Good GPS for Hiking and Traveling?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by greener556, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. greener556

    greener556 Been here awhile

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    Does anyone make a GPS that's compact and light enough for hiking and can still be used on a motorcycle?

    I hate to purchase two units, hoping I can find something that can be used in both applications...


    :wink:
    #1
  2. Grafspee

    Grafspee one bike is never enough

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    Garmin 60csx or Oregon 450 or Montana
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  3. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Yes.

    I use an Oregon 450 now and will likely upgrade to the Montana 600 in the very near future.
    #3
  4. greener556

    greener556 Been here awhile

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    Looks like I'll be headed to a couple outdoor stores today.. Thanks for the info.


    I found this in another thread:

    C = Color display.
    S = Sensor package... baro and electronic compass. Overrated IMO... go without this.
    x = eXpandable memory; MicroSD card under the batteries.
    H = High-sensitivity chip (eTrex/Rino series)
    #4
  5. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    Don't rule out a good smartphone (i like the iPhone 4S, but a new one should come out soon), it'll do all the things you want and it's one less device to carry. I run Motion-X GPS and Sygic on mine, plus a few other things for weather/etc.

    With the right software, some devices will use their compass (magnetometer), accelerometer and gyroscope to detect and throw away noise in the GPS satellite signal. If that software is in place, then it makes a big difference. Also, pay attention to devices with GLONASS support, which (when combined with GPS) can give accuracy as good as 3 metres. WiFi and GSM triangulation are nice too.

    These technologies give you slightly better accuracy in ideal conditions, but they really come into play under poor conditions, such as in rainforest or steep mountain slopes or inside a building. For example when you're indoors, the GPS chip might say you moved 80 metres south, the GLONASS chip might say you moved 100 metres east, while the accelerometer/gyroscope say you didn't move at all. A GPS with all of that will correctly read as stationary, while another will jump all over the place.

    WiFi/GSM triangulation aren't very accurate at all, but they function perfectly whether you're indoors or outdoors and can get a cold lock on your location in a split second. GPS cannot do that. And if you've got a WiFi fix accurate to 30 metres, then you'll bypass the whole warming up phase of a GPS lock and get a near-instant position accurate to 3 metres, instead of having to wait. I can pull my phone out of my pocket as I get on the bike, hit "start recording" and ride off. When I'm outside WiFi range I have to wait many seconds before I can hit the "start recording" button.

    I wouldn't spend extra money to get these features... but they are nice to have.
    #5
  6. Fitryder

    Fitryder Adventurer

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    I have used an etrex legend for many many years now, I still have the original (not hcx). Has sered me extremely well and has had a very hard life.
    For me it's the best because it's small, reliable and has unbeatable battery life.
    I have a ram mount for the bike but for hiking I normally carry topo maps and compass and use the etrex to double check my position.

    Over all it is an excellent unit, I will be getting the hcx version shortly and passing this one on to the misses so she can learn how to use gps for naving
    #6
  7. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Also a very good GPS, although with the B&W screen, it's damned near impossible to follow a track, for example. I have an original eTrex Vista that has served me well, but with the 24MB of RAM and serial connection, it's terribly dated technology now. I replaced mine with an Oregon 450. I wouldn't bother with a newer eTrex, IMHO.
    #7
  8. Grafspee

    Grafspee one bike is never enough

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    I currently have a 60csx which I really like, and I am thinking of buying a Oregon 450 (maybe a "t"). So what's the opinion of the owners here? I like the idea of a new Montana, but I will use the new Garmin on a bicycle, motorbike, and airplane so I was thinking the smaller Oregon might be better, at least on the bicycle.
    #8
  9. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    The Montana is only marginally larger (0.5" wider and 1" taller) than the Oregon, but offers a full 1" larger screen. I use my Oregon on my MTB and wouldn't hesitate to use the Montana in it's place. Garmin offers a light-duty handlebar mount for the Montana as they do for the Oregon.
    #9
  10. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Grafspee, I have the 76csx. I'd say stick with the 60 until you can afford the Montana. IMHO
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  11. Fitryder

    Fitryder Adventurer

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    Wops my appologies, I meant to say I have the legend C so it did have the color.

    However I have spent the day researching and heavily looked into the 60Csx and 62s.

    But I ended up buy a Etrex Vista HCx. Here are some reasons which might/might not help you.

    - I read sever reviews comparing the 60 and 62 and over all people preferred the 60 so that rulled the 62 out (I must have read over 30-40 reviews easily just on this)
    -Pprice wise it was difficult to find a reasonably priced 60, it seems since they were discontinued they have gone up in price.
    - The etrex is smaller, lighter, has better battery life and does pretty much exactly what the 60 does but is about half the price. This rung a lot of bells.
    - Even tho I use my gps on the bike I don't really on it constantly hence I could deal with the small screen to gain the benefits mentioned above.
    - I hike a considerable amount, once again the benefits above came into play.
    - Even tho I mentioned I have the Legend, I went with the Vista because I found a deal for only $5 more so why not.

    So there you go, I was oh so close to pulling the trigger on the 60 but when I compared the pros and cons it was a no brainer for me, especially since I'm so used to the etrex range and know from first hand experince they can survive hell.
    #11
  12. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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    You might do a search on YouTube. There's plenty of reviews on different models.

    Have you considered the Garmin 62/78 series which is the replacement for the 60/76?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii07fwWru0A

    daryl
    #12
  13. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    This makes me laugh. The 62 is far better than the 60 in all ways but one: it uses mini USB for power while the 60 uses the rugged 4 pin socket.
    #13
  14. Grafspee

    Grafspee one bike is never enough

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    As much as I really really want to like and buy the Oregon 450, it is really hard to justify it when you look at the Montana. The Oregon is much better for the bicycle as there is an option for cadence and heart rate. I actually like the idea of the more compact size of the Oregon, but the screen size, landscape mode, longer battery life, 3 gigs storage, and more waypoints are some of the big pluses for the Montana. Also, and this is very important how can I hold my head high if all my buddies start buying the Montana!

    Here's a question: Does anyone know why in a comparison at GPScity the Oregon is listed as motorcyle and automotive friendly (whatever that means), but the Montana isn't?
    #14
  15. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    The Montana has the same options (cadence and heart rate sensors). The Montana is hardly any larger than the Oregon as well.

    Probably an error in their spec sheet. The Montana speaks street names when used with the rugged mount. No such option exists for the Oregon.
    #15
  16. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Get the Montana. There just isn't a better gps out there right now, as long as you're not looking for Bluetooth and media players.

    GPSCity lists are notoriously incorrect and/or incomplete. The Montana may not be listed as "Motorcycle and Automotive Friendly", but there's a mount system for each, and they work well in cars or on bikes. The car mount has a speaker built in, and the MC mount has a speaker cable out so you can hook up to your Scala or Sena headset if you want and get voice navigation, if your maps support it.

    It would be better to check Garmin's site for full information on the units.
    #16
  17. greener556

    greener556 Been here awhile

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    I didn't see the 60 when I was shopping around. I figured the 62 replaced it.

    I like the price on the Oregon 450 topo, kind of what I'm leaning towards
    #17
  18. Wired

    Wired Been here awhile

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    I have the GPSmap 62st and I'm happy with it so far. I've used it geocaching and for trips on my bike. Ram makes a nice holder for it that it pops right in and is pretty adjustable. Personally, I don't like touchscreens. If you do go with one, I recommend trying it with your gloves on to make sure it will work while you're riding. I also don't need one that talks to me, I'm already married :D.
    #18
  19. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    This one you can tell to shut up without offending anyone.
    #19
  20. greener556

    greener556 Been here awhile

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    Anyone know if you can charge the Oregon 450 with a USB port??
    #20