Need how 2 GPS advice

Discussion in 'Maps, GPS and Google Earth' started by DartonJager, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. DartonJager

    DartonJager Well-Known Member

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    After years of researching and waiting I finally took the plunge and bought my 1st hand held GPS unit, a Garmin GPSMAPS 64s. Although I do hunt rather large tracks of public land (at least large for east of the Mississippi) 7500 acres in size, getting lost to the point of endangering my life is not likely.

    I bought the GPS to use it to investigate and find hunting sights as far from any access point as possible while hunting public land in my home state of Indiana in hopes to get me away from other hunters and closer to (hopefully) the deer. And once I find said sight, find it again in the dark before dawn and back out also in the dark.

    I have down loaded the owners manual from Gamin's WS for the 64 series of GPS units and plan on becoming intimately familiar with it in all aspects prior to any attempts to use it.

    What I would like is advice from those who own and use a Garmin GPSMAPS 64s on how best to master the unit and any bad habits to avoid while I am teaching myself how to use the 64s. I've been looking for how to videos and tutorials, but would also appreciate advice from seasoned owners of Garmin 64s GPSES.

    I bought the unit basically on impulse as I stumbled across a great deal on a 64s for $208 TMD, but I had researched it quite a bit prior to buying. I'm not looking to use it for navigating over long distances in remote locations that I have never before set foot in, at least not for several years yet. I will be using almost exclusively for finding stand sights in total darkness then out again, also often in darkness in areas I have at least some prior knowledge of.

    So any advice on how best to learn to use and hopefully master the 64s and get started in the right direction to do so would be of great help to me.

    Thanks,
    Darton Yager.
     
  2. bb204

    bb204 Well-Known Member

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    You should find quite a few videos on Youtube, to help you out. Also, a lot of your questions can be answered there. In my experience, the best way to learn to use it, is to get out and walk around, and "play" with it. I have no experience with the 64, but my 60Csx was an earlier, comparable unit. The more that you use it, the more you will learn about it, and the better you will like it. I have just switched to a Montana 680T, but haven't "played" with it much, yet. Good luck, and I'm sure you will really like your Garmin.
     
  3. Eselkopf1

    Eselkopf1 Member

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    It is my opinion that a GPS is best used to support your map and compass work.

    I would recommend using google earth to try to identify terrain features that play to your advantage. Google earth is free satellite reconnaissance for anybody. Google earth will then give you coordinates and you can then use the GPS to walk onto the exact spots your looking for. You can then save those spots and go back to google earth and save the spots on your computer with notes and so forth.

    Im not familiar with Garmin's more recent software. Google earth's free version is exceptionally well suited for this kind of thing, it does have a bit of a learning curve to it though. But its kind of fun to play with. With google earth you can actually look at old imagery. So you can see what the terrain looked like in the summer, or the winter, or a few years ago. The sattelites are up there taking pictures all the time, they just gotta pass over with clear skies. You can even see the terrain in 3d.

    We actually used google earth in afghanistan because its imagery was better than the Army's. It also plenty accurate for mortars and artillery.
     
  4. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    D, I have the 64S and bought the onxmaps chip for my state. This is very detailed and shows state, federal, private land, landowners name, hunt unit, trails and everything I need for a hunt. Simple to use and available for each state. I originally bought the new Garmin chip which was advertised to perform the same functions plus had satellite views, but I returned it for the onxmaps because it was pretty cheesy. The satellite view would not appear until you narrowed down to <3 miles and was very difficult to operate with no instructions accompanying the chip and no online help available. The sales person at Sportsmans Warehouse spent 1/2 hr on the phone with Garmin and got very little help. The onxmaps was used on a trophy mule deer hunt last November and performed flawlessly.
     
  5. Tortuga

    Tortuga Member

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    I've been using the Garmin 60 series since they came out and performing the setup and instruction of them at my work for quite a few years. Everyone learns them different ways. If you are accustomed to map and compass, use them and then back up your work with the GPS. If you are used to a certain track of land, walk it and play with the GPS as you are on it. Another great way to learn any GPS is geocaching. Explaining would be a highjack of the thread, but Google can explain it.

    I would caution one to not lean too much on the map screen on the GPS and work more with the trip computer page and put the data you are most comfortable with and/or need the most. Also make sure you set up the position format (MGRS, UTM, Lat/Long) to one you are accustomed to and ensure map datum matches whatever analog map you use (WGS84 is the most common).
     
  6. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I agree GE is very useful if you know how to use it . You can build a route taking note of all the easier terrain to follow and then upload it directly from GE to a Garmin GPS . GE is a design offshoot of the CIA's Earth Viewer.
     
  7. Howland

    Howland Active Member

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    I second both the advice that a GPS is used to support your compass and map (never trust the compass on your GPS), and the importance of the correct position format.

    Last week I was involved in a search and rescue (of somebody else). The game warden called asking my position. I had it set for US National Grid and the map and quadrant meant nothing to him. I could only tell him distance and direction (magnetic to match my compass and the pencil grid I add to my topo maps) from where he was and that was only useful to him because he was standing next to where I parked my truck, a position I had previously plotted into the GPS.

    It is now set for hddd.mm.ssss.
     
  8. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    the ONX chip is a must out west here for access to state and BM land
     
    Dosh likes this.