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are gps maps actually usefull?

Discussion in 'Communication (CB | GPS | HAM)' started by jekbrown, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    i dunno chit about gps's... but I used em a lil in the grunts and was wondering if they are actually usefull for offroading purposes. By that I mean, if I go to TSF and get lost in the freakin backwoods somewhere, do they make GOOD topo maps that have the trails on them and everything? just a straight topo map wouldnt help so much... but topo+trails... now that'd be super snifty! /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif i really dont care about in-town capabilities. are certain gps's better than others for the kinda use I am lookin for? I'd like to use a laptop to run it off...

    j
     
  2. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    They can be usefull to a point. The biggest problem is the display size on most GPS receivers and the available map data. Most topographic maps are from old data. On a laptop you can zoom in/out easier and even if the trail you might be on isn't listed in the map you can still get an idea of how to get yourself out.

    The more useful option of most GPS receivers is the automatic "tracklog" functions. That way even if you don't know where you are going at least you can tell how to get back to where you started.

    Also most mapping software will let you import track logs or at the very least create it's own from the data coming from the gps. That way you can "create" your own maps for the trails.
     
  3. burbBoy

    burbBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Our club owns a laptop and a GPS. We run maptech software and it has excellent maps with almost all the trails that we can find.
    If your looking at buying a GPS find one with an external antenna. To my knowlege Garmin is the only one with this option. Without the antenna i had to hold the gps out the window to get it to work.
     
  4. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    My Magellan has an external antenna too.
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    My cheapie Magellan 315 always picks up 6 to 8 satellites when mounted up on the windshield. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    National Geographic has a great Oregon state TOPO map set - bought it a month ago. Very defined. Also, you're on OBH mailing list, right? The guys on there have catalogued almost the ENTIRE TSF trail system if I remember correctly. Post a message asking about it, it's been a while since I saw postings but they do have them.

    One other idea - Daniel R (PNWFS4X4 Prez /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif) had the hot setup in his K5 - a GPS system run through a 'mini laptop' (forget their name but they run Windows CE if I remember right) that was large enough to see pretty well. Better than a GPS screen for sure. Couple that with a good TOPO setup that you can add waypoints to and you're set.

    I use my Magellan 315 for 'return to camp when lost in the woods' when hunting. Awesome peace of mind.
     
  7. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    thanks for the responses guys! I'm a lurker on obh... guess I'll post a message about this to see what I can stir up. with this post i was mainly tryin to figure out if a gps would be useful to me... and it seems like with the right maps it would be. thanks much for the tips,

    j
     
  8. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    one more thing before I forget... will gps' and mapping software work on crappy old laptops or do u need something high end? be nice to be able to use an older cheapo one... just in case it got toasted on the trail. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  9. burbBoy

    burbBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Old ones will work but they will lag behind while your moving. As long as you remeber that the little moving marker is behind where you actually are its just fine.
     
  10. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    cool beans.. i figured if a little palm pilot gizmo could do gps, even a slowish pc could.. but just want to check. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     

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