
    Thanks, I will check this feature out next time I turn it on.

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    I still have and use the Garmin etrek Ledend and it works great!!

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    I had a garmin etrex legend, worked great and used it mainly for geocaching til I rubbed the buttons off. Now have a Garmin 530HCx and I like it. I've never used the walkie though since nobody i have gone hunting/hiking with has one.

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    thanks for ideas. I see that some of you are using non- current models. I gotta look for something thatI can find in the stores. =) The touch screen models look nice- but I wonder if they are hokey or fragile. Some of the opther have pretty small screens & lots of buttons. My dad swears by his Rino- but we don't need a walkie & the 2 antennas look like somthing askin to get broken

    Hope to find something pretty intuative. Thanks again! And I'l keep watching the thread in case anyone else has an opinion to share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    +1 for the Garmin 550, just make sure to lock the screen when you put it in your pocket

    I chose the 550T strictly because all the topo maps are preloaded onto it. Very simple to use. Not hokey or fragile by any means. But I do recommend putting a cut to size screen protector on it.

    Crap they're actually on sale right now at Cabelas. And the newest model even has a camera built in.

    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/produ...Fe1_QgodgzUAMA
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    I purchased the Garmin Montana last year and am very happy with the functionality and ruggedness, however it is larger than I would have liked. I wish I had purchased the Garmin Oregon instead.

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    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    Supper happy with my etrex 20 color screen, expandable memory and a button I can use with mitts on it. I got all my maps from gis alaska.... Their free! So is the satalite coverage.

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jubilation View Post
    Looking for the best Garmin gps for multi purpose use- but mainly for hunting/hiking. I've looked over their website- but I'd rather have opinions from folks who've used them. We want rugged & EASY TO USE!

    Thanks for any time you've spent giving me your opinion!
    The Oregon and Dakota models are not rugged. In fact, the touch screens are prone to crack and/or otherwise stop functioning properly.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    i like my 61 csx series not a big fan of the touch screen & much prefer the simple use of this model

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    The Oregon and Dakota models are not rugged. In fact, the touch screens are prone to crack and/or otherwise stop functioning properly.

    I have been using them for years and have never had a failure, I don't drive tent stakes with them, but I don't baby them either.

    Have you had one fail?
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I have been using them for years and have never had a failure, I don't drive tent stakes with them, but I don't baby them either.

    Have you had one fail?
    Got a busted one on my desk as we speak. Garmin won't replace it either, as "rough use" falls outside of the one year limited warranty. This mishap occurred in transit between Fairbanks and Galena, so I'm not sure if my bag got dropped or squashed...

    However, when it was working, I really liked the Dakota, and folks I work with are happy with them too. The screen is big and the functionality is easy to figure out.

    You might remember a few .gpx files that we discussed (mostly management areas and CUAs). Those are generally small enough to fit on a handheld GPS, but remember that most only have 1 MB of storage. One can upgrade the storage with a bigger Mini SD card (you'll see it behind the battery). I tried to put a .gpx on mine for the Dalton corridor and only got about half to display. Fortunately, I was only walking off one side of the road. Clearwater, Delta, FMA, Minto, etc. are all small enough to fit on the GPS in whole.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    Got a busted one on my desk as we speak. Garmin won't replace it either, as "rough use" falls outside of the one year limited warranty. This mishap occurred in transit between Fairbanks and Galena, so I'm not sure if my bag got dropped or squashed...

    However, when it was working, I really liked the Dakota, and folks I work with are happy with them too. The screen is big and the functionality is easy to figure out.

    You might remember a few .gpx files that we discussed (mostly management areas and CUAs). Those are generally small enough to fit on a handheld GPS, but remember that most only have 1 MB of storage. One can upgrade the storage with a bigger Mini SD card (you'll see it behind the battery). I tried to put a .gpx on mine for the Dalton corridor and only got about half to display. Fortunately, I was only walking off one side of the road. Clearwater, Delta, FMA, Minto, etc. are all small enough to fit on the GPS in whole.
    Did you have the protective rubber cover? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I am just curious.

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