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Thread: Hand held gps

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    Default Hand held gps



    How handy are they? Last weekend I went up to pine and hung out with the ol lady's grandparents. On Saturday the grandpa and his nieces husband and I went to lost park(I think that's what it's called). After riding around for five hours, we finally stopped to shoot a couple targets. That's where I asked him, 'how do you know all these trails?' 'Ive been up here for about twenty five years'.

    I know I would get lost in a heart beat. And when I was with the black hills off road club just about everyone had them. However I figured I usually would trail ride with people who know the area. But are they worth having? I've seen them kind of pricey.

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I use a Garmin GPS V, an older than dirt unit, that I load track logs from TrailDamage for the trail set for the day. It's handy for a small, long battery life, device I could use to get me out of the trail I started.

    This season, I'm now starting to use the MVUM PDF gps capable trail maps on my phone or tablet. I find the tablet (or phone, but it's a smaller screen) a nice interface as I can see a large set of maps along with my gps marker of where I'm at on the map. It is more desirable than my limited track set GPS as I can see more trails.

    We have a thread or two on the GPS capable MVUM's:
    http://www.frontrange4x4.com/forums/...p?17084-MVUM-s
    http://www.frontrange4x4.com/forums/...s-for-Colorado

    If you don't have a compatible smart phone, an inexpensive tablet (or old smart phone - no need to activate a cellular plan on it - just go WiFi at home to load maps) is an option vs. a dedicated GPS.

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I have a Garmin E-Trex Vista CX hand held. I also load the track logs from Trail damage or the Wells books, and I have the MapSource Western US topo maps that I load as needed. I've used it for wheeling, snowmobiling, hiking, and hunting. Very handy to have if you need it.

    It seems like lately it usually stays in my pack and I find myself using my phone more often when it has service. I haven't tried loading any maps on my phone for when there is no service but the GPS still works.
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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I have always used my Garmin and have loved it every time. I am way more daring to go exploring with it in the Jeep. It might not be a big 6" screen or other fancy stuff, but it is so useful. I do not go to the mountains without it.

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I use GPS apps on my phone: BackCountry Navigator for Android, or Motion-X GPS for iPhone. I download the trails from TrailDamage. Other sources offer hiking and mountain bike trails. Consider an inexpensive battery pack or extra battery if you're worried about draining the unit. With these apps, your trails will show regardless, but if you want to ensure you always have the maps/reference points, you can cache (save) the maps ahead-of-time. This way you don't need a cell signal.

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I second the Motion X. I have that for my ipad and iphone, and they work great. Especially when you download the maps.
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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    Use my phone exclusively. Got rid of my handheld when I got my phone. That said I no longer hike much. The handheld had way better battery life for that activity.
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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    Wow! Thanks guys. I didn't even know those apps existed. I was worried I was going to have to spend big money on a handheld unit. Someday id like to own one, just cause. But for now if I can get away with the apps, that's what I'll do.

    Do these apps keep live tracking off where you've been so that you could follow the same route out? And if I used my iPhone and had it hooked up to my cell phone charger, I should be ok right?

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    Salsa91 previously posted:
    "Wow! Thanks guys. I didn't even know those apps existed. I was worried I was going to have to spend big money on a handheld unit. Someday id like to own one, just cause. But for now if I can get away with the apps, that's what I'll do.

    Do these apps keep live tracking off where you've been so that you could follow the same route out? And if I used my iPhone and had it hooked up to my cell phone charger, I should be ok right?"

    That's what I do but with a windows phone. Yes they all keep tracks you can follow, even export and share .
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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I downloaded the motion x gps and looks like a good app.
    My question now is, how do I add maps to it?

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    Max should know, he was using one yesterday. IIRC you add within the app itself but I don't use it anymore after going with a dedicated GPS and retiring my iPad (original version) The "maps" are .gpx files which are readily available for Charles Wells site, Trail Damage, etc.

    I have those and more here too: http://chrisinco.com/index.php?p=news&title=.gpx-files

    I recall they also had a way to add GPX files via e-mail which is kind of cool.

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    12. Map Downloads

    Define an area of the map along with a range of zoom levels to pre-load onto your iPhone for offline access. Once downloaded, these tiles will be saved in MotionX-GPS HD permanently unless you choose to delete them. Map tile sets are not included in iTunes backups unless you configure to do so in Setup > Maps.


    Go to Setup > Map Downloads to access the map download interface.
    Downloaded maps are defined by an area along with a range of zoom levels to download, for use when a network connection is unavailable. Once downloaded, map tile sets are saved in MotionX-GPS HD permanently unless you manually delete them.
    Map types available for download include MotionX Terrain (based on OpenCycleMap), MotionX Road (based on OpenStreetMap), and NOAA marine charts.
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  14. The Following Member Says Thanks to Tom For This Post:

    Jim (December 7th, 2014)

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    Yep, now I remember

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    Ok sweet. Thanks guys

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I personally chose to carry a dedicated GPS and not have to depend on the battery on my cell phone for GPS duties as well. I have a Garmin Montana 600 that I use in my jeep, and also have an older Garmin v that I use occasionally as well. I consider my GPS as must have safety equipment and have on my person or in my jeep anytime I am in the back country.
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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    I also use my iPhone for for GPS and making GPX files. I like the app GAIA GPS. GAIA has a map overlay along with the GPX files you download. Works pretty well. When you use your phone, you do not need cell coverage for the GPS to work. You should, however, anticipate eating up the phone battery much quicker than normal, so have a recharging plan when you go.

    Another site for finding and downloading GPX files for trails is Trailsoffroad.com. Unlike Traildamage, it's free. The site will probably go to a pay-for-use site eventually, but it's free right now

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    Default Re: Hand held gps



    A good map and a lensatic compass and I can navigate anywhere. Given a compass, I can eventually find my way out of anywhere. I also have both handheld, vehicle mounted and in-dash GPS. For the most part I don't use them in town because if I don't know where I'm going I have to first look it up on the phone and then just use the nav tool there. However, I use my handheld while hiking a lot. I use my vehicle mounted with topo maps and trails for my off roading. For two things. One to see where I am in relation to the end of the trial and two to keep a log of where I was for future reference. So they have their uses. It is really up to each person. If you are going to get one and use it for off road at least make sure you can put topo maps in it. Some GPS units don't have that ability.
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