View Full Version : How do you use your GPS?

02-04-2013, 07:50 AM
I have had a GPS for quite a few years now and am in the middle of upgrading. I currently have one of the first Garmin E-Trex made. Basically it has no maps just a screen that shows where you are and where other way points are. I just placed and order for a Garmin Oregon 450T. All the reviews I read talk about poor battery life, hard to use with gloves, and hard to see in bright sunlight. My question is how everyone uses there GPS? The way I use my current GPS is I mark where I'm starting, then I turn it off. Every now and then I turn it on to see elevation and where I am located in reference to where I started. I have to change batteries once per year this way, on the reviews people talk about using one set of batteries a day. Another complaint is "Hard to use with gloves", this only makes sense to me. My Iphone will not work with gloves. I just wanted to see how people on this site use their GPS, do you guys leave it on all day, are you constantly checking things?
Thanks for the input!

02-04-2013, 11:08 AM
I leave mine (Garmin Venture HC) on and track all my walks. I use it to pick up waypoints, whether it be marking game, wallows, beds, etc... Then I am able to download it to my computer and I have all the information I need in the future. I am able to put all my tracks and waypoints onto Google Earth too. I havent done any back packing in and camping type hunts, so I do not know battery life in that aspect. I have had 9-10 mile days and still have plenty of battery life left over for other shorter walks before needing to change batteries.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-04-2013, 11:19 AM
Don't worry, the 450 has decent battery life with lithiums. I don't leave it on all the time, but I went through half the season on one set of batteries. You can use it just as you did your Etrex, or go into the more advanced features. I use it with a huntinggpsmaps card to see boundaries, etc.

02-04-2013, 12:23 PM
My 450 easily lasted 9 straight days with moderate use each day. I didn't leave it on the entire time, but it was on for a decent amount of time. I even used it as an alarm clock each night. I do dislike its touch screen though.. It's not sensitive enough sometimes, and others its too sensitive, dropping pins, when you haven't asked it to..

02-04-2013, 03:48 PM
I have a Garmin Rino 120, which has a built-in radio, but that I turn off if I am going to have it on for any length of time. With the radio off and leaving it running all day on alkalines, I get about 1.5 days off a set of batteries.

Because of that, I do like you do, I turn it on to check at regular intervals to check my location and elevation and then set a waypoint in case I need it to backtrack or want to come back. Then I turn it off.

The Rino has a little joystick, which can be a little time consuming, but I hate touchscreens. They're temperature sensitive, then there's the whole thing with gloves and big fingers making them difficult to use. I don't have any of those problems with my Rino.

As far as the maps, I guess I'm old fashioned, whether I'm driving or walking, I use paper maps to figure out how I want to get where I want to go and just use the GPS to tell me where I am.

One day when I have some money to spare, I'll probably spring for a Garmin Foretrex 401.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-04-2013, 04:44 PM
I don't have the trouble with the touchscreen that some do (I occasionally do leave a pin unintentially), and it has worked just fine in some sub-zero temps this year.

02-04-2013, 05:23 PM
I have the least expensive garmin e trex I could find. I only use it to mark waypoints ( truck, camp, horses tied up, down animal ). Sometimes I will mark wallows or a good glassing point. I hardly ever leave it on when I am walking, if it is dark then I will if I am walking back to the horses or camp. I never had a gps untill about 5 years ago when I got lost in the fog and snow and it took a few hours to find where I tied up the horses.

02-04-2013, 10:03 PM
I have the 450T and use it about the same way you do ssliger...I do have map sd cards i for it WY and NM... great gps !..... JMSZ I also have a Rhino 120 and the Oregon 450 T blows it away ! The 450T is so much easier to use bigger,brighter, easier to use at night or anytime . IMO the touch screen is the only way to go. Try one sometime I think you will really like it better.

02-05-2013, 07:15 AM
I too only turn mine on to mark way points or check elevation and time of day. I also use mine by checking areas, waterholes, bedding areas on Google Earth and then put the way point into my GPS. I then can do a go to and follow it right to the spot I wanted to check out from Google Earth. I can usually get a full year on batteries this way.