Mountain Bike Bill, The Dirt on the Dirt

Updated GPS and TOPOs How-To Page

Well long overdue, I finally got around to updating my GPS and TOPO Information Page to reflect what I’m actually doing when preparing maps, and moving GPS data around.  While I’m sure some of the information will seem convoluted, it is what has been working for me.   I have included some information and links about some various freeware applications and data that can make your outdoor life with a GPS as little easier and cheaper.

Before you go digging into the geekery, remember GPS units are great as they help us keep track of where we are going and give many of us the confidence to venture out into areas we would otherwise never go without a guide. I am no fan of folks who will blindly upload a track into thier GPS, strap it to the handlebar and go follow the arrows on the screen. We all need to remember that we are only one set of dead batteries or a crash away from not having that gadget available to us. It is not a matter of if, but rather when and where it is going to fail.

Will you know what “point” you are at when that occurs? A compass, map and some orienteering skills will serve you well at that point.

Now go get lost! (It is a lot of fun)

One thought on “Updated GPS and TOPOs How-To Page”

  1. First post on the site – really enjoy it!

    A comment on your GPS info page. After a closer look at the Garmin Oregon 550T and 450T, you may be recommending the Oregon 450 🙂

    The only difference between the 550T and 450T is that the former comes with a 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera. The photos are location-stamped, so you can conveniently remember where you took them, but otherwise the camera is lacking in about every feature that you would expect from a discount point-and-shoot. For the camera functionality, the price of the 550T is $100 more than the 450T.

    Additionally, the “T” in the name stands for the Garmin “TOPO” map set. This map set comes pre-installed on these units for a $100 premium over a non-“T” version of the same GPS. If you have “TOPO” on another GPS, or more importantly, if you would rather have the “TOPO 24K” mapset on your GPS (twice the detail), you can skip the installed TOPO and save $100.

    So there ya have it. Oregon 550T with camera and TOPO for suggested retail of $600. Or Oregon 450 with no camera and no map for suggested retail of $400. I would take the later 🙂

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