What GPS do you use?

I have recently started heading away hunting a bit instead of just shooting on farms near home. I spent 8 years in the Army so I can navigate with a map and compass no worries, but the price of good maps scared the shit out of me when I started looking at them, not knowing where my travels might take me too ment I might end up spending endless sums on maps.
So I bit the bullet and bought a GPS, they seem to be able to do everything upto making you a cuppa and charge for the privilege too , I ended up with the pretty basic Garmin Etrex 10, it has shit base maps and not enough storage to load any! very few bells and whistles, but I can set a marker at the ute / camp etc. and find my way back after wandering around all day. It cost me $120 brand new, the equivalent to 3ish good maps, It is probably one of the cheapest around.

I haven’t really found myself lost enough that I’ve really needed it but I’m confident that it will do the job when I need it too.

What do you guys use and how have you found it?

I use Garmin etrex 35. It’s the next model after your one, as far as I know.

I think if you pop your battery cover off, you’ll find a microSD card slot, for maps.

Speaking of batteries, this is my main peeve with most GPS devices. They just don’t last, especially if you’re plotting a route. I have it on to set way points and get back if I’m lost. On occasion I’ll have it on to plot my travels. However, it’s about 8 hours worth of usage, so spare batteries are needed and it’s not rechargeable.

Being that I actually use it a lot and used others, I’d give this one a 7/10.

In all honesty, I think I’m going to eBay it and buy a Rino650. Another unit I am intimately familiar with. I used it extensively and everything etrex 35 lacks Rino has in spades. Plus 750 is out, so 650 dropped in price dramatically and in real practical usage has no limitations compared to 750.

PSA for all new explorers
The best GPS on the planet is not a substitute for a compass. If you’re going out somewhere, where you think you need a GPS, then you also need a compass. Make sure to have one and better yet, take a bearing of a waypoint you’d like to come back to (maybe even write it down with a pensil, yes, have a pensil too).

Do as @juststarting says, not as he does, lol.

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I may have to buy your 35 if you upgrade! :metal:

i am a map man. I bet that dosnt surprise anyone. I am sure it was my childhood spent with my dad in cubs, scouts, venturers ect, not to mention countless camping trips with dad. However also being a techie I was on to GPS when they first came out. I mean really early I used them first for their timing capabilities at work. I plotted some points at home when they were still the size of a 19 inch rack. Then with the advent of smart phones again really early windows phones but with GPS.

I bought a program called Oziexplorer this uses TOPO maps or any maps that you have. These are scanned then calibrated then your phone GPS can plot your position on that map. Its hard work to set up but very easy to use. Also excellent for purposes such as walking because you can scan a 1-10,000 map and see exactly where you are. I used it when exploring overseas using old military maps and was able to find old military positions runways and other points of interest they had found like old temples that were thick in the jungle.

As for batteries I am sure I am not telling you blokes anything but I use the external battery blocks that can be recharged. I have several that were made by a supplier as giveaways somehow I seem to have a few leftovers.

Up until recently I had been using an old Etrex Summit. It is a basic entry level unit with limited features similar to GUN-DMC’s assessment of the Etrex 10. The unit was suitable enough for my use, handy to mark some points of interest like a wallow or the vehicle location etc… but that’s about it.
Something that really disturbs me is the amount of people I’ve encountered that completely rely on these devices for navigation and would be totally lost without it, such a dangerous situation to be getting into.

I’m currently in the market for a new unit as my GPS’s LCD recently packed it in on me while deep in the bush, if I had been relying on it as my only means of navigation it could have very easily been game over.
Fortunately I never go off the beaten track without having a number of contingency plans for finding my way out, sometimes the plan is as simple as if I just follow x compass bearing I will hit x road or waterway in x amount of distance and then follow it x direction to make my way back to the vehicle. :beers:

“Fortunately I never go off the beaten track without having a number of contingency plans for finding my way out, sometimes the plan is as simple as if I just follow x compass bearing I will hit x road or waterway in x amount of distance and then follow it x direction to make my way back to the vehicle”

That’s what I do all the time. Hardly ever even take a map. Only on rare occasions along with a $3 compass :joy:

Alright, so I just went to eBay and bought a $3.50 compass to throw in my hunting gear.

I think mine was from the $2 shop. Often just rely on the mobile phone compass. But most places I go these days are pretty easy to navigate.

Yeah I don’t often venture far enough that I could get to lost, I can usually use the sun and land features to find my way back, but I guess like the GPS a compass can’t hurt to carry.

If im feeling adventurous i’ll whip out my garmin foretrex 401 i keep on my webbing usually, keep it in sight with just a glance down, has saved me a few times on long walks, leaves a bread crumb trail which is all i need, usually i have a map of the local area as a back up

Another map and compass guy, here. They tend not to run out of batteries, are very light to carry and take up bugger all space in the kit. Being able to read a map and use a compass is a dying art. As is being able to read terrain and ‘lay of the land’. Even if you are a GPS type of adventurer, EVERYONE should be able to use a map and compass before they head out bush and be able to tell up from down, east from west, north from south with out having to ask Dr. Google.

What I do really want in my kit is a Personal Locating Beacon (PLB) for if and when something really goes wrong: I can just press GO on the PLB and stay put!

@GUN-DMC. If you want access to maps, both Vicmap & Tasmap have online PDF maps. Vicmap digital from $3 for 1:25 to $8.50 for 1:100 scale maps, Tasmaps are $2 for any of their digital products. You can print out what ever parts are relevant to your trip. I would assume other states have their maps available in this format as well. You can even wax the print out or use a map cover if you are worried about it getting soggy and useless. I have a collection of paper maps from the areas I frequent in both Tas and Vic. I tend to photo copy the sections I want for my trip so I don’t ruin the master copy but any new areas I plan to visit, I will be downloading the PDF maps.

Just as a rundown of my practices, I always study the map of my planned area a few time before I go; even if I have been there multiple times before. I like to have a fresh mental copy of the map in mind. I also do the same with Google Earth before departure as part of my trip prep. I look at the terrain and look for areas of interest. Again, to build a mental picture of the area before I set off.

Does anyone know if there is a GPS system that incorporates a PLB? I would defy be into one of those but would still bring along my map and trusty old Silva Folding Compass for back up because setting off a PLB is the LAST thing you want to do… very costly…



@Gwion, Garmin offer several GPS devices with what is called INREACH, this technology allows you to send MSG (text and even emails) via the IRIDIUM satellite network. The IRIDIUM network also allows you to transmit an SOS to a 24/7 global monitoring center that I believe is located in the US. The communication and SOS service requires a satellite subscription. The are subscription plans that range between $30 - $149 per month with various levels of included service usage…

About the only thing the devices I’ve seen lack is a strobe function. I did see another subscription service that I think you can add that was something like $25 from memory that also gave you a rescue cover, can’t remember how much but it was quite a lot. You would have to do some research into that part though mate as I can’t remember where I saw it. :beers:

Cheers, mate. Makes it quite an expensive propect to pay subscriptions.

Yep, but I do like the idea of it. Just out of my price range atm…

Yep. My budget as well.

I just tie a homing pigeon to a long piece of string. They always take me home. :sunglasses:


Garmin fortrex 401

It’s worth noting that there is an increasing prevalence of people managing to reverse the polarity of their compass by storing it directly in with their phone or GPS. It’s a good idea to keep your compass away from such items. Heading 180 degrees from where you should be going might not pan out so well… Mmmm

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Lol, that would be good for a laugh😎