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Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

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Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby Snowtrout » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:33 am

I am currently looking to buy a new handheld GPS since my old yellow etrex is not cutting it anymore. My needs are dual purpose: use in the backcountry and on the water (I have a boat). I have been looking at a Garmin Oregon 600 and it seems on paper, able to do whatever I want. Anyone here have or ever use this unit?

Second question is about maps. Is it better to download the maps or buy a chip? Are the Garmin 24k maps the same/similar to the Forest Service paper maps I have or is there something better? Anyone ever use lake maps on their handheld?

Thanks in advance. Just trying to get some info before making the investment.



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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:42 am

had a Garmin 12XL for my boat decades ago. Also had a Lowrance GPS system on board and even Radar. On a boat, the map isn't the problem, it's the water depth. And bonsai runs past structures in the dead of night to get to the next Sturgeon hole.

The map will tell you where you are even if the depth isn't good for your draft.

I recently bought the western 24k map set on DVD from Garmin. It works with their old Mapsource program as well as their BaseCamp product. I've been "playing" with BaseCamp, and it now does snap-to on all trail selections (i like that). They had that only for NP's in the last set i got in 2005. It plays well with my Rino 530.

I like the new map set.
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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:05 pm

I use a Garmin Oregon 550T with the 24K maps and my only complaint with them is that allot of the notation markers are a quarter mile off for some reason.

I've never used them on water though.

As for buying it with a chip I would make sure you know what maps your getting and if you even want them. the 550 is a bit slow when loading maps and if you try to fill it up with maps for a whole state or something then it's slow to boot up. Once you have the detail set to most it also is too slow to be able to zoom out for more than say a 3 mile radius before the load time is too long to even use. Hopefully with the newer models they put a better CPU in it.
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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:45 pm

I'm planning on using my iPad for my boat. Trying to sort out software options to download.

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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:32 pm

of course you are.. wrong tool for the boat. ask your son.
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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby oldranger » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:32 am

Actually he has laptop hooked up to gps. The gps is built in to iPad and i can download charts into iPad.

so why is it the wrong tool?

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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:36 am

his boat is a bit different from yours. it's pretty much "navy"; it has an actual cabin. your's is, well, crushed under snowfall just sitting there on dry land.

not saying your proposed use won't work. get insurance on the ipad. the depth/fish finder is a better investment.
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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby Snowtrout » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:10 am

Thanks for the comments. Rogue, I had heard that the 550 was a little slow and the 600 is much faster but it might be smart to only load those maps needed for the trip.

Guess I have a lot to learn about the new GPS units :confused:
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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:39 pm

fast? I'm unclear on that point. the map will not save you, it's about depth and knowledge of the lake area. Where are you boating?
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Re: Question about Handheld GPS/Maps...

Postby Snowtrout » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:49 am

rlown, I understand what you are saying. I am very familiar with using my present gps while fishing to follow previous tracks and to mark areas where fish are holding. I have been on friends boats that have a sonar/gps unit and the preloaded maps were nice at showing the underwater features and structure. Using maps, whether paper or electronic, are important along with your sonar when using downriggers.....I really do not want to hang a downrigger ball in rocks or other types of structure if possible. Yes the maps are drawn and represent a full lake scenario but I am used to looking at the sonar and making the changes. A map might say you are in 100' of water but since the lake is 50' down and the sonar says 50', I go with what the sonar says. The map guides me around points and unseen islands while the sonar says the exact depth.

I could buy a new sonar with gps and sonar OR keep my sonar and buy a handheld to be used on the boat and in the hills. Right now I would like to choose the latter. A handheld, while smaller than a marine gps, should provide me with the same info, if the maps/chips loaded are the same. Or so that is my thinking :-k
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