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on December 12, 2014
I purchased this unit in December 2013 and didn't notice the problems until I became more familiar with the unit in 2014. I've been communicating with Garmin on this GPS for since June 2014. The unit has two flaws that have yet to be corrected. The minor flaw is that the camera does not properly record purple items in true color. Purple is recorded as blue. Garmin says they are not supporting that particular sensor any longer. The major flaw is that the mileage reported by the tracking software and the trip computer are grossly inaccurate. I hike weekly on known trails that are repeated each month. The trails are 1.5 - 2.2 miles long and it usually takes us 1-2 hours as we bird watch and explore nature. For several months now, the GPS tracking software and the trip computer have been telling us that we are walking between 11 and 20 miles on each hike. The Tech Support folks have been very responsive with suggestions but none of the suggestions have fixed the problem. I was told in late Summer that the mileage reporting error was a known problem and was being addressed. My software is up to date and my 62sc is still not working properly. Garmin even went so far as to ship me a replacement unit a few months ago and still the problem exists. Since I bought the device through Amazon, Garmin will not permit me to send them the defective devices for a refund. Even if they permit me to return the unit, the additional software I purchased ($129) from Garmin is "non-refundable". Since I can't get reliable data and track information, I'm very reluctant to take the unit with me on outings into unfamiliar territory. In essence the device is of no value.
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on March 29, 2013
If you decide to get this unit, update the firmware immediately. It solves a lot of issues the unit would have out of the box.

The Garmin GPSMAP 62stc is a very good and very sensitive GPS receiver. I bought this to replace a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx that was lost deep in the Arizona Desert (ironic!) It is very quick to capture overhead satellites and find its position will little fuss, even in doors or thick overhead foliage. It feels very sturdy and looks like it can take a beating, which is an imperative when traveling with me.

Where it all falls down is with the interface which is a huge step backwards from the 60CSx. With the 60CSx, paging though the navigation screens was quick and effective. With the 62stc it feels like its a chore to find the navigation data quickly. With the 60CSx you simply called up the needed information by paging through the various screens using the in and out buttons. With the 62stc, you have to call up the menu, chase down the screen you want, then call it up.

The 62stc has a lot of bells and whistles, such as a 5mp camera, wireless sharing, geocaching, compass and barometer. The compass works okay, but the barometer is mostly useless. Barometric pressure varies with air density which is in turn based on humidity, air temperature and other weather conditions. This can cause your altitude reading to easily vary by as much as 500 feet on a bad day.

Using the Basecamp software I had from the old 60CSx, The updated software, at least on my Mac, worked out fine. I was able to load geocaches from geocaching.com with little issue. Basecamp also had all my saved point in memory, so a lot of info was saved. Highly recommend Basecamp for use with this unit.

For the interface issues I drop the rating by one star.

The second star was lost due to having very little in the way of instructions. Combine the lack of a meaningful manual with the less than average interface and you will be hunting and pecking around to accomplish what should be the simplest of actions.

It is going to take time to get used to the interface on this unit, but it work out well enough. Three stars is not being picky or generous, it is about where this unit is at.

I reiterate;

1. Update the firmware! Don't wait; just do it!
2. Basecamp is excellent software for use with the 62stc.
3. Spend some time with this unit, it is going to take a while to get used to.
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on March 15, 2016
After several years of use I guess I can give the 62sc an accurate review. Of course it is much better than the old technology Magellan Meridian it replaced but I have no other modern unit to compare it with. Sensitivity seems good. The only time it has trouble finding satellites in inside under a metal roof. Accuracy/repeatability seems to be generally about 20 feet or less. However sometimes readings vary wildly when approaching a waypoint. I walk in a straight line towards the indicated point and all of a sudden the unit is telling me the waypoint is 10-20 feet in a different direction. Waypoint averaging is a handy feature to increase accuracy when measuring locations, i.e. for placing geocaches. I don't usually pay much attention to altitude but several times when I have evaluated track data I have noticed altitude is way off with wild swings compared to what I know the terrain was like. I find the menus and functions are not always the most logical layout and sometimes indications are not totally clear. I had one instance where I semi-bushwhacked several miles assuming I would have a track to follow back but discovered it was not recorded. Battery life is very good when battery save mode is on, NIMH rechargables will last the better part of a day. However the backlight consumes a lot of power and will drain batteries in about 4 hours if left on. The camera is better than no camera at all but don't expect high quality images. It takes fair pictures in good daylight but is nearly worthless in low light. In all but perfect light there is a noticeable color tint especially with snow scenes. If you leave the unit in camera mode it will really suck the charge out of the batteries.
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on September 27, 2014
I will begin this by saying that I am 50+, and I am NOT “tech-saavy”… therefore I want to avoid Tech-hassles wherever possible. However, I am logical and I am intelligent… so I usually can work my way through difficult tasks, eventually. Also, since I had a Garmin GPS in the past, I already understood the basics of this unit… I thought.
Prior to my purchase of this GPSmap62, I owned a GPSMAP 60CSx. I LOVED that GPS. I purchased it about 8 years ago, and with the assistance of my brother in law advising me of accessories that he recommended for my use requirements, I had a PERFECT GPS!!! … Until it quit working about 1 year ago. I discovered that Garman no longer makes that model, (Oh, I was REALLY bummed) so I decided to go to a “new and improved” model of the GPSMAP. I selected the 62. I figured that the 62 would be a good upgrade. (wrong!)
Things change over the years, and I accept that open heartedly… BUT, to change things only to make a good product bad is just plain stupid.
When I purchased this GPS, there was NOTHING that stated that if I wanted to look at a “map” I would have to purchase additional memory. Apparently Garmin ASSUMES that the customers already know this. I did not.
As with all new “tech” purchases, the user manual included with the item is ridiculous, so I accepted the ridiculous manual as normal. However the manual that accompanied this GPS was less than worthless. It didn’t even apply to the GPSMAP62 that I had. The instructions that came with this GPS were for a unit FAR superior to the one that I purchased, therefore all of the ‘instructions’ that I was reading made no sense. This frustrated me intensely. My user friendly GPSMAP 60CSx was completely gone! This piece of crap 62 model had me running circles with no end in sight. I went to the Garmin website, downloaded the FULL user manual. It too is as ridiculous as the worthless waste of paper that came with the GPS!!
I decided to try my ‘logic’ with a typically simple GPS task. I marked a waypoint, and requested the GPS ‘GO” to it. Upon that simple request, the GPS displayed a message: “Route calculation error. Maps do not have routable roads to this area”. WHAT???!!!??? No maps in this area???!!!!! I am in the middle of California!!! No Maps??????? I was furious. After dinking around with this frustrating GPS for over 3 hours, I find that my GPS was not equipped with a friggin map!???!!! WTF???!
So, I went into the Garmin site and I purchased a TOPO map for the western states. (Apparently, that was a mistake waiting for more frustration). After downloading it, I got the same message. Scrolling through the settings and maps of the GPS proves to be even more of a headache, because the damn settings are NOT explained in simple terms. Nothing makes sense, and the “manual” doesn’t even address ANY of these issues!!!
I never had ANY of these problems with my 60CSx, and I am strongly regretting purchasing this “upgrade”.
All in all, I paid roughly $390 (About $300 for the GPS AND about $90 for the Topo map). That is a lot of money for a load of crap.
I returned the GPS for a refund. I couldn’t fathom spending one more second trying to figure it out.
I will go into EBay, take my chances and buy a GPSMAP 60CSx. There are many folks selling 60CSx’s in extremely good condition. At this point I am quite disappointed in Garmin, and I do not recommend their “new and improved” GPS units, I think their user manuals are a horrific waste of time and effort, and their “nickel and dime the customers” philosophy is reprehensible. I believe that if a person purchases a unit that needs an additional memory chip, additional map downloads, etc., it should either be included with the unit or plainly disclosed.
I think it is pathetic that the only GOOD GPS that Garmin made is the one that was discontinued.

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on May 30, 2015
I work as a GIS mapper, involved mainly in water rights research and filings, and use GPS in field-investigation.
The unit is very quick to acquire a fix, and holds it well even in occluded conditions.
I ran tests on points I logged in the yard, and it returns to them day after day with only about a 3' error radius.
You could (almost) "bury the gold" with it.
Menus and pages are laid out well, and are customizable.
I read review complaints about the auto-compass, and it's calibration procedure;
and indeed sometimes the compass would get outta-whack, but the re-calibration
procedure is simple, takes all of 30 seconds, and can be run during ops.
The camera is very good, though I wish it had a peep-site, as in certain lighting glare conditions
the screen is a little hard to see. No big deal.
The Garmin "GPSmap" PC program is a real plus for data downloads (haven't figured out batch data uploads to unit yet,
but it's probably there somewhere). That program also calls up recorded data points in Google-earth overlay,
which is a real plus. Onboard 100k topo didn't meet my needs. For 100$ I got the SD card with 24k topo
and it was well worth it. The topo is layered, so you can select levels of detail.
I got the HD case (Gizzmovest) and recommend it even though it's pricey.
It's easy to put on & take off, and will be good protection when I drop it, which is bound to happen at some point.
I got the "military screen shield" for it to protect the screen glass.
I'm pretty well satisfied with the unit, all around. It's paid for itself already in a couple of projects.
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on August 25, 2014
I do a lot of hiking in remote parts of the Southwest. I use my 62stc on direct navigation most of the time. I always input the GPS coordinates of where I want to go into the machine, hit find, push go and you are off to the races. Make sure to name your points. Makes it easier to find them. The 62 will point you in the right direction ever time, just make sure you calibrate the compass the minute you get to your destination, especially if you have traveled a long way. Simply use Google Earth to get your coordinates. But that is just a little of what this machine can do. In order to take full advantage of all the functions, (inputing routes, adventures etc...) YOU HAVE TO BUY MORE MAPS SO PLAN ON SPENDING AN EXTRA $145 (just on your little region of our Earth) plus another $30 bucks for Birdseye (every single year). My problem with Garmin stems from having to buy extra maps. When I bought my Nuvi, it came with life-time updates. I paid under $200 for it. I love, love, love that machine and take it everywhere I go. I paid $458 for the 62stc and had to pay an extra $145 on a 24K map of the Southwest to make it work like it is designed to work, and that is only for the Southwest! That didn't go down well with me. I just don't think it is fair. So after you buy the device, purchase some maps and subscribe to Birdseye, you have just under $700 in the 62stc. Is it worth that much money? Depends. Unless you are a serious geocacher or do some really difficult, trackless hikes and have some money to burn. Why not? Don't forget to bring lots of batteries, as this expensive little device sucks batteries down like they were cold beers after a long, hot hike in South Coyote Buttes. Helps to have glasses as the screen is small. If you just use the 100K topo, you cannot, I repeat, cannot set up routes, which is why you must set the machine on direct navigation. Buy the maps and you can take advantage of adventures, routes and more info on the area you are in.
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on July 5, 2014
I have owned quite a few handheld GPSr's over the past 15 years. In total, about 20 units, 15 of which were Garmin's. I use them primarily for hiking and geocaching, and generally prefer durable, stand-alone GPSr's over a smartphone app.

That said, I am quite impressed by the 62s. My previous unit was an Oregon 300 and I just recently traded it in for this one since I was not happy with the touchscreen. The 62s is a very solid device, with sturdy buttons, ample memory for maps, user-replaceable batteries (AAs), and a super sharp screen which is easy to see in daylight. The menus are laid out very well, and are intuitive enough for beginner users. This is one area Garmin has really improved over the years - adding the right shortcuts on screens where there weren't any on past models. The unit is also fully integrated with geocaching GPX files, so you can view caches, log attempts, view hints, and customize to your heart's content.

The 62s comes with a high sensitivity receiver which not only finds your position quickly, but also maintains your position even when the sky is significantly blocked (e.g. thick forest, high walled canyons, etc.) By the time it has booted up, it will be ready to go (cold starts may take up to a minute though). Very impressive, especially when compared to the older Garmins from the early 2000s (i.e. original etrex). Track logging is accurate, and compass and altimeter features work very well for the price point. I do wish the compass needle updated faster as it did on the older models. Currently, it swings slowly, which makes it a bit more difficult when closing in on a geocache since you can overcorrect your target more easily.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the 62s. It is the type of GPS I would be happy owning for the long-run. Very solid and durable design. I would highly recommend it to any geocaching and/or hiking enthusiast!

+Solid design
+Robust menu system
+Geocaching features well integrated
+Good battery life
+Takes standard AA batteries!
+Fits well in the hand
+Strong antenna

-Bearing pointer moves a bit too slow for my tastes
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on January 10, 2015
After using it on a few hundred hikes now, I still have not come to like it. I've had Garmin GPS's before and was extremely satisfied, but this model has dampened my enthusiasm for anything Garmin.
Using the automatic setting, the Trip Computer reads a full 19% too high! If you do a hike in which the track reads 10.0 miles the Trip computer will show 11.9 miles. Completely unacceptable! After NUMEROUS calls to Garmin support, the recommendation was to set the unit to set points by TIME and set it a point every second, but at that rate it will reach the maximum 10,000 points in 2.7 hours of hiking. For someone who does up to 20 mile hikes in one day, that it simply WORTHLESS!
I've set it to mark a point every 10 seconds and it still reads about 8% too high.
The electronic compass is also worthless... to the point I take a cheap compass along. With my previous Garmins I NEVER had to wait more than a second or tow for the compass to stabilize when I stopped to take a reading. With this unit, forget about a compass reading while stopped. Even the map jumps all over the place... Garmin tells me I need to be moving. What?! Again USELESS! Garmin support also tells me to make sure it's calibrated. I only had to recalibrate my old Garmin 76CSx if I was over 100 miles from the last calibration point, but this 62ST must be calibrated many times on even a short hike. Further, sometimes it takes 3-4 attempts before the calibration is a success. But it can be 5 minutes later and it can't find North again. VERY frustrating!
And Garmin's firmware updates... I hate them because for every 'fix' they do, they seem to break something else.
When I got the unit and 'saved' a track, it would put it in the SAVED folder on the GPS. Another option was to 'archive' the track, which would place the track in the ARCHIVE folder. But after several updates, while the SAVED folder is still there, I can no longer save the track in that folder, ONLY in the ARCHIVE folder. I want to save the current track and decide later if I want to keep it archived on the GPS or not. But now with many tracks archived, I have to wade through the whole list instead of have only one track in the SAVED folder.
Oh yeah, and 'Clear Current Track' must be done the moment you start a hike or it will include the distance back to the end of the previous hike, and that EVEN AFTER clearing the current track immediately after the previous hike.
I better stop here before I get my dander up about Garmin once more...
Suffice to say, I would not recommend this product to anyone, nor any Garmin product until they fix the huge discrepancy between the actual distance traveled and the Trip Computer reading. (I've heard the same complaints from many folks in a high-traffic hiking forum for most of the new Garmins... it seems Smart Phones with tracking apps are more accurate, but I doubt I'll own one of those anytime soon)
While I don't fault the support techs at all, they only have so much to work with, but I do fault the atrocious engineering of the firmware/software. They have GOT to come up with a better algorithm so the Trip Computer is at least halfway close to reality. (On my previous Garmins the worst I ever saw was 8% error, but with my settings it was under 2% error, very acceptable)
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on January 21, 2014
Previously I was using a Garmin 100. I was looking for a GPS which was more sensitive to receiving the satellite signals, but I was happy with readily accessible inform provided by my 100 which was simple to operate. The 62s has a maze of options, much more than I need. It was easy enough to create and save a track. In too many cases I've found the instruction manual to be poorly written (in at least one case, the instructions may be wrong for the 62s). Simple things such as battery level and distance travel for the current track require multiple steps. I still haven't figured out how to get basic data about a saved or archived track (for example, distance traveled). There is a basic map that comes with the 62 which is satisfactory for me, except that it is about half-mile off. Yesterday when I was kayaking on a river, the map showed me at least half-a-mile away sometimes on a highway. I'll keep working with the unit--surely with more experience I will be able to enjoy it. My 62 definitely receives the satellite signals well even inside my house. Yes, I regret buying the 62s.
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on February 8, 2014
First and foremost, it has decent antenna. I was able to get a signal and mark within 18 feet inside the house. A outside test got me closer to 12 feet in comparison to 29 feet on the same marked waypoint of the same location with a Garmin Hcx, of 2007 vintage. Both set at WAAS.

I really like the lanyard and carabiner having lost my Hcx in field. The switches and menu items are much easier to deal with. The unit does not come with a micro sd card but there is a slot for one and it is highly recommended for storing custom maps. It is much easier to delete maps from the SD card rather than main memory.

I have not been able to fully test functions yet, but so far I am happy with the purchase at the price I paid.

UPDATE: After a few weeks of use. my GPS fell face down into a snow bank, kept working fine, but the next day would not power up. The product is advertised to be water proof. Clearly not so much. Now I have to do the warranty dance and based on other reviews, that might not be easy. I'll update this when I know.

UPDATE: 03/12/14....Took 3 weeks for my GPS to be exchanged through warranty with Garmin. Overall the experience was better than expected. I had my RMA number within 5 minutes of getting on the phone. I called around opening time in Kansas, that may have helped. This counters what I have heard about Garmin in these reviews.

Good product, good service, but keep it dry and take a map and compass along with you.

UPDATE: 07/13/14: Been using it 4 months now and it works very well. I can get up to 9 feet accuracy under full satellite connections. The one bug I have run into despite firmware fixes is that the trip computer will record everything, even if reset, with power off, unless batteries are removed. The short of it is to keep batteries out of the device until you are ready to use it. A good practice anyway. The unit has allowed me to use set and use more complicated back country routes, faster and more efficiently than map and compass, although it is critical that both be carried with ability to use them.
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