The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.:nerd:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,739 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,372 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,996 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,973 Posts
Your story at the bottom of your original post says it all. Compass! GPS is a good thing , but I never use mine alone, always check it with my compass. Gps can lose power, no signal, etc. So I'm frquently checking my compass to have a direction out. I'm guessing MN has some areas like places I hunt in ME, go the wrong direction and it'll be a long, long, time before you run into a road or civilization.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,757 Posts
I just bought a Garmin 64ST, and it definitely requires practice. My first couple hikes with it had me wondering if I wasted my money. After messing around with it and using it more, I found more uses. For my last hike, I input a series of way points to make sure I didn't turn on the wrong trail or in the wrong direction. I'd hike till I hit the waypoint, and knew generally where I needed to go, but used the GPS to verify I wasn't hitting a trail not on my maps (which is frequent). Worked like a charm.

I used Google Earth to find my waypoints and the coordinates for them.

If one just wanted to get back to the truck, the first thing to do, as mentioned, would be to mark the truck's location as a waypoint before leaving it. The other thing about a GPS is that it may be disoriented until you move a bit. Then you'll see it reorient to the direction you're traveling (meaning walking 10-15 yards and then it snaps around to the proper direction you're heading). If you glance at it without moving a bit, then put it away....you could be headed the wrong way, for sure.

If I need mine to know I'm heading in the right direction, I don't put it away right away...I keep it out and make sure for a minute or two that I'm on the track I need to be, then I can stop paying attention to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
good point on letting the unit adjust. I usually carry mine on my left shoulder w/ a clip on my bib strap. When I take it off and hold it in my hand it takes a few seconds to line things up again.


Using the GO TO requires you to hold the unit and follow the arrow back tot he chosen waypoint


Having my e-trex shortened the learning curve with the GPS60 CSx.. I like having the map up feature, makes it like you have a topo in your hand.


I always carry a compass too and follow land marks like log roads, etc. to explore new places.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
How are the newer ones - I have a older Garmin Legend. Driving down the highway it shows me off the "road" driving through fields, was supposed to be accurate within 5' closest I get is 20yrds, anytime there is a canopy overhead(most of archery + spring gobbler) or cloudy overcast day it looses signal, "back track" will take me back to my truck but I might be up or down the road a bit.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,757 Posts
my 64ST that I bought in the spring has been pretty accurate, even under canopy. I've marked waypoints and it chimes at me when I cross them. Sometimes the coords I used are a hair off (depending on how precisely I marked them in Google Earth), but it's always been pretty much on the mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
How are the newer ones - I have a older Garmin Legend. Driving down the highway it shows me off the "road" driving through fields, was supposed to be accurate within 5' closest I get is 20yrds, anytime there is a canopy overhead(most of archery + spring gobbler) or cloudy overcast day it looses signal, "back track" will take me back to my truck but I might be up or down the road a bit.
My legend was the same way! any overhead obstruction seemed to interfere with the signal.


My 60 CSx will link up sitting on the cabin table and has NEVER lost the signal. it does have a larger antenna than the older e-trex models
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top