Hey, Buckshot, I have an Garmin 12XL, too. I think it's great. On one occasion, I was returning to camp and realized I had lost or left one of the lense covers of my spotting scope somewhere. So, using the GPS, I backtracked alomost step for step. Bingo, got my lense cover back just like that!
Thanks for mentioning how you could interface the GPS with software for your computer. I find that to be not only helpful in planning a hunt, but also just plain fun. I've got several pieces of software for this. The National Geographic Topo and the DeLorme are both great. (The National Geographic is more accurate, overall, but they compliment each other by giving slightly different details.) Using either on of these, you could punch your route onto the sceen of your computer. If it looks good, you could then upload it into your GPS so that when you arrive at your hunting spot, you just turn on the GPS and go. You can also reverse the process by marking waypoints and routes into your GPS while hunting, and when you get home, download them into your copmputer software for a record of your hunt. If you also download Google Earth (free) and look at the same area, adjusting viewing anlges and rotating the picture to the actual view that you would have when approaching the area, you can get a super idea of just what the terrain will look like even before you ever see it in real life. Google uses actual satellite photos so you can see trees, fencelines and real landmarks. I even found my house with my truck parked outside. Haven't seen any elk or deer yet, but it's almost that good. If the photos were in real time, they'd have to make it illegal. Heck, it's pretty scary already!! It's amazing!!!
Bruce, be careful, you can get atticted to this kind of fun!
A man after my own heart. I am a fanatic about using the GPS and computer maps and your right it is addicting. I prefer the NG TOPO state series to the Delorme. It has so much better graphics and detail.
The 12XL has been extremely reliable for me, it doesn't have the fancy on board maps but it locks on to satellites quickly and gets me plenty close to my way points even without WAAS .
That looks like a really nice unit. The SD card and the high sensitivity receiver are nice features, not to mention the display. It won't take you long to master using it. You will definitely want the mapping software
ASAP that is half the fun.
When I go to the woods I turn on the unit and let it track my movements. Add and name the waypoints for stands sites deer rubs or whatever then when I get home I download it all and can see where I was on the computer screen and have it all saved to the hard drive. Now if I go back to an area that I hunted 10 years ago I can download all the good stuff from the previous trips and walk right to it.