Has anyone switched back to a non-mapping GPS?
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Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Has anyone switched back to a non-mapping GPS? on 07/04/2008 15:48:39 MDT Print View

Happy Independence Day!

As much as I enjoy a mapping GPSR, I wonder about the simplicity and--dare I say--"purity" of a waypoint-only/UTM-coordinates-only GPSR. Just a paper map, a GPSR, and a plastic UTM tool to translate UTM coordinates to/from a USGS topo map.

I imagine the advantages of a non-mapping GPSR are (in no order):
--faster display refresh
--cheaper (the unit itself and of course no digital maps)
--smaller, lighter
--faster downloads to the GPSR
--longer battery life
--lower fiddle-factor

However, there don't seem to be any updated (SiRF, USB) hiking (non-exercise), non-mapping GPSRs (Geko 201/301)... are they a dying breed?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
NOPE on 07/04/2008 16:00:32 MDT Print View

Just bought a Garmin Colorado 300 and I wouldn't go "backwards", technologically speaking.

Eric

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Has anyone switched back to a non-mapping GPS? on 07/04/2008 16:03:19 MDT Print View

I've went from basic GPS to full mapping PDA's. I only carry a basic GPS in winter now.
I'm praying that someone out there is developing a watch that displays co-ordinates only. No fancy toys, no PC compatability, nothing. Just a watch that tells me where i am!:)

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
non-mapping GPS... on 07/04/2008 23:00:45 MDT Print View

Garmin makes the Etrex H which is a non-mapping, high sensitivity GPS. Probably the best value you will find.

The only thing I can say about the non-mapping GPS is it is less expensive (mainly because you don't have to buy maps). Having said that, when you consider the amount of "free" mapping that is available, I'm not sure there is that much of a savings in the non-mapping GPS.
(check out http://mapcenter2.cgpsmapper.com/ for free maps)

I like to digitize trails and features off of various maps and load them into the GPS before I head off into the back-country. This would almost be meaningless without a basemap on the GPS... but I'm a mapping/GPS geek so what can I say... full colour mapping is for me.

Jim Yancey
(jimyancey) - F

Locale: Missouri
Non-mapping GPS on 07/05/2008 09:55:43 MDT Print View

I am still using my old, clunky Magellan 315. I have used some really tricked-out, more "modern", GPS units, but I still prefer the old monochrome beasty. I really like the interface and the menu layout, and the ease of inputting a projected waypoint.

I ALWAYS carry a paper topo map (usually a waterproof paper map with UTM grids) and compass, and use the GPS only as an additional navigational tool. I prefer large maps so I can view my position in the context of the larger detailed landscape, something that can't effectively be done with a small screen. I use UTM, and, again, I can do that with either the paper map or the GPS unit.

To me, the value of a GPS receiver is to easily find my position so I can verify it on my paper map, especially in terrain with few navigational landmarks or adverse conditions (e.g. heavy forest cover, swamp, nighttime, heavy snow, etc.) I don't need lots of bells and whistles to do that. My ideal GPS receiver would be cheap, very lightweight, very small size, miserly with battery consumption, have both lat/lon and UTM coordinates, be able to use at least WGS 84 and NAD 27 datums, store a few waypoints, project coordinates into waypoints, and mark locations as saved waypoints. I don't need color screens, map displays, or any of the other myriad "enhancements" that seem so prevalent. My old 315 meets most of those requirements, with the exception of size and weight.

My $0.02. I would welcome comments, observations, opposing viewpoints....