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Thread: What's the best GPS to hunt with?

  1. #1
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    Question What's the best GPS to hunt with?

    It's time to make my old etrex either my backup GPS or my kid's GPS.

    I'm looking for a top of the line GPS with:
    - some internal maps that are useful
    - easy upload/download of waypoints & tracks to my computer
    - maybe topo maps in it too

    I'll use it on land in Alaska, and also in some inland waterways; extremely occasionally offshore but only need waypoint marking there so no biggie.

    I'm looking at this Garmin, model: Oregon 550t

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Garmin GPSmap 60CSx is the only way to go.

  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Garmin GPSmap 76CSx is the ONLY way to go (beats the 60 series by far, IMHO). They both run the same software, so internally they are the same. The external antenna on the 60 is goofy and the controls are at the wrong end for one-handed use. The 76 floats and has a slightly larger screen. That said, you'll be happy with either unit (just happier with the 76 ). Loading to and from these is a straight forward USB port operation. They use micro-SD cards to store your map data, but you must buy the maps separately.

    The Oregon is a lot of technical do-dads with touch screen controls, etc. It runs using a computer-like interface instead of the menu-based screens of the traditional GPSr. Fancy stuff for the city dweller. Not so great for real outdoors people. I'd look at the Colorado before the Oregon, but they are both similar with the internal software. Steeper learning curve for these units. Some advantages are that they come with the maps pre-loaded and they have memory space for lots more data than the traditional GPSr.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have the 60 and will be going to the 550T as soon as I can justfy it! The garmin touch screen is well tested tech and I am not worried about it! My Nuvi works in all temps w/ no problem and I expect the same service out of the 550! Bigger screen and easier to navigate menus are a wonderful feature. They also added an aditional axis to the compas so it always knows were north is. The old 60 and 76 systems if you hod them upright and look at the display they would get lost! The camera feature rocks too!! Just think instead of punching in and scrolling through the alphabet to name your way points you just snap a picture of your camp and walk away. Then when you want to go back there you just tap the picture and it sets thr course back there.

    If I was to buy a new GPS today the 550T would be at the top of a 1 GPS list! For now I will keep using my 60CSX but who knows it could fall in the ocean on the last day of my Kodiak trip this fall....

  5. #5
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    I bought my 76CSX a few weeks ago and so far it's fantastic. Has the electro magnetic internals so you dont have to be moving for it to calculate properly. And, it floats!
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I have the 60 and will be going to the 550T as soon as I can justfy it! ... For now I will keep using my 60CSX but who knows it could fall in the ocean on the last day of my Kodiak trip this fall....
    Thanks for the feedback; I've been drooling over that new 550t. Yeah, I still need to justify it to the local management here...

    My kids could always use a nice 60CSX... maybe it could fall into my yard instead of the ocean?

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    Default Garmin Rino series...

    The radio and buddy locator features on the Rino series are worthwhile for me.

    GPS functions similar to 60Csx. MicroSD card allowed me to load Alaska topos with good functional exchange between Nat Geo and GPS - marking waypoints in advance on computer (Mac) map then transferring to Rino, or
    marking wp during travel, and transferring to larger screen map (computer) for future reference.

    The buddy locator feature gave me an idea where my buddy was without radio chatter.

    Good luck.

  8. #8

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    Just say NO.....The right GPS is not to use one.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Just say NO.....The right GPS is not to use one.
    Can't say I agree with this. Sure its nice to know how to navigate on your own. But twice in the last week and a half the GPS has come in SUPER handy. First is on a goat hunt that socked in to less that 200 yrds visibilty. Only could get half the goat out that night so I marked it on the GPS. Would have been SUPER hard to find the goat again without the GPS the next day as the fog was even WORSE. Also I was able to radio to my wife who also has a Garmin RINO that I was ok and I was able to find her location once we got back out of the crags in the fog as we stumbled on our little shelter with only 150 yrds to go.

    The other time was Monday night. Went after a grizzly bear at 9 PM. 2 miles later it was 10 PM and too dark to further pursue the grizz. Had a rough idea of where my wheeler was left once I get back to that area at 11:15 PM. Luckily I marked it prior to my stalk. Looked for about 2 mins and really had no idea where it was in all the alders. I knew I was close so I decided to swallow my pride and bust out the GPS. I was 400 ft from it (pretty close but not close enough to hop on it and ride away). Once I got within 50 ft I was able to see the wheeler. Without the GPS that day I would have had another 2 mile walk back home.

    So I like I said you shouldn't fully rely on them 100% of the time, but they can be a GREAT tool and save you some great uncomfort of waiting for fog to clear or daylight. Just my opinion. I like the find location feature of the RINOs as well. It was great to be able to let my wife know we were ok after leaving to find the goat and gone in the crags and fog for 4 hours. Worth its weight in gold at that point.

  10. #10
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    The radio and buddy locator features on the Rino series are worthwhile for me.

    The buddy locator feature gave me an idea where my buddy was without radio chatter.
    As the OP was inquiring about GPSr's to hunt with, I'd be very cautious about the Rino series. There are laws against using radios to facilitate hunting. While you may not be using voice communication, you are still using radio signals to coordinate with other hunters. That's a ticket right there.
    Winter is Coming...

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  11. #11
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Good point...

    about the regs, Joat. I didn't intend to coordinate with other hunters ever, just liked knowing about where my buddy was in case I got a shot opportunity. I think communications eqmt is OK for safety (p.18), but you're right - not for the taking of game.

    Anyways, back to the merits of different GPS models - many simpler models will no doubt do OK, but in this price range the Rinos stand out for having different features (radio and buddy locator). AkLance's story illustrates how the radio might be useful.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    As long as you understand orienteering and carry a topo backup (even printed from your software), you should be fine. SDhc is the only way to fly for memory. Compass and altimeter backup...


    Sorry, I'm preaching to the choir.
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    Wink the choir

    If the choir couldn't stand hearing the preacher, they'd sing somewhere else - no problem.

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    I use a lowrance H20 with 2 different cards for it. Overall I like it better than my friends 76csx. Though he does get better signal in some situations with that supersensitive reciever.

    Hands down though, if I was to buy one right now.
    Rino 530 Hcx
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=146&pID=8523

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    I use a lowrance H20 with 2 different cards for it. Overall I like it better than my friends 76csx. Though he does get better signal in some situations with that supersensitive reciever.

    Hands down though, if I was to buy one right now.
    Rino 530 Hcx
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=146&pID=8523
    My wife and I each have these very models. Very nice indeed. To backpack at times with two of these heavy GPSs can add some weight to our packs, but when I let her stay behind on the mountain when the going gets to sketchy for her to feel comfortable its worth the weight for her and I to be able to tell her, animal down, or I'm ok, or be able to find my way back to her in the fog. Also 4 other guys I hunt with have these models as well. Don't think you can go wrong with it. Able to fit the whole state as well as a bunch of the lower 48 maps on it it with the SD card. You won't regret it. Its only $$$ right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    If the choir couldn't stand hearing the preacher, they'd sing somewhere else - no problem.
    Rep added very nice job..

    Back to GPS's I'm also looking, But I need the easiest controls for a Left Handed person...

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

  17. #17
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    There are alot of good GPS'S out there, i have the Rino for personnel use and i use the 76 on the job. I have used several models over the years and there are a couple must have options. Nice and easy to carry like on a belt or shoulder pack strap clip, and next battery life.
    All the newer gps are up and down loadable with the new soft wear. You do however have to buy it extra. Garmin has that new rino out that you can put a chip in the back with the batteries and have heard great thing about them i just can justify a new one.

    I used the etrex a few years ago and it was alright just hard to see in low light with the little screen.
    You can't go wrong with garmin good luck.

    Sweepint
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The newer eTrex Vistas have light adjustable screens. Easy to see. I haven't found a need for anything more than an eTrex.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I have not used the new one yet but the older one would last for a long time on a couple batteries.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  20. #20

    Smile technology...

    I am going to get a new GPS so I appreciate the info. I bought a Bushnell back Tracker for the grandkids to start learning. I think it has a whopping 3 features on it so even I can use it! It has a start and return button and 3 symbols for way points and thats all folks.

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