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A quick search on EPZ brings up a few topics on this subject but they're old posts. Anyone got recommendations for a decent handheld GPS?
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It really depends upon what you want. The Garmin eTrex range are excellent, starting from a plain screen base up to full mapping capability, the price varies enormously. All of them allow you to download a route to follow, or simply to log the track you are making. You can also connect them up to software like Memory Map, to plan routes and check what you actually did.
Another option is GPS software for your Smartphone (if you have one).
One thing I would recommend is that you get one which takes ordinary AA batteries, rather than having a built in rechargable battery. Nothing worse than running out of power when you are nowhere near a power supply.
Finally (and I'm sure you are aware of this) a GPS should always be backed up by a decent map. Also, GPS units work in straight lines between points, so if you are using one in fog make sure you know where the cliff edges are.
edit - this gives you a quick idea of the range.
Thanks very much for that, Ian. Can you expand on the following point?
"log the track you are making..."
When the GPS is on and has locked onto the satellites it will keep a log of where you walk/run/cycle/drive, this is called a track. At various points along the track, usually where it things you have deviated from a straight line, it will drop a marker.
You can see your track on the GPS screen, regardless of whether you have the plain screen or map version. On a loop that's useful to see how far you are from the end of the loop, it's also handy for retracing your steps. In fact most GPS' have a 'retrace' facility.
When you get back to your PC you can upload your track to your mapping software and examine where you went, with things like elevation profiles. You can also convert the track into a route, which you can download to your GPS to follow next time.
Also tools like Lightroom 4 can take the track information (depending on file format) and automatically geo-tag any photos taken while on that route by comparing the capture time with the position at that time.
Providing your camera has the correct time and date set.
I haven't checked Lightroom yet but many tools support ofsets to take that into account anyway.
really depends on your budget, i've used garmin etrex H which is a basic one tells you the essentials and a garmin oregon which was great had ordnance survey maps on it, colour, touchscreen, good battery life but is expensive.
BTW I have the Etrex H which I have used very successfully to navigate a couple of coast to coast bike rides.
The various Garmin models are amongst the "best -for- bucks", you really do have a large range to choose from and being Garmin you know they will take the knocks and bumps
BUT !!! no matter which you choose always carry a map in a waterproof case know how to read it and know where you are at all times.
There are many records of walkers getting lost when their GPS's bateries went flat or simply lost satellite signal in high ground shadows.
Not forgetting dress well and tell someone where you are going and your eta
OK Lesson over enjoy the walks
I've got an Etrex H and although very simple in spec and use it does the job I need. I use it mainly to check my location - I always use a map as main navigation - the gps is back-up. One unexpected benefit (at least for me is the trip odometer - which measures miles walked average speed etc - really useful when you are in training for a long distance walk as I am!
Thanks to all for your advice...
I would go for a Garmin. I have a GPSMap60cx (now replaced by the GPSMap62 range) and It's great.
Quote: I would go for a Garmin. I have a GPSMap60cx (now replaced by the GPSMap62 range) and It's great.
It sounds good although in some reviews, folk say the 60CSX is better than its replacement (62?)
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