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Discussion Starter #1
I want a single gps unit to use on the V, on canoe trips, and for general use.

I think I should get the garmin 76Cx for the unit. I do not want a unit that can talk to me, it does not need to play music to me. I just want something that shows me were I am at and were the road I am on goes when it does not show up on a standard map.

Now what do I need to go with it?

I want the Garmin 24K Topo for National Parks Central. http://www8.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/topo24knpcentral.jsp This would be useful on the V for USFS roads, and for a BWCA canoe trip.

Should I also get the Garmin Topo USA for minimum maintenance roads?

What about the City Navigator software?

Is the loaded Americas Recreational satisfactory to skip the City Navigator.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

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I've had two Garmins - first was a 60CX, three years old that recently packed it in (in a cloud of smoke- see post under smokin GPS in this forum). It worked fine up until day it died, fell easily to hand and used for everything you describe including fishing.

I now have , 3 weeks old, a Garmin GPSMAP 76CsX. Here in Canada the prices have come down and for little additional I went with the CSX model which provides barometric altimeter and electronic compass. So far so good. It's more rectangular but still easy to use one- handed and I'm liking it. It also floats - 60 series does not. If you fish, a good feature (Just in case).

I use Canada Topo (purchased with unit, Canadian Metro guide and have loaded NA City Navigator which I am having an unlock problem with that I have to see Garmin about. Other than this one issue, the maps are good.

For bike use, I use a RAM mount, extension arm and holder on either my bars or on the mounts I've installed on my master cylinder covers - (Source- motorcyclelarry.com) and these work well. I use the dual ball setup on the master cyclinder. A tiny bit more $ than single but gives me versatility for mounting my camera(s) etc.

Other than the 60 CX problem (I had stress cracks in case which Garmin wouldn't acknowledge as a defect - I could have had it replaced for $279 plus shipping at their Cdn affiliate - Raytech. I selaed these tiny cracks with silicone and unit worked well for ice fishing, biking, summer fishing, rain or shine for 2.5 years). I still chose Garmin but went with the 76 series since case looks a bit more "robust (subjective) and have friends with similar for 2 years, no issues plus the water-resistant case. I do recommend, for shock proofing and protection, getting a neoprene case that encloses the entire unit and can still operate it. Provides a little more protection in event of a drop or rain. $10 or so. Maker is Gillson and I got mine at fis4her.com on ebay but there are other sources.

.My nickel - hope it helps some. feel free to PM me for more real-life experiences as I did a lot of research prior to choosing Garmin GPSMap series (I have an older Lowrance globalNav so had both ends of spectrum to compare to. The Highway feature is nice as it tells you of upcoming changes in road while you're moving - good for unfamilar territory.

Safe riding
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks

I appreciate the information!
 

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I have a 60CSx. I bought it 3(?) years ago for use in the car, on the bike, walking (both trail use and in cities). I've taken it everywhere. I even took it to Europe and used to to navagate while driving which was a lifesaver. I have no idea how an American like me goes there and drives without a GPS or someone that knows the roads in the car with you. My favorite moment, the GPS directed me to drive over a small curb and across the patio of a downtown cafe! So I did, only to see 4 cars follow me. That WAS the correct route!

That said, I'm not crazy about the unit. I expected it to be better. I have a lot of money in the device, over $1K. The software is silly expensive.

For trails, hiking: I found the topo maps to be just about usless for navigation. I never use them. They do an excellent job of telling you were you've been, but the unit will only draw a straight line to where you are going and that's useless. So if you are mapping where you've been fine, but if you want to use it for navigation, forget it. This was the unit's major disappointment to me. I guess you can download known routes and track by them, but that never worked for me. I wanted the unit to help me "explore". Wasn't going to happen.

For motorcycle use: I find the display too small a lot of the time. For me, that keeps it from being a top notch motorcycle unit. Also, it is necessary to pack the battey compartment with foam to keep the batteries from vibrating loose and shutting the unit off. GPS mounting solutions can be a headache too. I've bought 3 mounts and don't like any of them. (2 for car, 1 for bike.) So I've still got to figure out the mounting.

Urban Walking: It is 100% great for walking in cities. Great, great, great. It is small and holds onto the signal like I would not have believed. Urban canyons, trees and most bridges are no problem at all.

It is versatile. It does fit in a pocket and go anywhere. It gets terrific reception. The small size is great. And it sure is a ton better than not having a GPS.

I give it a B. Costs too much. If it breaks, I'll look elsewhere.
 

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garmin etrex

I've been using the Garmin etrex legend hcx, the high sensitivity color one on my Wee, bicycle, car, hiking and kayaking for close to six months and love it. Yes to display is small but it was less than $200 and city nav. was $85. It has guided me thru cities I couldn't imagine getting thru without a glitch. Great for keeping and storing tracks and routes, it has expandable memory. Waterproof and no vibration issues even on my mountain-bike. also has 18hrs of battery life if you don't or can't use a plug-in. 2AA batt small lightweight but does not float though you can take an unexpected swim and it will be fine.

Here is a pic of my Wee mount on my homemade dash. ( the GPS was on my road bike at the time)

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg221/Mike1125bikig/03-20-08_1608.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the responses. When I am off on back roads I really don't care if will route for me, I want to find my way back at the end of the day though! I also want to know where I am.

So, from what has been said I may postpone buying the US topo.

Current prices that i have found are

Unit $284
City $116
24K Central $89

Now to start the process with my wife.
 

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wife??

Convince her that you will never get lost agian. She will take the bait and beg you to get one. LOL

I like the automatic reroute on mine. You decide to take a different road and it always tells you how to get to the original destination. Can be set for shortest or fastest with type of road choices.

My wife is glad I got one. No more asking her to read a map while we travel. Now she can just sleep(cage travel)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Convince her that you will never get lost agian. She will take the bait and beg you to get one. LOL

I like the automatic reroute on mine. You decide to take a different road and it always tells you how to get to the original destination. Can be set for shortest or fastest with type of road choices.

My wife is glad I got one. No more asking her to read a map while we travel. Now she can just sleep(cage travel)
Good point, she hates reading a map while I drive. Gets all mad.

She is very, cost conscious, (cheap). Seriousely, give her a nickel and she'll squeeze it down to a dime. I am certain that I'll run a gauntlet on..

Why not buy this cheap one at Sams Club? (Not water proof)
I thought you enjoyed orienteering, after all you are the boy scout instructor for it. (ya, but in the wood it's hard to do a resection to find our where you are.)
 

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I've never been to Minnesota but I THINK OUR WIVES ARE RELATED. LOL
 

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I've been very heavily debating the exact same thing.

I can either get a Garmin 60 csx and use it not only on the strom, but also for roadbiking, mountainbiking, hiking, and walking around unfamiliar cities.
+ long battery life
+ small size (for biking, walking)
+ reliable, tested
- small screen for motorcycle use
- navigation isn't that great
. extra expenses in buying maps (negated by only need one unit)

Alternatively, I could get a Lowrance XOG for the strom, and something else for physical activities. Of course, that something else is probably an etrex or 60 csx, so it's kind of a dumb argument. The XOG is a much better unit for road use, but unsuitable for the other uses.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've never been to Minnesota but I THINK OUR WIVES ARE RELATED. LOL
Well, congratulations/my condolances. Its both a blessing and a curse. My wife and I live well within our means, but I can't spend my, I mean our, money on any toys for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've been very heavily debating the exact same thing.

I can either get a Garmin 60 csx and use it not only on the strom, but also for roadbiking, mountainbiking, hiking, and walking around unfamiliar cities.
+ long battery life
+ small size (for biking, walking)
+ reliable, tested
- small screen for motorcycle use
- navigation isn't that great
. extra expenses in buying maps (negated by only need one unit)

Alternatively, I could get a Lowrance XOG for the strom, and something else for physical activities. Of course, that something else is probably an etrex or 60 csx, so it's kind of a dumb argument. The XOG is a much better unit for road use, but unsuitable for the other uses.
So what are you going to buy?

I thought of the 60Cx, but last time I was on a canoe trip we flipped and I had to pick up the fishing gear from the bottom of the river in a rapids. Lost some of course. With the 76Cx I could at least lanyard it to me.

Do you think the additional $50 is worth it for the compass and barometric pressure elevation estimator?
 

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...a Garmin 60 csx...
+ long battery life
+ small size (for biking, walking)
+ reliable, tested
- small screen for motorcycle use
- navigation isn't that great
. extra expenses in buying maps (negated by only need one unit)
If you mean navagation isn't great using Topo maps, that is sure enough true. Navagating streets is darn good becasue if you use City Navigator North America software. That is amazing software and very expensive.

So what are you going to buy?

I thought of the 60Cx, but last time I was on a canoe trip we flipped and I had to pick up the fishing gear from the bottom of the river in a rapids. Lost some of course. With the 76Cx I could at least lanyard it to me.

Do you think the additional $50 is worth it for the compass and barometric pressure elevation estimator?
You can lanyard the 60Cx but it won't float like some units.

The $50 is worth it to me for the barometric pressure elevation function. Sometimes that feature makes me play with the unit like I was a kid. But I live in near mountains. I never use the compass in mine.
 
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