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Old 02-12-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
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What GPS are you using?

I got a Garmin from Costco. It was only around $100. Do they make off road/backcountry specific GPS devices or will any GPS do the job?

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:26 AM   #2
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I have often wondered the same thing and the closests I have come to "making" what I need is my iPhone 4 using the Map feature and topographical overlays. It was an application called "GPS Kit" from iTunes. Looks like it would work for what you are describing.

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Old 02-12-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Depending on your unit, there are down-loadable area specific maps. Check the Garmin site.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:24 AM   #4
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I use a Garmin GPSMAP 60CS or Garmin Colorado 400T for off-roading, kayaking, bicycling, etc. Then I have a Garmin Zumo 660 that I swap out between the motorcycle and the Jeep for any road trips. And then I have a nuvi 295W that's not really being used for anything at the moment.

I'm thinking about selling the nuvi, Colorado and maybe my trusty 60CS to fund one of the new 62-series. It makes my nerd bits quiver.

But yeah, check the Garmin site for topographic maps for your unit. And if they're available, make sure you turn off the option to "stick" to roads.
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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For Garmin your best bet is the USGS 1:24,000 Topo maps:
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=35407&ra=true
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #6
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Not to be a debbie downer but I hate GPS. They get me lost more than I find the place.

I did like the fact that it help me calibrate my speedo. I'd look for one that could record my location on the trail. Create my own map of sorts. The garmin we had did well until it got stolen. I haven't even looked for another one though.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Go to Amazon and read the ratings on Garmin's topo maps. After reading what users said I decided against their map for the southwestern US. Other areas may be better but I didn't check as that is not my interest.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:38 PM   #8
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffk42 View Post
I use a Garmin GPSMAP 60CS or Garmin Colorado 400T for off-roading, kayaking, bicycling, etc. Then I have a Garmin Zumo 660 that I swap out between the motorcycle and the Jeep for any road trips. And then I have a nuvi 295W that's not really being used for anything at the moment.

I'm thinking about selling the nuvi, Colorado and maybe my trusty 60CS to fund one of the new 62-series. It makes my nerd bits quiver.

But yeah, check the Garmin site for topographic maps for your unit. And if they're available, make sure you turn off the option to "stick" to roads.
My fear was that the GPS wouldn't recognize forest service roads, etc. I want to do some backcountry driving through the national forests. Thanks for the tips. Cheers.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:43 PM   #10
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Keep in mind that GPS units are convenient, but should not be relied upon 100%. It's always best to carry some maps and a real compass with you, and know how to use them.

'Death by GPS' in desert - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Having said that, I have a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, loaded with TOPO maps from Garmin, and it is a great tool. I got the dashmount and mounted it above the air vent on the dash, left of the steering wheel in my 2006 TJ. Works great!
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:52 PM   #11
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I have an older Garmin 260 Nuvi. It does show a few dirt roads, mostly in the forested areas, less of the desert roads.

it is nice for around town, but off-roading, it's less than reliable.
There are detailed map packs you can buy for Garmin units, but they're pretty spendy.
When I off-road, I rely on my memory, and a good old fashioned paper map.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #12
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I have a Garmin Nuvi 500 which has topo with it.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=134&pID=13424

As everyone else pointed out, nothing beats paper maps for stone cold accuracy. That said, my 500 has been very good digging me through Harlan County roads and trails.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McBear View Post
I have a Garmin Nuvi 500 which has topo with it.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=134&pID=13424

As everyone else pointed out, nothing beats paper maps for stone cold accuracy. That said, my 500 has been very good digging me through Harlan County roads and trails.
The nuvi 500 is exactly what I wanted for my TJ! I has the capability of real topo maps and national park trails with the great topo display loaded onto it. I settled for a nuvi 105 I bagged on eBay for $39. My 105 has topo but not the pretty topo display, only elevation changes but has the trails.

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