Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx From a
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Garmin 60Csx

After years of rough use, my Garmin GPSMAP still amazes me with its ruggedness and versatility! I use my Garmin 60CSx regularly for a multitude of purposes and have become quite familiar with most of its features. This article will concentrate on some of these useful features.

Update…
I’ve now had my 60Csx for 4 years and still find it invaluable as an outdoor companion. Here in the west many common outdoor activities involve traveling many miles from the nearest sign of civilization, meaning help isn’t always around the corner.

On a recent hunting trip to an unfamiliar area, I used a TOPO mapping program to locate the places I was told to go and retrieved the Longitude Latitude for all my turnoffs and destinations. I entered the Longitudes and Latitudes into my Garmin 60Csx. This took all the guess work out of knowing where to go and the topo maps loaded into my unit always gave a good prospective of the terrain.

On this trip we took long hikes of up to three miles with elevations ranging from 5,000 to 10,000. It was nice to see the correct elevation at all times on the GPS. I always mark my mode of transportation as a waypoint so as in the case of the last trip we knew where the jeep was at all times and the best route back even during a heavy snow storm and after dark. This little GPS unit could actually save your life someday!

This garmin handheld gps frequently accompanies me while hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, ATV riding, driving on highways and jeep trails. As a backup while flying and this gps also allowed me to stake 10 gold mining claims with precision. The things you can do with the Garmin 60CSx GPS are endless.


Before we get into the Garmin GPSMAP features, consider some of the options you might want to compliment this personal gps with. Right after buying it, I got a Gilsson protective case, a 1 Gig microSD card and a 12 volt power cord adapter.

The 60CSx accepts 2 AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries, so I went rechargeable, Expect a battery life of 15-20 hours. Add to this Garmin’s MAPSource TOPO USA on CD. More on these options below.

Following are many of the features and options for this handy unit and some practical uses too. We will concentrate on what you can do with this gps receiver and leave the technical stuff for later or click on the following link Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx to download the owner’s manual from Garmin with all the tech stuff.

Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx Features and uses…

Obviously, before you can initiate the following features, you must become familiar with the unit’s basic operational procedures such as installing batteries, keypad usage, on/off, initializing, display, maps, menus and then follow the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx manual for instructions on to learn each task.

Creating and Using waypoints
I create waypoints mostly by marking my position and storing it in the database with a unique name such as Jeep, showing where I park my jeep (the 60CSx assigns a default number that I can edit/rename). This allows me to navigate back to my vehicle following a long hike or after dark. This is just one of many reasons to create waypoints. Geocache hunting is another popular option.

You can also create waypoints by entering coordinates or panning the on-screen map and selecting a point of interest. Projecting a waypoint a certain distance/bearing from one location to a new one is another option. The man overboard feature is great for boaters who need instant navigation back to a lost passenger.

As an example say you’re lost in the mountains, on the water or anywhere! Use the 60CSx’s on-screen map to locate a desired destination, mark that destination as a waypoint and navigate to safety. My optional TOPO USA map shows mountains, rivers, lakes, streams, roads, trails and more, which allow me navigate around certain obstacles. These are just a few of the things you can do with waypoints.

The TRACBACK feature
Is something I don’t use very often, but some people like it. The Garmin GPSMAP, leaves little bread crumb like dots right after initializing, that records your every movement while on. It stores these tracks in a way you can recreate a route, follow your tracks back to where you started and more.

On the Highway
With Garmin’s optional MapSource software, the Garmin GPSMAP becomes a full featured auto navigation unit. Even without the optional software, you can still navigate on major highways, check your speed, time and distance to the next waypoint, find exits (showing available services), locate intersections, cities and many points of interest. All with the standard installed moving map.

Routes
The Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx allows you to create routes (a series of waypoints) on roads and highways such as planning a trip. You can also create routes for jeep trails, hiking trails, over water or across country. Anyplace you can travel by land, water or air, a route can be created and stored to use over and over if you wish.

60CSx Main Pages

Main Pages

  • Satellite Page – Shows receiver status, receiver current location, satellite locations and strength. There are some satellite menu options too.

  • Map Page – My Garmin GPSMAP comes with the Americas basemap which includes; cities, interstate highways, county roads, highway intersections, rivers and lakes. You can purchase MapSource Topo, Highway and marine maps to enhance your navigation capabilities. Up to four custom data fields can be added to the map which can show speed, distance etc. There are dozens of on screen display options to play with

  • Compass Page – The compass page shows navigation data such as bearing/course pointer to a waypoint and other information such as current speed, distance to the destination, time enroute and several other options. You have to choose between the bearing pointer or the course pointer. The course pointer is more suited for straight line travel, such as in an airplane or boat. I prefer to use the simple bearing pointer for most of my navigation, as it always points at the destination and has less on screen clutter.

    The compass page also has an electronic compass which I rarely use, as you have to calibrate it, and then hold the GPSMAP level and it drains the batteries sooner. Besides the GPSMAP 60CSx provides its own compass when you are moving at a certain preset speed anyway. There are so many options to use on the compass page such as “Sight and Go” where you align the GPS unit with a distant landmark, lock in the heading, estimate the distance and navigate to it.

  • Altimeter Page – Basically I only use the altimeter page to check the altitude for my current position and I find it to be quite accurate. The Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx also includes a barometer. There are numerous options for the altimeter page, such as plotting graphs for either altitude or barometric pressure.

  • Trip Computer Page - This page functions best when you are traveling by motor vehicle, boat, ATV etc. It displays your speed, average speed, odometer, trip odometer, altitude and many other travel options. I still use it when hiking too.

  • Main Menu Page - The main menu contains features and settings not found on the main pages and their sub menus such as:

....Tracks Page
....Route Page
....Highway Page
....Setup Menu Page
....Proximity Waypoints Page
....Calendar Page
....Calculator Page
....Stopwatch Page
....Sun & Moon Page
....Hunt & Fish Page
....Games Page

This Garmin GPSMAP is designed so that each individual user can customize all pages, and interfaces to suit his/her preferences. Once you learn each page function and its sub-menu purpose, you are on your way to getting the most out of the 60CSX.

What I Like

The SiRF engine and quad Helix antenna make satellite acquisition times very quick (seconds) and I never lose satellite reception in a vehicle, at the bottom of canyons, in heavy forests or even inside my house. The Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx is also easy to learn to use and loaded with handy features.

Garmin’s accuracy claim of 33 feet is fairly conservative, I usually get at least half that. The unit is rugged, waterproof to 1 meter, dust proof and shock resistant. The display is clear and bright and the physical size is not to large. I get excellent battery life too not to mention carrying a large digital topo in your pocket is handy too!

What I Don’t Like

You have to use mostly Garmin stuff, it’s not compatible with other map programs and Garmin’s MapSource maps are expensive and sometimes dated.

The bottom line, I really like my Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx and use it all the time!

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