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#115853 - 05/11/09 06:17 PM SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability?
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

OK, here's the scoop. I'm going to Ireland in about a month.

I do own a GPS, a little old school etrex which I use when I need it.

I don't own a vehicle nav system.

It's been reccomended to me that I have GPS nav when in ireland, thanks to their perpensity for building things rather randomly after the vikings kept burning it down.

So, I have a choice:

1) Just rent one with the rental car in ireland... probably a hundred bucks. (probably the cheapest, but what fun is that)

2) Buy a small portable handheld that can dual purpose as a gps and car nav system with loadable maps, *and* load it with maps for ireland...

3) Buy an actual car nav system and maps for ireland the same same..

Any thoughts on 2) or opnions? reccomendations?
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#115867 - 05/12/09 12:04 AM Re: SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability? [Re: phat]
BpackerDon Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/07
Posts: 87
Loc: Northern Calif
Phat-

I have a Garmin 60CSX which I have loaded with both topo and road gps mapping software. Works fine, but it is not as sophisticated as a new road only GPS. No voices telling you when to turn, it just beeps and gives you instructions on the screen. Works fine for me, but it is nicer if you have a co-pilot to read what the GPS tells you to do when it beeps. Memory is so cheap you can load a whole lot of maps.

Don't know about Ireland road maps, but I imagine they exist.

It is nice to be able to use the GPS to get TO the trailhead, and the switch over to the topo maps when you are on the trail.

60CSX is a bit old now, perhaps Garmin has a better version in some of their newer GPS.

Don

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#115869 - 05/12/09 12:27 AM Re: SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability? [Re: phat]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I used my Vista HcX for car navigation and it was OK. But when I bought a Nuvi 760 (The 770 has European maps, both have North American maps.) it blew the HcX away. More detail, easier to read screen, and the voice feature allows me to keep my eyes on the road more often.

....but it's not really that small. I would not want to backpack with it and recharging the built in battery in the field would not be easy.

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#115871 - 05/12/09 08:05 AM Re: SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability? [Re: phat]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
GPS in Ireland....

We were there last May and did fine with maps. There are many tiny roads there, barely paved, and all seemed to be on the maps and well marked. Prepare to be confused because the road signs, and some maps, are in Irish/Gaelic and not English.
We rented a car in Shannon and I don't recall seeing GPS as an option. If I were doing the GPS thing, I would bring a handheld unit. There are hiking trails everywhere, most not well marked. Software is available for my old Magellan Map-330, so you shouldn't have a problem finding mapping software for your e-Trex. We found some really detailed maps here in the States.
You can also rent a handheld or road GPS easy enough on the internet. As I said, we did fine with map a compass and didn't miss the GPS.

Driving there can be terrifying! grin The roads are about 3"
wide and lined with rock fences just high enough to destroy your mirrors, with no shoulders. You'll notice "mirror trenches" through the shrubs that line some of the roads. You'll get use to it about day 3. Buy the insurance!!!


Edited by Dryer (05/12/09 08:08 AM)
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#115880 - 05/12/09 02:04 PM Re: SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability? [Re: Dryer]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
I second what Dryer said about driving in western ireland. It can be harrowing, even after you make the mental transition to left-side driving, because of the narrowness of the roads and the caution-to-the-wind driving habits of the locals.

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