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I get lost/twisted-around in a shopping mall and am really interested in getting one for hunting. The prices have really come down over the years and have seen them for under $150. Are these basic models any good? I don't want all the options for downloading maps or a multipurpose radio just something that will show me where I went and how to get back to the truck.

I ain't no worry wart

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Joined: August 27 2007
Location: WA - Pierce Co.
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Posted: December 04 2007 at 11:46am
If it has tracking then you should be fine. I think about taking mine to the malls also so I can get out. How do women do it?

Garmin makes some very simple and easy to use devices.
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Joined: June 09 2005
Location: WA - Snohomish Co.
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Posted: December 04 2007 at 1:12pm
I have a Lowrance I-finder, and have the purchased basemaps. Don't use the GPS much out hunting, or trail riding, but when I do, its nice to have the mapping on there. I have the puget sound navoinics charts also, so it gets used out fishing also. I'm quite glad that I finally gave in and bought one.

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Joined: December 26 2006
Location: WA - Island Co.
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Posted: December 05 2007 at 7:03am
I use mine all the time hunting and I have the Garmin Vista. Garmin makes some nice units that are very user friendly right out of the box. I also have to Rhino series and that works well and aquires sats very quickly. They work great and I wouldn't go out in the woods without one now. I have done some long humps through Naches going 6 to 7 miles to cut a road where I was going to meet my hunting party and come out within 10 feet of where I said I was going to. Pretty cool.
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Huntin' its whats for dinner!

Little Fish
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Joined: July 14 2003
Location: WA - King Co.
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Posted: December 05 2007 at 9:15am
I have one of the more tricked out Garmins, but think one of the lesser expensive models would work fine (I originally bought mine to use on the boat so it has maps, navigational buoys, marina info etc.). When I use it for hunting I normally just take a waypoint reading at my truck before jumping off the road into the woods. Then I use the waypoint to guide myself back to the truck. Even the simple units do this well. Although I have yet to get myself completely lost it is very useful when you pop out on a road and wonder...which way is my truck?

Edited by Little Fish - December 05 2007 at 9:16am

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Basic Unit w/ Provision for Memory Card ...

Years ago I also went with the Lowrance I-finder. Primary reason for my purchase at that time was to have a navigational aid with me at times when I was not in my sled (with GPS). Map access, nav-buoys, marina locations, and the ability to waypoint locations and traveled trails, etc., while in somebody else’s boat. At that time the I-Finder was the least expensive unit with a removable memory card (to allow transferring waypoints, trails, etc. to another unit and/or save to a hard-drive for future use â€" you don’t want to have to use connecting wires/cables for this). I’ve had GPS units’ b-4 that I entered waypoints into to find that all that time & travel was lost when it came time to change GPS/Finder units.

For a number of years now state gazetteer maps have included latitude/longitude webbing lines that allow pretty a simple method of locating, when combined with a GSP unit. (A couple weeks ago traveling for a hunt in E.WA during heavy snow we missed a turn. Having watched the odometer I knew we should have turned about a mile back but something just really did not feel right (kinda like that navigating in the fog feeling). A quick GPS check and comparison to the gazetteer indicated that we had missed a Y-intersection 12-miles earlier …

Another “dumb� lesson. I’d planned on stopping by REI-Anchorage a few days before a hunt to pick up their locally recommended mapping software that I could then download the specific region of travel into hand-held GPS. (I knew where I was going, but really wanted to document the trip via GPS trail mapping because it was my son’s first trip to Alaska.) I had a hard time believing the truth, that there was no compatible mapping software downloadable for my GPS unit (only one manufacturer of hand-held GPS was compatible with electronic mapping software.) Needless to say, this became a compass/map trip.

I’d still suggest a unit with a provision for a removable memory card (for transferring/saving your waypoints & trails and also to allow memory expansion), and consider map download compatibility for future reference. Should start between $100-$150. Most guys I know never learn to use advanced features, so I’d say stay with a basic model that fits your hand comfortably.

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Got a Garmin Etrex Legend Cx for Christmas a year ago and I'm still learning to use it. Much more capability than I need. I don't download maps, I carry one of the area I'm in, a compass too. I still trust the compass more than the Etrex. Less fuss to use.
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