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Archive 2012 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation
  
 
AMaji
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p.1 #1 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


I am looking for a budget priced handheld GPS unit that I can use during hiking. I prefer one of those "quickfix" types and preferably that can download Google Earth Maps. I don't care if it is touch screen or not.

Any recommendations?

Thank you for your time.



Aug 21, 2012 at 09:46 PM
eric_m
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p.1 #2 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


I would avoid Garmin. I had an etrex that bricked when I did a firmware update. Garmin says it's my fault (even though an internet search shows lots of people have had a problem like this.) I got absolutely nowhere with their customer service. Emailed one of their higher ups and received no response.

Because I'm a "valued" customer, they did say that if I mail them my current unit, they could sell me a refurbished unit for more than I could buy a new one on Amazon.



Aug 22, 2012 at 07:50 PM
AMaji
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p.1 #3 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


Eric,

Thanks for the heads up. It is just pathetic how these companies treat their "valued" customers. I wish someone kicked them in their n*ts to wake them up.



Aug 23, 2012 at 01:33 AM
hfgarris
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p.1 #4 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


I have to disagree!

I have used GPS units since the beginning of time (GPS-time) and have owned several brands, but the many Garmin units have consistently been the best I have owned. I too bricked a 7" unit (non battery) when my whole neighborhood power suddenly failed while I was doing a firmware update. Garmin quickly re-flashed my out-of-warranty unit and returned it within a week at no charge to me.

My favorite hand-held (hiking) unit is an older "GPSMAP 76CSx" because it has a real barometric altimeter with history recording.

I also like the "nuvi 3790" for a car/pocket GPS. Much preferred over the one built into the dash of my car!


-howard



Aug 23, 2012 at 02:27 AM
ISO1600
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p.1 #5 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


i have had two Garmin units that were both awesome.
I highly reccomend the GPSmap60CSX.
A little bigger than you might want, but VERY good unit that was extremely reliable.

As far as your desire to download/use google maps with it, i'm not sure of any unit outside of an android device that can do this.
With the newest updates to Google Maps, you can pre-cache large areas to your phone/device for offline use. Possibly something like the Samsung Galaxy Player (android mp3 player with a nice large display) would work for you? These are cheap on amazon.



Aug 23, 2012 at 03:36 PM
AMaji
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p.1 #6 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


Thank you guys for your insight. I checked the GPSmap60CSX. A new unit on Amazon is $500!!! The newer model is $435.

I have to keep on looking or maybe just use my iPhone with the GAIA app. Just need to turn it on and off to conserve battery, and use as needed.



Aug 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #7 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


I have a Garmin Legend H that I've been very happy with. Easy to use and inexpensive.


Aug 23, 2012 at 07:55 PM
neilvan
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p.1 #8 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


My Android smartphones work great for me with a $5 app (lots to choose from...). That and you can now download Google maps for offline use.


Aug 23, 2012 at 09:04 PM
dimitris77
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p.1 #9 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


You can find used (line new) 60csx for around $200-240. Just look at one of the geocaching forums. I have one and I really like it.



Aug 24, 2012 at 01:12 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



AMaji
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p.1 #10 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


I spent $10 and downloaded the GAIA app for my iPhone. They are having a 50% off sale, at least that is what they claim on their website. They have a large collection of USGS Topo, Aerial and Open source street maps. I can download them and use them when I don't have wifi. The couple of drawbacks - iphone is not waterproof and the battery life sucks. Both are serious, but maybe not that much for me, as I will be using it for day hikes lasting maximum 8 hours.

Thank you everyone.



Aug 24, 2012 at 01:41 AM
753951
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p.1 #11 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


Garmin 60CSx was probably the best consumer GPS ever made. Sure new versions have better screen, but that SiRFStar III chipset in original Garmin GPSMap 60CSx was awesome. Locking signal in, what seemed like, an impossible locations. Heavy canopy, canyons, high rises, etc. - no problem.
Sadly, they got nailed for some copyright infringement and Garmin decided to switch to MediaTek chipset halfway through the model life.
I'm with hfgarris. 60CSx for trail and nuvi 3790 for road. That combo never let me down.



Aug 27, 2012 at 02:50 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #12 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


I've had several Garmins for years - only had one issue on a brand new unit - and Garmin next morning Fed-Xed a new power cradle to me.

Gotta give them a



Aug 27, 2012 at 02:56 AM
IsleofGough
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p.1 #13 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


Delorme with Inreach: you can text via satellite when out of cell phone range and the gps works well in deep cover.


Sep 02, 2012 at 12:05 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #14 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


What are you planning to use the GPS for? Personally i use a map and compass for navigation, on the basis that they don't have batteries that can run flat and leave me stranded. Having taken that choice the only real value of a GPS is for logging the route and providing an accurate position in the event that the weather closes in, or if you need to call the emergency services. You can do these with the most basic models, so $500 seems like a huge waste of money to me.


Sep 02, 2012 at 06:47 AM
sjms
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p.1 #15 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


in addition to a Map and compass a GPS is an exceedingly useful piece of equipment in both navigation and photography. it just a matter of perception, knowledge and planning. i too use a map/compass as a method of navigation but having a GPS has been quite a good tool. Bjorn Kjellstrom some of us will never be. and to those remember to bring spare cells. i do.


Sep 02, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Gregory Edge
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p.1 #16 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


If you have an iPhone why not just buy an extended battery pack or 2?


Sep 02, 2012 at 03:02 PM
sjms
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p.1 #17 · Handheld GPS Unit Recommendation


not quite the same and considerably lower in reliability. great in CT not so good in Cambodia. then there are the somwhat severe limitations that make it mostly unusable outside of its ecosystem


Sep 02, 2012 at 03:05 PM





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