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Unread 08-13-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
Registered User
1994 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 946
offroad mapping

so i'm in the market for a new GPS, and i'd like to get one that can map my progress and trails offroad. my friends' siters' WJ had something like what i am looking for from the factory, but i need one that works as a standard car window suction cup mount. it would be nice to be able to map and route trails that i find out in wisconsin, or even at the local wheeling park which has poor trail identification. if anyone knows any good products, or even an iphone app, let me know. happy trails all!

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Unread 08-13-2011, 11:48 PM   #2
Chicken in a Turkey Suit
2003 WJ 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Redmond, WA
Posts: 8,531
For smart phone apps, I have My Tracks which records your progress as a .gpx track with fully customizable capture setting. BackCountry Navigator lets you download and view Topo maps for free as well as program/record routes. The interface is a little clumsy though and it costs $10. I would say it is worth it, it is handy to have as a back-up, and it is nice that it works even with no cell service. Honesty I don't like using the smart phone to do EVERYTHING. Ultimately they are limited by cell service, battery life, and they get sort of "watered down". Also, many of them rely on Google maps, and that can point out roads or trails that actually do not exist.

I have a Garmin Nuvi 500 which comes with 1:100000 Topo maps of the entire USA pre-loaded but the 1:24000 maps are much nicer, they are just a bit more expensive. However, it's still a car-based nav unit and its not perfect for outdoor/off-road use. I think the eTrex 20 from Garmin is one of the better values in the outdoor-specific nav unit market. They cater to the outdoor/trail navigation, but they are also capable of street navigation and have auto-compatible mounts. If I were to pick up another nav, I'd get one of these.
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