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Old 11-18-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
XB12R OP
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Dakota, Oregon as a second GPS

I'm not sure what I need. I have a Zumo 660 that I use on a regular basis. I have mounts for it on my WR250R and 1200GS so I'm covered for now as far as bike GPS's.

Today we decided to go to a remote location for a dog walk. What was going to be an hour walk turned into a 2.5 hour mini exercise in survival. It was foggy and raining and we got completly turned around. My wife and I are in our mid 60's and I'm dibetic. When we got back to the truck we decided we need another GPS, one thats good for hiking. I know some of you are using Garmin Dakota's and Oregons. I don't know a thing about them but I think they are popular with hikers.

So, my question is, would a Dakota or Oregon fill my needs as a GPS to keep me from getting lost (on foot) in the wilderness? Will they keep their charge for long periods? I don't want to spend a lot and I'm thinking about buying from someone that just updated to the Montana. This would primarly be used just for hiking but may find a place on the WR or GS.

As always, thanks.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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I use a Garmin eTrex 20 as a backup for my Montana and when I want to have a small, pocket-size gps with me off my bike. It works great. It has a very long battery life, uses AA batteries, auto-routing, full tracking capabilities, has a uSD card to load maps onto, a bright color screen and easily fits in your pocket. I use it for hiking and will be using it for skiing this winter. Plus, it only costs $165 at gpscity.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
I use a Garmin eTrex 20 as a backup for my Montana and when I want to have a small, pocket-size gps with me off my bike. It works great. It has a very long battery life, uses AA batteries, auto-routing, full tracking capabilities, has a uSD card to load maps onto, a bright color screen and easily fits in your pocket. I use it for hiking and will be using it for skiing this winter. Plus, it only costs $165 at gpscity.
Thanks, I would like to keep the price under $200. What about the Garmin 78? West Marine has them for $199. Still looking.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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Have you considered just getting a smartphone? That way you don't need to take as much stuff with you when walking the dog.

And the price is real cheap, when you consider that you also get a really nice phone bundled along with your new GPS, and a good compact camera too if you pick the right one.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by abhibeckert View Post
Have you considered just getting a smartphone? That way you don't need to take as much stuff with you when walking the dog.

And the price is real cheap, when you consider that you also get a really nice phone bundled along with your new GPS, and a good compact camera too if you pick the right one.
I have MotionX on my iPhone now. The problem is I'm using the very old second generation phone and its painfully slow. I'm also using AT&T service so my coverage is crap. Perhaps if I change service and update my phone I could navigate myself out of the woods. So yes, this is a consideration. I haven't found the right deal on a good used GPS either.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XB12R View Post
I have MotionX on my iPhone now. The problem is I'm using the very old second generation phone and its painfully slow. I'm also using AT&T service so my coverage is crap. Perhaps if I change service and update my phone I could navigate myself out of the woods. So yes, this is a consideration. I haven't found the right deal on a good used GPS either.
You can buy Navigon software/maps and not be tied to phone service, just uses GPS satellites. I have it on my iPhone 4 and on an iPhone 3, works great. Approx $60, on sale sometimes. Maps for the whole country available online once you buy the application.

There are other gps apps available, like Co Pilot, Sygic, etc - some are even cheaper.

Since you probably carry you phone this might be a good way to save having to buy more hardware to lug around.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibeckert View Post
Have you considered just getting a smartphone? That way you don't need to take as much stuff with you when walking the dog.

And the price is real cheap, when you consider that you also get a really nice phone bundled along with your new GPS, and a good compact camera too if you pick the right one.
For casual hiking or just playing around with GPS then this would be fine. However, there are reasons to get a dedicated GPS:
  • Waterproof
  • Replaceable batteries
  • Long run-time on said batteries
  • No other drains on said batteries.
There is something to be said for tossing an Etrek/Dakota in your pack with a set of spare batteries and forgetting about it. The OP states it was a casual hike that turned bad. That can happen. Yes, a smartphone might get you out, if the batteries aren't dead because there was no cell site and the phone switched to analog trying to find one, or you weren't listening to music, or your kid was wasn't watching a video while hiking, or you ended up out overnight, or you fell in a creek, or ...



I'm not saying we should all be carrying some kind of emergency beacon every time we go to the corner store. I'm also a fan of Android tablet based GPS for the bike. But if you want a backup to depend on, there is a case to be made for something more robust than a smartphone. Your typical smartphone as 2 major drawbacks: power and water.



David...
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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I got a Dakota 20 for bicycle touring, and it has turned out to be a great in the pocket backup GPS too. Same exact maps as my Zumo 660. Uses two AA batts, runs a long time, spares avail everywhere, blah blah, but if I am in cell coverage area nothing beats my iPhone 4 with maps and google for finding stuff fast and easy and it us way more current than crappy garmin poi's, and I can order a pizza on it too
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