[Cdt-l] GPS and Maps (howzit done?)

Eric Whte ericshawwhite at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 11 07:20:00 CST 2009

Amen! The main reason to have a GPS is to determine where you are on other map sources...or you might want to try what Laura and Aaron did this year http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=8279 hike the CDT without bringing a GPS! 


From: Kris Strromberg <campomp at yahoo.com>
To: CDT <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Thu, December 10, 2009 9:36:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] GPS and Maps (howzit done?)

Ive carried a Vista Hcx ~3500 trail miles- check the specs- lighter than other garmin, and longer battery life (because of) smaller screen, touchscreen interfaces are hard/impossible to operate with gloves on. I bought the 24K west (already had 1:100K maps) and thought the resolution was too high: there are so many topo lines it takes forever to draw, and the already small screen seems even smaller.  Besides, you're carrying 1:24K paper maps, you just need the GPS to locate yourself on those maps.  Look for GPS products on amazon etc- no need to pay full price.


--- On Thu, 12/10/09, Jack Haskel <norcalhiker at gmail.com> wrote:

>From: Jack Haskel <norcalhiker at gmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] GPS and Maps (howzit done?)
>To: "Sly" <hikertrash at gmail.com>
>Cc: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>Date: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 7:01 AM
>Thanks for the helpful advice ya'll. To summarize some of what I've learned:
>- The Garmin Colorado/Oregon GPS have added value as they include 100k maps at no extra charge. 
>- Everyone that commented had used 100k maps, no one had used 24k maps. 
>- Don't buy the preloaded microSD cards. Buying the CD and loading your own cards means you have a backup for the maps if you loose/damage the microSD card. 
>- Out of Order's track file of the CDT is great, and can be sent to you by email from people on the list.
>- There are free 24k maps available from http://www.miscjunk.org/ 
>Some further questions....
>- Really? Everyone uses 100k maps? It seems like the 24k maps would be SO much better. 
>- Anyone have comments on the 24k maps from miscjunk.org ?
>- Can anyone tell me more about Out of Orders track log? How come it's not available online?
>I haven't read Yogi's comments on GPS as I'm waiting for her to update the guide. But I'm buying my GPS before I buy the guide. Anything in there that is important to know?
>At the moment, the options are looking like:
>- Colorado 400t is $300 on ebay, and I'll just use the preloaded maps. 
>- The Legend and Vista end up being ~50-80 cheaper after I buy the 100k maps. 
>    - jack
>On Dec 9, 2009, at 9:41 PM, Sly wrote:
>> While using the Wolf books I found a wrist watch altimeter to come in handy on several occasions and was able to make the right decision or correct a bad turn.  A few times I used a Garmin Legend loaded with the  mapsource topo maps suggested in Yogi's book and the compass rose on Jonathan's maps to place myself on the trail looking at both maps.
>> I honestly welcomed the "where am I moments" as it gave me time to sit down and reflect about the hike. Getting truly lost wasn't a major concern.  It was all good.
>> Sly
>> Marshall Karon wrote:
>>> I also used the Garmin Vista HCx. I would get the Legend without the
>>> altimeter if the price is better. Never used the altimeter or the electronic
>>> compass. I never found the barometric altimeter to be useful because you
>>> need to calibrate it each time you turn on the unit. The satellite altimeter
>>> was good enough. Besides, with maps indicating your location and the contour
>>> on the map giving you the calculated altitude at that spot (presuming the
>>> maps were correct), you don't really need an altimeter.
>>> The unit worked very well and the battery life is really good. The screen
>>> was adequate. Remembering which buttons to push was a little bit of a
>>> challenge. I used the carrying case for protection. The unit was normally
>>> off - on only when I needed to check where I was (and sometimes, that seemed
>>> like every 5 minutes).
>>> The GPS will NOT keep you from getting "misplaced". The biggest issue was
>>> figuring out which map I was on and where I was on the map. Practice that
>>> before you go. You need to set your GPS up correctly. It would be nice to be
>>> able to put a compass rose on a local map for practicing. Also realize that
>>> not all trails and roads are on the maps (some are new) and some trails and
>>> roads that are on the maps are no longer. But how reassuring it was when the
>>> GPS showed the trail, showed you are on it, and the paper maps were the
>>> same.
>>> As for the GPS maps, I would get the disc and download the maps I wanted
>>> onto the micro SD. That way you always have a backup. Of course, you do need
>>> to select the area you want and that was not always easy.
>>> I only used the TOPO 2008 maps - some details were not so good and sometimes
>>> the maps had the trails wrong in place. Garmin does say the 24K maps are
>>> more up to date and give much more detail. 
>>> When you buy, look for a deal on a package - unit plus maps together.
>>> Marshall Karon
>>> Portland, OR
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
>>> On Behalf Of Jack Haskel
>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:05 PM
>>> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>>> Subject: [Cdt-l] GPS and Maps (howzit done?)
>>> Hey Ya'll,
>>>     I'm buying my GPS for the CDT 2010. I'm leaning towards the Garmin
>>> Vista HCx. But what do I do for maps for the unit? Do people really buy the
>>> TOPO Mountain South, Central and North 24k memory cards? That's $300 extra
>>> dollars! 
>>>  Cheers,
>>>     jack
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