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Garmin GPSMAPS 66i

Garmin GPSMAPS 66i

Postby KC Pendragon » Mon May 02, 2022 6:12 pm

Hi all. I need to update my Garmin etrex 20x for a handheld which has Bluetooth connectivity (laptop has died so need something I can pair with iPad). I think it makes sense to invest in one which includes inReach as I’m a solo walker, often over multi-days, and it would definitely be worth the extra cash for peace of mind for family. The 66i seems to tick all the boxes but is a little pricey (£494 is cheapest I can find). I’m also not hugely tech minded so don’t want anything overly complicated. Wondering whether anyone with experience of this model can share their thoughts please? Or any other suggestions also welcome. Thanks
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KC Pendragon
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Re: Garmin GPSMAPS 66i

Postby SteveNorthumberland » Wed May 04, 2022 9:55 am

I just use an inreach mini (not 2) for my sos satellite tracker and iPhone for navigation using os maps app, iPhone also pairs with the mini over Bluetooth to send text messages. I’m heading north in a couple of weeks so going to try the middle tier subscription with the included tracking feature.

I use this setup as if one dies or breaks I don’t lose both other people use other systems, this works for me as I only really want the inreach in case of emergency in remote locations.
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Re: Garmin GPSMAPS 66i

Postby Eck0011SW » Tue May 10, 2022 9:04 pm

I Use a Garmin gpsmap 64 pretty much uncomplicated and simple enough to work out, I did have an issue with the screen and went for the Montana as far as hiking goes the Montana isn't practical enough, it is good but not practical, I opted to search for a repair to which Garmin informed me they don't do them but would offer an after warranty repair so cost 60 pounds to have my gpsmap replaced.

I would think going for a lesser model 64 or 65 give you the functionality you need without the expense of the 66i

Quick search prices from active GPS look not too bad and have used them for some accessories in the past service was good, Oregon has some good write-ups.
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Re: Garmin GPSMAPS 66i

Postby James Picksley » Wed May 11, 2022 3:01 pm

I've got a 66i.

In reply to the previous message, I don't think the 64 does the tracking/SOS/messaging functionality that the
InReach and 66i both do. If you want that functionality then from a Garmin point of view I think it has to be one of those two. I don't know what else is out there that offer that level of functionality.

I like the 66i. I got it as I also do a lot of solo walking and I think the tracking functionality is useful. You can set it off tracking at the beginning of a walk and then just leave it alone for the rest of the walk if you want no interaction with it. I just use the basic subscription but I know that you can change subscriptions easily if you so choose (check the Garmin website for plans). I went for the 66i over the InReach as I wanted decent redundancy on the map/compass/altimeter/etc point of view and I wasn't worried about weight. I don't notice the weight at all. I don't use it as my primary navigational tool. I have tried it but, for reasons I won't bore you with, I didn't like it. I think that is more to do with me than the 66i as my reasons are nothing to do with the 66i specifically but using a GPS in general and I would do the same with whatever GPS I had. There's an argument to say that I'm not using the GPS as it should be used, i.e. for actual navigation (if you can call what you do with a GPS in this context actual navigation) and I suspect the place I bought it from would say this, but I had very specific reasons for buying it and it fits those reasons.

I've found it pretty easy to setup, link into my laptop and Garmin Basecamp and to use and now that it's setup I do very little with it on an ongoing basis (recharging, transferring routes to Basecamp, removing routes off it occasionally). I never plan routes on Basecamp and then load them onto it as I don't use it that way but that's pretty easy to do (I did it once to see).

It's given my partner a lot of peace of mind and that in itself makes it worthwhile.

Yes, it is expensive especially if you get a bundle of 1:50k OS maps with it but I think it's worth the money. Whether it is too expensive for you only you can answer.
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