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Old 09-19-2020, 10:42 AM   #1
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Question GPS Navigation / Map

Hello SMB Forum

I am upgrading my Ford E250 SMB, and seeking to install a GPS navigation primarily for when out of range of cell service. In other words, when driving on forest services roads and BLM.

Recent product recommendations?

Thank you
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:44 AM   #2
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I've been using a garmin montana for years on MC trips and backcountry nav. My last trip I did the firmware upgrade and had some routing issues. I still recommend it.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:56 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply!
Recommendation which model of Garmin Montana?
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:05 AM   #4
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Lot of options, especially with Garmin hand held devices since they also allow (depending on subscription) Portability, Messaging, Emergency, etc.

Otherwise, These are interesting:
https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/exper...-in-gpx-format

Just read this one from National Geographic a couple days ago and thought it had some cool recommendations:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...venture/#close
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Old 09-19-2020, 12:17 PM   #5
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I've used hand held devices in the past, but find the screens hard to read, especially while driving. My solution is an Ipad mounted with a Ram mount, and running one of several different programs like Gaia, You need a map, Scenic map, Google maps and others. Gaia allows you to download topographic maps for free that run off line and others have built in map bases. The Ipad also allows me to use free WiFi to download additional maps when I'm on the road, upload my email etc.
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:18 PM   #6
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Another vote for the Montana. For years I've used the Montana 600, from back when Garmin first introduced this model. Never had a problem with it, despite several crashes with it mounted on the handlebars of my dirt bike and my quad.

Garmin just introduced the Montana 700 series, a major upgrade. Come Black Friday I'll be investing in the Montana 750i - because that model incorporate the InReach technology right into the GPS unit. That will allow me to stop paying for expensive air time on my satellite phone and use the InReach texting capability instead, a cheaper alternative.

Keep in mind, if you do go for a Garmin outdoor unit like the Montana, unless the model number has a "t" in it, it will NOT have maps on it - that surprises a lot of people. If the model number has the "t" in it, that means it has the Garmin 100k mapset of the entire United States already loaded on it. But - you can also load your choice of maps onto a micro-SD card and use them also - the unit will allow you to select which mapset you want. A lot of the guys use hunting maps which are very detailed. Any number of places will allow you to download free maps - check out gpsfiledepot.com for some good ones.

Because my eyes are very old and very weak, I loaded the Garmin 100k maps onto my automotive style GPS unit - that 7" screen is wonderful. Never would have known there was a "Boobs" Canyon to explore if I hadn't seen it on my screen:
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For off-highway use though, an automotive-type unit is very limited. You need the capability to create your own tracks to follow and then load them onto the GPS unit and only a handheld/outdoor type Garmin GPS like the Montana allows that.

This is a shot of the screen of my Montana 600. The data fields on the right can be removed - or you have about 50 different parameters you can have displayed there. The red line was a track I created to follow and it is overwritten with the cyan line the GPS created when I actually rode the track.
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:46 PM   #7
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I’ve switched to an android phone with various apps. The phone is not activated on a network and uses the phone’s GPS. For on road, CoPilot, or Kurviger. For off road, I’m using Locus Pro and OSMAnd+.

For iOS, Gaia is the best off road app as AT mentioned. I have Scenic as well on an old phone.
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:07 PM   #8
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My Montana is a 650t. I use the 24k nw map plus the wilderness overlay. Mine is hardmounted to the dash with the garmin charging fixed mount. Works awesome. I use the same mount on my motorcycle and sled.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:15 PM   #9
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I'm also using a Garmin Montana GPS. Currently using the Montana 650, but seriously considering upgrading to the Montana 700i for the bigger screen and built in inReach capability. Note the 700i comes with two maps preloaded; a street oriented map (City Nav North America) and a Topo map.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:46 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=deserteagle56;281947]Keep in mind, if you do go for a Garmin outdoor unit like the Montana, unless the model number has a "t" in it, it will NOT have maps on it - that surprises a lot of people.
Attachment 35860

I won a new Montana at the Roaming Rally a couple years back, but it was a big surprise when I discovered it didn't have any maps loaded.
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