I consider the Garmin 60 series including the 62 series the best backcountry all purpose GPS devices made. I had a GPS Map 60cs for years and used it so much the words on the buttons wore off. I used it for canoeing, hiking, hunting, and even driving and I found it dependable and reliable. I only have a couple of criticisms of it. One is that there is quite a learning curve in order to be able to take advantage of everything it can do. The other is that after seven years (not very long when you’re my age but a century in the technology industry) when I had a minor problem that I knew would be an easy repair, I was told by Garmin that it was too old and they don’t service them anymore. I found a local electronics store to make the repair for me. I eventually purchased the Garmin 62s and have been very happy with it.
While a GPS is no replacement for the need for every wilderness traveler to have expertise with both topo maps and compass I feel GPSs definitely have their place. I use them a number of ways. A GPS should not replace the map it should complement your map. A map provides the big picture the GPS provides the micro picture. As an outdoor instructor I require learners to master map and compass skills before spending considerable time with a GPS. On the other hand if I didn't teach students how to use a GPS I’d be negligent. Like any technology it should be a tool. I know many people are against GPS technology on principle. I can appreciate that. People used to feel the same way about calculators versus slide rules.
I love to have a GPS confirm what I think I already know. When I’m hunting I’m more likely to go to new areas adjacent to the wild areas I hunt in because I’m know that finding my way back will not be a hassle. Keep in mind that I have forty years of map and compass experience and I’m confident that I’d find my way back without the GPS but the GPS just makes it easier when I enter new country. When canoeing big lakes or running a river where it is essential that I find a specific non-descript location along the river a GPS makes life a whole lot easier. Who wants to accidentally go down the wrong bay four miles before they find out it is the wrong bay? Who wants to miss a critical spot on the river and realize it a mile upstream? Even experts make these mistakes occasionally. I also love to keep the GPS turned on to keep a “track” of our trip. That is the GPS route that you can print out when you get home and keep as a souvenir. I have a 3-ring binder of many of the trips I've taken that includes a map with the track printed on it and the screen capture of the GPS providing the moving time, non-moving time, total time, and distance traveled. It provides a great memento as well as resource.
FINAL EVALUATION: I love it! It doesn't take the place of a map and compass but I rarely go into the woods without it.
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To see the evaluation criteria click HERE