As a side note for those that haven't heard of Take A Hike GPS, they sell and even rent GPS units to hikers, travelers, etc. If you don't quite know which unit you want, then it is possible to rent a unit for relatively cheap just to give it a test drive if you will. They have units from the likes of Garmin, Delhorme, Magellan, and more. So if you are in the market for a GPS unit, definitely check out Take A Hike GPS.
Right away I knew this was a pretty sweet unit. I walked around in the front yard with it, and saw that it kept pretty good tabs on my position. For the next couple of days, I had it with me in the car going back and forth to work seeing how well it tracked me and it did quite well. Of course I didn't have much doubt that it wouldn't.
camping/hiking trip when we would day hike during the weekend. To get ready for that trip, I downloaded MapSource from Garmin, and then downloaded some free topo and trail maps of the Frozen Head area for the unit. Kevin had sent me a link on where to get those and I was able to download them and then upload them into the unit rather easily. Previous to this, I had never used any of Garmin's software and was amazed at how easy it was to get what I needed. Additionally, there is the ability to create your own custom maps, but this is a more advanced function and something I didn't want to undertake at the time.
CPS running Trimble, the tracking is hands-down more superior. Of course I don't think that is any fault of Trimble. I think it's more a fault on the GPS receiver in my Blackberry. It's definitely not as accurate as the Garmin. When we stopped on the trail, it didn't bounce our position all around and our 6+ mile hikes were really 6+ miles unlike the CPS. That thing would have had us at nearly 10 miles per trail the way that thing bounces our track around. :P
All in all, I was very impressed with the intuitive ease of use of the unit. The color touch screen makes operation a breeze while on the trail. My only complaint is the small bit of difficulty I had with typing in waypoint descriptions, but I think that is more an issue with my finger size than with the unit. After all was said and done, uploading our hiking tracks from the GPS into MapSource and then into Trimble for Backpacker's "Be a Mapper" contest was a breeze. I won't make a final judgement in saying I want this unit as it's the only GPS unit I've used since my old eTrek, but is one I would definitely consider. Over the next few months I plan on reviewing more units to see which one I think is the best unit for our needs.
Tim and Robin
P.S. Here are the specs for you gadget junkies out there.
Physical & Performance
|Unit dimensions, WxHxD:||2.2" x 3.9" x 1.3" (5.5 x 10 x 3.3 cm)|
|Display size, WxH:||1.43" x 2.15" (3.6 x 5.5 cm); 2.6" diag (6.6 cm)|
|Display resolution, WxH:||160 x 240 pixels|
|Display type:||transflective color TFT touchscreen|
|Weight:||5.25 oz (148.8 g) with batteries|
|Battery:||2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended|
|Battery life:||20 hours|
|Maps & Memory|
|Ability to add maps:||yes|
|Built-in memory:||850 MB|
|Accepts data cards:||no|
|Track log:||10,000 points, 200 saved tracks|
|Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads):||yes (with optional mapping for detailed roads)|
|Custom maps compatible:||yes|
|Photo navigation (navigate to geotagged photos):||no|
|Outdoor GPS games:||no|
|Sun and moon information:||yes|
|Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest):||yes|
|Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units):||no|
|Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data):||yes|
Disclaimer: Tim received the Garmin Dakota 10 GPS from Take A Hike GPS for review purposes only. Appalachia & Beyond are in no way affiliated with Take A Hike GPS or Garmin and are not being compensated by either for this review. The opinions expressed above are Tim's independent thoughts and experiences.