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GPS--Most User Friendly?

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:39 pm

Derek wrote:Used an Oregon for a while now. 4 years-ish?

I think its pretty easy to figure out, especially compared to others I have had. As mentioned, there was no real manual, but with the big 'ol icons, its quite easy.

Battery: The battery (in my view) is great. I use a standard energizer rechargables (not a special kind at all) and a set will last me two full day-trips on average...even in winter. A set in the GPS and a extra set in the pack has lasted all my backpack trips up to 3 days easily. Its crazy, but I'm still using some sets that I originally bought back when I got the GPS! Can't even imagine how many cycles they've been through.

Reception: Excellent. And I have an old version, so Im sure its improved even more since. Had it on +/- 200 summits, many many miles and have lost reception exactly twice. Once in a cave in the LCW (obviously) and once on Mount Glennon just outside Denver. I'm assuming that was a fluke, and it fixed itself within a matter of minutes and never happened again. Sometimes it takes a while to lock on once you turn it on for the first time in a new area, but nothing terrible.

If mine dies (knock on wood - but I have put it through hell) I'd buy another Oregon.

--D



Derek, this sounds pretty compelling. Would you recommend it to an old-school guy who is maybe beginning to think he should have an electronic device in winter, in addition to map, altimeter, and compass - but who can usually figure stuff out including these infernal little boxes with screens? :shock:

Not saying Jim is about to pop for a gps, but does cross my mind occasionally - and the negatives you always hear about batteries, learning curve, dropping signal - these things just serve to keep the idea on the back burner - but ultimately, there could be a gps in my future.... (did I really say that?? :( )

Sounds like yours is nearly ideal.

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby dsunwall » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:28 am

I used Garmin GPS's for many years, the last couple of years I have used my smartphone. I am of the opinion that a dedicated GPS is easier to learn all the tricks on. The operation of a smartphone becomes more complicated because it's OS is designed to handle many different applications. You will have fewer frustrations with a dedicated GPS.

My opinion could be swayed by the fact I learned on a Garmin so I expect Backcountry navigator to operate the same, it does not.

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby CBinmt » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:16 pm

Garmin Fortrex 301. A GPS that is in your pack or anywhere where it isn't immediately available is useless. The 301 is on your wrist or forearm and is available for immediately reference. Very accurate, I have used it in slot canyons, (can get a bit squirrelly but still amazingly good), in heavy trees and whiteouts at 10 below, no problem. Learn how to use it, do your homework on where you are going (create some waypoints) and it will be the best bit of technology you ever own. Always carry a map and you don't need a map on the gps. Always carry a map because the gps could fail. Do your homework on your intended route and the gps becomes a wonderful log of your trip and you generally don't need a map. Set waypoints because sometime they are the only thing that will keep you moving forward (it's only another 2 tenths of a mile!!). It can all be done on the 301 and it only weighs a couple ounces.

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby vorticity » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:45 pm

I have over 10 years with hand-held GPSrs of all types. For the new user, I always recommend a Garmin eTrex 20. The new Oregon has gorilla glass and a bright screen, but it is almost 3 times the cost and does not provide much more capability. Vort.

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby bob863 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:36 pm

hate to hijack this thread...

"my map and compass have always been "most user friendly (especially UTM coordinates)" and they have never failed me.....no battery failures.."

- a former airborne ranger

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby jdorje » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:41 pm

Where does the idea that carrying a GPS weakens your map skills come from? For me it seems like just the opposite.
Last edited by jdorje on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-Jason Dorje Short

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby bob863 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:46 pm

i will not discuss this online...i will PM you..

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby bob863 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:45 pm

would it help to know that even if you have a strong GPS signal, you may not have reliable mapping info unless you have a strong signal to your carrier who can provide you with the mapping data??? If you know in advance where you will be heading, you can probably download mapping data into your device which
might help your GPS-capable device figure out where it is....

The major problem still remains....you now know where you are (precisely), but do you know where to go? Hopefully, your device will keep you headed on a safe direction (provided it has a compass as long as the battery lasts). The bad news is that without mapping you might head into some very ugly terrain that could become fatal....

what would you bet your life on??? Technology that only lasts as long as your battery & carrier signal or proven map & compass???

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby oldschoolczar » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:09 pm

bob863 wrote:would it help to know that even if you have a strong GPS signal, you may not have reliable mapping info unless you have a strong signal to your carrier who can provide you with the mapping data??? If you know in advance where you will be heading, you can probably download mapping data into your device which
might help your GPS-capable device figure out where it is....




bob863 wrote:what would you bet your life on??? Technology that only lasts as long as your battery & carrier signal or proven map & compass???


That's why most people who use a GPS device recommend a dedicated unit and not a smartphone. But you should always carry a map/compass and know how to use it!
"Tonight I'll shave the mountain
I'll cut the hearts from pharoahs"
-Tom Waits

Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:12 pm

stateside wrote:
Klinger1986 wrote:
jdorje wrote:A smartphone gps works just the same as any other gps, based on satellite pings. They work just fine without cell coverage.


Does it eat up your data, or is it based on something totally different?


Shouldn't.
The problem with using smart phones as a GPS the battery's suck.


Keep phone in airplane mode, only turn on GPS when you need to use it. I've gone on several multi-day trips with my S3 and never came close to running dry.

$10 app + using the above tips sure is a lot more economical than a standalone unit.


*edit*

A stroll over to Amazon shows I can get a spare battery for $3.01, should I ever feel the need to carry a spare with me.

Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:14 pm

oldschoolczar wrote:
bob863 wrote:would it help to know that even if you have a strong GPS signal, you may not have reliable mapping info unless you have a strong signal to your carrier who can provide you with the mapping data??? If you know in advance where you will be heading, you can probably download mapping data into your device which
might help your GPS-capable device figure out where it is....




bob863 wrote:what would you bet your life on??? Technology that only lasts as long as your battery & carrier signal or proven map & compass???


That's why most people who use a GPS device recommend a dedicated unit and not a smartphone. But you should always carry a map/compass and know how to use it!



GPS doesn't use carrier signal, it uses satellites just as your standalone unit does.

Again, keep phone in airplane mode and only flip on GPS when you need it.

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Re: GPS--Most User Friendly?

Postby HikerGuy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:28 pm

Somewhat of a Prick wrote:Again, keep phone in airplane mode and only flip on GPS when you need it.


^^This. If you just want to check your location/elevation at certain points and don't require tracking, a phone will work fine in my experience.

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