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  #1  
Old 11-19-2009, 08:25 PM
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Tell me what is a good GPS for off road trails that doesn't cost a lot. I am looking for one I can down load where we drove and over lay on a topographic map.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:46 PM
gunrunner gunrunner is offline
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I have a Lowrance that sells for about 300 and holds all the maps I need for 3 states without me ever having to reprogram anything and has awsome detail.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:33 PM
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Most of the people in our club have Garmin. I'm running a Garmin Zumo 550. It's waterproof to 3ft. I added topo maps for the Western US.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcjp View Post
Most of the people in our club have Garmin. I'm running a Garmin Zumo 550. It's waterproof to 3ft. I added topo maps for the Western US.
That is cool.

Talking to the DNR they may need some more GPS trail info. So I best get a Garmin so the DNR's software can read my GPS. I am not for sure though if others wouldn't work.

So I guess this question is more toward what Garmin to buy (that don't cost a lot) that will do the trail mapping work I need to down load on my PC to over lay on Topo maps?
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:57 PM
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I use an Earthmate PN-20 with Delorme Topo USA software.

You can download download map data, USGS maps, and even aerial photos to the GPS and upload waypoints and tracks from the GPS to the computer.

It is a handheld unit, so it is not ideal for in vehicle navigation, but it can be used for exploring (hiking) currently closed, potential new trails.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:54 AM
Indefatigable Indefatigable is offline
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the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSX is on sale at Walmart. Its pretty much the apex of hand held maping GPS design (great satalite tracking, colour screen, waterproof etc). Yes the Colorado and Oregon from Garmin have touch screen and a bit bigger screens, but no real advantage tech wise. But you do pay a premium for those two improvements. My club runs alot of the 60 series Garmin units over the last 5 years with great success.

You can sometimes download topo and other maps from the net for different areas (for free), or you can buy the proprietory Garmin maps.

Only suggestion would be to buy (aside from the 12V power cord) a RAM mount for it to stick it to your cage or windshield.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:57 AM
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Great info guys!

Anymore have them? Tell us about what you have.
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2009, 02:09 PM
paulp575 paulp575 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceg_ View Post
Tell me what is a good GPS for off road trails that doesn't cost a lot. I am looking for one I can down load where we drove and over lay on a topographic map.
Most GPS topographic maps suck; too little detail for the small viewing window.

Having said that, I purchased the Garmin eTrex Venture HC. It was around $150.00+tax from Walmart. While Garmin uses proprietary maps ("MapSource"), their maps aren't too bad.

Unfortunately most topographic maps are seriously out of date.

The reason I bought this on is because it was their new line of HC GPS units. That means, according to their website at that time, they have better sensitivity. Supposedly they will pick up satellites under dense foilage, in canyons (not too sure about that one!) plus some other features. It has a colored screen and is considered a basic handheld for the trail.

In spite of Garmin's use of proprietary maps, I found a website that gives steps on building your own background maps:
http://home.roadrunner.com/~creek/garmin.htm

I have not tried the steps listed on that website, but from what I know about GPS units and mapping software, it seems doable.

If you are concerned about your GPS being capatible with your DNR software, forget it - probably. From my experience, most governement agencies use ArcGIS - a $1,500 piece of software! It has a very steep learning curve.

As long as you can convert your GPS waypoints to a GPX file, you should be OK.

When I was on an expedition scouting out a trail for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest folks NE of Mullan ID, I made some waypoints and a track. I downloaded them to my computer and put them over a topographic map background (got the USGS topoquads from GeoCommunity), it matched up pretty well. but, the 4WD trail wasn't close to what the GPS showed. When I overlaid it with Google Earth, it lined up perfectly! Although you could not see the entire trail, the switchbacks were visible in Google Earth and the track overlaid exactly!!!

There are some less expensive programs you can use for overlaying info you download from a GPS. The one I use the most is GlobalMapper. It costs $299 per license and is very easy to use.

If you are looking for free downloadable topoguads, digital elevation models and digital orthoimagery (satellite images), you can get them in various places on the internet. Being here in Spokane, I have been able to locate those for all of the state of WA as well as Idaho.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2009, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indefatigable View Post
the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSX is on sale at Walmart.
This is the unit that the DNR uses in combination with the Trimble mapping software. Also provides great satellite signal even while under heavy tree-cover which is a big deal down here when trying to map trails...
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PistonsChick View Post
This is the unit that the DNR uses in combination with the Trimble mapping software. Also provides great satellite signal even while under heavy tree-cover which is a big deal down here when trying to map trails...

Opps, I think I bought the wrong one for Crawldad for Christmas it is a Garmin nuvi 205W from Best Buy 99.99, I hope I can get maps for it?
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