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Sorry to ask but would a backpacking GPS do just fine? I assumed you must be referring to GPS systems of that sort.

-Frank
Yes I am not sure what you call a backpacking GPS unless it is one loaded with topo maps because they are used for hiking, camping,boating, geocaching and just about anything to do with travailing. Most of the newer generation GPS you can have either city or topo maps installed or both.
 

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I have been looking into this lately, where I am at there are a TON of forest service roads. anyone see these roads on any of these? my problem is I am terriable with directions and it does not take much for me to get lost. I use the GPS in my phone all the time but if we where to lose cell service the phone would become a nothing but a paper weight.
 

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I have been looking into this lately, where I am at there are a TON of forest service roads. anyone see these roads on any of these? my problem is I am terriable with directions and it does not take much for me to get lost. I use the GPS in my phone all the time but if we where to lose cell service the phone would become a nothing but a paper weight.
If you get a GPS get one with Topo maps installed and use your cell phone for driving in the city. Yes forest service roads and hiking paths and a lot of other things are on topo maps. The GPS uses the same topo maps that the government uses. If you had a GPS like the Garmin GPS-60csx you would park your vehicle mark its position on your gps (just need to push the mark way point button). Now as you walk there will be a bread crumb track on your screen as walk that can be stored or used if you want to follow the exact route you took as long as you keep the GPS on. If you turned the GPS off and walked for a week then wanted to get back to your vehicle just call up the waypoint you made for you vehicle and it will show where you are and where it is on the screen plus a straight line to it with the direction and distance on the topo map of the area. So as long as it is working it is almost impossible to get lost.

PS: If you download TomTom on you cell phone then it will work as a gps even if you lose service because TomTom software loads all the road map of the USA on the phone (take up 2 gigabytes) where as if you just use the gps on the phone as it comes it needs to down load the map of the area you are in.
 

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Here is what I want to get, next:

I have a couple of the older Rino's and If I my children weren't grown up or I was with others in a group I wouldn't hesitate to get the Rino 655t (the T means it is loaded with 100k topo maps of the USA) Just remember when using the radio at 5 watts (the max allowed by the FCC ) it will drain the batteries fairly fast. I would get a spare lithium battery (Li-ion Battery Pack (Replacement) 010-11599-00 $ 65.00 USD) and (Alkaline Battery Pack 010-11600-00$ 29.99 USD) Though this entire package would be around the $700 dollar range and to really take advantage of all the function someone else also needs a rino 600 series.
 

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If you get a GPS get one with Topo maps installed and use your cell phone for driving in the city. Yes forest service roads and hiking paths and a lot of other things are on topo maps. The GPS uses the same topo maps that the government uses. If you had a GPS like the Garmin GPS-60csx you would park your vehicle mark its position on your gps (just need to push the mark way point button). Now as you walk there will be a bread crumb track on your screen as walk that can be stored or used if you want to follow the exact route you took as long as you keep the GPS on. If you turned the GPS off and walked for a week then wanted to get back to your vehicle just call up the waypoint you made for you vehicle and it will show where you are and where it is on the screen plus a straight line to it with the direction and distance on the topo map of the area. So as long as it is working it is almost impossible to get lost.

PS: If you download TomTom on you cell phone then it will work as a gps even if you lose service because TomTom software loads all the road map of the USA on the phone (take up 2 gigabytes) where as if you just use the gps on the phone as it comes it needs to down load the map of the area you are in.
The other down side with the phone is battery life, even with data turned off battery life horrible.
 

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I have owned two handheld Garmins, both Etrex Legends. The newer ones have much more memory, are capable of accepting small SD cards, and will track under heavy cloud cover/tree canopy. Also water proof. Best thing since sliced bread.
 

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So I LOVE my Garmin Legend...but as others have said, it is essential to learn orienteering. You can download any 1:24 Topo for free from USGS...get a compass and protractor, set your GPS to MGRS and practice. We don't need the Chinese to "take out" our GPS satellites...they have a feature called Selective Available that, when active, required military crypto codes and compatible GPS units to get decent accuracy. This prevented the USSR from using our satellites to their benefit. Clinton turned it off and voila...small GPS unit in cars, boats, and your hands. That switch can be turned back on by our Government just as fast as it was turned off. When it's on...only the government and military can effectively use.
 

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So I LOVE my Garmin Legend...but as others have said, it is essential to learn orienteering. You can download any 1:24 Topo for free from USGS...get a compass and protractor, set your GPS to MGRS and practice. We don't need the Chinese to "take out" our GPS satellites...they have a feature called Selective Available that, when active, required military crypto codes and compatible GPS units to get decent accuracy. This prevented the USSR from using our satellites to their benefit. Clinton turned it off and voila...small GPS unit in cars, boats, and your hands. That switch can be turned back on by our Government just as fast as it was turned off. When it's on...only the government and military can effectively use.
That was when The USA had to only satellite system now Russia has GLONASS gps satellite system up and some gps units can use both. The European Galileo system is supposed to be completed by 2019 and will be civilian owned. With so many cars using GPS now I doubt that you will ever see them reduce the accuracy again.
 

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Learning to use a topographic map and a compass is a skill that is an absolute necessity. It doesn't require batteries. There are no satellites involved and your use of it cannot lead someone else to you.
A GPS is real convenient but it is not a necessity. With a compass and a topographic map you can determine your position, the best route to use to get where you want to be and all it takes is moderate skill.
 

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Yes a Garmin just another tool but if they shut down the system worthless.
I passed all the Land Nav courses , can get by without it
 

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I guess if you have absolutely no concerns whatsoever that our Government would ever do something that infringes on our ability to effectively use GPS navigation...or the a Russian government...then yes, you never have to worry about reduced GPS accuracy again. I refer to my original post...have a GPS, but know how to do EVERYTHING without it.
 

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I agree with pharmer14 - GPS is worthless for the SHTF scenario. It depends on technology and batteries, either of which could be compromised or non-functional when SHTF. If you know where you are and where you need to get to, all you need is map and compass. Learning to read and use topo maps and understanding compass use (which means knowing about the magnetic declination of where you are) CAN'T fail unless you lose the map and/or your compass gets broken. I have a military lensatic compass in my BOB and keep a Silva Boy Scout compass in my GHB (though I shouldn't NEED map and compass to get home from where I am at any given time.) Your mileage may vary, but if it needs batteries or depends on technology I can't control I don't consider it a realistic addition for any survival situation.
 

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Learned how to use a lensatic compass about 40 years ago. That combined with a topographic map of your area of operations (AO) is essential gear. Most civilian topographic maps will not come in the military scale of 1:50,000 but that is not a concern. Beginners may also want to get a grid reader but after a few hours use you may never use it again. This whole topic is about land navigation and there is more to it than simply drawing a straight line from where you are to where you want to be. It is an essential field skill with many "tricks" and acronyms that will help you to remember what to do and how to do it. Remember, the compass and the topographic map work best when together, but if you were to only have just one, take the topographic map.
 

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I understand the topo maps vs. gps thing. But to cover all the states you might travel to, who knows in such a situation? Still, I would rely on old school vs modern tech. No Google earth when power goes down. A skill everyone should master.jmho.
 

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I understand the topo maps vs. gps thing. But to cover all the states you might travel to, who knows in such a situation? Still, I would rely on old school vs modern tech. No Google earth when power goes down. A skill everyone should master.jmho.
You do not need topo maps for anywhere other than your Area of Operations (AO). A topo map sheet does not cover that large an area. Use a regular road atlas for road travel and switch to a topo map when you reach your AO. When you think topo think tactical. Remember, there seldom is a 100% solution to any problem. I purchased my lensatic compass from the same dealer as I have been using for most of my gear. Try them at Tough Survival Gear for Tough Men and Women
 

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I purchased a Lowrance H2O GPS Unit let me tell the Lowrance unit worked ok but their Customer Services SUCKS BEYOND WHAT WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE CAN POSSIBLY DESCRIBE
 

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I have an old black and white GPS V from Garmin and a color eXplorist 500 from Magellan that are consigned to my BOB and BOV. Both are capable of setting waypoints and crumb trail operation. Then we have a couple of Garmin nuvi units that are really made for the cars. Both our vehicles are 4 wheel drive/high ground clearance, of course. Knowing something about satellites, I'm pretty sure that the GPS SATs will remain where they are through just about anything, unless our military has launched a complete set of backup birds. Which is possible. Otherwise, they (and everyone else) rely too much on the services provided. They put them up there for military use in the first place. And I really, really can't see any civil unrest having any effect. The SATs are in synchronous orbit and don't require any orbital adjustments. And, since the SATs cover the entire planet, the Chinese and everyone else would really rather they stay where they are. They're free location services, right?

Anyway, our GPS units are too darn useful a tool to leave out of the toolkit (or BOB).
 
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