What to Know When Buying a GPSWritten by Chuck Fitzgerald
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Here are features and products I recommend. For outdoor athlete or sportsman, be sure your GPS has these features: topographical mapping, back tracking, a computer interface, weatherproofing, 12 receiver channels and WAAS. I recommend portable GPS units in Garmin eTrex Series and Magellan Meridian Series. For driving applications, be sure your GPS has these features: street mapping, large display, a computer interface and external antenna compatibility. I recommend automotive GPS units in Garmin StreetPilot Series and Magellan RoadMate Series. For boating and other marine applications, be sure your GPS has these features: marine mapping, color screen, active sonar, back tracking, a computer interface and weatherproofing. I recommend marine GPS Units in Garmin GPSMAP Series.
Prices for GPS units vary a great deal and in general, you get what you pay for. While some units cost around $100 and offer relatively few features, others may cost as much as $1000 or even more and are loaded with dozens of features. Here is a good rule of thumb for determining how much money to spend on your next GPS. You should expect to pay between $200 and $300 to get a decent GPS Unit. I own a Garmin eTrex Vista. I believe it is best GPS available for under $300.
If you don’t have a GPS or yours is more than five years old, now’s time to get one. Adding a new GPS to your inventory of backcountry toys will take your outdoor adventures to a new level of enjoyment. Use this information and you’ll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!
Chuck Fitzgerald is the owner of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online specialty store with the “Best Gear Out There” and dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts to “Get It Right The First Time” with timely educational information. Please visit http://www.BackCountryToys.com to find great gear and to receive the Fact & Tips e-newsletter, "FreshAir.” (800) 316-9055.
Every River Tells a StoryWritten by Mike Clifford
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Around yet another bend in river we come upon work crew that is clearly pouring every ounce of energy they can muster into project at hand. Their story says a person can draw a living from nature without harming it. One can move steadily through workday and through one's life, chopping and digging, sawing and clearing, earning an honest buck and sleeping good tired sleep of farmer or stone mason. They wish nature no harm, and believe they have enough knowledge about proper and improper behavior in field. Like our forefathers, they are forging ahead towards a bright future among fresh new land, only much more efficiently with their expensive trucks, backhoes and graders.
The end of a reflective day is nearing as we tie up canoe at modest dock we've fashioned at edge of our 3 acres of wetlands and natural prairie with a simple pathway made of stone leading up to house. Our guiding story is that of someone with conservationist knowledge and instincts, who is willing to stand up to his neighbors for those goals. Our aesthetics embrace woods and wildlife. Thoughts turn easily to how we may better protect species of fish we are after and quality of our water. Like a sudden bolt of lightning in night, a knock comes at door and we are snapped backed to reality in an instant. Two men from a local governmental unit have come to explain details of their latest plan to dredge and straighten portion of river in front of our house. It is explained that our woods and neighbor's property get flooded during times of high water, and a very generous consortium has offered to pay for work to its completion. They go on to mention something about mosquito control and such, but we're not really paying attention at this point, as our attention is fixed on sight and sound of some birds working feverishly to build a nest in tree just beyond door.
In each case stated above, actors are guided by personal stories directed by specific attitudes and behaviors. Attitudes perhaps prescribed to by our own personal environmental heroes: golfers, loggers, naturalists. Spontaneously and without conscience we go about our life standing by our beliefs and traditions. I'll leave it to all of you to decide if there is a moral to story this river has to tell. I'm certain your favorite stream has one of its own, unique in nature but common in its entirety.
Until next time, I'll leave you with this to ponder: "The nation behaves well if it treats natural resources as assets which it must turn over to next generation increased, and not impaired, in value." ~Theodore Roosevelt
Mike is the owner/operator of HeartlandOutdoorsman.Com This most comprehensive website offers a unique look into the Great Outdoors. Photo Contests, discussions and reports from across the country fill out a great online experience.