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Want advice on a GPS device

I am about to go hiking for my first time. One item I lack is a GPS device. I would be most greatful in getting feedback on the following,

++on tips about what features I will need
++What features are handy
++ What brands are best. Especially from Rays, Anaconda, Kathmandu and Aussie.

Please keep in mind, my budget is low, so cost will be an issue for me. So, I am in fact looking for the best I can get, at the lowest price.

As it's your first time you can go low end and get a GPS app for your phone, I use viewranger for android. You can download free offline maps for when you lack signal or premium paid maps, import gpx tracks from other users to follow and record your own gpx tracks it comes with a compass and augmented reality feature to identify mountain peaks. It does the job and I go off track over many days. If you go for a dedicated GPS make sure it's waterproof and the better ones have 3D terrain viewing which can help orientate you better. I don't like dedicated GPS as the screens are way too small compared to my phone and don't meet a reasonable price/performance comparison compared to a phone app. But they are generally more rugged than a phone. The best GPS have satellite text based comms and plb rescue functions but are pricey and you need to pay for an on demand subscription service, take a look at the inreach explorer. But fundamentally don't rely on electronics, learn how to read a map and always take a compass and learn how to use them. Learn how to navigate the proper way by going on rogaines which are a huge load of fun. I may run some nav skills trips on THA to train people up for a rogaine. Absolutely fantastic way to learn off track navigation skills

Dude. Just use your phone. Download wikiloc app. Once you have the gpx you an turn off data and save battery.

I have a Garmin Oregon 650 hand held. Has everything. Awesome piece of equipment. Barely used it. I take it as a back up on my more extensive off track walks.

Moreover wikiloc lets you download gpx trails and follow them very easily.

Anyway it comes down to personal preference and the above is mine based on my experience.

I have a Garmin Fenix3 Multisport watch. I got it for triathlons but this watch can be loaded with .gpx courses and i've found it great. Very handy having it on my wrist too.
I cant speak for other devices designed especially for hiking, though im sure they have far more advance features than my watch. The Fenix 3 does a fine job though.

Yes, I fully plan on taking paper maps with me. I plan on taking on those trails, 2 years ago I joined with the Tasmanian Trail, had their maps printed out on A3. Although I never got a chance to go for other reasons, I was none the less prepared.

Now I am back into it, I may opt to use something based in Victoria first.

I did have a hiking-GPS device I purchased for Aldi a few years ago. Loved it more as a toy than anything serious. Sadly, I seem to have lost it. Its battery was a nightmare, and getting it charged up, you had to turn the device off to charge up, and only the sleep mode would do that. I have sworn never to get another one of that model. Otherwise it was fun to play around with.

On some places in the trail maps, they do speak about GPS co-ordinates as places to go or to turn at.

On a recent study of my five top retailers, only two have hiking/gps devices, being Rays and Anaconda. As $200 is the most I can justify spending, Anaconda has two brands, and Rays also has one of those two.

The choice is,
One is at clearence sale of $120, Magellan eXplorist GC GPS Unit,

The other is, regular price of $159. Garmin Etrex 10 GPS Black & Yellow,

In the viewpoint of forum members, which one is best. Does the second one have any features of which justify its extra cost?

I really need to visit the store to see what they say later this week, and I shall report that here this weekend.

I've owned and used the Garmin Etrex 10 and I think for an entry level handheld GPs device it's ok, however, if you're not going full Enduro (Mountain Biker's Tropic Thunder reference) with your device then any good phone will do.

The best feature I reckon you can have is Track Back.

I have recently purchased a Garman I think it is an ST model.


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  1. We are training for our second EBC Trek in March (we did just Base Camp last year) this year we will be adding the three passes. Dareen is so right .. I can walk for days on flat or even .. but once you start having to lift yourself up steps at odd intervals your body need to be ready for it .. Im doing 4 days a week STAIRS ONLY at work (I work in a 10 floor building) fingers crossed this helps …great site @DarrenEdwards