Garmin GPS for truck. Want to use the backroad mapbook digital.

sikt

New member
Hello I have a question, I live in chilliwack bc canada and came across the backroad map book SD version for Garmin gps. I'm in the need of a gps for my truck anyways and would like to be able to use the SD version of the brmb. Does anyone have any recommendations on what garmin gps would be the best for offroad use? I took a look at their site and it's kind of hard to determine what options a gps should have and whats over kill. Thanks for taking a look.
 

dlh62c

Explorer
If my Garmin GPSmap62s would ever die, I'd replace it with a Garmin Montana 610.

You can't beat a device that shows you where your at, where your going and if you have tracking turned on and displayed, where you've been, all at the same time.

If you all ready have the SD card, you should be able read the map set via Garmin's free Basecamp software. You'll need a micro SD card reader. The mapset is an image file with a *.img extension located in the 'Garmin' directory.
 
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verdesardog

Explorer
For a decent cost the garmin etrex20 with a large SD card would be my choice. In fact it is one of the four gps devices I have and use it almost exclusively. Actually I have 5 if you count the iphone lol.
I'm in search and rescue and teach map and compass and gps.
I use the etrex 20 for road trips as well as hiking SAR calls with all of the western states downloaded from gpsfiledepot.com. Garmin maps are expensive and generally suck. gpsfiledepot maps are 1:24000 topo maps and are FREE!
 

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Kerensky97

Xterra101
I use the etrex 20 for road trips as well as hiking SAR calls with all of the western states downloaded from gpsfiledepot.com. Garmin maps are expensive and generally suck. gpsfiledepot maps are 1:24000 topo maps and are FREE!
I'm more interested in the maps than the GPS for the same reason. I've never liked what I got with Garmin and have been a 7.5min map devotee since before GPS existed.

In fact I try to carry a compass and paper 1:24000 or 1:100000 maps of the area as a backup because they never have dead batteries. And if I don't have that I atleast download PDF copies of all the 1:24000 maps since they're free off the USGS site.

The only drawback is they don't always have upto date trail info. I'd love a good professional Garmin-like alternative if they mapped out all 4WD and ATV specific trails so I would know if the simple dotted line on my 1:24000 is still legit for driving a truck or if it's become an abandoned single-track that is impassable. Especially if they made offroad maps that were route-able to find my way through the maze of BLM and US Forest Service tracks.
 

verdesardog

Explorer
Well there is no one source for maps for all trails in any area. Garmin base camp works fine if you have non oem maps installed. Gpsfiledepot has some trail overlays for some of the maps, Google earth is not much help with finding trail conditions. The best you can do is just go out and see for yourself what the trails are like and be prepared for the worst case scenario....
Most of the usgs quads are very out of date as to trails and jeep roads.
 

verdesardog

Explorer
Actually USFS motor vehicle use maps will be your most up to date maps and keep you out of trouble when driving in the national forests.
 

Kerensky97

Xterra101
National Geographic Trails Illustrated paper maps of areas are awesome if they have one for where you're going. A digital version that is more "nationwide" would be the ideal backcountry GPS mapset IMO. Last time I went out I used their paper map in conjunction with with the Android app "Backcountry Navigator" and it paired up amazingly well. The paper map was upto date and classified Graded Dirt vs 4WD vs ATV trails so I could choose where I was going. Then Backcountry Navigator gave me real time GPS tracking and track logging over the USGS 7.5 minute topo maps.

So far Backcountry Navigator is my best choice for backcountry digital GPS navigation. You have multiple maps to choose from, you can cache maps, create breadcrumb tracks, import/export of .kml files for waypoint and tracks created beforehand on google. And it only cost $12 if you already have a smartphone or tablet.
My only worries are battery life, general glitchy-ness of a non GPS dedicated device, and no trail routeing (although I don't trust off-road trail routing due to changing trail conditions anyway).
At least until Hema Maps decides to expand operations to North America I haven't felt the need to migrate away from just using my smartphone offroad.
 

robgendreau

Explorer
Yeah, USGS maps are very often poor for vehicle nav since they're so out of date. The USFS topos are much better, and even the landforms tend to be more accurate. And the USFS road markers too (you know, those 4S24 type names). Look at the different types on say caltopo.com and compare. Sometimes old maps are what you want if you're looking for old roads to hike, mines, etc.

The commercial maps tend to have better editing, so one can see what one needs and not a complete inventory of every little track (like some of the MVUMs, which were created just to do such an inventory).

I've found the BC and Alberta Mapbooks to be great, but pricey. There is often more logging and road building going on up there than many places in the States and so they are quite handy to have. They also include POIs, which the gov't maps don't have. Also, I believe the Garmin maps they produce are routable; many of the maps mentioned in this thread don't have that capability since they're raster maps. It's a nice feature to have driving as opposed to hiking where it's not as necessary since you're moving slow.
 
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