GPS recommendations

46er

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Try your question in the Electronics section; Boyd is your GPS man.

I occasionally use a Garmin Oregon 450.

Lots of good sales going on.
 

Boyd

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There's no easy answer to this, it depends on your preferences. I still think my Garmin Montana 600 is nice, but some people might find it too large. You can get a factory refurb for $280 at GPSCity (refurbs have full one year Garmin warranties). Have not used any of the newer Oregon series (I used to have an Oregon 400t) but they are very popular. Similar features to the Montana but smaller with a glass muti-touch screen. GPSCity has a refurb 650t for $220. If you prefer pushbuttons they have a refurb GPSMap 64s for $200. Not especially recommending GPSCity - you need to shop around for the best deals. But I think refurbs are generally a good choice if you want to save a few bucks.

Having said all this, I no longer use dedicated GPS units, just my iPhone with an app. But the truth is, I don't do much exploring these days. I have my own property in the Pines adjacent to thousands of acres of parks and WMA's and get more pleasure hanging out here. Garmin is really the only game in town for dedicated GPS but I don't find their products a good value anymore and their specs are falling farther behind current smartphones.

I have stopped developing maps for Garmin and my new maps are in a universal format that work on any kind of phone or GPS. However Garmin has intentionally crippled their units to limit compatibiity with this kind of map - my maps still work on Garmin but you can only load a very small area. Am finally finishing up my new HD map of the pines and it will be ready before Christmas. It has been years in the making and will be the most detailed map you will find. Here's some info plus a link to download a preview that covers Wharton in Google Earth format. The finished map covers all of Sourthern NJ and is in a format that works on any device: https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/pinelands-commission-resolution-map-2-0.11997/page-3#post-146510

For smartphones, I like the OruxMaps app on Android and Galileo on iOS. However there are many, many choices. Again, my preferences are skewed because I have chosen apps that work well with the maps I make myself. Shop around at the app store or Google Play to find an app with the features and maps that appeal to you. Most apps have free trials with paid versions that have more features. But the paid versions are much, much, much cheaper than dedicated GPS units.
 
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Boyd

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I have an iPhone but also an Android tablet that I don't really use anymore. A few years ago I liked OruxMaps the best, it was free. It's no longer part of the Google Play store now but is still free. Have never tried installing software that isn't from the Google store myself: http://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/

I distribute my maps in Mobile Atlas Creator format (MOBAC), which is a free open source program running on Windows, MacOS and Linux. After loading the map on your computer you can export any portion of (or the whole) map in many different formats that work on almost any device. See the full list of supported apps here: http://mobac.sourceforge.net

Here are some compatible Android apps, so you can check them out and see which appeals to you. The only other one of these that I have tried is TwoNav but I know BackCountry Navigator is popular.

AlpineQuest
BackCountry Navigator
OruxMaps
TrekBuddy
TwoNav

So far I have made three maps available in the MOBAC format. Each download includes a tutorial to guide you through installation.

Parcels in the Pines - https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/parcels-in-the-pines.11747/
LIDAR in the Pines 2017 - https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/boyds-map-of-the-pines-beta-available.5103/page-17#post-142259
Just LIDAR - https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/boyds-map-of-the-pines-beta-available.5103/page-17#post-142259

I hope to have my HD map of the pines available very soon, will post a link when it's ready. :)

BTW, if you are using a Garmin device, my "Core Pines" map is the most detailed one that I have made in their format. Download it here, full documentation and an installer are included. It works in Garmin Basecamp and Mapsource on your computer: core_pines.zip
 
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Teegate

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But I think refurbs are generally a good choice if you want to save a few bucks.

I agree. When mine broke Garmin gave me a cheep price on a refurbished unit and it has been flawless.
 

manumuskin

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The only reason I won't switch from Magellan to garmin is that 100 tile limit.How assinine?Are you trying to sell Gps"s or aerials?Greed will get Garmin nowhere with me.I"ll put up with Magellans total lack of suppor for unlimited aerials of any type I choose.
 

Boyd

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The newer higher quality Garmin handhelds allow 600 tiles but that is still really inadequate.For example it would only allow you to load an area of my HD Pines map about 12 miles x 15 miles. Really the best choice is a smartphone, you could get a used older one very cheaply. They have no limits aside from the amount of memory available and they support all the zoom levels you see in MOBAC. You don't need a voice or data plan to use a phone as a GPS.

EDIT 12/5/17: after doing further research, I find that most of Garmin's handhelds are still limited to a maximum of 100 Custom Map tiles. The GPSMap 64 and all of the Montana series are the only devices that accept more than 100. And they support 500 tiles, not 600 as I posted above.
 
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SuperChooch

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Im a tech junkie and in recent years I’ve looked for excuses to try to purchase dedicated GPS units, but it has continued to make less and less sense, even for top end units. The last several years, ive used an older generation iPhone, in a battery case, using Gaia GPS. The experience is superior in almost every way except absolute battery life (which I mitigate using an external battery pack, in addition to the battery case) and visibility in bright light, which i just deal with.
 
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manumuskin

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Im a tech junkie and in recent years I’ve looked for excuses to try to purchase dedicated GPS units, but it has continued to make less and less sense, even for top end units. The last several years, ive used an older generation iPhone, in a battery case, using Gaia GPS. The experience is superior in almost every way except absolute battery life (which I mitigate using an external battery pack, in addition to the battery case) and visibility in bright light, which i just deal with.
I don't even have a cell phone.Can you navigate to a point with a cell phone and get a read out in how many feet to object? Whats your accuracy commonly if feet?
 
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Boyd

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I don't even have a cell phone.Can you navigate to a point with a cell phone and get a read out in how many feet to object? Whats your accuracy commonly if feet?
There are an incredible number of GPS apps on both Android and iOS, I'm sure you could find one that has the combination of features you want. A dedicated GPS is just a little computer with a touch screen. So is a phone, but phone hardware has become much better and cheaper than Garmin's devices. It's just an economy of scale issue, the are hundreds of millions of cellphones sold and Garmin's GPS sales number in the thousands.

Regarding accuracy, that depends on the specific phone. The newest ones seem quite good, they all have GLONASS. But I think you could still make a case that Garmin's dedicated units are better since they are not so obsessed with "thinness". But if you want more accuracy, and if you think Garmin has the "special sauce", that's no problem. Just get a GLO - Garmin's bluetooth GPS receiver. It is very accurate - superior to their handhelds IMO. It records 10 position fixes per second vs. Garmin handhelds that only record one per second.

The GLO sends position data to your phone wirelessly over bluetooth and takes the place of the phone's internal GPS. Works with any app on both Android and iOS. Cost is about $100, so you can get one of these and a decent used phone with rugged case for less than a Garmin handheld GPS. It's very small and you can clip it to your belt or even clip it to your hat if you want better accuracy (that way your body doesn't block the satellite signal).

I reviewed the GLO in 2013 here: https://gpstracklog.com/2013/04/garmin-glo-review.html More recently, I did some further accuracy testing and was impressed with the results: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30108/what-is-gps-accuracy-testing-the-garmin-glo-in-the-forest

I you prefer a dedicated Garmin handheld, that's fine, I can understand that. But I've spent (literally) thousands of dollars on dedicated GPS units over the years, and unless something really cool comes along.... I'm done. My Montana 600 is good enough for the times when I want a dedicated unit, or I can go "old school" with my 60csx. :)
 
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bobpbx

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PS: the weight of the Montana is not an issue at all with me. I like solid feel of it, and it's quite rugged. It has performed flawlessly for several years now.
 
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Boyd

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The only other one of these that I have tried is TwoNav but I know BackCountry Navigator is popular.
Just fired up my Galaxy Tab for the first time in awhile. I had installed the free version of BackCountry Navigator but really didn't remember anything about it. Within a few minutes I was able to load the new map. So this one is definitely worth a look. Not clear on what the differences are between the pro and free version, I think the free version has ads but I have not seen any yet.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.crittermap.backcountrynavigator&hl=en

Finished compiling my new map this afternoon so it should be available for download in a few days (as soon as I create some new documentation). It will include new tutorials that show the whole process of exporting a map for iOS, Android or Garmin. I will provide examples of use with BackCountry Navigator and OruxMaps for Android. Will use Galileo and Map Plus for examples on iOS.
 
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lj762

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What article is that? Magellan used to be a viable competitor to Garmin but those days are long gone.
I wondered about that. I'm on my second Magellan eXplorist GPS unit, the first having been damaged when I slipped on ice and fell on it. I do like it. I suppose I've gotten used to its quirks, and I really rely on it when out there. But Magellan no longer links to the outdoor line of products (eXplorist) from their home page, no new products announced, and their own online store seems to be the only place that sells them now. But the support pages do not indicate it is discontinued. I've never heard of a product line dying out this way.
 

Boyd

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Magellan was bought by Mitac in 2008 and their newer devices are completely different, I don't think they are even compatible with legacy Magellan maps. I have a Magellan Trition 1500 but have not used it in a long time. I find it very awkward to use, the user interface is a confusing mixture of touchscreen and push buttons that are very stiff and hard to push. It has a little slot to store a toothpick type stylus to use on the touchscreen!

My first handheld GPS was a Magellan Meridian Gold - I actually sold it to another long-time forum member here many years ago. I think Magellan and Garmin were pretty much on par 15 years ago, but not anymore, I don't know why anyone would buy a new Magellan handheld today. A huge advantage to Garmin is the vast amount of free, user-contributed Garmin format maps - that just doesn't exist for Magellan. And consumer products are just one segment of Garmin, they also make very sophisticated GPS units for airplanes and ships.

This is what makes me sad when I see how Garmin is marching to the edge of the cliff in slow motion today. They could easily make best-of-breed smartphone apps but they won't. Instead they want to milk every last cent out of their hardware business, which shrinks more every year. Reminds me a bit of Sony, who owned the portable music market with the Walkman but failed to appreciate that the iPod would soon eat their lunch.

Garmin's big focus now is on fitness products like smart watches, bike computers and other weird things like a smart bathroom scale, a baby monitor and a collar that punishes your dog when he barks. :p
 
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46er

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Garmin's big focus now is on fitness products like smart watches, bike computers and other weird things like a smart bathroom scale, a baby monitor and a collar that punishes your dog when he barks.
They are also under the covers in a lot of built in automobile GPS systems supplying software, but that's changing as well.
 
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