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Thread: ETrex

  1. #1

    Default ETrex

    Is it worth buying the Topo maps for a Garmin Etrex? Can you see enough to make it worth the money?

  2. #2
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Default

    I use the heck out of mine. I use it for hunting trips, 4 wheeling trips, snow machine trips, and just driving around. It is always in the computer.
    EricL

  3. #3
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    Default etrex

    Get the topos, they are worth every penny!

  4. #4
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up MapSource Topo

    The program is a little clunky - however, it's worth every minute you spend pushing maps to your GPS.
    It will be the difference of knowing you're near the big Sue (default map load), and knowing you're on the Big Sue, at the confluence of the Deshka with a cabin at your two o'clock about 400 yards.

  5. #5
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    Default maps

    Where do you get them and what is the price??

  6. #6
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default MapSource Topo Where to Buy

    Sportsman's Warehouse, 8681 Old Seward, Anchorage
    New store is set to open this fall in Wasilla

    GPS Store, 7125 Old Seward, Anchorage

    If you aren't from the AnchorTown area, go to this web site to find a dealer:
    http://www8.garmin.com/dealers/

    Should be about $100. Covers all US (Including Alaska and Hawaii) in topo. Windows based.
    This software release covers 1:100,000.

    I have not reviewed the newest release TOPO US 2008. Looks like garmin is leaning more towards the 3d relief.
    Google Earth is pretty nice - you can download your waypoints into GoogleEarth, but you can not load maps into your GPS from there... only waypoints, tracks, etc.

    Have fun!

  7. #7

    Default

    Just so that no one has an unpleasant surprise when the budget meets the reality of GPS mapping:

    The basic eTrex, the one that is yellow and sells for around $100 (or camo for $110, if you're foolish) will never, ever display a map.

    The eTrex series includes that one and a whole lot of others. Some of them will display maps, once you pay additional $$$ for the map software and for a cable for connecting to your computer.

    If you're thinking about displaying maps on your GPS receiver, shop for the map software first. When you know what you want and how much memory it will require to do all that you want, then go look for a GPS receiver to match. FYI -- Garmin resisted the idea of map chips until recently and relied on downloaded maps instead. The newer Garmin models that will accept map chips include an "x" in the name, e.g., etrex Vista Cx and GPSMap 60 Cx.

  8. #8
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    Default Get a new H-S GPS too

    All great info so far and I'd recommend getting a high sensitivity receiver GPS too. I just got the new etrex Vista HC-X with the Topo 2008 and a flash card for $370. I'm still learning how to use the maps as I used to use Terrain Navigator on my old etrex Summit. The Summit still works fine but the high sensitivity receiver on the Vista HC-X is absolutely amazing. It can lock in when I'm in a brick and metal building within 30 sec with no problems. I haven't tried it in the bottom of a gully with heavy tree canopy yet but I'm figuring it'll work fine if it works so well inside. The old Summit had no hope of working in my house. Just my first impression but I believe this combo will really serve one well in the wilderness. I'll also carry the trusty old Summit to mark a few really important waypoints in case one of them screws up. I'll save the 6 oz someplace else.

    Alpine

  9. #9
    Member Joel Zadvorney's Avatar
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    Default

    I've found that the site tigergps.com to be the cheapest out there. Remember, all gps units use there own map software and they don't mix. (garman X magellan X lorance) So don't buy an after market software program from national geographic and expect it to work in your unit. Buy the unit and software in a bundle if at all possible to save money. Although not legal, if you have a buddy with the same program, you can copy it to your computer and it will work fine. There is even a way to make your downloadable mapsize larger so a larger map can be stored on your handheld unit.
    The detail of the maps is greatly useful. Joel

  10. #10
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Make sure it covers Alaska

    Just thought I'd add this little tidbit, make sure whatever GPS or mapping software you get that it will cover alaska. Garmin does, but I know last winter I was in Sportsmans and they had a unit extremelly reduced in price. I asked the guy at the counter why and he really couldn't tell me too much. Then another guy in the store says, oh check this out, it doesn't even cover Alaska! Pay attention to the details.

    schmidty

  11. #11
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    Default ETrex, TOPO, & Google Earth

    I have an ETrex Legend with a TOPO download my hunting partner installed on it of the area we hunt. I'm not particularly impressed with the qaulity of the map on screen, but used in conjunction with a topo map from the USGS, and a printed aerial picture from Google Earth, I've been able to pinpoint my every move and plan my next. I'm not much of a "gadget guy" so the simplicity of the ETrex series is a good match for me, not to mention it's well within my budget. You can pick-up clear plastic protective sheets to cover your topo's and pictures from Google Earth at most office supply stores. I like to use these clear sheets on a large portion of the topo's and aerials, and then enlarge a smaller portion of each for more detail, more specific to where I plan to hunt for carry in the field. With the protective sheets covering your maps you can now write on them, grease pencil, pencil, and even pen, and still erase the marks later to trace where you've been, spotted game or heard rumor of animals from other hunters. Good luck.

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