Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

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

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?
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures

#115867 - 05/12/09 12:04 AM Re: SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability? [Re: phat]
BpackerDon Offline

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

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.


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

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.

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

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3585
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)
paul, texas KD5IVP

#115880 - 05/12/09 02:04 PM Re: SMALL gps with credible road mapping capability? [Re: Dryer]
aimless Offline

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2964
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.


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket
by 4evrplan
09/13/18 05:12 PM
Multitool or knife scissors or dedicated scissors.
by SJS
08/29/18 09:32 AM
Sawyer and Platypus Threads Not the Same
by Bill Kennedy
04/11/18 09:19 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Donnell Fire in the Sierra
by balzaccom
09/10/18 08:51 PM
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
What's your water crossing technique/method?
by willie1280
06/08/18 08:09 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 52 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
jullybina, Korak, brucegrimes, Simon Eklöv, MrShelley
12641 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum