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ColdWeatherClimber
12-26-2008, 09:48 AM
Does anyone have this specific model of GPS yet? DeLorme just released this model and it looks good. Has a built in altimeter as well. Seems to have the most available map views of any GPS on the market.

BlueDog
12-26-2008, 01:01 PM
I don't know about those, but personally I would go with Garmin. I have the Colorado 400t with all the topo maps built in. Great resolution and its been a very good unit. The new Oregon 400t has all the same functions but has touch screen versus the rock-n-roll wheel.

Plus, with the Garmins, you can actually transfer waypoints and routes directly from Google Maps now directly to a Garmin.

Bill O
12-26-2008, 01:32 PM
I'm just curious. What are the benefits of actually hiking with a GPS? Mine mostly stays at home. I've only found it useful and necessary for hiking above treeline in a whiteout or on glaciers in similar situations. And in those cases, only in an emergency when I've become lost. Which has never actually happened.

I run with a GPS watch, but that provides instant, useful data like my pace and how far I have run. Before I had that watch I had to mark reference points on my palm to check my distances.

Also, unless the altimeter is pressure based on the GPS it is generally worthless.

Orgnoi1
12-26-2008, 02:00 PM
Bill... I used to instruct Map & Compass in the Army... what I always told my students... is that while a GPS is a good *TOOL* it doesnt replace using a real map and compass... its definately a bonus for keeping information and for verification of location and tracking... but because its electronic and relies on sats which can easily be blocked under a day of "normal" conditions I would not consider it a primary source of information...

I dont know if the gps in question uses baro-pressure for its altimeter... but you are right... if you didnt it wouldnt be *as accurate* and even with that you would need to have baseline figures for it to work properly...

mtruman
12-26-2008, 04:16 PM
... is that while a GPS is a good *TOOL* it doesnt replace using a real map and compass... its definately a bonus for keeping information and for verification of location and tracking... but because its electronic and relies on sats which can easily be blocked under a day of "normal" conditions I would not consider it a primary source of information...


These are my main reasons for almost always carrying the GPS. It is nice to be able to get a quick fix on you current location and I really like having the track log after a hike to be able to plot the virtual route in Google Earth and geocode my photos (using RoboGeo). I do use it for route finding as well, but don't rely on it for that - I always have map and compass as the primary tools.

BlueDog
12-26-2008, 05:35 PM
During hiking I mostly use mine as an odometer, keeping track on how far I've gone, and it helps me gauge how long it will take me to get where I want to go.

Since mine has topo, I also use it to locate water sources and can change my route if necessary. For example if I'm getting low on water, know that I've been covering 3 miles in an hour, then I can decide not to take the route that will take me 6 miles to get to water.

I also like to log my routes and can then plot them over Google Earth or Maps for showing off later.

I can also grab data from the KML file and precisely geocode pictures.

Lastly, I figure in case of any emergency, I can get a precise location to relay to help, leaving no question as to where I am.

Though I've been thinking about getting a Spot locator to carry, just because I'm a gadget addict and its a new shinny object.

Here's the data from a hike I did with Tim&Val back on Sept 13 for Flags on the 48. If I analyze the data I can see the elevation gain over time, our average speed, overall time, time we were moving versus time we were stopped, etc.

I will add, that I also carry topo maps and compass with me on ALL hikes, and know how to use them. So I don't rely solely on the GPS. Paper maps are also easier/more enjoyable to spread out over a rock on a break and get the big picture of where you're going and the trail system.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3225/2866127791_07be28a644_b.jpg

BlueDog
12-26-2008, 05:42 PM
but because its electronic and relies on sats which can easily be blocked under a day of "normal" conditions I would not consider it a primary source of information...

Actually, my unit has the newest SiFR III chip in it and I have yet to be in an environment that I didn't get signal. I've used it in heavy cloud cover, thick tree cover, in the car, etc. But you have to look for one with the latest chipset, that makes all the difference.

One other thing that you may consider comparing... I did have one of the new Magellan units when they came out. I made the decision on price (ended up being the wrong decision.) Aside from the fact the Magellan was harder to use... if you turn it and the comparable Garmin on side-by-side, the Garmin will boot up and acquire signal in half the time.

spyboy
12-26-2008, 08:47 PM
Don't forget that having the GPS for your track data is great for marrying up to your digital photos to geocode them! :)

Kirk

ColdWeatherClimber
12-26-2008, 10:36 PM
Bluedog your Garmin unit is a good one. I just like the fact that so many maps are available for the DeLorme. I have cross referenced several GPS units on the market today and the Garmin Oregon was one I had also looked at. The Colorado had a hard time in comparisons with the DeLorme in keeping a fix. The Garmin Colorado would lose its fix while the DeLorme kept it. Overall performance of the ability to aqcuire and keep a fix was on par with the Garmin 60Csx, which was also a unit I had looked at.

On GPS/Map and Compass, it's an old debate. I've been using all of these things since before gps was even available to the public. I started out using it in the service, and some of the first units were Magellan 4000 and 5000. Big clunky suckers with lots of buttons, a fold out antenna etc. Supposedly water proof, but when 4 out of 6 failed when we hit the water, we were glad we had maps and a compass.

I have a Lowrance GlobalMap 100 which is pretty old in comparison to the models above, however the accuracy is on par with the Garmin 60Csx. The only thing that I could want in it is real topo maps etc. The unit was built before all the better screens came about.

krummholz
12-26-2008, 11:25 PM
I have nothing against GPS technology, but I've been doing off-trail navigation for years with map, compass, and a clunky old analog altimeter (barometric pressure, obviously, but temperature-compensated and remarkably accurate as long as you calibrate it occasionally and there isn't a freakish weather system coming in). The streams of the Smokies were my training ground:

http://streamsandforests.wordpress.com/tag/altimeter/

My analog altimeter is much more accurate than the wristwatch-style digital altimeters I've tried. Someday if somebody gives me a GPS unit I might try it. Otherwise, I won't bother.

ColdWeatherClimber
12-27-2008, 05:03 AM
I use both GPS and Compass in tune with a map. I'm a gadget type of person, so maybe that is what drives me with GPS. I have two GPS units in my Land Cruiser. :D

Bill O
12-27-2008, 04:01 PM
Okay, I guess they provide some fun data while hiking.

I agree, the new models have excellent reception. I realize its an electronic device, but I figure the odds of failure are about the same as me losing a map in the wind. I also have a better chance of winning the lottery than the GPS network failing.

The accuracy is quite amazing. I use a little GPS watch for running and the error is often less than 1% when compared to a measured course.