GPS Handheld recommendation needed for hunting

Discussion in 'GPS, GeoCaching, Outdoor Communications, Electroni' started by thill, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. thill

    thill

    Messages:
    4,295
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Location:
    West Olive, MI
    I've been using my smartphone with hunting apps for the last few years but I've come to the realization that its not as trustworthy as I want. I went out for my first scouting trip of the year and found a couple great places but my smartphone didn't have service and the battery was dying quick, so I couldn't save any spots.

    I am looking at the Garmin GPSMAP 64st, which looks like it has everything I need but I'd like to hear some other opinions.

    Anyone have any recommendations? This would be used strictly for hunting and scouting.

    Thanks!
     
  2. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I have the GPSMAP 64s. I paid for the higher res topos and it came with a 1 year subscription for the Birds eye satellite images. I used a 32 GB card and filled it with every watershed I fish in the upper and lower peninsula. It works great. There is no more guesswork when hiking in and out of my fishing and mushroom spots.

    I've gone to some really remote areas and have yet to not have a signal with the Garmin. While my Verizon phone would only have an emptyset/zero signal.

    The only downside is the Garmin Basecamp software used to load maps is not very good. The phone-in technical support is great though.
     
    thill likes this.

  3. d_rek

    d_rek

    Messages:
    3,066
    Likes Received:
    2,506
    Location:
    China Twp.
    Just got a garmin oregon 600 from cabelas for $150. Used $50 in points and it was on sale for $199.

    I haven't had a chance to tinker with it, but i'm wondering which maps are worth [aying for.

    @PunyTrout which topos did you pay for? The garmin ones or did you buy 3rd party topos? I was looking at the onX hunt premium. There is some nice features but the topo relief is not as detailed as i'd expect, though this could merely be unrealistic expectations for the device./software.
     
  4. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

    Messages:
    25,400
    Likes Received:
    10,837
    Location:
    At camp in the EUP if not on here
    I have that model, it acquires your location very fast. I do not have the chips for it.
     
  5. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    d_rek: I purchased the Garmin maps via download from their website. I got the Topo 24k and loaded them on a SD card I bought from Microcenter. Using the extra space for loading the Birdseye Satellite images as an overlay.

    I wanted the Hunt view maps but, they were not available at the time for Michigan, only Western States.

    I am not aware of any 3rd party images that are compatible with the Garmin units. I did look into open-source software but they didn't seem viable. I wish they made the Basecamp software for linux but they don't. I had to buy a new laptop with Windows just for that reason alone...:(
     
  6. d_rek

    d_rek

    Messages:
    3,066
    Likes Received:
    2,506
    Location:
    China Twp.
    Wow... linux guy! I haven't played with linux in years. One of my good friends, who is a developer, has a custom linux box at home for gaming and work.

    I am mac guy (designer here) and I use bootcamp to dual boot to windows. I actually joke that it's the worlds most stable windows machine :D

    I was looking at the onX hunt maps. They look pretty good and have good reviews. The customer support seems to be well reviewed as well. The only real reason i'm considering is because i have a gift card for gander mountain and could get them for less than half the price. Though i'm wondering if I can't achieve what I want just by a combination of caltopo/google earth/basecamp... Still having all the property boundaries would be nice.
     
  7. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Try it out, seems legit.

    I will warn you though, that Basecamp didn't work very well on the Mac laptop I was using. (Borrowed from my niece.) Seemed buggy and really slow. YMMV. Customer support knew of it and that was that. Hence I broke down and bought a Windows box solely to run that stupid Garmin software...
     
  8. thill

    thill

    Messages:
    4,295
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Location:
    West Olive, MI
    I bought the 64st but haven't use it in the field yet. I can't make the screen look as detailed as the picture on the box, which is annoying. I also bought the onX hunt chip so I have the property lines and land owner info although I still haven't been able to figure out how to find the landowner's address. I haven't used garmin basecamp yet but hope to play around with it soon.
     
  9. d_rek

    d_rek

    Messages:
    3,066
    Likes Received:
    2,506
    Location:
    China Twp.
    I'm with you about the fidelity of the maps not being great out of the box. Still trying to figure mine out as well. Major roads around me dont even show up out of the box.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I believe the 64st comes with the maps preloaded, unfortunately they are the 100k not the 24k topos... That's why I opted for the 64s and added my own topos after.

    I think that is just a settings issue. You have to select which maps you want shown the first time you fire it up, or it's just blank.

    When in doubt call Garmin support. They have always sorted out any issue I've had. 1 (800) 800-1020
     
  11. d_rek

    d_rek

    Messages:
    3,066
    Likes Received:
    2,506
    Location:
    China Twp.
    Pretty sure their software is explicitly telling me to purchase higher fidelity 'detailed' maps lol... there was nothing to setup.
     
  12. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    If you have the Oregon unit then I dunno, that's a totally different animal to the 64s. But I would call their support anyway to make sure its not a settings issue. Seriously.
     
  13. PunyTrout

    PunyTrout

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    2,033
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    All right, my bad. I just re-read your post and you said you have the Oregon 600. That unit comes with the Garmin Basemap. Which is about as useful as a chocolate tea pot... You'll definately want to add some maps either from Garmin or the onX maps.
     
  14. d_rek

    d_rek

    Messages:
    3,066
    Likes Received:
    2,506
    Location:
    China Twp.
    Had I not gotten this unit for $100 I would probably be promptly returning it. At $400 msrp I'd expect it to have at least a functioning map. What a joke. Might call and harass garmin just for the fun of it though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. RonSwanson

    RonSwanson

    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    If you really want to get into it, QGIS is a free program similar to ARCGIS. Really get the most out of your unit. Most areas you can get as much info as onxmaps for free. Google Earth is also a good program to plan a trip then upload the data to your handheld unit. Easier to use than QGIS