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Garmin handheld withstands the elements - lost and found 2 years later!

7 May 2012 @ 3:04 PM  / Customer Stories / Marine Blog / Outdoor Blog /


You've heard us say before that when we're developing products we put them through extreme test conditions. We drop 'em, dunk 'em, freeze 'em, and heat 'em, and that's just a few of the tests engineering puts products through. We're proud that our devices are rugged and can stand up to the challenges our customers give them - even accidental challenges. Here's a tale of one of those accidental challenges from Randy B. of Wasilla, Alaska:  

Gpsmap76csxIn the spring of 2008, I was riding my Ranger RZR out to Knik Glacier along the Knik River with my son, Nathan, and his friend, Tucker. I was easing into a river crossing to see how deep it was when the bank sheared off and I was sliding into six-feet of water. As I climbed on top of my roll cage to stay out of the water as much as possible, I watched my highly-treasured Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx - which was in the cup holder - float away. I couldn’t reach it so I had to let it go for the moment. After getting the RZR out of the river before towing it back to the trailer, we walked up and down the river several times trying to find the GPS but were not successful. That fall before hunting season, I chalked that event up to “stuff that happens” and moved on. Having had really great experiences with Garmin products in the past, there was no deciding what to buy as a replacement - I bought a Rino 520 because I liked having the added feature of the radio and polling to let me know where my son was.

Gpsmap 76csx 2I hadn’t given it another thought really until I got home from lunch one day in the summer of 2010. Walking in the house, I pressed the button on the answering machine and there was a message saying, "If this is the guy that lost a Garmin GPS on Knik River, give me a call!" Can you imagine my surprise?  Two years later - REALLY? Of course I picked up the phone and called the guy right away who proceeded to tell me that he and his wife were walking along the river with their dog a couple of weeks previous and he saw my GPS sticking up out of the glacial silt there. He dug it out of the sand-like goop and told his wife that he was sure it wasn’t any good judging by the fact that it was full of water and silt. Being an electronics enthusiast, he took it home and took the back off of it and washed it out with fresh water and spread it all out to dry for a week or so. After that, he screwed the back on it and stuck a few batteries in it, and said that my name and phone number came up on the welcome screen! HOLY SMOKE!! I could attest to the fact that Garmin products are tough because I have been beating them up in the boondocks of Alaska for over a decade but this took things to a whole new level. UNBELIEVABLE is all I can say!

While its appearance is a little rough from two years laying on an Alaskan river, I still use the unit today on that same RZR (although I did invest in a holder for it) and on my river boat, and it still works great.  If ever anyone questions the rugged durability of your products just tell them my story.

 


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