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480 Garmin 62s GPS 2011-09-21

gps units

I have always enjoyed mapping and navigation. In the mid-90s with the introduction of GPS units for consumers I bought and began using a Garmin GPS III. I was excited about the technology; but disappointed with the performance. I was happy when the GPS showed my location even close to where I thought I was.

My next GPS was an eTrek model. The smaller unit was tough and lightweight; but I was unable to connect the GPS easily to my computer. I carried the GPS in the mountains leaving bread crumbs for off trail traveling. One key improvement to the eTrek was the use of rechargeable batteries and improved energy consumption.

After carrying the eTrex for a few years, I upgraded to the Garmin 60 series. These devices were good hiking GPS units. They were relatively lightweight, accurate, tough, easy to use, and with a map. The other key feature was the USB interface. Finally it was easy to download the tracks to the computer.

I carried the 60csx for a number of years and was very happy with the performance. Still, we needed another GPS. The 62 series (updated from the 60 series) was supposed to be improved; but we liked the 60 series just fine. When REI had the 62s on sale this last spring, we finally decided to purchase one. We decided on the 62s model.

A few Garmin 62s notes ...

The startup time is much quicker. Sometimes the older model '60' took a long time to locate the satellites.

The battery life seems to be even better.

The rocker (selector) is easier to use.

The screen has improved resolution. It is easier to read in daylight.

Software for Mac users is definitely improved. When the 60 was first released the software for Macs was non-existent. Now almost all of the software is also Mac compatible.

When connecting the '62' to my computer, a disk image comes to the desktop. I am able to treat the GPS like any other hard drive.

The internal memory is significantly larger.

The altimeter is accurate enough for my use.

It is interesting to download the tracks from the 60 and the 62 and compare them. The '62' is at least as accurate as the '60'.

A GPS unit is an aid to navigation. Do not base navigation decisions on scanty and possibly inaccurate information. Carry a map and compass. Work out a personal navigation system.

Use common sense when using a GPS.

I carried the Garmin 62s all summer (over 60 days of hiking.) There are improvements over the tested '60' series. We use the 60csx as a backup to the 62s and are glad we have both models!

Happy 62s trails


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