[Cdt-l] Today's Best gps

joseph beals bealsjw at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 27 06:37:33 CDT 2008

I would have gotten lost on the tundra if I had relied
solely on my GPS E-compass; I found it was off
anywhere from 5-15 degrees.  Also you have to keep
them calibrated.  Using Garmin Etrex vista (original)
the batteries were good for around 4-5 hours of
continuous use.  The battery life depends alot on how
easilyit gets signals(much like a cell phone).  I
considered the GPS as my alternate map as well, mine
won't hold them all, oh well.  If you are going to use
a GPS extensively I would spring for the one with
largest screen possible, the maps are hard to use on
my vista.  I was constantly having to zoom-in and out.
 And fiinally the barometer feature is pretty
standard, but if you pay close attention to it you can
really learn the weather.  I had a friend who used to
be able to predict thunderstorms 2hr before they
arrived.  Good luck I hope this answered your Q's 
--- Jim Eagleton <eagleton at hotmail.com> wrote:

> With the way electronics change we should probably
> schedule this topic every 6 to 12 months.  Maybe
> with the Garmin problems every 6 to 12 weeks.  
> The way I read the rei reviews, Garmin has captured
> the category, and now, brought out the 2 latest
> units with major bugs.  Specifically, the eTrex
> Vista HCx, and the Colorado 400t seem to have
> partially overlapping problems.
> I'm specifically interested interested in features
> that go beyond taking bearings to Ley's waypoints. 
> For example,  the new high sensitivity chip set is
> very valuable for holding a fix under tree cover and
> some steep valleys.  I'm not saying price is not a
> factor, but I'll make that decision.  Questions:  
> 1)  Compass:  Are the electronic compasses as
> accurate as a standard magnetic compass?  Do you
> turn on the gps enough or could you without waiting
> too long for it to start up) that you could leave
> your compass at home (or in your pack)? 
> 2)  Detailed maps:  Did anyone download 24:000 maps
> to their gps?  
> 3a)  Large scale maps:  Did anyone find the
> 100,000:1 Topo maps useful for locating themselves
> on Ley's maps (more accurately or faster than the
> compass bud).  
> 3b)  Large scale maps:  Did anyone find the
> 100,000:1 Topo maps useful for identifying alternate
> routes, so that emergency BLM/road maps were less
> necessary.  
> 4)  Any issue with screen size:  The Colorado has a
> much larger screen than the eTrex.
> 5)  I built a battery box recharger for my Foreunner
> 305 gps.  I think this has thought me 2AA are the
> only way to go?
> 6)  Other useful features...Barometer, extra memory,
> etc.  
> 7)  The latest info on Garmin's bugs.
> A Battery question:  I don't think I will pick a gps
> on battery size, but can I change my other equipment
> to AA?  I have a 6V Ion headlamp, 3AAA EOS headlamp,
> CR123 Steripen, bounced charger for camera, bouncing
> the whole cell phone ...  
> Rambler>
> Cdt-l mailing list
> Cdt-l at backcountry.net

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