GPS- what to get?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by dirk_digler, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. Guys and girls- looking to get some advice on a GPS for use in Canada, UK and anywhere else I may go.
    I have searched previous posts and read product reviews but nothing beats the opinions of someone who has used them in the field.

    Looking at Garmin eTrex 10 but does anyone have any other suggestions? Nothing too flash, budget 120 big ones
  2. Garmin stuff is usually pretty good in my experience. Be advised that any unit you buy in the UK is only likely to have maps for UK & Ireland, or at best Western Europe.

    However, Garmin map updates are frequently free* <cough cough nudge.>
  3. I've got the etrex 20, you can upload maps onto it via Garmin Basecamp software.

    If you're after a basic unit with no background maps an etrex H would do, they are about £60.
  5. I understand some of those GPS things (never used one for navigation meself) have a built in compass. Presumably, this isn't a trusty, brass ship's gyro repeater welded onto the back but rather some electronic gizmo.

    Does anybody have an opinion on the accuracy of the electronic compasses in GPS receivers and mobile phones compared with a magnetic compass? Presumably, taking a few bearings and slapping on a 3 point fix on a map with your iPhone is out of the question, but will it lead me astray if I'm trying to steer a course to the off licence in blizzard conditions?
  7. I have electronic compasses in my BlackBerry and in my watch. They both agree with each other and the one in my car, so they're either accurate, or they're all wrong in exactly the same way!
  8. I've found that those inbuilt compasses in electronic devices get skewed very easily by anything metal within about 20 feet of them, from underground cables to things like the zip on your jacket or keys in your pocket.
  9. Dirk - do you want a basic model (grids, bearings, speed etc) or one with mapping? If the former, I can reccomend the garmin 101 or 401 - I have owned both, and they are easy to use, robust & not too expensive. Combine with a paper map, and away you go!
  10. We use Trimble DGPS on site but it costs mega bucks. I use a Garmin 62 stc for work and it is very good. The compass is accurate but you have to remember to calibrate it to where you are.

    I use it for mapping clearance areas but always have to bear in mind that the accuracy depends on the local satellite coverage / weather and overhead obstructions - average variation is plus or minus 3 metres.

    The 62 stc is a good bit of kit if you can afford it (around 350 quid) as it has a built in 5 Mpixel camera which automatically geo tags the pictures it takes with Lat and Lon coords. It also comes with rechargeable batteries and a charger.

    Whichever Garmin unit you buy, you can get some Garmin compatible maps for free from several internet sources - Google is your friend. The Garmin street map of UK is very good.

    I read online the other day that you can now convert Google maps to work in some Garmin models, which may be worth looking at.
  11. I've got a Garmin Map62s, found it to be a reliable box of tricks.
    I use it for hill walking and Geocaching (saddo I know.). I've gotten accurate bearings, sight to go, altitudes, tracks (useful for retracing your path) and trip data using it.
    It came with a basic NZ map loaded on it (I'd think that would mean the country of purchase comes as a freebie, as you'd expect.) and you can then purchase SD chips with more detail other countries etc as you wish.
    This would only be available on more costly versions I'd say.
    But when over in the UK in 2011, I fiddled around in the settings and was able to get a basic UK map for free. From memory this involved changing from NZ to UK by scrolling down a humungous list of countries/mapping systems until you get what you want. Be well worth asking the vendor if that's an option for your chosen device.
    As per usual buy from a reputable dealer, ask questions and if they don't know, F' em off at the high port and find somewhere that can answer them.
    Have a look at review pages from UK GPS orgs as well for, for opinions from actual users.
  12. The new etrex has glonass as well, ramping up the accuracy.