GPS needed

coltonjdavis

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Feb 18, 2019
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I am looking for some opinions on GPS. I already use ONx on my phone and it works great but I need something when I dont have service or when my phone dies. I was looking at the Garmin 64st, 66st, and Montana. All come highly recommended but I can't decide on what to get. Any opinions?
 

smarandr

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Jul 8, 2010
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East Idaho
Personally, I'd go with none of the above. OnX works outside of cell coverage if you download your maps ahead of time, and with the availability of portable recharge devices my handheld GPS hasn't left my house in a couple of years.
 

Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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Personally, I'd go with none of the above. OnX works outside of cell coverage if you download your maps ahead of time, and with the availability of portable recharge devices my handheld GPS hasn't left my house in a couple of years.
With my GPS, I know whether or not I'm on public land in all of Montana, Idaho or Wyoming all the time. That's incredibly valuable, and why I can't transition to the app. Plans change, and it's nice knowing you have the map already, regardless or preparation.

I don't think it matters much which GPS you go with, other than touch screen vs. buttons. If you're going to be using a chip, buy the cheaper version that doesn't come with topo built in.
 

onX Hunt

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Jul 22, 2013
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I am looking for some opinions on GPS. I already use ONx on my phone and it works great but I need something when I dont have service or when my phone dies. I was looking at the Garmin 64st, 66st, and Montana. All come highly recommended but I can't decide on what to get. Any opinions?
As mentioned above, you can still use the app even with zero cell phone coverage. This page will walk you through how to use that feature http://bit.ly/NoServiceNeeded
And there are a ton of backcountry chargers (mophie, dark energy, goal zero, etc to name a few) that can keep you going for extended trips.

If you are still interested in GPS units, here is a list of the most popular ones. http://bit.ly/TopGPSUnits
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Somewhere in the basalt rocks
With my GPS, I know whether or not I'm on public land in all of Montana, Idaho or Wyoming all the time. That's incredibly valuable, and why I can't transition to the app. Plans change, and it's nice knowing you have the map already, regardless or preparation.
I can see this. Last fall, we were road hunting through a vast part of northern MT, and couldn't realistically download every map on higher resolution. However, in hindsight we could have downloaded the low resolution map, which would have probably encompassed the area we were driving through.
 

brnsvllyjohn

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Oct 7, 2017
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California (for now)
In use a simple Garmin Etrex 30. Any decent Garmin will work it just depends on how large a screen you want and how much you want to pay. I like having something other than my phone for leaving tracks and setting way points from year to year. I have never been comfortable doing all of that on my phone but I am a dinosaur.
My son uses his phone exclusively so each to his own.
 
Joined
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Southeast Idaho
I use the Garmin eTrex 20 with the OnX micro SDs. Its really nice to have that along with the phone. The battery life is unmatched. I use birdseye to download google earth mapping on the GPS and it works great. So for the price its a great GPS. If you want touch screen tho its not for you.
 

marshman

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Jul 10, 2017
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Southwest Washington
I really like the Garmin Rino series of GPS Radios. Add the chip for your state good to go.
Radio is awesome in keeping track of your hunting partner.
 

NEWHunter

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Jul 15, 2018
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Brookfield, WI
I had OnX on my phone this fall, a portable charger, a 64s with the WY chip, and an inReach. I purchased the 64s and WY chip and borrowed the inReach. If I could get a mulligan, I’d go with the phone w/OnX and portable charger and the inReach. Don’t spend the money on a traditional GPS. The added safety and security provided by the inReach is worth the extra $50-$100.

I’ve not been a back country hunt where I needed to count ounces, but even then I can see where I’d want an inReach over a traditional GPS and maybe leave the phone and charger at home. Good luck with your decision.
 

OhHeyThereBen

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Dec 19, 2017
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Fargo, ND
I'm not all that familiar with GPS units. That said, I would imagine that your phone's interface would be much more user-friendly than most of the software that's loaded on GPS units. That alone would be enough for me to just go with the phone. If you bring a decently large lithium charging pack, you could even load books, books on tapes, movies, etc. on your phone if you'd like to have something to do on a nasty day in your tent. This would save you a whole bunch of space and weight in your pack and easily make up for the larger lithium pack.

If you're used to using GPS's, then I would imagine that they would work just fine. But it sounds like you're thinking about getting into them, which I think would probably be a waste of time, money, and space in your pack.
 

ntodwild

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Dec 21, 2018
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Washington
I use the Garmin eTrex 20 with the OnX micro SDs. Its really nice to have that along with the phone. The battery life is unmatched. I use birdseye to download google earth mapping on the GPS and it works great. So for the price its a great GPS. If you want touch screen tho its not for you.
I 2nd that motion on the eTrex 20. Amazing little device with battery life that is amazing. Weather you use a phone and one of the phone apps like "Basemap or On X" its always worth having a backup. An eTrex 20,30 or similar size is worth ALWAYS having in a pack our pouch. The eTrex versions don't weigh anything or take up space, have amazing battery life, don't cost much (relative) and just flat out work. Only issue I have ever had with them is the button. Garmin should put a guard of some kind on them to keep from being bumped when in a pouch or pocket. Not a big deal once you understand this and store the device in a way that this doesn't happen. For the price you can't go wrong if your looking for a small, reliable, long battery life, do the job unit.

I think you have to really step back and consider your hunting style. Given a week long trip into the backcountry I personally don't need or want a phone app like Basemap or On x. They don't bring anything to my hunt other than drawing my phone battery down and I can navigate just fine with a good GPS and or the old fashion compass and map. ON THE OTHER HAND. If you hunt in close proximity to private land or spend many of your hunting season around public and private land boundaries, On X and or Basemap are absolutely a must have valuable tool. Having the downloadable maps, overlay features and statistical information that they offer is priceless.

Just my .02
 
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Cullboss

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Jul 4, 2016
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Montana
One thing I dislike about the OnX hunt chip for the GPS is that it needs updating every year, so I tend to trust the app more. I still take both into the mountains with me because I can not rely on my phone holding a charge when its cold or I worry about my phone getting wet etc. I do find it frustrating that every time I try to update my chip it always wipes out the SD card and I completely lose everything and end up having to buy another chip, and even then you can not rely on it being the most up to date.
 

Horse

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Jan 21, 2018
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packerland
I've had my Garmin Montana 650t for 5 years. I prefer to carry it as I don't trust my cellphone battery lasting in cold weather. I like the larger screen compared to the oregon and rino. "t" version also allows you to take pictures. I would consider the rino if you have a group that all gets one. Then you would be able to communicate with each other if you wanted to and see where each is at. Never had a issue with the touch screen. Just wear the gloves that allow touchscreen use.
 

AggieOutlaw

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May 22, 2016
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Got a Garmin 62 something that never leaves the garage due to OnX on the phone. Want a good deal?
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
I still use my garmin GPS. Smartphones are the downfall of society
... I’m trying to find a witty riposte to this... but I mean... being able to insult the President of the world’s most powerful national directly as he’s eating a Big Mac on the toilet at 3am probably is the beginning of the end...
 
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