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In the market for a new gps unit. Also plan on using onx mapping. Tried to use the search but cant get anything to come up. Any ideas? Thanks
your smartphone honestly. With Onx app it is light years ahead of any GPS made. with the imagery available on smartphone w Onx there is no comparison to a GPS. not even close.
How does that work when you dont have service, which is most of the time.
GAIA, Onx, and others all are designed to work when you don't have a signal. The app uses the GPS in your phone. The background maps (topo, satellite, etc) are all loaded on your phone by you before you go in the woods. Its simpler than it sounds.
You'll want to do some searching on bowsite to decide which app you want to use. They vary greatly in cost and somewhat in functions.
Love my Garmin Montana 650T
Haven't used a GPS since my last Garmin broke in 2015....GAIA app on my iPhone is great, from the Arctic to the Mexican border. Just got done downloading aerial photos and map layers for some upcoming hunts in Northern Canada and Western US. I'm set. Beats buying special provincial or state map chips from Garmin or another supplier.
I’ll stick to my gps with its replaceable batteries. I have the phone too. Always nice to have a backup option when shtf.
Huge fan of the Garmin 64st but would probably get the Inreach Explorer if I was to buy another one. The phone apps work fine but you are constantly taking your phone out and having to unlock it and punch in your passcode, if its cold you have to take your gloves off everytime you do this which is also annoying. Then you also need to bring in extra external battery packs to keep your phone charged which are a lot heavier than a couple spare lithium AA's. I also think it is much easier to know exactly which direction you are facing on the Garmin's as opposed to Onx where you're just a dot with no arrow showing where you're heading. Most people also don't download satellite imagery onto their gps but it's not difficult and is very helpful. If you get the onx chip for your gps it is pretty sweet as well. Long story short, I would choose a gps anyday over a phone if I had to choose just one. I use my phone as a backup and having satellite imagery pre-downloaded is great to get a bigger picture of the area you are in. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this but I wouldn't completely trade in the gps for a phone app like everyone is suggesting. I was out during early September and my Onx app glitched and wouldn't display any of my Colorado layers, I had to drive back into town and update the app before it started working again.
Any of the Garmin’s are Good. I have an Oregon 450T and it works great with a chip. The Montana has a larger screen ....great gps. The phone with onx or Giai works great also. If you don’t have a signal with a phone you are out of luck unless you downloaded the area map you want to be in before hand then you can still use the phone as a gps with your land ownership and boundery llines. With a gps I have never lost my signal but I have with my phone. I have both ....gps and phone with app. If I have service I like the phone but would never be without either of them.
"I also think it is much easier to know exactly which direction you are facing on the Garmin's as opposed to Onx where you're just a dot with no arrow showing where you're heading."
Tapping the location button twice will orient the map the direction you are facing and display a compass as well.
Garmin. Phones are great. Big screens. But, they are much more fragile. I’m sure 99% of the people here that prefer their phone, don’t break them. I do. They get smashed when you fall on them. The screens don’t like rocks, etc..... personally, I use both. I prefer the phones big screen. But, I much prefer the durability of my GPS
Check the classifieds. Garmin Montana 650 T with Colorado OnX chip. $300
Another vote for the Montana 650T. If the rechargeable battery runs low you can pop in some Duracells.
I have an android with ON X with maps set up for use in airplane mode. Excellent. Easy to mark and save trails and waypoints. Also have a Garmin 450T with On X chip in it. Also works great. Nice to have the GPS backup and has a few features the phone doesn't. Carry both. The gps has served me well for years. Mostly use the phone app now. The bad part is the On X means there are no more hard to find secret holes anymore!
I have an android with OnX that I used it elk hunting for the first time this year. I liked it a lot, but in my opinion it has a few shortcomings. Being a land surveyor and a pilot I like the option of more precise navigation and I use my Garmin 64st more for that reason.
For example when I want to navigate to a waypoint, OnX just tells me a general direction like ENE, .56 miles. The Garmin GPS gives me an exact heading like 76 degrees, .56 miles. Then I can switch to the compass screen on the GPS and see exactly where 76 degrees points me and/or I can pull the compass out of my pocket and check my heading. I'm somewhat old school and still like to look at a USGS 7.5' topo quad paper map and use my handheld compass, although with the OnX map on my phone I found myself pulling my paper map out of my pocket a lot less than years past.
A situation where I use the precise navigation is when I'm packing meat. This year I had to pack my elk down a very steep mountainside for about a mile before I hit the pack trail. There's not much worse than getting off course while packing meat and ending up in blowdowns, getting cliffed out, etc. especially when my knee is still recovering from surgery. So what I do is on the first trip out I really take my time picking my route down the mountain. I mark each turn in my route with a waypoint. That way when I'm packing down the steep mountain with 100 pounds of meat on my pack I can navigate precisely from waypoint to waypoint and I won't get off course or waste any time or energy. The precise headings that the GPS displays is much better for that than the general directions that OnX displays. Also, if I leave the GPS running it creates a continuous track as I walk and I can easily see if I'm veering off course. I don't know if OnX has that continuous track option. By marking that precise route and following it with my GPS it takes the guesswork out of navigating and also allows packing meat at night with confidence if necessary.
Some upgrades that OnX could use would be displaying the actual azimuth heading to a waypoint rather than a general direction like NW, SSE, NE, NNE, etc. Also, it would be nice if there was a compass screen, although I've heard the phone compass apps aren't very reliable.
backcountrymuzzy, you should be able to change the security settings in your phone so you don't have to constantly enter your password.
Thanks for all the info. I'm not a super technology guy so I will probably go with a gps unit like the 650t. Then I can try the phone apps. Thanks again for all your help, very informative.
Mike, The OnX creates tracks as well. Just press "Tracker" in lower RH corner of the screen.
Not sure how I never figured out the double tap to get the direction you're facing in onx, I had a feeling that feature existed! That was definitely my main gripe. I guess you can also just completely turn off your passcode while hunting too, that would make it easier. Seems like my fingerprint unlock rarely works out in the woods
a newer version if the iPhone or a Samsung s8 or better
steelhead, I would do the opposite. Get the phone app first then a GPS unit if you don’t like the app.
GAIA is also a lot better, easier to use, and way cheaper than OnX imo
when I'm in the wilderness I have a backup for my backup.....the day the special ops guys I know start using phones for GPS I will do the same. Right now my phone is the last defense outside of the 3 compasses I carry (compi?)
Thanks Nick, I'll check it out.
Don't get me wrong, I think the OnX is awesome and I think it will really show it's value when using it where property lines are important. I've just been so used to doing things with my GPS and maybe in time I'll transition more to OnX as I get more used to it.