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Thread: GPS Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default GPS Recommendations

    I live in Southeast Alaska and I am looking at buying a GPS. I am wondering what successes/failures you guys have had with your GPS? Which work best in the heavy timber, best at picking up satellites, Topo map capabilities?

  2. #2
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I have always been a fan of Garmin products. I have them in the boat, and have had their handheld units as well. I lost my Rino last year, so I am looking to replace it. I am leaning toward their new Legend model, but I am told that Magellan has topo software available that has Alaska's GMU's outlined. This might come in handy in areas like 20A, with all the special antlerless subunits.

    I'm told the GMU outlines are a feature of the National Geographic mapping software, and that's only available for use on the newer Magellan GPS units. I need to investigate this further.

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The downloaded GMU maps are neat for using with the Nat Geo topo software on the pc and may work well with the new triton however it doesn't breakdown the special use areas. It only gives you the subunit which is useless for the 20A hunt. with all the lying that Magellan did in regards to the release of the triton (it was released with known problems and incomplete packaging). I wouldn't put my $$$ into it just yet. I was planning on getting the magellan but after waiting 3 months for it to be released I got mad and bought the Garmin. I don't regret it one bit. The magellan is supposed to be compatible wth the NG Topo maps but at last count it wasn't working properly. If you like to boat and want a do it all hand held I would look at the garmin 76CSX add blue charts for boating and switch to the topo maps for hiking would be just about as good as it gets! If you want smaller go with the 60 series or the etrex but they will both be harder check at a glance while boating or riding a quad/sled. I like color and consider it an esential and I also like a built in compass so the unit doesn't lose direction when you are sitting still. If you are not in a hurry keep and eye on the magellan reviews and if they get the bugs worked out it might be your best bet as it uses 1:24K maps versus the garmin 1:100K but as of today I wouldn't trust it.

    The only trouble I have had was with a non WAAS etrex that kept losing signal it did get me back to my wheeler but the direction "go to waypoint" feature kept spinning and I wasn't working my way through the alders fast enough for it to track without an internal compass, a pain but It still got me to w/ in 30' of the wheeler. The garmin rhino and my 60 will often guide me step by step to within just a few feet of my original trail using the backtrack feature which is nice when you are waling through thick swamps with a bunch of sloughs forming uncrossable barriers if you make a wrong turn. The absolute worst GPS experiance came when I just ran out to check for a bunny or two next thing i knew some low clouds came in and darkness made for an interesting time. GPS was safe though as it was under the seat back in the truck...

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Garmin

    I would certainly add another Garmin vote. My first Garmin was also one of their first... GPS 40. I've used several Magellan models at work and that friends had and didn't like them nearly as much as Garmin. The one I use the most these days is the eTrex Vista because it is so small and fits in my pocket, however I would not recommend anything in the eTrex line as a first pick. They have several great lines of handhelds. Look through the features of each at the website to pick the one that will serve your purposes best.
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  5. #5
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Garmin for sure!

    I have had other brands in the past and they were not user friendly, slow locking on sats (Sometimes you couldn't even get a sat).

    I have used my Garmin in the most craziest weather and it locks on everytime.

    Stay away from Megellan (Garbage, just my 2 cents).


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    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    GPS was safe though as it was under the seat back in the truck...
    LOL....I learned that lesson a few years back. Made me go back to ol' school techniques of map reading and compass work.

    Defienatly alot more walking was involved....I was beat.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The absolute worst GPS experiance came when I just ran out to check for a bunny or two next thing i knew some low clouds came in and darkness made for an interesting time. GPS was safe though as it was under the seat back in the truck...
    HAHA....That story sounds all too similar.

  8. #8
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I may have modified it slightly to protect the guilty... With the warm temps and wind it looks like that area may be back to bare ground so it might be time to go for another day of bunny blasting.

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    I have the Garmin 76CS and it is not only water proof but it floats like a cork. I haven't had the misfortune to need that feature but it is a nice selling point. The newer model is 76CSX which has a removable chip which would have been nice. I love the color map and the fact the the compass and altimeter work without moving to set your direction.

  10. #10
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    2nd the 76CSx

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    I have a Garmin 60CSX- works but way over priced. J.

  12. #12
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default Garmin Etrex Legend

    I really like my Garmin Etrex Legend C, it has never let me down and rarely loses a signal. They have an improved version now, the HcX which is supposed to hold the signal in tougher cover than any of the Etrex. They are so easy to use, a nice comfortable size, and have lots of useful features. I don't think you can go wrong with a Legend. I found I didn't need the built in electric compass because you can take one or two steps in a direction and the gps will show you where you are going, so who need it to tell you where its pointed when it ain't moving?

  13. #13

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    I have owned two Lowrance gps. My next one will be a Garmin.

  14. #14
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Garmin...

    I have had a Garmin Etrex Legend C for a few years now. I use it on my float trips in NW Alaska. It has never let me down. Wonderful products. They have a higher end model, the name escapes me, but it is better for dense areas where you might lose a signal. It is about $500 or so. But if you are in the thick stuff often, you may benefit from its stronger antenna.
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