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 Post subject: Won a Car GPS - What should I replace it with?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:59 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
I won this car GPS through work:
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/garmin-garmin-nuvi-4-3-gps-3790t-3790t/10146962.aspx?path=86fa0d4b53c54ef36d054648a39a8208en02

Which is cool and all, except... a) I don't have a car; b) it's not waterproof; and c) it only has 4 hour battery life (so, my cell phone can do everything it can do, which makes it's useless). It did however come with a gift receipt that is good for (CAD 349.99) in "store credit" at Best Buy only.

So my questions is this (2 questions actually):
1) As a newbie splitboarder who plans to do mostly slack-country for the next season or 2 (for practice & because of the aforementioned lack of a car)... If I return it to Best Buy for store credit, which of the following "outdoor" GPS's would you recommend? (Note that I am limited to only the selection which Best Buy offers, due the "store credit" thing. Best Buy's selection is here:
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/category/outdoor-gps/25135.aspx?path=aa247bdfc28ff689dad7c838ce61ba31en01

I was thinking to maybe go with the Garmin Oregon 450 3" GPS, as it's the closest to the same value as the GPS I won, but with the most features in the price range.

But my second question is related:
2) Do I really need a GPS at this stage? I can work a map and a compass, so do I really need a GPS to spend a season or 2 practicing in slack-country? Maybe instead, I should just sell the GPS to a friend for less than store credit value and use the real cash to buy something else useful?... Like new snowpants for example?

I am interested to hear how highly you experienced bunch value your GPS's (maybe the proper punctuation is GPSs'... Don't think so though, because the GPS doesn't possess anything that is plural... (Que the grammar Nazi)).

As a 3rd bonus questions:
3) For those of you who keep your GPS on all the time, to "track" your trip. Do you ever worry that you are wasting the GPS battery on trivial things? And do you have a plan to shut it down and conserve battery power if the shit hits the fan and your 1 day trip turns into an overnight sleep on the mountain? Would you regret having used up most of the battery "tracking" your trip on day 1 if you woke up on an unplanned day 2 and still had to get back to the car?

Thanks for your time.
-hps

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A (large) snowboard company once titled their video "It's Always Snowing Somewhere". They were right... it's always snowing in my head.


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 Post subject: Re: Won a Car GPS - What should I replace it with?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:18 pm
Posts: 471
Location: New Castle, Colorado
While I have Gramin Vista CX , I wish I had a simpler GSP watch that showed Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates and with a altimeter:

I too can use a map and compass, but am fairly new to GPS navigation.

Reasons for a UTM GPS watch:
1) Priority should be given to rely on your Map and Compass for back country travel; that is readily accessible, meaning like in map pocket attached to your shoulder strap of your pack and not stowed in your pack. Map and compass will not fail like a GPS. One can easily update the map often with UTM coodinates from your GPS as to your actual location.

Note I carry my GPS in a pocket attached to my backpack shoulder strap.

Update your compass to the route direction and your map. You can save battery life in your GPS by not using the Compass in the GPS. Although I do like to use the GPS Compass feature.

2) A GPS watch with UTM is readily accessible, and light weight. Also the watch is always on. I am always powering off and on my Vista CX GPS (unless I am tracking a route) to save battery life, which takes time.

3) Relying on the GPS over the map has caused me to misjudge the time/distance to complete a route in the past. We were on a hut trip with a route that had extreme elevation gain and a lot of switch backs. I had carefully plotted the route from the computer mapping software into my GPS. While on the the route GPS was telling me it was a lot shorter and less time to the next waypoint, than it actually was. The GPS did not account for the switch backs. Even though I tried to include the switch backs as way points. Actually this made more confusing as I had entered too many waypoints.

4) Last year, I took a map, compass and GPS class from Scott is a board member of the local Mountain Rescue and a principle member of the local hut association, uses a GPS watch with GSP that displays [b]Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) with a Map and compass. Scott has over twenty years of backcountry experience.

So consider simplicity and readily accessibility in your GPS selection, such as a GPS watch with displayable UTM. Let someone else carry the heavier fully function GPS.


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 Post subject: Re: Won a Car GPS - What should I replace it with?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:33 am
Posts: 181
Location: Auburn, CA
Get snowpants.


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 Post subject: Re: Won a Car GPS - What should I replace it with?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:59 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Hey, Thanks for the replies guys. You confirmed what I already suspected, which was that: A fancy GPS is not required.

I actually noticed that Best Buy was selling GoPro Helmet Hero's for exactly the same price of the car GPS I had won. So I traded the car GPS in for a GoPro... Now maybe I will get lost in the wilderness, but at least I will be able to document it in full amatur HD! :D

Cheers
-hps

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A (large) snowboard company once titled their video "It's Always Snowing Somewhere". They were right... it's always snowing in my head.


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