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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2012

Gear Guide 2012: Garmin GPSMAP 62stc

A top-performing GPS unit with photo-location capabilities.

by: Kim Phillips

Garmin GPSMAP 62stc (Courtesy Photo)
Garmin GPSMAP 62stc (Courtesy Photo)

Cameras, GPS, & Gadgets
Electronics built for the backcountry
Great things do come in small packages. Take the pea-size digital camera inside this top-performing GPS unit. The new photo-location capabilities enable hikers to savor the scenery rather than staring at a screen. “Instead of constantly trying to type out cryptic waypoint descriptions along the trail, I can simply take a picture of what I want to record,” raved one tester. “Since the location is embedded into the file, I can look that up and add a more detailed note back home.”

The autofocus camera captures 5-megapixel images (the quality is okay for web viewing, not great for printing), plus their lat/long coordinates; it places a corresponding photo icon on the LCD screen map. Click on the icons to view your shots on the 2.6-inch color screen, or to navigate back to that spot. Even better: In addition to intuitive menus and pre-loaded 1:100K topo maps of the entire U.S., the waterproof 62stc has advanced features like a tilt-compensated, three-axis compass (displays accurate headings even when you’re stopped or aren’t holding the unit level) and a barometric altimeter*. And thanks to the high-sensitivity GPS receiver, our testers recorded clean, continuous tracklogs even when the unit was stored in reception-challenged places like packs and jackets.

At home, connect to your computer’s USB port and easily drag GPS data and image files to your hard drive; no proprietary software is required. $600; 7.7 oz.; 3.5GB internal storage (200 tracks); microSD slot; 2 AAs; garmin.com

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READERS COMMENTS

Mark B
May 08, 2012

Great reception in any radio receiver depends on the antenna. For the Garmin 62st and 62stc, this is a vertical antenna of around 1/4 wavelength size, about 1.8 inches long for the GPS L1 band. This is much more effective than the patch antenna on most other GPS receivers.

So while the sensitive receiver in the 62-series GPS units helps, the vertical antenna accounts for much of their quick locking and tracking performance.

Receiver selectivity, the ability to reject unwanted off-frequency signals, is also a factor.

Mark Bohrer, MSEE
KI6KQD

RevLee
May 08, 2012

It definitely gets great reception. I got a 62s for search & rescue and am very pleased with it. But save some money and skip the camera, you phone's camera is much better.

300Winmag
May 08, 2012

Just WHEN will Garmin begin putting in all the trails available from other sources??

Also trail updates like the yearly updates they have for road maps wouls be really nice.

Mark B
May 08, 2012

Great reception in any radio receiver depends on the antenna. For the Garmin 62st and 62stc, this is a vertical antenna of around 1/4 wavelength size, about 1.8 inches long for the GPS L1 band. This is much more effective than the patch antenna on most other GPS receivers.

So while the sensitive receiver in the 62-series GPS units helps, the vertical antenna accounts for much of their quick locking and tracking performance.

Receiver selectivity, the ability to reject unwanted off-frequency signals, is also a factor.

Mark Bohrer, MSEE
KI6KQD

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