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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Gear & stuff => Topic started by: Anthony J. Biacco on Feb 18 2004, 14:14

Title: best GPS for the summits?
Post by: Anthony J. Biacco on Feb 18 2004, 14:14
What's everybody usin' for a GPS unit for the 7 summits, or worldwide mountaineering in general? Magellan SporTrak, Garmin Vista?
I'm look at buying my first one.
And are topo maps avilable for the areas of the 7 summuts?


Title: Re:best GPS for the summits?
Post by: 7summits on Feb 18 2004, 18:15
Hey Tony; I personally have used the Garmin etrex summit for years and still take it as a backup. It's light and reliable.
Now the main one is a Magellan Platinum. It has cool features like all moon/sun tables and SD card acceptance, so easy memory expansion.
Mayor drawback is the power button which is soft touch. This has costs me at least a few sets of batteries as it is easy to turn it on when it's packed it your bag or pack...

If anyone has any 7summits GPS maps, let me know and I will share them on the site.
I did recently upload GPS data for Vinson, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua, see their pages. The rest will follow.

Title: Re:best GPS for the summits?
Post by: Anthony J. Biacco on Feb 18 2004, 23:10
hmm, do GPSes automatically have a generic base topo map for the whole planet?
or do you specifically have to get ones for the regions you're going to. even if you just want to know, hey, ok, this waypoint is by this lake, or at this 10k ft. contour line.

Title: Re:best GPS for the summits?
Post by: Ron on Feb 19 2004, 02:42
The new garmin 60C i have in store since a couple days is sweet. its in colour and has very good reception. Despite the colour display its has better battery endurance then a vista (vista 18-20 hours and the new 60C 30 hours)

About the basic map. Every garmin GPS you buy with mapsource capability (the mapsystem garmin uses) has part of the mapsource worldmap in it. It does not contain the whole planet. If you buy it in the states it will contain mostly US territory and if you buy it Europe then european.
Also only man made constructions are in that base map like city's, metallic roads (highway, secondary roads and the improtant ones in city's...not smaller ones)...so any track or forest and stuff like that is not on any map.....so if you would look at the map standing on top of Everest the only things you would see are the waypoints set by yourself.
Title: Re:best GPS for the summits?
Post by: Anthony J. Biacco on Feb 19 2004, 03:05
that's kind of a letdown.
you would think the device/maps would be most useful when you're in a critical situation and have no idea where you are. but seems they make it more useful is the less-important situations (finding an address vs. getting off a mountain so you don't die)
is it really that hard for them to make world-wide topo maps for these things?

Title: Re:best GPS for the summits?
Post by: Ron on Feb 19 2004, 13:28
well imagene the grafical data generated by a map like that...you would need a lot of giga bytes on such a small machine.

btw the vista has 24 mb mapsource memory and the 60C 56mb.

But if you use waypoints a lot it can be helpfull...especially in whiteouts and stuff...maybe use a very smal lightweight GPS like the Garmin Geko 301.......mind do that they are battery depended...always a drawback in extreme cold.
Title: Re: best GPS for the summits?
Post by: regaz on Oct 24 2004, 01:18
I used to use a Garmin eMap but I wasn't happy with the Mapsource detail in the maps of Atlantic Canada.

I now use two GPS units. The SporTrak Colour is compact, has an 8MB basemap and 24MB memory available for uploading maps. It also has a buil-in barometer and 3-axis compass.

My second GPS is a Meridian Platinum. If the 3-axis compass is enabled it can be quite hard on batteries but it tracks temperature and barometer readings over a 24-hour period. The Platinum is greyscale but it uses SD memory cards for uploading maps. If I'm travelling any significant distance I can upload multiple maps to the Platinum. The number of maps is only limited by the capacity of the SD card and they are very inexpensive now.

I noticed a post related to the eTrex Summit. I haven't used this GPS but I have heard that it's very good. The only limiting factor I can think of is the detail, or lack thereof, of the Mapsource maps. Of course, the detail of the maps can be quite good in some areas but they have not been very good for Atlantic Canada. The Magellan MapSend Canada maps are excellent and have an incredible amount of detail.