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Handheld GPS Recommendations?

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In Limbo
Nov 25, 2001
I am looking to buy a handheld GPS for christmas. I would like to save some $$$ and buy one without an aviation database. I plan to use it only for emergency backup and general position awareness. Anybody have recommendations? Your like/dislikes would be very helpful in deciding which one to go with. Also, is it worth it to spend the extra $$$ on one with aviation database, for my purposes? I have been looking in the $150-250 range.

If you're going to fly with it, get one with an aviation database. It makes flying so brainless (not that that's good) with all of the restricted areas, MOA's, Class B's C's and D's, etc., shown on the screen in relation to your positon. I have a Garmin GPS III Pilot and I think it is a great hand held. I paid about $400. I don't know how one without an aviation database would be that useful but maybe someone else with that experience could add their comments. If you want a good deal I would see what is currently offered on ebay.
I've got the GPS for you! MINE! Its for sale as you might have seen in the "for sale" section. Even if you don't want mine, let me give you some advice, don't get one without an Aviation database. Even if you don't keep it current (not required) trust me, if you have it you will use it, if you don't have it, sooner or later you'll wish you did!
I've got the Garmin GPS PIII and a Lowrance airmap. But I also wanted a cheap backup. I recommend you consider a Garmin eTrek. It cost me $109 at Academy Sporting Goods. This weekend, I saw the same on advertised at Fry's Electronics for $99. They have no database. You have to enter everything. But that's not too bad. I've entered about 50 moderate to major sized airports in South Texas. It's very intuitive on the operation so you don't have spend a lot of time remembering how to operate the thing each time you use it.

It operates about 20 hrs on 2 AAs. Holds 500 waypoints as I recall and it aquires satellites quickly. It's about the size of a small cell phone.

I looked at the $135 (model?) Magellan. It was larger than the eTrek and there are crude aviation databases that you can download. It's a pretty good deal, but the quality and operating system for the Garmin sold me.

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