GPS units

Hi all Im trying to weigh up reasons for purchasing a GPS unit for an outback trip and if it is really worth the expense. We'd mainly want to use the unit whilst on the road for pinpointing where we are on a map loaded into the unit. Ive also noticed the book "Camps Australia wide" have all their camps with GPS points . Will an outback GPS unit have the ability to key in GPS co ordinates and will it take you there, show estimated arrival time, distance ( similar to a city based system ). Which brands and models do you suggest. Im happy to purchase 2nd hand or off Ebay. Id want to spend $300 - $500. Anyones thoughts most welcome. thanks James
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Reply By: Member - Tony & Julie (FNQ) - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 15:26

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 15:26
James - My reply is just to say they are really not needed if you are sticking to the roads and thus not really worth the expense. I have not got one, but my work ute has A CITY one that I have used. On the freeways it was handy.
With the cost of them coming down each year, I suppose I may even end up with one.
But as I said you do not really need one to travel the outback. Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 366480

Follow Up By: imjames - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:07

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:07
Yeah thanks Tony and Julie. I did a trip into the corner country and we did not need one. I think some of us are obsessed with Technology and sometimes its good to ask ourselves can I survive without this gadget. Its really easy to get caught up in all the bits n pieces you can add to your 4WD. Another item is drive lights. If you don't plan to drive at night in the outback as many don't, then there is little if any need for them.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 15:58

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 15:58
Hi James

By your own question, you don't need one. They can be of interest watching altitude as you drive along and as you say for pinpointing exactly where you are, but hardly needed to locate a camp spot. It is really when you go off road they they become a navigational wonder.

Lots on here about brands and features (question gets asked about once a week).

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Reply By:- Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:04

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:04
A GPS is not needed just like a CB radio, CD player or MP3 is not needed on an outback trip of the type you are describing, but they are handy things to have.

If you'd like to know where you are at any given time without having the navigator beside you checking the odometer reading and the reference map from your last significant landmark on a regular basis then a GPS can give a precise location on the fly.

When you come across an un-signposted track you can pinpoint pretty well where that track is on your map (even if the actual track is not shown), so there won't be any confusion about it being the track you were supposed to turn on to or not.

Personally I reckon they are great. Where as in the past I've been geographically "embarrased" these days I blame the gadget.

I favour the Garmin GPS. I have a Nuvi 255W on which I can load additonal points of interest files such as Camps 4 or Camps 5 POI's, add POI's on the spot and load off road maps such as Shonky Maps or the Oz Topo maps for the more off road navigation requirements.
It is not quite as straight forward as I'm making it sound but it is relatively easy if you have some modest PC skills and a willingness to learn.

There are lots of different GPS In car navigators around within your price range so do your research .

WBS

AnswerID: 366482

Follow Up By: imjames - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:14

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:14
Hi I Have the Navman N40i that operates on the "Where is" city mapping system. It does have an SD card slot but I doubt I can get any outback maps on it.
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Reply By: blue one - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:13

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:13
Mate,
I found it very handy going up to Boggy Hole from Yulara and at Walkers Crossing coming down from Innamincka.

It just made it very easy, we did have detailed maps which we checked every now and then.

Cheers
AnswerID: 366486

Follow Up By: imjames - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:14

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:14
What model and maps have you on it?
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FollowupID: 634198

Follow Up By: blue one - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:26

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:26
Garmin Nuvi 760 with City Navigator 2009 and Oztoppo V2.1

Cheers
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FollowupID: 634200

Reply By: Travelling Pixie - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:45

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 16:45
I used my Garmin Map60cx with Mapsource, Oziexplorer and Shonkymaps last year on a 3 month trip. We had maps also.

We had one breakdown a little way out of Boroloola and I made sure when I rang help on a sat phone that they recorded my exact location - in hindsight unecessary but still...they had that just in case.

It was useful for knowing where we were in relation to origin and destination towns, how far we were away (ETA), on major roads.

The CampsAustralia books were useful. Some were a bit hard to recognise and you could be certain that when you were at one, then that was definitely it.

A couple of times I was happy to have it was taking a shortcut from Doomadgee through to Lawn Hill Nat Park via some tracks through paddocks. And when we decided to go exploring off the main track.

As above, you CAN travel without one. But having one can add another intrerest to your travelling.
AnswerID: 366489

Reply By: reddust - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 17:14

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 17:14
Hello, for the last 10 years we have been using a Garmin map 175 for everywhere we go - on the water or in the bush, it is a true instrument, not a city navigator, it gives you speed, time & distance to your next point, plus lots of other info. Cheap on ebay,very good value. regards dusty
AnswerID: 366491

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 18:00

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 18:00
Buy a Garmin 760 from Dick Smith at present on sale for $388.

If you are not confident in the bush buy one by all means Anything that helps is an advantage.

The ones who say you dont need them are possibly correct but go with how you feel.

I have mine on just to tell me how far to go and exactly where I am.
Not necessaruy I know but helpful never the less.
After you get one get hold of DougT on here for some pointers


AnswerID: 366501

Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 18:17

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 18:17
I'm a map/compass/altimeter man. (The corn's pretty good predicting the weather too). But I take a GPS bushwalking/backcountry skiing because sometimes you can't get a fix and getting bushed can be serious. Skiing in fog eg.

That's the only near-essential application for me.

But I have a NUVI in the car and have had fun playing around with that. It's more useful than I thought it'd be. It tells me reliably where I've been and where I am. That's useful for saving on the 'puter. For city navigation it's kinda pointless if you already know the area. A bit more useful if you don't or can't be bothered setting your own route.

If you get one for serious navigation however you have to be prepared to invest a good chunk of time learning the theory and practice of GPSr's and dig mapping. It's not exactly a turnkey application.
AnswerID: 366507

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 18:24

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 18:24
imjames
I think a Garmin unit would suit your needs, In fact the ExplorOz shop have some online , see the little SHOP button up the top between Articles and Trader , have a browse in there, and this link will give you some helpful Info, GPS Links for Australia


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AnswerID: 366511

Reply By: Zebra400 - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 19:32

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 19:32
James

All the answers you are getting that you don't need a GPS is fine if you don't have any breakdowns or emergency issues.

However, if you suddenly need emergency assistance or you have a breakdown, then the GPS may be helpful to let people know where you are.

I remember a friend who hired an HF radio for an outback trip and came back and said it was a waste of time as they never used it or needed it. Problem with that attitude is that if he did have a breakdown, or caught out in the desert after a huge storm which can close all roads, then some of the extra toys we carry in the car can help a lot.

As you say, you are off on an outback trip. You may or may not find other uses for your GPS when you are travelling, however at the end of the day, it is your decision.

In relation to Camps Australia, yes you can key in the lat/long for a camp and then head toward the waypoint. Of course, if you get a GPS with autorouting SW, then the unit can tell you how to get there (provided the road is on your autoroute map).

BTW, we run mapping SW and an HF radio & a SPOT. They are all nice to have, but 2 years ago our 4WD broke down 50kms from Nullarbor. With no mobile coverage, we jumped on the HF and called VKS737 in Adelaide who sorted out our RACV Total Care recovery. We knew how far we were out of Nullarbor so the recovery truck was sent with our exact location. The recovery truck picked us up 50 minutes after we called VKS.

Laurie
AnswerID: 366521

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:11

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:11
Laurie, what was the breakdown problem, was it major? Michael
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Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:52

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:52
A valve went through the number 6 piston. We had to be towed back to Nullarbor then tray backed back to Melbounre.

After a new engine , overhaul of the Turbo and a few other things, our pockets were $16K lighter.

BTW, Toyota have no idea why it happened. Our Cruiser was 10 years old and had only done 180,000 kms. Apart from some dodgy SAAF fuel bought at Mundrabilla (it had a high content of water vapour), Toyota could not find anything obvious that caused the engine seisure and dont believe the fuel was the cause. BTW SAAF wouldn't refund the cost of the dodgy fuel, so we won't e buying any their fuel in the future.

Laurie
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FollowupID: 634261

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 23:04

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 23:04
Thanks Laurie, its interesting to see what can go wrong when you least need or expect it.. regards Michael

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Reply By: austastar - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:02

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:02
We run a garmin etrex and a laptop with Oziexplorer.
It is brilliant for sorting out back roads in forestry areas where not all roads are marked on the map.
Before I had the laptop, I would run the etrex just to collect the plot, load it up to my desktop at home to figure out where the hell had we just been.
It is brilliant on (say) a track that is getting to the point of 'do we go back?' and you can see if you are nearly through.
Or if you are on a track that is not marked on the map, and bridges, rivers, crossings etc just would not make sense if you were thinking you were on a marked road and 'what the heck is wrong with this map?'
Your position will be clearly displayed as cruising along in the bushes on the map and yes, you will come to a marked road in a short time.
i.e. you can get lost very scientifically.
cheers
AnswerID: 366531

Reply By: troopyman - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:48

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 20:48
How many times will you use it . I bought mine because its another toy but the wife can use it as well .
AnswerID: 366537

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 21:14

Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 21:14
Not sure if you, or others reading this know this, but you can use Google Maps to find a location ( house, business,adresses, location) and if you click on the 'send' button on the Google Page (top right hand corner) you will have a choice of where you want to send the google location to. Either " E-mail" or "Phone" or "GPS"

If you connect your GPS to the computer you can send the waypoint directly to your GPS
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AnswerID: 366543

Follow Up By: Member - 1/2A - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 17:22

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 17:22
Just downloaded the beta version of Google Earth which allows you connect to your Garmin and have a moving map. This feature was only available in the pro version of Google earth.
Arthur
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Reply By: Member No 1- Monday, May 25, 2009 at 08:04

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 08:04
GPS or navigator?
in road navigators are good to get to say timbucktoo

but a gps is good if you want to get somewhere that you find on a map....driving or hiking......in the latter case you'll need a hand held and maps (also take a compass and know how to use it for back up) get one that has UTM grid references unless you know degrees min and sec's very

A lot of hand helds also have street navigation included so you end up with the best of both worlds
AnswerID: 366570

Follow Up By: KennyBWilson - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 09:35

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 09:35
Where is Timbucktoo My Garmin Nuvi760 only shows up Timbunki in Papa New Guinea :-)

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FollowupID: 634319

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 09:55

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 09:55
Its several hundred k's west of the black stump but tends to move around a bit.


LOL
AnswerID: 366587

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 13:02

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 13:02
James

Knowing where I am going has revolutionised bush travel for me.

I am happy to go really remote. Before my first GPS in 1995 we used paper maps and navigated by identifying landforms etc.

I still have that first Magellan Meridian, but since then have acquired a ranged of hand held units with maps, then moved to OziExplorer on laptops, then on a PDA.

I now have Ozi on a laptop with remote touch display, and on a 9" netbook, OziCE on a MioMoov 300, a Magellan Sportrak Color, and a Tom Tom, as well as an iPhone with a GPS.

Am I stark raving mad? Absolutely.

Should you get a GPS? Absolutely.

Bob

PS I don't have driving lights either.
AnswerID: 366609

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