Author Topic: More Navigation Questions than when I Arrived  (Read 1329 times)

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Offline sun4rae

More Navigation Questions than when I Arrived
« on: May 03, 2011, 03:04:46 pm »
Hi All,

I'm currently planning a long term (as in quit the job long term) cross-country ride, and my touring partner and I hadn't really given much thought to navigation, but after reading all your advice here I have more questions about tour gps navigation now than when I came!

1. Do most of you all plan your long tour routes out on computer beforehand and download them to a gps?  And then strictly follow them?
2. If we don't have much in between say the Redwood forest and Crater Lake, I had assumed we'd just plug in Crater Lake's address and see what happens.  Is that inadvisable?  Should we really make sure to have route plotting software and be comfortable with using it?
3. We are really mostly interested in making sure we get from point A to point B, but not how fast or how many heartbeats we had, or even what roads we did take, just that they're nice, fun and safe.  It sounds like avoiding the Edge series is best in this case, yes?
4. The salesperson at REI that we talked to for a while a few weeks ago implied though that the Edge series was superior because it had a mounting system.  The other ones mentioned here are also for hikers and thus don't come with mounts she said.  Is that true?
5. Being that we're young and of the gadget age, while I trust my map reading skills I feel more comfortable with a gps.  But the feeling I'm getting from here is that I should really learn to get used to plotting my routes myself, yes?
6. How is the compatibility of any of the recommended gps systems with apple computers?  Yes, I am a mac.

Thanks so much for any and all advice!!
Cheers,
Rachel

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: More Navigation Questions than when I Arrived
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 07:12:43 pm »
...
1. Do most of you all plan your long tour routes out on computer beforehand and download them to a gps?  And then strictly follow them?

Cannot speak for others, but I take advantage of all the knowledge distilled in the Adventure Cycling maps, download their waypoints, and build my GPS routes from them, modifying as needed for side trips.

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2. If we don't have much in between say the Redwood forest and Crater Lake, I had assumed we'd just plug in Crater Lake's address and see what happens.  Is that inadvisable?  Should we really make sure to have route plotting software and be comfortable with using it?

Sure, but know that route-making software is much better for autos than for bikes. You can tell Google Maps and most others to use bike routes, but the results will want tweaking as you go.

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3. We are really mostly interested in making sure we get from point A to point B, but not how fast or how many heartbeats we had, or even what roads we did take, just that they're nice, fun and safe.  It sounds like avoiding the Edge series is best in this case, yes?

Yes. You have probably read the reasons here already.

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4. The salesperson at REI that we talked to for a while a few weeks ago implied though that the Edge series was superior because it had a mounting system.  The other ones mentioned here are also for hikers and thus don't come with mounts she said.  Is that true?

Definitely not. Garmin and several other vendors sell handlebar mounts for their hiking units.

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5. Being that we're young and of the gadget age, while I trust my map reading skills I feel more comfortable with a gps.  But the feeling I'm getting from here is that I should really learn to get used to plotting my routes myself, yes?

While it is possible to create routes on the tiny screen and limited keyboard of the GPSR, it is tedious enough to be impractical. For a long trip, I'd buy an inexpensive netbook and use the map software that you buy with the receiver to make the routes there. It would download waypoints from ACA and others too.

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6. How is the compatibility of any of the recommended gps systems with apple computers?  Yes, I am a mac.

No problem with the Garmin software. I do not know the other vendors well enough to say, but their web sites will say.

Fred

Offline sun4rae

Re: More Navigation Questions than when I Arrived
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 02:00:12 pm »
Thank you very much Fred for taking the time to thoroughly answer my questions!  I very much appreciate it.  Very informative and I feel much better about making a decision now!

Cheers,
Rachel 

Offline jsieber

Re: More Navigation Questions than when I Arrived
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 02:04:02 pm »
Thank you very much Fred for taking the time to thoroughly answer my questions!  I very much appreciate it.  Very informative and I feel much better about making a decision now!

Cheers,
Rachel 

I second the "Thanks" for Fred. Fred donates a ton of time to not only make the GPS discussion area, but the entire Adventure Cycling forums a great source of information pertaining to bicycle travel.