Phone vs GPS

tzimm007

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Mar 26, 2017
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84
Hey guys,
I have an old Garmin 60csx that will take a micro SD card. My question is I am debating between a SD card for my Garmin or using my old iPhone 5s as a dedicated GPS by saving the maps for my areas. Is the GPS on the phone as accurate as the GPS? I like the idea of a bigger and better screen but I wonder about reliability and accuracy. Might also be a pain if you are wearing gloves. Can you save points and things on the phone like waypoints on a GPS? Just wondering if anyone has used their phone as a dedicated GPS. Thanks


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tzimm007

tzimm007

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Guess I should say I am going on x maps


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tzimm007

tzimm007

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What did you like better about it?


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Dameon

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Mar 30, 2016
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St. Louis, MO
I used a Garmin Oregon 600 with OnX map chip and my iPhone6 with the OnX hunt app along with my Delorme Inreach SE in Utah for 10 days last year. The OnX hunt app is awesome and I like being able to download maps to use offline, but what I hated was not being able to get maps if I wanted to move to a different area and didn't have cell coverage to get updates. The Garmin had all the unit boundaries on the chip, but didn't have all the aerial topography that I like using, but at least the Garmin was still useable. I also found that pairing my Inreach with my phone to text my wife at home every morning and night and taking pictures really wore down the batteries. The Garmin didn't need a single battery change and was good to go for all 10 days I was there. The Delorme needed recharging once and the iPhone was charged every night with my battery pack (yes, my phone was on airplane mode, but I took a lot of pictures and I like checking up on my wife and kids).

When I got back home to MO, I tested the same thing while deer hunting. Since I had cell reception everywhere I went, the iPhone OnX app was unbeatable. Not even a contest. I planned an entire late-season day hunt to take advantage of a cold winter rain storm so I can spot and stalk/still hunt deer on public ground I never hunted before (and hopefully have the run of the place to myself). I spent 4 hours checking most of the areas I spotted on the OnX app and was able to enter notes on my findings, mark places for stands for next season, mark existing stand locations I found, and places that I may want to set up a blind. I was having so much fun, that I didn't care about jumping 4 bedded deer (for sure 3 does, not sure on the last one) or passing on a 15 yard shot on a doe (big Oak tree obscuring her vitals). I just considered it a very successful scouting trip and one heck of a beautiful muddy and wet hike.

So, in summary, if you are hunting only one or two areas and take the time to download the maps for offline use, the OnX app is awesome. If you buy a OTC Utah any bull and any cow tag and hunt several units over several days like I did, the Garmin OnX chip will likely work best. If you just want to play around with both or have the option of using both since one is none and two is one, go for it. Just be sure to mark your camp on both devices so if one dies, the other can still lead you back home.
 

TheCougar

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Jun 6, 2016
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Fort Worth, TX
Cell phone, hands down. I can download all the maps I want, there is no accuracy difference, and the interface, map options, and multi-function features (it's a cellphone, ballistic computer, flashlight, etc) make it so much better. I carry a USB battery pack with me that recharges my phone and headlamp. I will never go back to a hand held gps.
 

EsteemGrinders

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Oct 3, 2016
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Oregon
Yep, I tested both side by side last year as well. There is nothing my phone does not do multiple times better the Oregon 650 I had. As for OnX I only use it for property lines. I have found the Gila app is a much better app for my needs. Maps are better and just a better UI in general. Gila now has the Property lines and owner info for some states but not mine. Once they have them for Oregon I would be hard pressed to use my OnX app anymore. YMMV
 
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tzimm007

tzimm007

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Mar 26, 2017
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Right on. Sounds like the cell phone might be the way to go. I will check out that Gila app. I'll have to check out the Inreach also sounds like it might be a cheaper alternative to a satellite phone


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tzimm007

tzimm007

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What are the options out there available for communicating with someone at home while in the back country that are more reasonably priced and a sat phone


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406

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Nov 28, 2016
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Stopped carrying my GPS last season. Backcountry Navigator is free, small fee for certain overlays (like GMUs, hybrid maps).

I have a small solar charger/battery pack combo. It's about the size of my phone, slightly heavier. I put that in a small Ziploc or clear drybag and hang it outside my tent. Worked great. Was able to charge at night while listening to a podcast or music while eating dinner, text the woman, etc.

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ncstewart

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Jul 18, 2016
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I have never used a gps and only been using my phone for a couple year but I actually want a gps. The reason is I'm not sure what you guys do to save battery but yesterday on a turkey hunt my phone was flat dead by noon. As far as ONX goes I like it and works great for me but I don't like the battery life on the phones. Just something to think about.


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tzimm007

tzimm007

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Stopped carrying my GPS last season. Backcountry Navigator is free, small fee for certain overlays (like GMUs, hybrid maps).

I have a small solar charger/battery pack combo. It's about the size of my phone, slightly heavier. I put that in a small Ziploc or clear drybag and hang it outside my tent. Worked great. Was able to charge at night while listening to a podcast or music while eating dinner, text the woman, etc.

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Were you texting from your phone?


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EsteemGrinders

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Oct 3, 2016
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Oregon
I have never used a GPS and only been using my phone for a couple year but I actually want a GPS. The reason is I'm not sure what you guys do to save battery but yesterday on a turkey hunt my phone was flat dead by noon. As far as ONX goes I like it and works great for me but I don't like the battery life on the phones. Just something to think about.


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I would say some apps are better about power use than other but I am not positive. I will say I have an iPhone 6s and it will last much longer on a charge than any of my wife's Galaxy's by a long shot. In the woods, I will get two days on a charge with a little care. Like making your screen brightness only as bright as it needs to be. The other thing I do that is the biggest power savings is putting the phone in airplane mode so it is not looking for a cell signal when out of range. GPS part of the phone still works fine in this mode but you do need to have your maps downloaded to the phone ahead of time.
Also, I alway carry a 12000ma backup battery as well on multi-night trips. With this combo, I am good for 5 days with the phone on 24hr a day.

I also enjoy being able to listen to a podcast at night too. I am offten hunting by myself and after a couple days I need to hear some other voices then my own. LOL
 

EsteemGrinders

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Oregon
What are the options out there available for communicating with someone at home while in the back country that are more reasonably priced and a sat phone


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Most of the areas I hunt I can find a signal somewhere on a peak. That said the Delorme Inreach is the most affordable option if you will use it yearly. If not just rent a Sat phone for the trip.
 
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tzimm007

tzimm007

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Heck I didn't know you could rent them. Lol


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406

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Nov 28, 2016
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408
Very limited, no way I could make a call. Just hit send and sometimes it went straight away, sometimes it wouldn't for hours and then hit.
I have a SPOT for guaranteed "I'm ok" daily check-in.

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les welch

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Central WI
I guess I'm old school. GPS here. Couple sets a batteries and I'm good to go for a week no matter what I want to do.
 

EsteemGrinders

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Oregon
I guess I'm old school. GPS here. Couple sets a batteries and I'm good to go for a week no matter what I want to do.[/QUOTE

Nothing wrong with old school!! That's said it is nice to be able to high detail topo maps or aerial images of the area in high resolution at your fingertips. These two things none of the Garmins I have used were very good at and for the price of a new Garmin and some good maps to load on it makes the phone a better option for me at this time.
 
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