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GPS Noob software input

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So I'm finally getting around to trying to figure out my Garmin 60CSX. I bought it for myself for Xmas but have been too busy with school to spend any time learning how to use it. I have the hardwire set that I plan to wire up to the bike this weekend, and I have a 4 gig memory chip.

I havent gotten the mapping software yet. It is very confusing and there are several options, so I'm turning to those that have been down this road already. I plan to use it for primarily trail riding in Ca. Id. Ut. & Az. I want to get the best user friendly software possible, with the option to find my way back to the truck if I get lost. I also want to do some exploring as well.

I have dove into the abundance of gps topics, but found they didnt address my specific concern.

Any suggestions on what to get the biggest bang that will still be easy for a gps using noob like me?

THX-Bruce

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Just get the City Nav 2010 software, it will contain all the roads and county & unincorporated roads, will be easy to navigate and it's routable. The Topo map is handy if you're hiking, but it's cluttered and busy to navigate while on a bike. I have it, and don't use it for anything, I've found it pretty much useless for dual sporting, YMMV.

You'll still be creating a track-log as you go, and following it back out or following someone else's tracks off-road will be all you need to find your way on the trails.

I have the same unit (great GPS, btw). If you use a 4-gig SD, you will be able to hold pretty much all of the US on the card.

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Wouldnt I want the TOPO U.S. 100K versus the Topo 24 that covers different sections of the U.S.? It seems it covers trails, which is what I'm primarily looking for. Here are Garmins details for it, below.

Outdoor enthusiasts: we've mapped every hill and valley for your next great adventure. Now with more detail than ever, TOPO U.S. 100K covers the finer points of the outdoors, with topographic maps comparable to 1:100,000 scale USGS maps. TOPO U.S. 100K includes terrain contours, topo elevations, summits, parks, coastlines, rivers, lakes and geographical points. TOPO maps are ideal for hiking, hunting, camping, cycling and communing with nature. Coverage includes topographic detail of the entire United States, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

City Navigator is more for the street is it not? Here are Garmins details for this one, below.

With nearly 6 million points of interest and road coverage for the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, City Navigator North America NT gives you everything you need to travel North America. Powered by NAVTEQ, a world leader in premium-quality digital map data, City Navigator brings you the most detailed street maps available so you can navigate with exact, turn-by-turn directions to any address or intersection.

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Don't buy topo maps. Get free high quality topo maps here:

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/

I use the above... and love it, but I also use Garmin's City Nav

... with the ability to turn off maps on the 60, you can view any of the loaded maps on your PC at any given time. Seeing which is best to turn on/off when on the trail. Or, I simply use GoogleEarth to make tracks and view them in Mapsource (or both, or vice-a-versa)... there's tons of options, and many ways to utilize your 60.

Think... CityNav also has POIs... for when you need closest fuel, or a starbucks. :thumbsup:

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I use my 60CSx on my sled, in the truck, and on the bike. Have both CN and Topo.

CityNav... It's nice, works well all-around. If I only had one mapset, this is probably the one I'd go for. Covers all of north america... US/Canada/Mexico. Real nice to have on business trips to mexico. Has useful waypoints (Hotels, restaurants, fuel, banks, businesses) instead of the worthless POI's on the topo maps. Surprising amount of forest service/dirt roads in there.

Topo's nice on the snowmobile, but I have yet to use it on the bike or in the truck. Only the major roads are labeled, the POI's are worthless, and the screen does get cluttered.

The 4GB card is the way to go. Tons of space for tracks/maps, a PDF copy of the manual, a copy of Google Earth/LoadMyTracks/EasyGPS, a text file with your contact info in case you lose it (Also recommend putting name/phone# on the welcome screen), and still have room to spare.

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Both my cars have OnStar. This will be used for 97% trail use only. I just downloaded the california Topo from gpsfiledepot.com. I'm going to have to play around with it for awhile to try and figure it out for sure. I wish there was a class I take to learn how to understand this thing.

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Both my cars have OnStar. This will be used for 97% trail use only.

I still stick by my recommendation for CityNav. I trail ride a LOT and I use CityNav for all my bike travels. The only advantage Topo has is to give you top-down elevation of what's up-ahead of you...but beyond that it accomplishes nothing. Like has been mentioned, no routing with Topo, shitty POI, and cluttered screen. It's nice on foot, even on a bicycle, not so much on a DS.

Try it if you like, but I'll bet my lunch box you'll find it more annoyance than help.

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I still stick by my recommendation for CityNav. I trail ride a LOT and I use CityNav for all my bike travels. The only advantage Topo has is to give you top-down elevation of what's up-ahead of you...but beyond that it accomplishes nothing. Like has been mentioned, no routing with Topo, shitty POI, and cluttered screen. It's nice on foot, even on a bicycle, not so much on a DS.

Try it if you like, but I'll bet my lunch box you'll find it more annoyance than help.

I'm learning as I go here that it's going to be a challenge.

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In addition to being a good all around mapset I consider City Nav a piece of safety equipment. If you need fuel, a bailout or even medical services in an emergency City Nav will autoroute from your current location. Fortunately I've never had to use it for a medical emergency but have used it a couple of times to find a quick bailout when one of the group has had a mechanical. That said I usually keep City Nav and Topo 2008 loaded in the gps. One thing to be aware of is that there is a limit of how many map segments the gps will store no matter how large the memory card. I believe it's just over 2000 segments but I don't recall the exact number. City Nav covers the entire US in something like 100+ segments. Topo 2008 on the other hand is much larger and you cannot put the entire US in the gps no matter how large the card. I have all of the US in CN and the western US in Topo 2008 in my unit on a 2GB card with about 700MB to spare.

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Both my cars have OnStar. This will be used for 97% trail use only. I just downloaded the california Topo from gpsfiledepot.com. I'm going to have to play around with it for awhile to try and figure it out for sure. I wish there was a class I take to learn how to understand this thing.

I hear ya there... I learned OJT style years and years ago.

And with each new GPS on the market (and their new features)... and things like Google Earth, you'll soon be sucked into them. Or for me, I was anyway. If your PC Literate, it'll help tremendously. If not... you'll need some direction.

There's some very GPS Savvy folks here on TT, and you'll learn a lot just by asking. You bought the right GPS... so thats good. All too often my buds will show up with a GPS that won't accept tracks (Zumo, 2720, etc) in the normal fashion... or without changing them to only 2000 track points and entering them as "active log 001" (there's your first secret tip of the day - :thumbsup:)

Enjoy!! You'll love it once you learn how to use it. One last thing... is don't RELY on it. Get to know your way around with paper maps, or know your position by landmarks...etc. All too often, someone is left high and dry when their batteries die, or GPS fails. I've seen it more than once, and it's not pretty.

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The OP asked for the biggest bang for the buck - that's still the free downloads. I'd download those and play with them in Mapsource and see if they do what you want, if not then pay for the maps from Garmin.

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SnowMule, Good advice "(Also recommend putting name/phone# on the welcome screen)". I lost my 60CXs last Saturday on Skyline Dr in the Cleveland National Forest. On Sunday a mountain biker found it, read my welcome page and called me. I picked up the unit on Sunday. I also recommend applying an external label in case the batteries are dead.

Tom_MV

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