Hiking GPS

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Crouching Cricket
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Hiking GPS

Post by Crouching Cricket » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:36 pm

Hi Guys,

Okay so I posted a topic about hiking in the Drakensberg and from the amazing replies I have caught the bug and want to plan a trip. From what I gather from the fellow forum readers (thanks Mok) you definitely need a GPS to venture out into the unknown. So, for a different topic: Which GPS?

I have had a look around and there seems to be a massive range. Do I really need a colour screen with all the bells and whistles or can I get myself something that just gives me co-ordinates to plot on a map?

Any ideas?

Thanks guys,

Matt

Oakley
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by Oakley » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:56 pm

Me and my brother is also looking for the same kind of device...

After many hours of research we concluded that the Garmin GPSMAP 62s is one of the best.

Its a hikers tool, any you can purchase it for a bout R3,5k and add topographical maps(R700).


Hope it helps.

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Hann
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by Hann » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:11 pm

I'm on my second GPS.
The first was a simple waypoint and track device. Handy, but limiting.
The current one has expandable memory, can have maps uploaded but does not have a colour screen.

I would suggest you get programable, touch screen.
I've never needed baromatic altitude nor electronic compass.
And get a proper mountain friendly gps. Not one of those that goes in the Prado's windscreen.

However very imortant:
Still pack a waterproof map and a compass. Really do.
You will be amazed how f@cked you are if a) batteries run dry b) you dont have the correct or detailed enoug map loaded or c) you drop it and the screen cracks.

So I'll repeat:
No matter how great a GPS can be.
Still pack a map.

loneranger
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by loneranger » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:17 am

Hann wrote:....
However very imortant:
Still pack a waterproof map and a compass. Really do.
You will be amazed how f@cked you are if a) batteries run dry b) you dont have the correct or detailed enoug map loaded or c) you drop it and the screen cracks.

So I'll repeat:
No matter how great a GPS can be.
Still pack a map.
Need to add one thing:
Know how to properly navigate WITHOUT a GPS, using ONLY a map (and compass).
Its a simple task which gets very difficult when you are cold, wet, hungry and tired.

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Hann
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by Hann » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:44 am

GPS:
Just out of interest: I have the eTrex Legend HCx
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=8701
Apparently it does have a colour screen.
I haven't used it for so long that I have forgotten. (Says a lot doesn't it)
A GPS is a "nice-to-have"

MAPS:
Overall I still find navigating with a map much more practical and pleasurable.
It gives an great impression of a much larger area, indicating caves, passes, paths etc at a single glance.
With a GPS I find you lose your scene and spirit of place. The Genius Loci, if you want to be academic.
The Drakensberg in particular have probably the best maps in the country, for all parts of the 'Berg.


Take the GPS only if you need a helicopter to come rescue you.
Oh, and for that you will need to know what reference system and coordinate system the particular rescue aircraft prefers.

Think about the practical navigation:
To my knowledge there are no 'navigable' footpath software available (Think: GPS metallic voice saying: "Turn.....left.....at.....waterfall....Follow.....steep.....path......to......next.....cairn")

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Justin
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by Justin » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:14 am

I've got a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx (not a colour screen).

It's practically brand new. You can have it for R800. If you're interested contact me - justin@climbing.co.za

I bought this particular model because I was told that it is was one of the more bombproof models.
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

Richard
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by Richard » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:05 am

I have the Oregon 550, which is awesome. Lots of bells and whistles though. BUT, do make sure that you know how to navigate with map and compass alone!!! Remember that the Berg caves etc. are not on the uploadable maps and that you must input them. Lots of room for error there, unless you get an accurate list from someone who has already done the hard work. Then use it to find bearing and distance to next stop, switch off, and use conventional navigating skills until you think you are close. Then switch on again and confirm position. It has certainly enabled me to find caves and passes in the Berg in serious white-out conditions. I doubt that I would have found them without the GPS in those conditions.

mokganjetsi
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by mokganjetsi » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:47 am

i have a garmin gecko 201 - went for small, simple, weatherproof & cheap. it is as accurate as any fancy GPS but without the added features; AAA batteries also a big plus imho (no problem to bring spares); the waypoint naming is a schlep though. personally i like the simplicity - enjoy the adventure of plotting waypoints and sometimes reading them of maps; it got me there & back again many, many times. but i'm sure there's lots of advantages to the fancier models as well.

http://garmin.co.za/prod_detail.php?pro ... tegoryid=7
Hann wrote:So I'll repeat:
No matter how great a GPS can be.
Still pack a map
A-men brother. no-go into the wild without the map. and make sure your fellow hikers know how to use it as well.

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nicolaasdekker
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Re: Hiking GPS

Post by nicolaasdekker » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:32 am

I hike in the Berg a lot (well as often as I can) and you certainly do not need a gps, buy a map from the office at which ever place you're going for R70, spray some scotch guard on it and it will last you years!

If you can't use a map and a compass using a GPS is just going to get you into a situation that's above your head fast.

If you still want one for the piece of mind get a basic eTrex (discontinued now) second hand for R300-R500 They are one of the most accurate, it gets satellite fixes easily, does not get screwy around cliffs and trees, batteries last forever, and they simply do not break. I have a fancy top of the range Magellan Triton and have worked with other little supercomputer gps's and they add nothing really useful, and at the basics the e Trex is still better, lighter, and more sturdy.

The only really good use for a GPS in the berg, is to back track in the mist (which is very dangerous, and should your gps go wonky like they all do you will die)

just my 2c worth
‎"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure, life is either a daring adventure or nothing" - Helen Keller

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