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Old 12-02-2012, 07:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Using a GPS on the trails

Tried to search for such a topic and came up empty handed..Looking for information on what to use for snowmobiling with a GPS..I have one for my car but will be purchasing one for the sled and for wheeling. How has everyone's experience been using them. I want to save our local trails and reuse in the future.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Tried to search for such a topic and came up empty handed..Looking for information on what to use for snowmobiling with a GPS..I have one for my car but will be purchasing one for the sled and for wheeling. How has everyone's experience been using them. I want to save our local trails and reuse in the future.
If you have a smarrt phone, download Polaris Snowmobile trail maps app. They also have one for orv trails. They are very accurate and have locations of fuel and services available on the trail, Check it out!!
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I really like my Garmin RINO. It has a 2-way radio and has peer to peer locating so you can find other riders in your group with RINO's. Spendy, but has saved a bunch of searching on more than a few occasions when a rider got separated from the group.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I really like my Garmin RINO. It has a 2-way radio and has peer to peer locating so you can find other riders in your group with RINO's. Spendy, but has saved a bunch of searching on more than a few occasions when a rider got separated from the group.
google latitude will do the same if everyone in the group has smartphones. Of course, that is assuming cell coverage...
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ya, most of where we ride, there's no coverage. You have to rely on your buddies. Or buy a Spot...
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the Nuvi 550 with the Great Lakes Snowmobile Trails on it! Haven't been able to use it yet though!
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I still rely on my old faithful Garmin Legend. I've had it on my sled when it was too cold for the liquid in the LCD to flow (minus 15 degrees). I later hooked it direct to my battery and left the backlight on all the time to keep the display from freezing. The unit has served me well, and still works great. I take it with me all summer when riding my motorcycle off-road, and all winter riding many of the same trails on my sled.

I don't think standard automobile-type units would stand up to the elements as well. I wouldn't even consider using a phone where I ride - no signal, and they certainly are not rugged enough to remain usable after being mounted to a sled - and sticking it in a pocket defeats the usefulness of having it with you.

Get a good "Geocaching" type GPS. You won't regret it. You'll be able to load maps and custom routes on it, and capture tracks of where you've been.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been using my auto GPS for a couple of seasons (Nuvi 750). No complaints, but I can't help but eyeball the Garmin Montana!
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I just did a bunch of research on sled GPS units. Pretty much any Garmin Nuvi will accept trail maps from companies like Red Pine Mapping. This will give you turn by turn navigation on the trails (just like in a car). However, only a few Nuvis actually let you track your route. Basically storing the actual route you traveled. Most will let you enter latitude and longitude for destination if you're going off trail. Most will save other information regarding your trip such as top speed, time of travel, etc on the trip computer. Nearly all Nuvis have a low operating temperature between -10 and 0f. Most are not waterproof.

I ended up buying a couple refurbished Nuvi 1150 off Tigerdirect.com for about $50 each and bought waterproof bicycle mounts off buy.com for $12.95 each. Buy.com - Bike Handlebar Mount w/ WaterProof Case for 4.3" Garmin GPS

You can look up any of the Nuvi's specs on Garmins website to help you determine which is right for you.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I use the Zumo 550 (which is no longer in production) on both my sled and ATV.
I also have the ATV & snowmobile trail maps from www.sledgps.com.
Great maps on an SD card which over lay on the gps's map.
Which every GPS you get make sure its water proof and has the ability to track your route and to take some sort of external card slot!

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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google latitude will do the same if everyone in the group has smartphones. Of course, that is assuming cell coverage...
And that's the issue with Smartphones in general as navigation devices. Smartphones do NOT store maps on the device and require cell service to download the map pieces as you move. If you don't have coverage, the device can still track your latitude and longitude, but that is meaningless to you in almost all cases.

The purpose-built navigation devices have the maps stored "inside" at a high level of detail (close-in zoom). If you zoom out, the device just simplifies the content it shows.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Which every GPS you get make sure its water proof and has the ability to track your route and to take some sort of external card slot!
Why would this be a necessity? When I was doing my research I could not think of a reason that I needed the ability to track the route, other than the cool factor.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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So you can find your way BACK
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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So you can find your way BACK
Why not just enter your destination?
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Why not just enter your destination?
GPS will take you on a straight track to your destination... that's likely not the way back....

Where I ride the safe way home is usually back the way you came (no open water or rock surprises, particularly in crappy Wx or at night).... usually if you got somewhere in one piece you can get back.

This isn't always the case but it is a known safe route back.... its safe cause you just rode it
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Why would this be a necessity? When I was doing my research I could not think of a reason that I needed the ability to track the route, other than the cool factor.

I've been looking into gps for my sled and a tracking feature is a must for reasons mentioned above, PLUS I know where I ride some trails don't show up on maps OR some trails get changed
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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google latitude will do the same if everyone in the group has smartphones. Of course, that is assuming cell coverage...
In my area, there is very little interruption of service so, a smart phone works well for most.

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And that's the issue with Smartphones in general as navigation devices. Smartphones do NOT store maps on the device and require cell service to download the map pieces as you move. If you don't have coverage, the device can still track your latitude and longitude, but that is meaningless to you in almost all cases.

The purpose-built navigation devices have the maps stored "inside" at a high level of detail (close-in zoom). If you zoom out, the device just simplifies the content it shows.

There are stand alone apps that only require satellite coverage to function and have a basic map that can show tracks or way points for your return if needed. I have "GPS Essentials" for that. When there is service, it uses Google maps, but when there is none it uses the last received map and retains it in memory.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Where I ride the safe way home is usually back the way you came (no open water or rock surprises, particularly in crappy Wx or at night).... usually if you got somewhere in one piece you can get back.

This isn't always the case but it is a known safe route back.... its safe cause you just rode it
Had a tree come down across the trail not ten minutes after we passed it. Not a windy day at all. Luckily we were close to a road, and still in town, so a chainsaw was only a call and a truck ride away.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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GPS will take you on a straight track to your destination... that's likely not the way back....
A Nuvi with trail maps installed doesn't give you a straight track. It provides turn by turn navigation just like you're driving a car on the roadway. (if you're on a mapped trail) If you're not on a mapped trail it will give you a straight track.

Like 90% of the snowmobilers out there I spend most of my time on or within sight of a marked trail.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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A Nuvi with trail maps installed doesn't give you a straight track. It provides turn by turn navigation just like you're driving a car on the roadway. (if you're on a mapped trail) If you're not on a mapped trail it will give you a straight track.

Like 90% of the snowmobilers out there I spend most of my time on or within sight of a marked trail.
It sounds to me like the NUVI 500 is the answer to most snowmobilers needs, the ability to back tract your own course (cookie trail) or follow a mapped trail makes it a lifesaver.
I did notice though that it doesn't appear to have a internal battery which in my very humble opinion is a deal breaker (I need the redundancy of an internal battery) .
I do like the ability to use it on the snomo and in the car.
I have a Bendix-King AV8OR that I use in my airplane (T-18) and car (old VW Golf)... the dual use makes the cost much easier to swallow.
just my 2 cents worth
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