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Re: RC: Which GPS should I buy?

At 06:04 AM 5/15/00 -0700, wrote:
>After playing with someone's GPS this weekend while camping, I'm 
>planning on getting one (will make being trailmaster of a ride SO
>much easier!!). I don't want a model with all the gizmos, just 
>time, distance, current speed, average speed, and mapping. Anyone
>have a suggestion on best model? Thanks..Kristi

I've done a lot of looking into this, and what you want really depends on
your budget and what you want to do.  A good, basic GPS is a Garmin 12, and
runs about $180. It will not display topo maps, streets, or any waypoints
that you haven't marked.

There are 2 sets of software to get to go with your GPS that make them a
lot more useful - one is from Garmin, and runs about $130. This allows you
to download the track points and way points from your GPS, which allows you
to see how long your trail really is, and you can see it on a relatively
detailed topographic map.

The second set of software is called Topo! and it features extremely
detailed topo maps, and can also upload and download to and from your GPS.
They currently have somewhat patchy coverage, but this year they are coming
out with software that details entire states - some states are already

If you spend a bit more (about $350), then you can get a Garmin III Plus -
this has a detachable antenna, which makes it a lot easier to strap to a
saddle and still get readings, and if you buy the extension cable, you can
stuff it just about anywhere.  This one shows major roads and land features
out of the box, and the software you need for the uploads and downloads
lets you upload detail maps for your area - this is a big help - does no
good to know that camp is 3 miles at a bearing of 315 degrees if there is a
mountain in-between. It may be a lot more, but I wish I'd just gone ahead
and bought this one first.

Between what you can do with the software and the GPS, you can make really
great trail maps for your riders - the Topo! software even shows elevation
change by distance. I'm not sure how they made the map, but Stookey
Stampede had a great map, and I really appreciated it.

David LeBlanc

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