Upgrading to new GPS unit - which one

Discussion in 'General GPS Discussion' started by Mike999, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Mike999

    Mike999

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    Hello guys/gals,

    I've had 2 handheld Garmin GPS units in my life:
    GPS 12xl
    Etrex 20 (I still use this one - it was a nice upgrade from the 12xl)

    Usage: Casual trail hiking (woods), marking fishing spots. Most of the time, just marking and returning to waypoints - or finding my way back out of the woods via the cookie crump trail (route?).

    I've been mostly happy with the Etrex 20, except for compass and am reasonably comfortable using it, I just figured a slightly larger screen, a 3-axis compass/altimeter etc. would be a neat idea.
    Example: I have been frustrated when in a boat trying to navigate back to a waypoint and I have to get moving first, before the compass shows the proper direction. Not a deal breaker - but definitely would be handy to solve that issue.

    I was eyeballing the 64st, or 66s.
    Not going to consider the Oregon 700 - too sensitive screen, or wonky when it rains?

    Primary concern would be reliability, which of these devices to your knowledge is generally stable these days?
    I've read issues about the 66 series having issues with battery and/or geocaches disappearing, but maybe those were earlier firmware versions.

    thanks in advance!
    Mike
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
    Mike999, Apr 6, 2021
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  2. Mike999

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    As far as screen size goes your options look like this:-

    Etrex20 = 559mm
    GPSMap 64/65 = 660mm
    GPSMap 66 = 762 mm
    Oregon 700 = 762 mm

    So I would take a look to see if the GPSMap 64/65 is big enough (the 66 will cost you more), you already have GPS altitude and compass, but the electronic compass does work when you are standing still, the barometric altimeter is more accurate but still needs to be calibrated

    As far as I am aware the problem with the built-in 250000 geocaches in both GPSMap 64, (65) and 66 is still present and my advice would be to disable them anyway, a years old database informing you of a cache that is 1000 miles away is of no use at all, you are better off downloading up to date local info. from geocaching.com
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Apr 7, 2021
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  3. Mike999

    Mike999

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    I'll take a good look at those options.

    Unless I was frequently geocaching, or traversing in heavy jungles/canyons, which I'm not - how important do you think the multi-band frequency support is of the 65s/66sr series?

    I could change my budget entirely to get the 66i (would likely wait for a future sale) - just to have the In-Reach option, if needed - but at this stage - I think I'd be wasting money.
    Any crazy adventure I'd take, African safari etc. - surely the guides would have sat. phones.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    Mike999, Apr 7, 2021
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  4. Mike999

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    I was very pleased to see that Garmin had finally launched some dual band products with the 65/66sr, dual band promises to reduce positioning errors from say 10 metres to 1 metre or less, however It's hard to find any reports that confirm that the Garmin units deliver this increased accuracy - short answer unless dual band is available at no extra cost it's probably not worth getting

    I'm afraid that going for the most expensive option will always come with the law of deminishing returns, in other words you will always pay a lot more to get an option that is either only a little bit better or an option that will be very under used
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Apr 7, 2021
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  5. Mike999

    Mike999

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    Thanks for such a logical answer.
    Maybe refocus my efforts to the original needs: a bit larger screen + electronic compass. 66s seems like it would be a good choice. (Can always download my own OSM, maps) If I need an In-Reach/Spot, whatever in the future - deal with it then.

    Slightly off-topic: I've been reading some :-
    Code:
    Hikingguy.com
    articles and watched some of his videos - seems like a very detail oriented fellow. Useful info. for sure - I watched a refresher video on how to create routes or tracks in BaseCamp and send to device.
     
    Mike999, Apr 7, 2021
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