Know Where You're Going With a Handheld GPS

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Garmin Rino 655T
Where do I go from here?

Has this ever happened to you? You are headed out to guide your buddies on an ATV or UTV ride in a new-to-you trail system. All of a sudden, you find yourself lost in a sea of trees and endless hilltops with no idea of where you are or how to get home. You panic and think to yourself, man I wish I had paid a little more attention to my scout leader in orienteering class!

Even if you’ve never experienced anything quite like that before, chances are you’ve spent some time worrying about getting lost. Our forefathers have been navigating this continent for a very long time and it wasn’t so long ago that they relied on a compass or even the sun to find their way back. Today we are lucky enough to have electronic GPS to guide the way.

So should you drop that magnetic compass and depend exclusively on gadgets? Well, I don’t think so because the power might someday run out and when that happens you will need to know how to get from Point A to Point B. If you are a true outdoor enthusiast you should always know how to read a map and use your compass, but for those who want to utilize a little modern day convenience I have found a great choice for the adventurer locked inside you. The Garmin Rino 655T has to be the most user-friendly and information-packed handheld device I have ever owned. This little example of modern day technology is not only rugged but cures navigational problems just by turning it on.

The first thing I noticed was the TOPO 100K maps. TOPO maps are displayed in a 1:100,000 scale and offer incredibly accurate elevation details. At a glance you can tell where the next valley is and how many mountains stand between you and the parking area. The 2.6-inch screen is very rugged and is displayed in color as well.

Garmin Rino TOPO 100K

Garmin’s TOPO 100K maps offer amazing topographical details.

Garmin Rino 655T

Take a photo of any memorable waypoints and upload them to Google Earth for all to see.

Another great feature is the two-way communication available on this gem. Being able to talk to others in your group via the two-way communication on the Rino 655T is a great asset when you have a larger group or maybe a more spread out crew of friends. If you have ever ridden with several different riders you know how hard it is to keep everyone together, especially if the trail has any turn-off areas or when multiple trails converge in one spot. People can get lost easily that way, but with the two-way radio ability of the Garmin units you simply call the car in front of you to ask which way you should go. And Garmin has taken the Rino 655T an additional step forward by adding the ability to see where other members in your group may be as long as they too have the device. Just add them to the contacts on the Rino 655T and you’re set.

Desert Group Ride

If everybody in your group carries a Garmin Rino, you can track everybody’s progress and find them if anything goes wrong.

Those special spots on the trail that are surely worth remembering can be added to your Garmin Rino by marking a waypoint and even taking a photo reminder of the location to add to the waypoint marker. Garmin has included a 5.0 megapixel camera on the Rino 655T and even though it isn’t always a perfect photo, it sure does work well for its size. When you add the photo to a waypoint and mark its location on the trail you can then share the file on Goggle Earth for everyone to see.

Riding out in the wilds of North Georgia I find myself getting rained on sometimes and have even been caught in several big storms out on the trail, but one feature on the Rino 655T will help me avoid these things in the future by keeping me in the know of weather alerts. The NOAA radio warning system in the Garmin unit alerts me to fast moving weather – even tornados. The features available on the Rino 655T are seemingly endless, but you really need to try it out for yourself and let Garmin tag along on your next adventure.

I remember many times in the past that I wished I had some way to know what trail would take me to a specific location and in my haste to get going I had forgotten a trail map or anything remotely close to directions of the trail system. This is where the Garmin line of Rino handhelds comes into play. Without this part of my travel gear I would be lost for sure.

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Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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