GPS for driving AND hiking?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by jloden, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    I have been using my phone as a driving and mapping GPS so far but its accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. Thinking about getting a dedicated GPS unit and it occurred to me maybe I could find one that also works for hiking (and maybe geocaching if I get into that). Primary usage is for the car but before I go pick up another cheap Garmin I thought I'd ask around here and see of anyone knew of a unit that can do both effectively. I saw some threads on GPS units but most are focused on just woods use.

    I've never used a GPS hiking before so I really don't know much about them or what to look for. Maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist, or maybe I'm better off buying separate dedicated units? Thanks in advance for any tips!

    -Jay
     
  2. Kd7fhg

    Kd7fhg Scout

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    I use a Garmin GPSmap 60 Cx for hiking and I have also used it in the truck, the problem with hand held GPS's is they have small screens, the ones designed for cars have larger screens and have a talk back feature (that give you directions) so you do not have to take your eyes off of the road. If I had a choice I would use a dedicated auto type GPS in the truck and a handheld for hiking.
     
  3. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    Ahhh, ok that's a good point. I don't mind the smaller screen so much but not having it call out turns and directions is a bigger deal. Maybe I'm better off just going with dedicated units then. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  4. Zengunfighter

    Zengunfighter Guide

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    I have a Magellen Crossover that is set up for car navigation as well as hiking. In car mode, it's like any car gps. Talks to you, tells you about turns coming up, shows roads, has search for local features, etc.
    in hiking mode, acts like a typical hiking gps. waypoints, backtracks, topo features, etc.
    I've been using it since 2007. I'm very happy with it.
     
  5. SIXFOOTER

    SIXFOOTER Guide

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    Having been there done that. I have used several in car units, a laptop with GPS and maping softwaree, phone GPS and hand held GPS I have come to the conclusion that each one has its place where it works better than any combo rig does. I use my in car vav all the time and I needed to be able to easily load in a big list of way points so I have a Garmin that does that. Its always mounted in place, turns on as soon as I fire up the truck and does what I need there. I don't use the laptop and mapping software to actively navigate unless the Garmin lies to me about a road or something, then the laptop will tell me what I need to know. For hiking and the like a good hand held is really nice for recording routs, marking fishing spots and points of interest. I have found that most of the time a combo rig is just to much of a compromise to do everything well. The GPS in the phone only worke as long as you have cell coverage and it eats battery power, fast. The hand held is good for 16 hrs or so and can be recharged with a solar charger.
     
  6. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    I have to agree with Sixfooter about nearly anything "multipurpose", including tools.
    My Venture HC gets 14 hours on alkaline batteries. I see that some models advertise 20 hours on lithium batteries. Rarely will you have a hand held unit on for 14-20 hours straight.
     
  7. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    Thanks for the tip about the Magellan Crossover, will check that out.

    May end up just saving my pennies and getting a dedicated unit for each but at least it's good to know there's options :)
     
  8. brionic

    brionic Blissful simpleton Supporter

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    I have been using Trail Guru and iMapMyRide for various off road use on my phone, in addition to a host of other nav apps. ALso GPS Drive is a neat crossover app, and the same company makes others. The one drawback of apps on the smartphone is the interface, which is getting better, but still lacks the "one touch" integration of dedicated hardware/software design. The upside is more advanced features and better, easier to use, familiar touchscreens. Going back to my three year-old Garmin feels like playing with an old Mac SE/30 ;)

    Essentially, purpose-built units will be more durable and probably use less charge than a smart phone. Also, being able to use an external antenna is helpful for speed of satellite acquisition. I haven't noticed much difference in terms of accuracy when a clear view of the sky is available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  9. pat_t

    pat_t Scout

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    I also have the Magellan Crossover. Unfortunately the battery life with mine is pretty limited, and Magellan hasn't produced it for several years now. It is actually the Magellan 2200T upgraded with the Crossover software. It worked pretty well for off-road driving in the desert, but is pretty limited as a GPS unit to carry around with me while out and about. I much prefer a dedicated hand-held. My current favorite is a Magellan Explorist XL, but it too has been discontinued by Magellan.

    pat
     
  10. Two Bears

    Two Bears Banned Member Banned

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    I've had the crossover it was a piece of junk in my opinion, I got rid of it as soon as I could. Any of the car/driving GPS's are going to cost you an an arm and a leg for map updates, except Tom tom, that's what I'm using now everyday at work, and when I'm not working when I need it. I have a Garnin GPSmap 60csx for caching and hiking. As far as your phone GPS goes I love mine it's a lot better than any other driving GPS units I've used are. The only reason I only use it for a back up is because you have to have a data connection for the maps, so that might be your problem with the accuracy on the phone. Also, I use my phone for work and personal, if I get a phone call then I loose the GPS. Or maybe you just need a better phone, LOL. Get one of each and check out Tom Tom GPS's. Unless your rich and can afford the outrageous prices for map upgrades, on all of the other ones, LOL.
     
  11. Two Bears

    Two Bears Banned Member Banned

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    Oh, by the way, I don't know what kind of phone you have but the Groundspeak app for my EVO is very good, I don't use my Garmin very much any more to cache with. I do everything I need to do with the app right from my phone.
     
  12. jloden

    jloden Guide Bushclass I

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    Regarding the phone GPS... I've got a Samsung Moment on Sprint and the Telenav GPS mapping app as well as Google navigation/maps. I have an unlimited data plan so that's not an issue for me. The main complaints I have are it loses GPS signal pretty easily, and the accuracy is lousy compared to our Garmin Nuvi (wife's GPS) or even my old Blackberry for that matter.

    It suits me just fine when it works, but it has a habit of losing GPS signal right when I need it most, or telling me I'm on a road parallel to the on I'm actually on and screwing up the route. Also since it requires a data signal it won't work out in the boonies (e.g. every camping trip I've been on in the past 6 months). After a few experiences like that I'm thinking it's worth the $ to get a GPS unit that doesn't need a cell tower :)

    -Jay
     
  13. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    The Garmin Venture HC is a well reviewed GPS for hiking and geocaching, and they are running around $125 right now.
     
  14. Trent Rock

    Trent Rock Scout

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    I like using my handheld in my car because it gives my MPH in tenths
    65.6 MPH.....for example
    I always dreamed of having a car with a digital speedometer!!!!!:5:
     

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