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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking I might actually do it break down and buy a GPS for use in the woods

normally I am just fine at finding locations and remembering them , but I am looking to do bigger land and back waters

back waters well they all tend to look alike in many ways and when the water curves around and around and such I am thinking a gps might be kind of handy especially to find my way in the dark or to save time going the long way around when something I want to get to might be 150 yards walking or 1/4 mile by water

I have been doing some research the Garmin 62s seems like more than I need but that it would have some very handy features and maps

what are you running for gps ?
 

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I have an old Garmin.

A gps won't work in the woods when there are lots of leaves. I think the leaves block the signals from the satellites.

They have a track feature that will remember the route you took to get to a place and allow you to return the same way. It has to be on and able to receive the signals for the whole time.

It tells you nothing about the terrain between you and the place you want to get too. It could have you walking through a swamp or worse.

The batteries die very very quickly. If you are counting on it to get you out of the woods, carry a spare set and a compass.

I use mine for finding the boundaries of a piece of land. It's also wonderful for finding that spot on the lake that you marked because you were catching fish.

Some of the new ones will superimpose your location over a map but you have to buy the mapping software separately.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the leaves are already mostly off , I want to way point traps so that I can easily get back to them , I normally follow natural features like a creek , I can follow a creek and see right where I would set some times i poke a sick in in the creek about 10 feet out from my trap then i can see them all easily but not give up locations

but I have found a bunch of hollow trees but they are one hear one there so finding the proverbial tree in a forest

some are bigger trees but some are ones that snapped off and offer a hollow at the top

I was thinking basic but I am hearing how useful the maps are from other trappers


I used loran for a long time then gps but always on boats , we would set say points every time a channel turned so that the track to the next waypoint would keep us down the channel

we also marked fishing locations

now the boat has a map overlay it is also connected to the auto pilot set a way point turn on the auto pilot and let it drive and just keep a watch around while setting lines your only going 2.5 mph and we maintain 300 yards minimum to any other boat so that we don't cross lines
 

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If I need a Shelter
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I have a Garmin etrex Venture HC,

It has served me well. Only problem I've had with it lately is I had to load Maps on Computer then on GPS. I got a New Computer and can't load Old Maps on it. I have to upgrade my Maps.

But has always worked Great in Leaves, Speed didn't matter. It shows Elevation and water and Some Points of interest on Public Lands.

big rockpile
 

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Lovin' the Country Life
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Sorry, I can't help with which one to buy.

I can say for certain though, that one needs to remember to mark the location of the truck before entering the woods...LOL. The GPS unit will always tell you exactly where you are,(so you are technically never lost) but can't get you to where you need to be if it's not marked as a waypoint. (ask me how I know....)
 

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I am using a Garmin Map 60 which is just a couple generations older 62, it is a great machine, I have never had it loose coverage due to leaf cover or topography. Battery life is good, accuracy is very good, it is very user friendly and intuitive to use (some a 15 year old computer whiz couldn't figure out). It runs on AA batteries so you don' have to worry about being able to charge batteries in camp. The maps are good on it and you can load custom maps if you want. It is a little bigger than the etrex units but to me it is easier to use. The newer units are so much better than the older ones from just 10 years ago there is no comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I went to gander mountain to get my hands on some and try them , I tried the 64 one step newer than the 62 , also the etrex 10 and 20 , and Magellin 110

fr the money the magellin comes with a basic north american map , with not as much detail as the 64 but the detail on teh 64 still lacked anything but the main channel through a wet land and not little areas that flood knee deep when the river is up so when 5 feet is high and dry or over knee deep no gps is likly to have that kind of detail , but a map is better than no map for road refrences , so for the money about 100 dollars the magellin 110 might be the one , then i looked online and see that for the same money i can have the magellin 310 with a better base mape and the ability to upload and more memory , so now i am thinking the 310 might be the one that gives the most features for the cost
 

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I have had a Delorme GPS for years and I like it, but that may be because I have become very familiar with it.

Keep in mind that the units that you may have been playing with at Gander Mt. may not have had the latest updates loaded on them. Every manufacturer offers updates that you download to your computer and then load via a USB to your GPS.

Also available are third party maps that may provide greater detail which can be downloaded to particular GPS's. Magellan and Garmin being the two most popular brands seem to have more third party offerings than there are for Delorme GPS's.

It seems I purchased the MacIntosh of the GPS world.

TRellis
 

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I use a hand held GPS in my boat when I fish some of those large lakes in Ontario - I mark the location of the camp where I launch the boat and continue to mark the trail that I follow during the day - I have a topo map of Ontario on the unit and can see where I was and where I need to go - I would have gotten lost a number of times if I didn't have it -
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well I just jumped in and ordered a Garmin Dakota 20

it was a littel more than I was wanting to spend but it is touch screen and had very good reviews for user freindly , it also has expandable memory , and while the Magellan had a base map for less it seems most companies make maps for the Garmin specifically the maps that have color coded land ownership boarders

this one is also touch screen and while i can see the disadvantages of touch screen It sure was faster to enter info and go through menus on the touch screen models I tried

I will let you know more about it when i get it and use it for a week of trapping
 

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I have had several garmins. The new are much better than the older ones. I have the astro 320 so I can track my doggies.

I LOVE IT!!!! You don't have to pay for maps, you can get free ones from gpsmaps.com. You can save your tracks and stuff and view them over sat images on GPS visualizer.com.

The trick with a handheld GPS is to learn it, understand it, and realize it's just a tool and can be prone to idiosyncrasies. I made a big post on another site, let's see if I can find it. I go into more detail about what feature to use in what instance.
 

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Here is a discussion I participated in on another forum. If anyone has any specific questions IM me, I can probably help. It's one thing to know the features, it's another to figure out when to use what, and what to do when things act up.

Another thing I mention, a map/compass serves a different purpose than a GPS, they are not mutually exclusive. Good luck using a map and compass is these parts. I keep a compass on me to verify the compass on the GPS. Or, worse case scenerio, to find my way to a road. It will not pinpoint my stands, mark trails, or help me get out of the woods after a night of hunting dogs.




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05-27-2013, 12:31 PM #21
sampool63
Spike

Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 3
Compass
Hi,
Im kinda 'old-school'.. I do have a gps but i always always carry a compass.. have to be able to navigate without technology if shtf!

10-28-2014, 12:18 AM #22
mcostan
Spike

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 33

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil from Maine
I am a firm believer a compass is always a must have when going in and out of large areas you are not the familiar with. That is regardless of what GPS system you are carrying with you.
I use a compass mostly to confirm my gps. It's thick and swampy around here, there are no real landmarks to take triangulations from. If you have a map you can kind of figure out where you are.

I use my garmin's to make maps from gpsvisualizer.com. I've had several different ones, the earliest garmins were kind of unreliable but they've gotten a lot better. I have 3 now, 2 garmin astro 320's that I can use to track dogs, or whatever the receiver is attached to, and a garmin vista.

I use eneloop rechargeable batteries and always carry spares. I've gotten free topo maps from free topo map.com, or whatever it's called. The astro's can hold a card that holds quite a bit of map. I have the entire southeast, which also includes roads and streets. It's not a navagatable like a nav unit but that's not the point.

The trick to using a handheld gps is to become familiar with it, they are only a tool and are prone to little idiosyncrasies. You need to know what they are.

You also need to know when to use what strategy. I will have a "track" that I can follow, but sometimes I "goto" a waypoint. This is because in dark thick swamp it's not always desirable to follow the track foot for foot. If you know the general direction you can pick out the best path

I like to save tracks and map out areas, and print them. You can got to gpsvisualizer.com and look at your tracks superimposed over satellite images.

You can also put sat images on your gps if you subscribe to that garmin feature but I find it's not helpful. I have actually used the phone for that sometimes. The topo maps have more info, the sat images are just a bunch of green.

I have also had an Oregon touch screen but I tend to save a lot of tracks in an area and if I turned the unit off, then back on, I had to go back into track manager and tell each track I wanted it displayed on the map page. I called garmin and they tried to convince me it was supposed to be that way but I don't' think I believe them. It was nice having the touch screen when I wanted to name waypoints, and the screen was nice and big for when I was riding my atv, but that track thing was a big downside. I wound up losing it so it doesn't matter anymore.

Speaking of losing them, don't get the stupid black or camo cases for them. Tie a reflective tent cord, or something else to it so you can find them. I've lost more than one.


The menus on the new garmins seem complicated and they are very customizable. You just have to fiddle with them a little and get used to them, they are really intuitive when you do.

Clear your trip log and tracks before you start out. That way you can save a nice clean track if you want to.

I use a program called "easy gps" to back up my files. That way my gps isn't loaded with a bunch of waypoints and tracks I don't need at the moment, but I have them saved.

Become familiar with your gps before you need it, not while you need it. Check it with a compass, the nice ones have an electronic compass which needs calibrated every so often, esp when battery's are changed or used up. The electronic compass is nice because you the unit will be properly oriented when you are standing still. If it is off it will be pointing in the wrong direction.

Once you travel at any speed the electronic compass turns off and it orients by Gps. If the map shifts a lot when you start moving your compass is off.

You can orient your map page by north up, or track up. Each one has it's advantages depending on what you are doing. If you are also going by a map it's sometimes better to have it on north up. The important thing is to know what it's set at and be mindful of that.

I have had good luck with eneloop rechargeable batteries, but make sure you have a good charger that will not ruin your batteries if this is the route you want to take. I take a lot of batteries with me, plus some alkaline ones.

Not only am I a handheld GPS junkie, I'm also a headlamp junkie. I love nothing more than to go tramping and bushwacking through the woods with my gps and headlamps. This has come in handy for trailing lost deer and finding stubborn dogs.

My headlamp of choice is the Princeton tec apex, the one with the AA battery pack in the back. It's up to 275 lumens now!!!!! You kind of have to be careful with it, the hinge isn't the most durable thing. They have a lifetime guarantee though. I just ordered a fenix last week.


A GPS isn't really a replacement for a map and compass, especially in real wilderness areas. Its more of a complement. They can and do act up in mountainous regions, but I rarely am in mountainous regions. Also, for whatever reason, sometimes they just shift and circle. I think power lines affect them somewhat.

I love being able to pinpoint areas in the woods. I mark trails, scrapes, places for potential stands, where I've seen turkeys . . .

Truth is, I have no sense of direction at all. I used to panic and run when I even think I was lost. These things have changed my life. Between my handmade maps, compass, and gps I don't even panic anymore which has made it easier to learn to find my way around in the woods.


I could go on about this all day long. Oh wait, I think I already did!














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Discussion Starter #14
after a week of trapping I think I made a good decision the Garmin Dakota 20 is the ease of use of a touch screen , without the most advanced features that I wouldn't use


I mostly use it to find traps I like that if I tap -where to- it brings up the waypoints nearest to farthest in the list I can just tap that way point and tap -go- and follow it to my next trap

after a day or two you walk right to them , but I was moving traps every 2-3 days

I marked a bunch of den trees caught at the active ones , my goal is to scout more and find a lot more den trees and have them all marked so I can put a trap on their door step and pick them up on their way out not when their bellies are full of corn on the way back

accuracy was generally about 10 feet if I siad I was on it I was within about 10 feet , definitly accurate enough to find a tree stand in the dark

I was running a mix of Rayovac and Duracell Nmhi rechargeable batteries as long as I always put fresh batteries in before i left the house in the morning I was good for the day , I did carry a spare pair , easy to do

make sure to lock the screen , it is easy to lock and unlock but I found if I didn't it would start setting way points and going into menus in my pocket

the electric compass is nice because you do not ave to move for it to recognize direction so hit -go- and turn till the arrow lines up with the line and start walking

maps I found that if you buy the annual subscription for the Birdseye Garmin satellite imagery I could down load the satellite image of where I was going and load it on the gps It would let me see a fair amount of detail this seems to be the least expensive way to get a better than very basic base-map

I could only load a fairly small 6-8 square mile area using the internal memory but I am ordering a micro SD card to expand my memory from 500meg to 16gb
 

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I have a real old one, so old I can't remember the brand off the top of my head. Came out just after they jumped to 12 sat. pick up. Never had it fail to work in a thick forest just one time in some very thick stands of cedar I was crawling on hands and knees thru, did it say no sat. avabile.

I use it in the boat out on lake Huron has brought me right back to the Lexington break wall in a fog and if the wall wouldn't have been there right to the trailer. Has trac bac feature or you can choose quickest route. has a save so you can do different routes to different places. Is small enough fits in my pants pocket.

:D Al
 
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