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New to GPS

Hi, I am new to handheld GPS systems and need some advice on which GPS to get. My main reasoning for getting a handheld GPS is due to the fact that I am currently training my dog to track wounded deer. I am laying down mock tracks for him, as well as going on active tracks and need an easy way to calculate the distance for while on the tracks while out in the woods and not needing to be dependent on a smart phone. Are most handheld units able to mark a starting point and when you get to desired location, be able to read out the distance traveled between both points? I read somewhere that the older Garmin etrex legend's had a "measure distance" feature...is that still common with newer models? Any help would be appreciated. -Ranger1212

Comments

  • DaveM 159 Points
    With a Garmin GPS if you reset the track log at the start it will then give you a readout of how far you have traveled. However there is a bug so the mileage is normally wrong. A lot of times it will be a small error but sometimes it will be big. It may read high or low. If besides resetting the track log at the start you save it at the end then when you get home you can load it in BaseCamp. In BaseCamp delete 1 point and it will recalculate the mileage and it should then be correct. Garmin has a case open so I hope they fix this someday.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    You can though on Garmin handhelds simply have a data field showing trip mileage. That's always proved accurate for me.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I think that depends on how fast you are moving and how new the software is.

    I found the problem hiking and a lot of times I will get a big error. The trip computer and the track log will be the same. The error will sometimes be large the biggest I've seen the trip computer and track log showed 15.1 miles. After deleting a point the track log went down to 6.7 miles. I tried deleting the first, last and random points it didn't matter deleting any point would make the same change. Sometimes the mileage is high sometimes low. I've been carrying my etrex 20 and GPSMAP 64s on the same hike sense finding this to get more data. Sometimes one of them will read high and one low. After deleting a point in each they will be within a tenth or two if not the same, I would consider this as normal error. At Garmin's request to try setting the record method to something other then auto I set it time and also distance. In both cases the error was still there.

    On my bike where I'm a little faster I seem to only get small errors. I have a bike computer so would notice any large errors. I most likely would never have noticed the error if I hadn't found it hiking as the bike computer and GPS were always within a few tenths of each other and I would expect a small error on both. Most times the mileage only changes a tenth or two up or down by deleting a point. Looking through my track logs the biggest error I found in a trip log from the bike the mileage was 73.3 with all points and went to 73.8 with one point deleted. I see this small error in all the track logs I have from 2014 but I can't find it in any track logs from 2013 or before. I don't keep all my track logs from the bike or any from hiking (Until I found this bug I now keep them all in case Garmin asks for more) and don't ride the bike in the winter so I don't now the exact date this started.

    I guess my advice would be if you are riding a bike read the trip computer or check the track log and don't worry it's close enough. If you are walking or hiking I would advise loading the track log in BaseCamp and deleting a point. The OP is talking about tracking deer so I assume he is walking.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Strange. I've not noticed that. I use routes rather than tracks though but even so the trip metre is always close to what the route said the distance would be.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    How fast are you moving? I don't think I would have ever found it on the bike the error is so small. I could be wrong but I think it's speed related. It looks like it get's bad at low speeds. I know that when I start the hike it reeds 0 and that it's been far enough off during the hike but before the end I know it's wrong. I don't know if the error is building a little at a time or coming all at ounce.

    If I create a track from a route in BaseCamp it is correct so it's a device problem not a BaseCamp problem.

    For a track log it looks like BaseCamp reports the data in the file from the GPS but as soon as you delete a point or if you click on one point and then use shift and click on a point to select all but one point BaseCamp will recalculate and be correct. I've had my average speed higher then any leg speed in the file.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Walking speed, which for me is around 3 mph. I know when I walked the 268 mile long Pennine Way my Etrex 20 was within a mile or so of that, which I reckon is pretty good. If it's a device problem I've not seen it on my 20 or my Montana.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I would call within a mile out of 268 good. Was that this year? Most of my hiking is on hilly trails in the woods so closer to 2 mph. If I get a chance I will try doing some walks where I can walk closer to 3 mph and see what happens.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    No 2012 ....
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I don't see the error when I look at track logs from 2013 and before. I think it came with one of the software upgrades.
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