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Oh boy! Have been planning on upgrading my Etrix Vista for a couple years. A recent ice fishing trip pushed me over the edge. Dang thing just jumped right into the hole! Shocked! What do you guys think? Touch screen? Models? I use ONXmaps a ton. Have most of my waypoints on my computer so hoped to get it all back up. Need to make a move soon.Already missing it. Tried a SEARCH on Bowsite but really didnt find much so maybe I didnt search right. Would be a good FEATURE article. Thanks SS
I think the phone apps are taking over. I'll be carrying my little yellow etrex as a back up only.
I have been using an Oregon 450T since 2012 . Great gps. Touch screen IMO is the only way to go.
Midwest is right. You lost a good gps at the wrong time. Its gonna be hard for me to give up the gps unit b/c its so easy to carry new batteries, can't say the same for my iphone. Of all things I hate taking my phone out while hunting/hiking, I keep envisioning dropping it on a rock.
I dropped my phone down the hole ice fishing earlier this season. So far I like a phone ap the best.
I'm always worried about using my phone where there is no service. I rely on my Garmin Montana. Guess I need to get updated on my phone/apps.
Spent some time in the Garmin hdqtrs in KC two months ago. With three people in their showroom, all agreed to use push button based on repairs and being able to feel the touch recognition with gloves on when a button is pushed. Discussing a few other items, they suggested a model and to buy it elsewhere at a lower price than their store which is strictly MSRP. I walked away having admiration for the time they took and their honesty. I'd give them a call and then ask people here about the models that Garmin suggests.
Phone apps too hit or miss. My oregon 600 always hit.
Hey thanks everyone. I have the phone app too and its OK but trust the accuracy of the hand held more. Also the whole battery for phone can be issue. I did cache several maps and it does work good.
I had been using a Garmin Oregon 450 touch screen and it worked ok but for me when it was raining or snowing or my hands were really cold I found the touch screen hard to use. This last year I bought a Garmin GPSMAP 64s and loved it, i much preferred it to my touch screen. I normally bring my phone in a zip lock bag along but It feels like I’m too hard on stuff to soley rely on my smartphone in the mountains...
Thanks sdk! Thats the one I am leaning towards.
I have the Oregon 600...3 years with it and have been very happy. I download and organize everything on Basecamp when I’m done hunting, scouting, or just out hiking. I played with some phone apps this fall (Gaia, onX, and some other app) to see how they worked. My opinion...the apps are not the problem, it’s the phone that falls short. Everything works great in the comfort of my home or on mild days. Add cold weather, heavy canopy, rain/snow, etc...that’s where using apps on a phone falls short. Especially battery life. Phones are not specially built to be a gps unit while out hunting. I prefer a dedicated piece of equipment built for that purpose...and guess what...it will work when it needs to work!
I second the GPS map 64. I'm told the touch screens don't work well in cold weather. And one January, when I was rifle hunting near the Utah border, it was only -33f when we started the hunt.
Love my old Garmin 60csx. If it goes down for some reason, I'd get another Garmin. Probably the 64
Check out Outdoorgearlab.com “the best handheld gps review”. They did a review of 5 Garmin gps units. It’s all good info just to confuse you even more on what your looking for!!!
I tried OnX app on my iPhone this elk past elk season in AZ and was amazed at how effective it was. I’m sold. Charge lasted really well too and I never ran out on any day. Kept a few spare battery charge packs from the dollar store in the tent just in case.
Would you buy a phone that wasn’t touch screen ? The touch screen works 24/7 365 !!!
I have 2,, both garmin, one's a old colorado 400t and the other a oregon 450t.. I like the old colorado one better, it's slower and the compass is not as good. But like the buttons on the colorado.. Even with silver thread gloves the touch screen is not as easy to use. I wish that garmin would come out with a larger high def screen with buttons, I would buy one.. The thing for me is the battery life and that i can change out the battery's on the gps over my phone even with extra phone battery's,, just makes me just feel better. As I'm many of times pack hunting for 7 or more days.
"Would you buy a phone that wasn’t touch screen ? "
Yes. And I miss my flip phone :)
IME touch screen gps's don't hold a candle to a touch screen phone, it seems they purposefully used inferior technology. Secondly its far easier to utilize buttons over touch screen one handed. The only time I have preferred a TS is when naming a way point, other than that I'm all for buttons.
I’ve had no issues with wet weather (snow or rain) with the touch screen on my Oregon 600. The other thing I like are the batteries...same double AA’s as my camera, backup light, headlamp, and game cameras. No misc chargers or mixed batteries needed.
buy a GPS? Might as well buy a pager while you are at it....grin
The guys poo pooing the phone apps just don't know how to use them.
I could give away my GPS. I bring it on hunts as backup, but a phone does everything my GPS does and more. And it is just as easy to carry extra batteries. There are a million different charging boosters you can buy that will charge your phone. I bought 3 Duracell ones for like $23 that will charge my phone twice and each one is about the size of 2AA end to end.
Even if you are outside of cell range your phone has: Compass, alarm clock, GPS, topo maps, satellite maps, camera, games (some guys are into this in slow times), books/reading material, videos, and of course a mirror for applying sick face paint so your photos look awesome when you smoke that macdaddy ;)
And then of course if you are in cell range you could buy a mouth call off amazon and have it delivered to you in a day, but most importantly you're probably already carrying it.
I had a Garmin GPS 76Csx last year. I sold it and only used my phone with the OnX app. The OnX app is nice but it used a lot of data even when I was in airplane mode. Also I found the maps take a lot of storage space on my phone (I only have a 16g phone). Alsoit used a lot of battery and needed to be recharged often. I since have bought a Garmin Montana 610t and plan to purchase the micro SD chips for the states I am hunting.
@beendare... @apauls... This past fall when I tried my cell phone, a fairly new iPhone 6s in a no service area, airplane mode on, in fairly cool weather (hi 20’s low 30’s) I could not get past early afternoon without the battery dying. What phone are you using and at what temps?? Just curious. Thxs.
Gotta agree ... phone apps are taking over. I was a resistant to the idea because I, too, like the idea of buttons in cold weather, with gloves on. But my Gaia app has won me over. I use it quite a bit, and have used it everywhere now from beaches to cc-skiing. I like the interface, the layers, the price, etc. Overall, I like using a GPS, but have to admit that I use it mostly on "gimmick" mode. It isn't really necessary for me to use it as much as I do. Do I really need to know the elevation change of my last cc-ski? For marking waypoints, and sitting down to study topography in the field, the Gaia app works perfectly. I haven't picked up my Oregon 450t for quite a while.
"I want to see you peeps touch screen at 4:30 am, weapon in one hand, the other hand alternately working gps, re-adjusting backpack straps, walk with a dull red light, and pushing go to “ touch button “ and scroll cursor to icon to go to, while negotiating a swamp silently so the deer do not blow at you. Get the button model. Been there done that ."
maybe you should have hit the button before you hit the trail? My backpack straps are adjusted before I head out and pack is quality enough I don't have to re-adjust them. If it is to dark to hunt my weapon is on my pack and not in my hand.
Phones set up right will work without cell service, batteries will last as long or longer than any GPS. Mine has been just as accurate as my brothers Garmin any time we have checked it.
it would be helpful if someone could explain step by step how they use a phone app and get all day battery life. Mine is fine when just using it to navigate in the dark to spots on public land I have only been to once before. But when scouting unfamiliar land and leaving it on all day it eats battery fast.
"The guys poo pooing the phone apps just don't know how to use them. " a hunting friend of mine son has been using Handstand app. I've been giving it a honest try but sometimes it's a pain. my old Dakota 10 has been easier to mark a point. then the support team is so-so.
@ Outside, I've used an iPhone 5, 6plus, SE and now iphone 8. Never had battery issues with any of them, really curious why your battery dies. Is your battery OK otherwise, or is it just when hunting that it dies? Sometimes the battery on a phone can just go. If I'm hunting on airplane mode I get close to a week off the battery, at least a few days before I charge it just because. And that's been consistent across devices. I use Huntstand regularly and love it.
Only thing I noticed is there was one app where I tried to lay down a trail like I would with my old etrex and that seemed to kill battery. That tends to be the only time I would use my etrex, is if I know I am going to want to lay down trails all day. I haven't experimented with any apps, I'm assuming I can find better just haven't experimented.
I carry both. The Rino is faster, acquires satellites from nearly anywhere and is a bit more accurate, but the phone is usually accurate enough. The phone screen has much better resolution and detail. It's a bit clunkier marking points and navigating. The rino has walkie talkie radio contact when there is no cell service. There are things I like and don't like about both. When you're questioning if one is taking you to the right place it's comforting to check and make sure.
Touch screens are going to be bigger with more detail. Once you are used to using them I don't know why you couldn't use just one hand if you needed to. My granddaughter texts with one hand all the time and she's 10. Where they really excel is when naming waypoints or entering searches you have a KEYBOARD to do it with, not 45 button pushes to type out a single syllable word. (that is soooo frustrating) and you have shortcuts to commands that don't require multiple buttons and screens to get there.
What I'm really waiting for is the rino on steroids....... a big screen InReach with full gps features and microSD cards that does it all and actually integrates with your phone or pad.
GPS is SO blase yesterday...........LOL
@apauls...Guess I’ll have to dig a little on why my battery craps out in the cold. I now want to know why!
the biggest thing that helps battery life is put it in airplane mode. Mine has a setting so the screen won't come on in my pocket it I am leaving it on for some reason. use the lowest screen brightness setting you can.
I have a smartphone, Garmin 60CSX and the Oregon 450. I much prefer the 60 for ease of use and functionality. I guess I'm old school because I actually carry both GPS' and mark everything on both. At first I did did this in fear of losing a GPS I would have everything saved on the other. Really I do this because I have two boys 19 & 21 and I plan on leaving them all my coordinates when I'm too old to hunt or kick the bucket.
I will will admit I don't understand the whole phone GPS thing but phones get lost, stolen and break way too easy for me to ever feel comfortable about saving certain stuff on it.
If I ever upgrade I'd go to the 64. Good Luck
Yeah, a cell phone continues to search for cell tower and or wifi portal if you are out of range. Its an adjustable setting....but I think on most phones the default is something like every 7 seconds. That saps battery fast.
So if you keep it in airplane mode your phone doesn't continue to search all the time. Also there are certain apps that can suck on your battery too....you can go in settings and turn them off. I have the big iPhone....and can go 2-3 days using my phone a lot.....more days if I just check waypoints and don't take a lot of pics...especially with flash...or use the flashlight....that saps the battery quickly too.
The GAIA GPS app works off the satellite even when out of range of a cell tower. You download a large area of where you will be before you go out of range. You adjust the area to the detail you want...more detail means more memory used so there is a tradeoff there.
I have the 64 mg phone now.......which is plenty.......but I can tell you I will be getting the largest memory they sell when this phone bites the dust.
My phone coupled with in reach....haven’t used a stand-alone gps in years. Gaia works amazing. Inreach and earth mate as a back up. I have nagvation, communication, and a camera all together.
How boring would it be if everyone did the same thing?
"It sounds like alot of the above users , the ones who rely on cell phones, are on dry ground, easy walking, with leather boots, who only casually whip out the gps unit to check."
Come on an elk hunt with me and see how easy of a walk it is lol. several have and none have asked to come back.
I am not saying people should use a phone as GPS. I am just saying my phone works as good as any GPS in every situation I have used it in. From Occasionally checking it, to constantly having to use it to keep on track. I have also used it to look at predownloaded aerials and topos to hit anew area. I have used it when it is clear out, when it is down pouring or in a very wet nasty snow stork and everything in between. Not once have I found it not usable or wish I had something different.