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REI has a pretty good price on the Garmin Oregon 600 GPS ($250.00). The most recent Amazon reviews are not that good. Just wondering if any of you have experience with this device or maybe can recommend a better unit.
Yes I did use the search bar but all that info is fairly old now as it seems opinions change rapidly with tech stuff. Thanks for any help.


Jim
 

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I just picked up the etrek 30 for $299 at sportsmans warehouse and the western states mapping package. Pretty happy with it so far. It has a toggle, not a touch screen, which I think will work better with gloved hands.

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I'll second the e-trex series, the 20 works well for my backpacking, hunting, geocaching and boating needs. For the same price range as the oregon sale, the etrex bundle comes with maps. I also recomend using the garmin base camp software and the caribiner clip accessory.
 

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DeLorme Inreach Explorer. Good enough as a GPS and you can communicate with it! I find for river running, simple GPS devices are best as long as they have a speedometer, an odometer, and a line to represent your route.
 

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I'll second the e-trex series, the 20 works well for my backpacking, hunting, geocaching and boating needs. For the same price range as the oregon sale, the etrex bundle comes with maps. I also recomend using the garmin base camp software and the caribiner clip accessory.
I don't hike, backpack, hunt, or geocache......just river running and kayak touring. Would the Etrex 10 work well enough for my needs, or would I be best with the Etrex 20? I don't want to spend a ton of money on a GPS, but want one that works for my needs and is simple to use. Got that 20% off REI coupon sitting here staring at me:D
 

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Hey Cataraftgirl,
Try this link for a comparison of features between the different models. Garmin eTrex GPS Comparison | Differnces between eTrex GPS units - GPS Central Canada

Besides the difference between being black and white or color, the ability to download maps and add an sds card is enough for me to go with the 20 over the 10. If you are not going to use that feature, then I'd go with the 10..... due to my luck with electronics in the wilderness. The 10 would be more for following your progress, speed and such on the river. The 20 you could set up the trip before you go....in color.....and track your progress more accurately with maps that don't come preloaded.
 

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Hey Cataraftgirl,
Try this link for a comparison of features between the different models. Garmin eTrex GPS Comparison | Differnces between eTrex GPS units - GPS Central Canada

Besides the difference between being black and white or color, the ability to download maps and add an sds card is enough for me to go with the 20 over the 10. If you are not going to use that feature, then I'd go with the 10..... due to my luck with electronics in the wilderness. The 10 would be more for following your progress, speed and such on the river. The 20 you could set up the trip before you go....in color.....and track your progress more accurately with maps that don't come preloaded.
Thanks. Great info for comparison. Looks like the 20 has a lot more capabilities that I may use a some point.
 

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I have the Oregon 500, been using it for 6 years of river, mountains, and biking with no problems. My main grievance with the 500 is the sensitivity of the touch screen. I have gotten use to smart phone screens and the GPS is not even close. I would hope that they upgraded the screen. As mentioned before battery life is an issue, but if you do not keep the GPS in map view mode the battery life is much better, but I still go through 2 AAs per day on the river.
 

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Backcountry navigator app with a smartphone in airplane mode is a low cost, surprising versatile solution.

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Cataraftgirl,
the color screen and maps are really nice, especially for seeing what else is around you. If you are just floating, you know your course, and can add waypoints for campsites, takeout s and other features of interest. With the 20, I can make points in google earth, save them as kml files and then load them on my garmin using the free base camp software. I think it is fun if not nerdy, but I know where i am in relation to other features I am interested in. I would think you can do likewise with the 10, but I am not sure. The base map background was enough to sell me on the 20.

Also, with my 20, and the light setting on medium, I think I can generally get about 3 full days with generic rechargable batteries.
 

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While I'm not sold on a smart phone being a replacement for a dedicated GPS, I have been using Avenza PDFMaps app, with good success. You can download usgs quads and geo-reference them with great accuracy. What makes it better than a gps is that you can add notes and draw things on the map as well as take photos and geo-reference them to the map for future use or sharing. I find it words much better on my iPad mini, but does fine on a smart phone as well.

As far as a dedicated GPS I'd go with the Delorme that randaddy mentioned. You can have a safety net (satellite communication) added in for a pretty affordable cost, worth considering for small groups in remote settings, the ability to send a sms is much better than a generic SPOT message. It really seems like gps technology has taken a backseat to smart phones.
 

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REI has a pretty good price on the Garmin Oregon 600 GPS ($250.00). The most recent Amazon reviews are not that good. Just wondering if any of you have experience with this device or maybe can recommend a better unit.
Yes I did use the search bar but all that info is fairly old now as it seems opinions change rapidly with tech stuff. Thanks for any help.


Jim
Jim, I have a Garmin Montana 650T, the big brother to the Oregon and I like it a lot. I don't use it a ton because like mikeslc I use my phone about 90% of the time, off the river. I do use the GPS on the river because it's truly waterproof (mine spent about 15 minutes bouncing down the John Day this spring) and my phone is potentially a more valuable piece of emergency technology (having gps and communications abilities, I'd rather save it for emergency use). I bought mine for work (actually they bought it) but rarely use it anymore for that purpose. I ended up getting a resource grade gps for field work (nothing against the Montana, just needed better accuracy) and now just use the Garmin for personal trips (as a GPS) and as a camera for work. It does has a fair camera which is beyond useful to me, that's actually most of it's life right now, my geotagging camera. It doesn't take gallery quality photos buy any means but does perfect for project documentation. I don't think the Oregon 600 has a camera, maybe the 650 does?

I agree with Tribri about the touch screen sensitivity to a point...It can get annoying when used to a phone but I wouldn't want it too sensitive or it would be like my phone and constantly squawking, turning on and doing shit in my pocket (or have to use a pin unlock).

I'm not sure about the Oregon series but my Montana batteries last forever. I have gotten two full days of field use with it (on about 8 hours a day) on one charge and on our Oregon trip this year I used it for 4 days on the JD (on and off) and still had half battery life. It boots up really fast so turning it off in between uses is fine. On the river I'd typically turn it on every few hours to check location and progress, then leave it on for the last few miles while searching for camps. Mine has the rechargeable battery pack but can take three AA's. It lasts half as long with the AA's.

The basemap that comes with it (and I'm assuming the Oregon) is OK at best, I've never looked at any of the more costly map data sets but they may be worth it, if place names, creeks, etc. are of high value to your navigation.

Long story short I don't know what to suggest, but I maybe I can help sort out the options. I really like the Montana and would highly recommend that (if you wanted to drop 6 bills) but if the reviews of the Oregon 600 fall short, I'd wonder about it. I think the Oregon 650 has a camera and a few more features but is still smaller and cheaper than the Montana, I'd look that way if $ wasn't a problem...or for the budget the etrex 20 seems to have most of the features of the O-600 with a smaller screen and price tag.

Too me the most valuable aspects of a GPS on the river are quick boot up or good battery life (I'm fine with turning it on and off as long as it doesn't take 10 minutes to find satellites) and detailed location information (i.e. good maps with appropriate label detail). I'd probably rather spend $ on quality maps for a lesser unit than to have a larger screen or more features with so-so maps... If you can't correlate your GPS position with your guide book quickly and easily what's the point?

Hope that helps!
 

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You will get your needs with a basic gps that is for sure. They should last a long time so I always feel the urge to spend more. I have the Magellan explorist 610 and I have used and abused and also logged over 250 geocaches with it. lol It will track you in stand by mode which saves battery life. They are on promotive.com if you are on a team. I believe it was 40% off retail.
 

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I'm not sure about the Oregon series but my Montana batteries last forever. I have gotten two full days of field use with it (on about 8 hours a day) on one charge and on our Oregon trip this year I used it for 4 days on the JD (on and off) and still had half battery life. It boots up really fast so turning it off in between uses is fine. On the river I'd typically turn it on every few hours to check location and progress, then leave it on for the last few miles while searching for camps. Mine has the rechargeable battery pack but can take three AA's. It lasts half as long with the AA's.
I guess I should clarify my usage as well, On the river I leave it on all day and often check float distances and average speeds.I typically bring 2 rechargeable AAs per day with two extra just in case.
 
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