Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Re: Magellan GPS
There are two general directions you can go. One is to get a fancy GPS with a big screen, downloadable maps and lots of memory. Or you can buy a pretty cheap GPS, a cheap laptop computer, and a map software package.
The former is obviously what you want if you're going to go hiking with it, but there is something to be said for the latter to use in a vehicle. The screen is a lot bigger than anything you'll ever see in a GPS, which is mighty nice when driving. Also the maps are usually more detailed than those you'll find for download to a GPS. When I was shopping a few years ago, there were street maps for download, but the only way I could get fire roads and trails was with DeLorme TOPO maps for the PC. That might have changed by now. The PC map software has a lot of business names and locations, street number information, gas stations, hotels, motels, and stuff like that.
I got a used laptop for $350, a 400 Watt inverter for $30, and DeLorme TOPO for about $80. It works great with my Magellan 320, which is more than I need for the application. I think you can now get a GPS that will communicate with a computer for well under $100.
My 320 has worked very well and reliably for almost three years now.