Hand Held GPS - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Hand Held GPS

I am a "technically challanged" senior citizen..I have a Garmin E-Trex 10..supposedly a basic GPS.. After reading the instructions and trying to figger it out, ...I have finally given up.
All I want to do is be able to return to my vehicle....I don't care what my latiude & longitude is..I don't care about "geocoaching" whatever the heck that is ?? I don't care what time it is in Berlin...I just want the darn thing to take me back to my car..
I also tried a Bushnell Backtracker...don't waste your $$..( shame....simple to use - but it's totally unreliable)
I'm going on a big time grouse hunt to northern MN. this fall...I want to be able to get back to my vehicle at the end of the day....Thats all !!
Any suggestions ??

Ps. - You'll get a chuckle outta this :..My friend carried his climber & bow into the edge of a swamp 2 miles from his truck ( No. WI.) during the rut... Stayed in the tree till nearly pitch dark.. Climbed down and using his headlight checked his Bushnell Back tracker for a bearing..He took off in the direction indicated and after an hr. or so, realized sumthin was not right..He double checked his compass and found he was walking 180 degs. OPPOSITE the direction to his truck...Got outta the woods about 10 pm.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 06:53 PM
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I have an e trex 20; a bushnell back trac, & two Silva compasses. I have found all to be reliable. But they all take work to learn to use correctly in a safe place. There is a learning curve to each and practice practice practice.

wmu 3A
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2017, 07:25 PM
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I agree with timber practice. Also, if you have questions, call Garmin, they will help. Just have some time available when you call. I was in the phone with them for over an hour one time.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 04:15 PM
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Practice. Look up tutorials for using your GPS.

I started with the basic Etrex (blue) but then moved up to the 60CSX model. I have used it for driving, geocaching and hunting.

All you really need to do is understand waypoints, how to mark them and how to navigate back to them. Always mark the location of where you park!!!

Waypoints are locations you want stored in the memory of the GPS. Parking area, stand locations, etc. Then you just pick one.....let the GPS point you in the direction and go.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 06:25 PM
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I know that senior citizens love directions, but my advice is that you've probably confused yourself the most by reading them.

As other's have stated, all you need to focus on is marking a waypoint. That waypoint will be your vehicle, cabin, a road, whatever you need to find your way back to. I would suggest that you get in the habit of naming your way points, I usually make mine something like "home", "main street", "Bob's house" something so you know what it is. That way you don't end up with a bunch of different waypoints called 123, abc, or whatever.

Practice as other's have said, mark your house as a waypoint then take a walk around the neighborhood and see if you can use the gps to find your house.

I have an old "simple" unit so my only experience is with that. My other advice is before using it, turn it on and let it sit outside( with somewhat clear view of the sky) for 10-15 mins. I know I have to do this on my unit to give it some warm up time to find the satellites and figure out where it is.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 09:15 AM
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I have had many handheld gps units. Currently using a Garmin 64s. Works good for me.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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I really liked the simplicity of the Bushnell Backtracker but upon using it a few times, I quickly learned it was unreliable..( I have sent 2 of them back & I know of several others that have returned them - maybe the new models are better ? )...Okey-dookie...thanks for all the good advice..I'll keep messin with this E-Trex and hopefully, figger it out..
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 12:36 PM
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My father loves his bushnell backtracker.... His does work...
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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If you read the customer reviews in the various retail sources web-sites..the negative feed-back approaches 20-25% for the "Backtracker"...not very impressive.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 02:01 PM
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While I Prefer my newer Garmin GPS CSx 60 because I have the state topos loaded and walking around with 'trail up' vrs 'north up' as a screen setting; I started with a E-Trex Legend with just a road map. I spent a few years marking spots so, when zoomed out to a highway map, as I approached the Cabin there would appear this large amount of black dots until I zoomed in to a woods friendly view.

The OP needs to mark his starting point [parking spot] and a the end of the day press 'GO TO" and follow the arrow on the screen back to the truck.

My Legend would draw my track and was accurate enough that I could tell when I walked in using the one side rut of the dirt road and would show my return trail in the opposite rut...there should be a similar setting on all the e-trex series

4th Generation @ Kamp.

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