which GPS for a trip in South America?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Zibou, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Zibou

    Zibou Been here awhile

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    I had no luck with the search engine, so I open a new thread to ask your help.

    I am planning a trip in south America to cross Chile, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia.
    I have absolutely no experience with GPS but i guess it would be wise to take one with me to avoid getting lost too easily.

    I need your help to spot a good device to answer the following needs:

    - navigation from point A to point B on roads
    - map localization off road (or on back roads that might not be defined in available maps) so I can identify where I am.
    - possibility to import maps from a computer (the idea is to create my road book on a map on the computer and export it to the GPS), either using Google maps or specific software => I do not know which option is better, your advice is more than welcomed but I want to be able to charge map from almost anywhere (next trips planned in Europe and Asia)
    - flash memory rather than hard drive for better vibration resistant.

    Other specifications would be nice but not mandatory:
    - possibility to connect earplugs to listen instructions in the helmet
    - built in battery to be able to use the GPS when not connected to the bike

    Except if it's the only way to get the functionalities I need, I don't need a GPS made specially for bikes (waterproof and so on) as I plan on putting it in my tank bag and using mostly for reference as you use a paper map
    It was not originally planed on my budget, so I would rather not go for a fency expensive one, just one doing the job ;-)

    Thank you very much for your help!!!!
    #1
  2. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

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    It all depends what your willing to spend, how much detail you want and how much effort you want to put into it..

    I have a Delorme PN-40. It's a small robust unit. I like it alot.....but Delorme isn't up to speed as Garmin is regarding world maps. Delorme has a routable World Map, but it's $1000.

    If I were to buy a GPS right now, I would look at the new Garmin 62 series. It replaces the 60's
    http://gpstracklog.com/2010/06/garmin-gpsmap-62-62s-and-62st-announced.html and use Garmin's World Base Map

    If I were to travel around the world using my PN-40. I would use GPS Trackmaker to lay out my track/route for the day with waypoints in between. Save the file in a *.gpx format and using Delorme's software transfer it to my GPS. It would be allot of work.

    GPS Trackmaker is a free program that can reside on your PC. You might find it fun to use to lay out your route. These would be nothing more than a line that I would follow on the GPS's screen, nothing else would be shown. If I were to leave this line/track to visit something. I could work my way back to it and continue on.

    http://www.gpstm.com/index.php

    I would still carry paper maps. Below are some computer screen shots of GPS Trackmaker. The colored one is all the detail it has. Mostly major roads. The tents represent camp sites in Mexico.

    Hope this helped!

    daryl

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    First piece of advice, check out the GPS-specific forum here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=37

    A comment on your statement above: GPSs are great for navigation. Terrible for reference, as you would a map. Owing to the small screen size, you can't see much, and if you zoom the view to see a wide area, all the detail disappears.

    In unfamiliar areas, I always carry a paper map in addition to my GPS. The paper map is to get an overview of where I am and where I want to go. Using the map in conjunction with my GPS, I can plan a route. The GPS is then very good at telling me where to turn and to confirm I'm headed the right way or on the right roads.

    You should still plan to consult your paper maps frequently.

    As for GPS, since I bought my GPSMap 478, I'm a big fan of the x76/x78 chartplotter series. They can be kind of expensive though, so maybe beyond your budget.

    Jamie
    #3
  4. Zibou

    Zibou Been here awhile

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    Thanks Jamie for your post,
    I did look for that GPS thread as I was sure something was already existing but had no luke with the search engine.
    Very good insight about how to use a GPS. So far the only part where I do think havig a GPS would bea good idea is the Uyuni region,rest of the trip should be pretty doable with paper maps I am well use to used.

    Daryl, i am going to look at trackmaker to start using it on the PC and check functionalities
    #4
  5. Migs

    Migs Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.

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    I think your choice depends on a couple things. Is it a motorcycle trip or a car trip. If car I would choose something like the Garmin 378 series, which though a marine unit is about the best you can do for land navigation too. In Bolivia there are no maps, so you have to use Garmin Mapsource and WorldMap to make your routes and then download them to your unit. This implies taking a laptop with you too. If on motorbike, then the Zumo or the 60 series come to mind. They are also compatible with the mapping software above. I'm testing a new Garmin 62s but so far it has been full of problems so while newer I have my reservations in recommending it for now.
    #5
  6. Synt

    Synt n00b

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    I got myself a 62s for my trip to Chile, Peru and Argentina.
    I managed to download some free OSM maps in reasonable quality (http://garmin.na1400.info/index.html) Partly those maps are having an incredible amount of information, though I can´t confirm it´s content yet.

    The only reason why I have some doubts on the 62s is that I don´t trust the Mini-USB connector. :huh But I haven´t found any real thread yet on hands-on bad experiences with the so called "weak" Mini-USB... If you find some hard facts on its reliability pls. drop me a line...

    PS: Are u heading to the Horizons Unlimited Meeting in Viedma on Dec. 10-12th?
    #6
  7. Migs

    Migs Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.

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    I have a Garmin 60CSx and a 62s, and the 60, though older is very reliable, so I expect the same from the 62s. That said the 62s has given me problems that the tech support people at Garmin couldn't help with. All I can say is make sure you update the software in the unit. Also, the motorcycle mounts for the 62s as of Nov 3 are not out yet (RAM mounts) so that may slow you down a bit. My suggestion as far as the USB is to just battery power it. I have done so on many 10 day trips and it works fine. I find that a set of batteries needs to be changed every 1.5 days or so. I also have a sheet of Mylar to cover the face of the GPS when it is off so the sun doesn't make the screen go black when it gets too hot. -Migs
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  8. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    If you are considering the 62 than at least have a look at the 78 as it may be a better choice.

    Bruce
    #8