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The Olympia Hiking and Outdoor Recreation Group Message Board › GPS Recommendations?

GPS Recommendations?

A former member
Post #: 2
Does anyone have strong recommendations about particular Trail GPS receivers? I bought (and returned) a Garmin eTrex30 because it was not very accurate. We have all the maps, now, and figured we might as well have them with us on the trail. We are taking a few bigger trips a little later this summer and would like to take a GPS along. Thanks!
A former member
Post #: 1
I have been very happy with the Garmin 60CSx. It's an older model now, so you can probably find a used one for cheap, but they seem to receive signals in the forest better than other units (and they are fairly waterproof).
A former member
Post #: 52
I too have the same Garmin 60. It is a great unit and I bought the map chip for this area. Many of the areas maintained trails are on that chip. No problems with and I feel it is better than the newer 62.
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi, my name is Felix, logging on my wife Kathy's ID. I saw this discussion. I know a lot about GPS units because I use them professionally for mapping natural resources. Most GPS units today have similar accuracy and should vary only slightly in reception. Tree cover spoils GPS accuracy because they cause "multipath" signals that bounce off all the foliage and wood. Water is a big culprit (clouds, rain, wet leaves, water in tree trunks, etc.) So GPS units work better in clear weather, open sky, and when leaves are off the deciduous trees). Some units are slightly better than others, but all should be adequate for hiking and route finding. The units tell you when their accuracy is off, so you know when to take the position as approximate.

I recommend DeLorme GPS's because they are bundled with excellent maps and aerial imagery that is free or real cheap. They are easy to use, and maybe a smidge less accurate than the Garmin 60 but I doubt you would ever notice it.

If you want a Garmin 60csx I have one I could sell you because I haven't used it in ages. But like I say, I recommend DeLorme PN40 or PN60. You can communicate your position to others via satellite with these also if you get the option (but no texting). I have an old, slow PN20, but I refuse to part with it. It works great!
A former member
Post #: 2
First let point out GPS doesn't replace map & compass skills but can be valuable additional info. Too many rely on the convenient short cut of technology. It can lead to huge safety issues. Occasionally the GPS will give wrong data and we need to recognize that when it happens. That being said I always take a GPS on the trail.
If you want more accuracy a higher end GPS supporting WAAS antenna technology is important. Garmin Oregon models will do this. Also in settings set the sample interval very small so that you get more points automatically recorded. Expect to spend about $300 to $400. Take the time to work through the complexity of your GPS setting and operation. We use them to stay safe, yeah?
Lately I've been using my android phone with the Back Country Navigator app. Superb maps and superb app. However various phone models can be glitchy and battery life is a real issue.
I used to be a survey technician. That experience and training has made me more tolerant of technology on the trail.
A former member
Post #: 8
The default setting for WAAS on the eTrex 30 is off to conserve power, so you must change it to on. Since the eTrex series is the first of the Garmin GPS devices to pick the top four signals from both the Russian and American satellite systems, you will tend to get a higher level of accuracy resulting from better triangulation. I had the 60 and it is great. But I like the one-handed op of the eTrex devices and dislike the touch screens on the Oregon series. What about other folks?
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