I just purchased a DeLorme PN-60w + SPOT from Amazon.com for $100 less than I have seen elsewhere. I have a fair amount of experience with Garmin GPS units, over the years I’ve had a 2610, 2730, 478, and a Nuvi 760. I’m getting tired of the roadblocks Garmin puts in the way of using the maps that I’ve paid for – and it REALLY irritates me that they would suggest that I need to buy the maps AGAIN to use them on my PC to create routes for the GPS. Exactly how many times do they expect me to buy the same maps? I got around that little problem, but I’m voting with my $ and Garmin lost the election.
I just used the Nuvi on the eastern part of the TAT and it worked very well. In a waterproof bag (as the unit is NOT waterproof) it routed us reliably on the trail. It doesn’t understand tracks at all, but it does keep a tracklog. I wrote a small program to convert a gpx track file to a route, and then the Nuvi can use it. It recalculates the route when it is loaded, but if you use enough trackpoints when defining the original track the route will follow your track exactly. For the money I spent, the Nuvi has worked well.
I have an original SPOT tracker (the orange one) and used it on the trail as there are long stretches without cell coverage and peace of mind for my wife while I’m out riding is a real benefit.
But it was time to move to a unit that really handles tracks well. So I’m waiting for the PN-60w to get here. I just need to swap the SPOT tracker to the SPOT communicator in my SPOT account and it should be ready.
I will have the winter to set up the tracks for NM, CO, UT, NV, and OR. Using it in the truck will let me learn the track and route functions so that I’m familiar with it when spring comes and the trails call.
Stay tuned for the next installment.