View Full Version : Ordered a GPS... I'm clueless

06-17-2009, 04:26 PM
First off this is my first post here. Been lurking for a while and while part of my question is in regards to Mt Washington, it is a general one as well. It seems like a pretty knowledgeable group here on the outdoors in general so I figured I'd throw it out there.

I ordered a Garmin 60csx because I've always wanted to be able to track my mtn bike rides an hikes with more info than just distance. The option to upload tracks for a bit of a trail guide seems pretty sweet too but that is about where I end my knowledge of these things. I tried motionbased but was curious if anyone could point me in the right direction (gps pun, sorry) to find tracks since motionbased is a bit vague on the routes.

I'd like to make a trip to Mt washington in the near future but would like to have the route loaded ( in my gps to keep me on course. Where would someone find something like this? Would this resource list trails all over too?

Thanks in advance.


06-17-2009, 07:02 PM
Not sure which map set the 60cx comes with. I have the Colorado 400t that comes preloaded with topo on it. IIRC, it actually had alot of the trails already in it.

I know you already ordered it, but I would have suggested the Colorado or the newer Oregon models. The newer chipsets in those is a huge difference. The chipset is what gives you better coverage and more accurate tracks, especially in cloudy weather, under heavy tree coverage, etc. I've used my Colorado while mountain biking along the Potomac River, under very dense tree coverage during a torrential downpour and had no trouble maintaining signal. The "t" models come preloaded with topo maps, versus having to buy them for the 60cx, which I believe only comes with basic street maps.

For loadable GPX files, checkout Backpacker.com. Users will do trail reports and upload their GPX files to share. I think Trails.com ($ membership required) also has files you can download.

Or, the easier way is to just go to google and search for ".gpx" and "Mount Washington" (or where ever you plan on hiking).

06-18-2009, 05:06 PM
I have several GPX's for different Mt Washington routes. What route are you planning? I can send you a link.

06-21-2009, 09:58 PM
I'm a Garmin fan...

I had picked up the Colorado 400T but it didn't work with my camera (doesn't spit out NMEA compliant data for geocoding on the fly) and the LCD was horrible in sunlight.

So I returned it and got the the GPSmap 60CSx, it's one of the best ones (great under tree canopies, still holds a signal). (I hook a usb cable to it, and into my camera, so when I snap a picture, it geocodes directly into the EXIF data for plotting on maps..but you can also just do that after the fact with geocoding software)

Mine came with the Ocean maps, which suprised me.

I ended up buying Topo US 2008, US Inland Lakes v3, and US Topo 24K National Parks, East v3.

I dropped in a 8gb card and loaded up all of ME, NH, VT and parts of NY & MA.

It's a bit confusing switching between map sets though (maybe I should read the manual..naaaah)

btw: get the caribener clip for it, the regular clip always feels like it's going to fall off. With this one, you can clip to a belt loop or a back pack easily https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=1035

I bought my GPS, maps and accessories at www.megagps.com, was always happy with their service.

My other Garmins:

I also have the Nuvi 750 in my truck (love this one, because you can tag a point easily while driving, and can dump your data tracks to the pc after a trip)

I have a Forerunner 305 for exercise, running and hiking where I want to record my trip & heart rate (can't load maps on it, so you still need another gps for that)

I have my old eTrex Legend kicking around in a box somewhere, I really should ebay it since I'm not using it.


06-24-2009, 01:27 AM

I've hiked with my Garmin 60csx for 3 years now, winter and summer, and have yet to loose a signal, from Mahoosuc Notch to Castle Ravine. This is a great hardy unit - needs no external antenna, and you can stick it in your pack, belt, wherever - still holds the signal. I got the US Parks 24k Topo, as well as the Mapsource US Topo, but 99% of the time the US Parks covers everything (Cardigan and some of the southern NH areas are not in my version). A good memory card and you can upload all the maps you need in one shot and never have to do it again.

The Topo Maps have most of the trails, but the information is a bit out of date in some cases, or just seems to be drawn in "close enough", so even though you follow a path close to the trail on the GPS screen, it rarely is spot-on like it would be on a road. Summits and topography are right on, so I use it primarily as an aid for bushwhacking and for "drawing" the trails myself as I walk them, so I can upload the trail at home into a large master map.

The Mount Washington area trails seem to be fairly accurate on the Garmin, however, so you should be able to plot your route fairly closely and follow it as you go. Mapsource allows you to also check the rise and run of your routes prior to the trip, so you should be able to have much information ready before you head out. Have fun!