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I am in the market for a fairly priced handheld GPS unit for hunting and fishing. I am looking for one that I can purchase lake maps for.

I dont have a smart phone so that is out of the question.

I am mainly asking for the brand and types people are using, then I can do my shopping. Somewhere in the $100-$250 range if possible.

Thanks in advance!

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No I dont own a GPS at the moment.... been finding my way ll of these years with my good sense of direction... which has failed me numerous times lol

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SouthernMNFisher, figure in around $100 for your LakeMaster chip to start. I've got like $260 invested into my GPS setup. I have a Garmin e-Trex Legend HCX with a Garmin MN LakeMaster chip. I wouldn't go onto the lake without it anymore! There are plenty of good units out there, just buy one that will accept a chip and you'll be set!

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I have a Lowrance I-Finder H20 Color with the Minnesota Lake Master Chip and like it a lot. One thing I've noticed with this, can't speak for others, but when I'm sitting still at a spot, my 'track' shows that I have been moving around, I believe this is due to satellite triangulation and constant reconfiguring. It's not a big deal but when I 'mark a spot' and it shows I have moved off the spot, despite not moving at all, it gets annoying. Also in some places the land and water on the GPS map compared to actually being in those places does not match up but it is close enough to easily figure it out, just another minor annoyance. Don't know if other people have had these issues with different units/ lake chips or not.

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I have heard alot of good things about the Garmin unit, I personally own an h2oc and it works just fine knock on wood but have seen three of these units fail so far and its around 100 bucks to get it"fixed" and lowrance isnt the most customer friendly company to deal with. Thats probably why I own a bird for openwater

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One thing I have heard about the H2O's is that they take awhile to acquire a good signal and since they are an older unit they are going to be a bit slower than the newer ones. They were also discontinued so parts and service on them isn't going to be as easy to find...

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I personally would head to my local big box store, touch and feel all available units. Now days your going to get similar performance from all the major brands, and it will come down to the features your going to use most.

i.e. Use in in the car/truck? Go geocaching? Navionics or Lakemaster compatible? Upgradeable? Warranty?

Your going to get 10 pros one way, and 10 cons the other way here, which by all means is a good thing! However take it all in, and spend your money wisely....Unless you have a money tree in your backyard, and if you do, can I have a seed? laugh

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Take the money you would spend upgrade to an iPhone And download Navionics! THE GREATEST gps I've used period! 1 foot contour lines on a lot of lakes and amazing tracking and chicken footing! I know this helps you none. But it really is an amazing app for only ten bucks

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Navionics is a great app to point you in the general direction you wanna go, but doesn't go near as in depth as a LakeMaster chip does when you're trying to find structure to fish...still a great resource for $10!

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I went to the lakemaster website and there "new" chips are only compatiable with Humminbird? Is that true or do they work in other units? I also looked at that Navionics, those seam like decent maps as well.

Im pretty new to the GPS world so I appreciate all of the input.... I will be copying down these brands and suggestions and take them along on my voyage to my favorite store...

Once again thanks! You are being very helpful

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LakeMaster was just purchased by Johnson Outdoors, who owns Humminbird, therefore there new chips are Humminbird compatible only. You can still find some of their old chips around that are compatible with other brand units. However, if you purchase a Garmin unit you need to buy a Garmin LakeMaster (reformatted for a Garmin unit).

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I went to the lakemaster website and there "new" chips are only compatiable with Humminbird? Is that true or do they work in other units? I also looked at that Navionics, those seam like decent maps as well.

Im pretty new to the GPS world so I appreciate all of the input.... I will be copying down these brands and suggestions and take them along on my voyage to my favorite store...

Once again thanks! You are being very helpful

Garmin came out with a new lake map about a month ago, it's called the Upper Midwest Fishing Guide, covers 7 states including Minnesota, over 9500 lakes are featured on this chip and some in 1 foot contours. The chip will run you about $99.00

You can "test drive" the map at Garmins' site, it gives you a taste of what lakes are covered on this lake map product.

Garmin makes many GPS Handhelds that accept this chip, handhelds will start at about $140 and go up from there.

Good luck!

Mike

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Thats the tricky part about Garmin, they make many different models, some people like the buttons, some like touchscreens, Garmin makes both. If you can get somewhere that has a good selection, I recommend checking them out in person.

Etrex Legend HCx is going to be one of the cheapest, good basic GPS.

The rest of these are fairly new units, released in the past few months ( except for the Dakota and the Oregon ). They can also do satellite imagery via Garmin's Birdseye product, it's a 1 year paid subscription, I used it this fall and it worked great.

Etrex 20 or 30 ( can pick up the Russian Glonass GPS signal too )

Dakota 20 ( touchscreen )

Oregon 450 ( larger touchscreen )

GPSMap 62's ( upgrade of the very popular GPSMap 60 )

GPSMap 78's ( floating model )

Montana's ( top of the line and largest touchscreen models )

Screen size, button placement and compass features will be some of the biggest differences you will notice between the units.

If you do get to a store, see if you can take them outside and just view screens in direct sunlight, it's different than being in the store.

Hope this helps.

Mike

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I gotta agree on the phone app, I have a i finder hunt, with lakemaster and navionics chips, as well as the navionics app on my smartphone and I pad and 99 percent of the time i leave the hunt at home and use the phone. I have it with me anyway, its just as accurate, and I can charge it on the go as well.....in the end bunt said it right, swing by a retailer and check them all out if your dead set on an actual GPS unit.....also dont over look a bird summer unit, alot of them like the 385? have mapping as well...

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I may check out those Garmin Units... The reason I dont have a smart phone is because I go through phone like you know what through a goose. I finally just said the heck with it and get a talk and text phone (which is the G'z One whcih is pretty much indestructable).... SO i was thinking before I eventually go back to a smart phone Id rather get a nice GPS unit.

Thanks for the info! I might hit up a store this weekend and just feel them out. I do like the option for a touch screen, however it would have to be semi water proof as well.

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I dont know if this is an option for you or not, but my brotherinlaw just bought a used one from the pawn shop on Riverfront Drive in Mankato. Got the H20C with lakemaster chip and car charger for $150.00. He said they had 4 or 5 more. Might be worth a shot. Good luck.

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I dont know if this is an option for you or not, but my brotherinlaw just bought a used one from the pawn shop on Riverfront Drive in Mankato. Got the H20C with lakemaster chip and car charger for $150.00. He said they had 4 or 5 more. Might be worth a shot. Good luck.

That is a great option! Did he mention if they all had the lakemaps installed or did he just pick the one that did? Either way I might go check it out. Do you know name of the shop? Isnt it Lucky's or something like that?

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I bought a lowrance H20 probably 4 or 5 years ago for $135. Add the newest chip for another $100. Its works good to this day. I'm not sure if they sell them anymore though. I use my HB898 as a gps now.

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SouthernMNFisher, figure in around $100 for your LakeMaster chip to start. I've got like $260 invested into my GPS setup. I have a Garmin e-Trex Legend HCX with a Garmin MN LakeMaster chip. I wouldn't go onto the lake without it anymore! There are plenty of good units out there, just buy one that will accept a chip and you'll be set!

Only thing I didn't like about the garmin is I already have all the chips for my boat lowrance so I went the h20c route, its been solid unit for me. I actually wish they still made them. You can buy refurbed h20c off ebay for 100 bucks, alot come with a limited warranty of some sort.

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Its Quality Pawn, about 2 1/2 blocks north of the library on north riverfront. He did not say if they all have chips in them or not, sorry. I would guess if they did not have the chip, they should sell it for at least 25-50 bucks less. he was very impressed with them and said they were really nice to deal with.

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i have the H20 Hunt C and absolutly love it... the color is alittle more but way worth it. i have the map create chips that you can make your own maps basicaly. Mine shows me public hunting land, lake topography, state parks, camp sites in BWCAW and Voyegers National Park. love it cuz its more virsitle for what i do.

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