Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Friday, December 9, 2011

Buying a GPS for Christmas

Are you shopping for a new GPS receiver this Christmas?  Looking to buy one for a spouse or friend?  Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

The Holiday Season is a great time to start looking for a new GPS.
Manufactures are offering discounts and coupons can be found on line.  Search the Internet for sales promotions and the ads in the Sunday paper.  I will occasionally use to establish a price baseline.
Keep in mind that some models with good discounts could very well be out of production.  Evaluate what your needs are and if the price is right and the receiver fits all your requirements, then you are set.
One web site to take a look at is  I found this site recently via Twitter. is packed with information on what’s new and happening in the world of GPS.  Importantly, at the top of the page, click on “buyers guide” and then select the category that fits your requirements (e.g., auto, outdoors, etc.)
I think the recommendations provided are spot on the mark.
For example, in the realm of “Budget GPS for hikers” the Garmin Venture HC is recommended.  There are less expensive units on the market but for the dollar/pound you do get a lot for the money.  Importantly it offers a color screen, is USB capable (upload and down load data) and accepts detailed topographic maps.
The Garmin Oregon 450 is recommended as the mid-range receiver for hikers.  The Oregon provides a touch screen display, barometric altimeter, an electronic compass and very capable mapping and imaging systems are available for download.
What would I avoid? I won’t buy a used GPS or one that has been refurbished.
I want a model that allows me to:
·         Enter many waypoints
·         Edit waypoints
·         Manually enter waypoints (example: your friend provides you the coordinates to a wonderful place next to a bubbling brook for a camping site)
·         Many map datum selection options
·         Will accept topographic maps.
·         Those with less steady hands might consider are receiver with buttons on the front.  Test this in the store or borrow a friend’s.  Ditto for touch screen models.
·         Up load and download GPS waypoints and track data.
If I had to, options could I do without:
·         An electronic compass
·         A touch screen display
·         A barometric altimeter
Good luck in your search for that new GPS!!!

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