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Searching for a GPS with minimal knowledge but a specific need.  Want to download a topo map, map out the mainlines of a couple hundred acre sugarbush, and then be able to download and print that map.

What do I need, thoughts on best models that would meet that need??


I would use an iphone if it were me. I have used alot of gps's over the years, but the iphone puts them all to shame . I use the motionx app, and it has like 15 different maps to choose from and lots of other features. It has a few quircks, but what device doesnt.

You could always print a topo and use a laser level and mark the map by hand too.

I recently read an article by Chris Townsend, he likes using his iPhone as The Rambler mentions above.

I have an iPhone 4, no GPS receiver, however my Galaxy Tab 3 (given to me by a friend, Rick C.) has a stand alone GPS receiver built in, no internet service or 4G needed. It's light weight, and 10 inch screen make viewing maps a pleasure, haven't had it backpacking yet though.

Mike, the iphone 4 does just as an fyi. I used a 4 for 2 years or so abd it worked just as well as the 5

Thanks for the info Rambler!

The phone is used - NEW TO ME and I didnt see the GPS receiver listed inthe phones settings. 

I will look again...i do have the iPhone 4 made for Verizon with no SIM card slot, if that version is different in other ways i dont know.

Doug...what kind of accuracy are you looking for to map out the sugarbush? Between work and play, I have used a variety of units which vary in accuracy. If you just need a general map I would go with the phone as discussed above. Some of the recreational grade GPS units seem to have better antennas and therefore give more accurate data, but they can still be way off at times. I won't go into the professional grade stuff, which costs thousands.

For non professional use, I am a big fan of not spending the money on a separate unit and using a phone or tablet. If you don't want to endanger your smart phone to the elements, an older used one is a great deal like Mike is using (that's what I do for a phone as well). There are a bunch of different apps like Back Country Navigator that allow you to record tracks, waypoints, and georeference photos. It lets you download USGS tool or aerial photo ahead of time. The data can be exported in standard format available to most software. You can bring the data into Google Earth or many other programs and print maps over aerial photos USGS topo maps, or others.

I haven't had time to explore it yet, but a lot of folks use Gmap4 that was mentioned in another post. Seems like a great program, but I haven't checked out what data it can handle. I think you can Google trailspace forum and Gmap and it should give you a link.

August 11, 2020
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