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Thread: handheld gps

  1. #1
    Senior Member TonyLattuca's Avatar
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    Default handheld gps

    Does anyone use a handheld GPS when navigating through the woods while hiking or hunting? If so how accurate are they and what's a good one to purchase?

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    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
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    We have the Garmin Rhino (radio/GPS). Have had several other Garmin GPS units but we switched to the Rhino after another group of hunters were communicating with each other in an area I thought would be impossible to get a radio transmission through. They are accurate and the battery seems to last for ever!

    Yes they are pricey, but if you hunt where we hunt, you'd greatly appreciate them!
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    Senior Member Buck Mann's Avatar
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    I use a Garmin eTrex deer hunting and also running the marsh before daylight in my boat. It is small and extremely accurate.

    Buck

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    As I posted in the other thread, I had a Garmin 520. It quit after the warranty expired. Threw it away and went back to my maps and a compass. You must have a clear view of the horizon so they work in more open terrain. Get into the hollows where I hunt for elk, whitetail and blacktail and function is spotty.

    They are handy for pinpointing places and looking at your route when the day is over. They are better for use on the water than trusting them in the mountains. Then again, knowing how to use a real compass should be a requirement for anyone who thinks they need a GPS.

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    Senior Member TonyLattuca's Avatar
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    Maybe a dumb question but I've never used one, I have always did what Happy does with the compass but do you have to down load maps from like google earth or do they come with maps on it then you just pinpoint where you want to go?

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    It depends upon the model. Not all models have the map topo feature. Some simply play "Hansel and Gretel" with your waypoints. They mark your route and you follow your pinpoints home. The topo maps must be purchased/downloaded for your area.

    I've got all my green dot maps for Washington State from when I was on winter hasty team search and rescue. I didn't find the GPS to be more than sort of a fun toy to play with while sitting in a tree stand or glassing a clearcut. I did enjoy using it when I was fishing. Nice to mark consistent hot spots.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    I have a Garmin that's so old and slow (software is circa 1996I got to take barrings on which way to go with a compass, otherwise I end up going the wrong way before it updates. I really should get a new one. That said it's save my buttocks many a time, when I thought I was going the correct direction, and absolutely wasn't. My dad couldn't figure out the old Garmin so he bought an e-trek; which is pretty indestructible, and only has 2 buttons. Is it worth it? Only if you don't like hiking miles the wrong way; or if you want to find your deer, or truck, or a safe path down the mountain; your hidden fishing spot in the fog; etc. without the adventure of being lost in nature .

    Helpful hint if you get one; put a hook on it so it doesn't fall out of your pocket and get left up the mountain; don't ask me how I know this
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    I have used one for many years and have had several models.
    Presently own a Garmin Oregon and a Garmin Montana which is the one I use the most now. Both have expanded memory with micro sd cards so you can have many maps on your unit and chose the ones that you want activated at any time.
    Have used it extensively for hiking and geocaching (google it if you don't know what this is)
    The Montana can be used both handheld and in vehicle.
    You can buy maps both topo and road maps and there are free maps that you can get at sites like openstreetmap some of which have hiking trails of some areas.
    There are also some area snowmobile trail maps that you can get from various sources.
    The units are quite accurate, to within 8 yards, and I find the newer high end units do not lose satellites even under tree canopies.
    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Tony, handhelds like fixed units are application driven. My suggestion would be to head to Cabela's or Bass Pro and make them tell you the pros/cons of each handheld. Aftermarket mapping software can get pricey so you might be better off purchasing a unit that comes with the software already installed.
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

  10. #10

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    Using a Garmin 62s we could drop a silver dollar on the ground during the day in the middle of a heavily forested section (640 acres) of land; store that spot as a "way point", and find our way back to it at midnight! That's how accurate these GPS units are.

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