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Thread: Recommendations for best GPS

  1. #1
    Mini Goon
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    I'm looking to purchase my first GPS for hiking in the UK and beyond and have no idea which model to go for so would appreciate your recommendations for a budget maximum £500. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Initiate
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    I think you need to elaborate a bit more about exactly what features you want and how you intend to use it, before anyone can give useful advice.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch SD's Avatar
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    If you just want to get grid reference and be able to say `I am here' get the cheapest one that does that. I think with your high budget you can get the new Garmin Montana complete with camera and all bells and whistles functions.

    Mapping functions are time consuming, uploads, bread crumb trails and all that.

    I took the view as all the advice screams take a map and compass as well to cover for battery issues, why would you want another set of maps with you on a small screen at great expense. I use a Garmin Etrex for the grid ref facility'

    I find the secondary most valuable use for me is the distance calculation -beats counting paces in difficult terrain which is often the very terrain you are in when you are navigating to find a feature.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
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    "another set of maps with you on a small screen at great expense" simply because i look at the small screen at it tells me exactly where i am. in all weathers and when it's pitch black. i can zoom in, zoom out, find out haow far my next waypoint is, find out how far "what's that over there is" and a host of other information you may or not find useful. beats chaisng your map down a hill.

    but back to the op.

    what geek says. you really must try to think about what you want a gps for as there are many options available. despite the touted ease of use of gps they, like anything, have their foibles and differing techniques to get them to work in the best way for you. using a gps effectively requires learning how to use it properly just as you would learn to use a map and compass. the difference is you don't have an operating choice with a map whereas you do with a gps - you choose what you decide suits you best.

    people who are anti-gps or critical of it are usually those who have no experience of using or can't be bothered to learn how to use a gps- they would be aghast if the same attitude and effort was expended on using a map and compass. a gps is so much more than a simple "where am i" box; even the very basic ones.

    if you are proficient in map and compass and get a mapping gps there is a bit of a lateral shift in thinking. i use a satmap 10 and i used to think of it as a MAP with gps. i now think of it as aGPS with a map. it's so much easier to use when you think of it as a gps.

    beware gps with useless features (e.g. camera) as all these do is reduce battery life.

  5. #5
    There are an incredible range of GPS units on the market. Generally the more you pay the more features you get. As has been said you need to decide what you want to use the unit for and then you can check your requirements gainst the specs for the various models.
    Using a GPS to best effect does require practice so patience and persistance are needed.
    Personally I think that having the ability to get a grid reference instantly in bad light and poor weather is invaluable.
    It is worth considering a computerised mapping system such as tracklogs or memory map in order to get the best use out of a GPS.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon Scott from LovingOutdoors.com's Avatar
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    The three main ones which I would look at are Memory Map, Garmin and Satmap.

    I personally prefer the Garmin but I know lots of people who prefer the other two. They are all slightly different and cater for a specific market.

    Like other members have said, you would need to give us more advice. If you want someone to walk you through the differences drop either myself or Tom a line on 0161 241 5500, would be happy to give you some advice.

  7. #7
    Goon Zippy's Avatar
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    Hi dsky. On the home page of this site there is an article reviewing a selection of the mapping GPS units on the market. Parky again in absolutely right in that it is much easier to have a mapping GPS which shows you exactly where you are (albeit with a map to hand - the screens on even the biggest mapping units are not big enough to plan ahead) than a more simple unit. I have used both and the mapping unit wins hands down.

    Certainly for £500, it is a mapping unit you are looking at. These can still be programed to follow a route between waymarks if you wish, although I prefer to try to navigate with the map and only refer to the GPS for confirmation.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    > albeit with a map to hand - the screens on even the biggest mapping units are not big enough to plan ahead

    A commonly expressed observation. I find I'm able to scroll the map about on the screen, and pick routes that way; my brain is able to remember enough of the topography as it scrolls past to find a route. Maybe not as easily as with an unfolded paper map, but it can be done.

  9. #9
    Goon Zippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain paranoia View Post

    > albeit with a map to hand - the screens on even the biggest mapping units are not big enough to plan ahead

    A commonly expressed observation. I find I'm able to scroll the map about on the screen, and pick routes that way; my brain is able to remember enough of the topography as it scrolls past to find a route. Maybe not as easily as with an unfolded paper map, but it can be done.
    You clearly are not running anquet on a device of the speed of the Mio P360. It takes forever to re-draw the map and makes scrolling very slow.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator captain paranoia's Avatar
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    Ah, no; some bespoke software on a 624MHz Fujistu Pocket LOOX N560...

  11. #11
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