Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Equipment, Travel > Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS

Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

World-wide topographic maps for your Android Smartphone

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 29 Feb 2004
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Wolverhampton, UK
Posts: 50
What GPS for a Thickhead?

I've been looking at GPS whilst planning my Thai trip, all I can say is: Jeez!!!.
What would any of you better informed travellers suggest for a a thicko like me? I need something that is reasonably simple to operate, which has a clear (large) readout and will travel on my bike.
Not being rich I need something that isn't too expensive.
Any ideas?
Cheers Oletimer (George)
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Mar 2004
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Somerset, Great Britain
Posts: 315
They really are not complicated once you get the hang of them! Probably no harder than using a mobile phone's menu.

The Garmin Etrex (I have the Legend) isn't bad for a compact/cheap one, although some people have reported problems with battery terminals/switches playing up. Mine fell of my bike at 100mph on Italian Autostrada, and although the screen was cracked and the antenna had become loose, it did actually work after a five-minute repair!

Reply With Quote
Old 1 Mar 2004
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Eurasia - whoppeeeee!
Posts: 169
Hi mate,

I`ve been using my Garmin 5 now for 6 months around the americas, have it mounted on a RAM mount and the GPS is a tough little cookie.

check out http://www.garmin.com and some of the posts here - there is a SHED load of info about GPS`s on this site.

Reply With Quote
Old 2 Mar 2004
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Wolverhampton, UK
Posts: 50
Thanks for your replies lads, the biggest problem I face is confronting something new. If, perchance, its a bit technical, that only goes to making me more averse to it.
I suppose that if I get one and start to 'play' with it, its operation will soon become apparant. The biggest hurdle I face is: Knowing which one to buy in the first place. I'd hate to part with a shedful of £££'s only to find that the one I've just bought is no good for either me, or, the purpose to which I wish to apply it. i checked out Garmin, they've got so many models available that its a minefield for a nerd like me.
One of their 'agents' is at Staples, I think I should go and talk to someone, no doubt they will have all the answers - and I'm a bit sceptical of salespeople who are more interested in their commision than the bod standing in front of them. Sorry to be pesimistic, I've had a bad experience in the past - even my dumb brain was screaming 'this don't seem right', and it wasn't!
Cheers Oletimer (George)
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Mar 2004
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 893

Here's a quick beginner's course:

There are two main types of GPSR's (GPS recievers) available for automotive use: Those that will automatically create a route for you, and those that won't. The Garmin GPS V, SP III and SP 2610/2650 autoroute. The rest don't.

In order to autoroute, the GPSR needs to have very detailed and accurate street data. Not only just lines representing the streets, but invisible characteristics such as whether the street is one way or not, whether left turns are allowed or not, etc. Such map data only exists (at present - Spring 2004) for Western Europe, Canada, and the USA.

So, you can forget about getting an auto-routing GPSR for a trip to Thailand, it's pointless, there is no suitable mapping data available along your route.

The only mapping data available once you get east of Germany / Austria / Italy will be very coarse data - major highways. This data can be stored in one of two places, either burned into the circuit boards of the GPSR (called a 'basemap'), or loaded into a memory chip on the GPSR from a CD (in this case, the Garmin 'WorldMap' CD).

What would be ideal for you is a simple, small GPSR that has the rough data for Europe to Asia burned into the basemap. The best precision you can expect from it (so far as your relationship to cities and roads) is about one mile accuracy, even though the unit will be able to calculate your actual position (lat/long) to about 10 metre accuracy.

I suggest you consider a Garmin eTrex Vista - list price is USD $324, street price is probably about USD $275, it has 24 megs of memory, which will allow you to upload WorldMap detail for your entire trip Europe - Thailand, and it also has the capability to accept uploads of more detailed map products, if you find yourself in a location (for example, back home) where you can get more detailed maps. It's also small (about the size of a handy) and simple to use.

Reply With Quote
Old 3 Mar 2004
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Wolverhampton, UK
Posts: 50
Thank you: Ian, Colsey and Pan for your replies. I understand what you are all saying and thanks Pan for the lesson, it goes someway to putting my mind at rest (well, its dormant really, but you know what I mean :-)
I think I now know whats required and I'm sure I'm fretting over nothing. Thanks again,
Cheers Oletimer (George)
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:26.