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Tahoe Skier5000

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Everything posted by Tahoe Skier5000

  1. I generally wouldn't recommend a smartphone as I think the overall experience is far less enjoyable than with a handheld, BUT, they are the more affordable option (assuming you already have one), and in your case, it would probably do just fine. The big problem I have with smartphones though is that they tend to make everything far too easy, almost to the point where it's just boring, and if you're new the sport, you might become bored of it more quickly. My suggestion would be to use the smartphone for now out of necessity, and save some money for a decent handheld GPSr.
  2. A lot of people seem to think its a waste of money. I like it personally, and get a decent amount of use out of it. For me, hiking/caching mostly in desert environments, satellite maps can prove extremely useful for finding hidden or poorly cut trails. Out here, dirt bikers and ATVs create trails all over the place, and oftentimes I can piggyback on someone's trail and use it to navigate to where I need to. These trails are almost always not in the topo maps as they are too small or recently created.
  3. Personally, I'd just stick with a smartphone and Google Maps for road navigation, and buy whichever handheld GPS you wanted for geocaching/hiking use. Also, what do you mean by "geocache information"? GPSrs with the ability to give information on caches have existed for well over 10 years now. I am thinking maybe you are referring to the ability to download geocaches on-the-fly?
  4. Also consider the Montana 700 if a large, high res screen is important. Bike mounts are available for it. Runs on 3 AAs or a rechargeable battery pack (removeable), which is the best of both worlds.
  5. Having personal experience with the Fenix, I would definitely not recommend one, unless you enjoy forking out money every few years for a new battery. Mine is less than 3 years old, used lightly, and it already needs a replacement. They just don't hold up well. Garmin charges somewhere around $170 to replace it, which is absolutely bananas... Fun watches to own when new, but from a value perspective, totally not worth it.
  6. I second the idea of Etrex, primarily because they get pretty decent battery life on only 2 AAs, and support routable maps. The 22x seems like a solid choice. I don't own the Edge 530, but having a permanent rechargeable battery with only 20 hours battery life seems like a huge deal breaker, especially if you plan to be out most or all of the day.
  7. The reality is, aside from having a longer runtime on a single charge (caveat... when the device is new!), there are actually far more advantages to having a GPSr with AA power. That's not "misplaced fear of new technology", it's just a fact.
  8. Hard pass on the 66sr in my book. You cannot replace the battery in those, so once they degrade and eventually die, that's it. The 700 would be my choice by a long shot here. Very nice display, and the flexibility to use AA batteries or a rechargeable, both of which can be swapped out quickly and easily. Also consider the 66s or 66st models.
  9. Avoid the 66sr and 66i like the plague as both come with non-replaceable internal batteries. Those batteries will degrade over time, and leave you with an expensive paperweight 5-10 years down the road. Stick with the 65, 66s or 66st models.
  10. Did they add Geocaching in a later firmware update? This photo shows a geocaching icon....
  11. I think you and I are only about one generation off on our threshold of acceptable entry level gps. The Etrex Legend/Vista HC or HCx is still perfectly functional even in 2021. It supports geocaching, has USB transfer cable, mapping, high performance antenna, color display, and the PC software still works on Windows 10. What more do you need when you are starting out, and want to spend very little money? I mean if this were a Magellan 315 or Garmin 12XL, I would agree with you
  12. A simple, low cost way to experiment is to buy an older, used GPSr off Ebay. You can find ones like the Etrex Legend Cx/HCx or Vista Cx/Hcx for under $50. These will support geocaching. Make sure it comes with a PC transfer cable. The mapping software is free, and free maps are available to download. It won't be a luxury experience at that price point, but you will at least get to find out what features are important to you.
  13. The OP is still experimenting to find an optimal solution, and is even open to the idea of getting a dedicated GPSr, so this is all relevant discussion. You may be correct on the accuracy part. I am only judging from the limited experience I have using smartphones to hike/cache and I in every instance I was unimpressed. I always ended up going back to the handheld. I suppose position accuracy wasn't really the problem, but there were a number of times the compass arrow would point in the wrong direction, and then go away after an app restart. App lock ups, and all the annoying hiking/map apps that require you to register for an account, log in, have a subscription, blah blah... no thanks, too much of a hassle. Another issue with phones -- and maybe this is at the core of what I don't like about them -- is that you feel like you are renting a service to use. The apps can change tomorrow with an update, or the app developers can go out of business and leave you hanging, raise their costs, etc. It's sort of an unreliable ecosystem, and makes you feel like you are at the mercy of whoever is making these apps. A dedicated GPSr, on the other hand, gives you more control over your device and provides a more stable and predictable ownership experience. They are also built from the ground up to be extremely reliable and well suited for outdoor use. I could go on...
  14. Phones are generally terrible for geocaching and hiking, IMHO. I would never recommend them to anyone for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is flaky accuracy. Take a look at the pre-owned GPS market if price is an issue. You can find very good, capable receivers for surprisingly little money. You will also enjoy geocaching and hiking more having a dedicated device.
  15. Two points here: 1) Being able to swap batteries in the field is 100% not the issue with non-replaceable batteries. It's about longevity. Lithium ion batteries are simply terrible from a consumer perspective. There's no getting around that. They wear out quickly not only with cycle use, but also shelf life, which is around 2-5 years for most consumer devices. Their lifespan is also sensitive to temperature and general usage, so if you are the type that constantly runs the battery from 100 to 0, that will stress the battery out more and shorten its lifespan. Or if you leave it in the car on accident in 100+ heat, that too will shorten its life. 2) There's nothing wrong with change, so long as it benefits the customer. Non-replaceable batteries DO NOT benefit the customer. Period, full stop. Perhaps one day when solid state becomes affordable and widespread, we will see permanent batteries that can easily go 20+ years without needing replacement, while offering outstanding battery life. At that point, yes, I would consider that an improvement to the customer in every way. But lithium ion batteries are not the answer.
  16. It's nothing more than a marketing gimmick IMHO. I have greater trust in GPS (our US system) from a reliability and overall quality perspective, and reliability is paramount with something like GPS. I've never had a problem in all the years I've been geocaching with it, and the accuracy has always been more than sufficient. Why change if it works just fine? That's just me though.
  17. It pains me to say this, as I despise proprietary battery packs, but lithium ion provides more amperage without as much voltage drop. This is why it is better suited for use in something that transmits RF power. I think AAs are rated for something like 0.5 to 1.5 amps max. Inreach alone transmits at 1.6 amps.
  18. I used to augment the weak antenna on these old etrexes with a simple compass. It worked great actually. I set up a bearing field on the map screen and whenever I'd reach an area where I thought the GPS would regain a fix, I'd take another bearing and update my direction. I did many of my early caches with an Etrex Legend and it worked fantastically once I got into a rhythm with it.
  19. Garmin Basecamp is your friend. You can just import the GPX file into it and then drag the geocache(s) into the GPS.
  20. I tried the phone thing a few times and just could not get into it. It saps all of the excitement out of caching and hiking for me. There's just nothing quite as satisfying as using a handheld IMHO. It improves the whole experience.
  21. Yep, I still do most of my hiking/caching with a PN-40 from 2008. I've purchased a number of modern Garmins over the years, the 64st being my most recent one, and have found that I still prefer the legacy devices. The PN-40 is my all around favorite though. It's a shame they don't make them anymore. I would have recommended it to the OP except that it is next to impossible to find replacement data cables for it.
  22. You really can't go wrong with any of the newer handhelds from Garmin, although I would avoid the ones with non-replaceable rechargeable batteries like the plague (66sr being one of them). The 64sx looks like it will fit your price range, and is entirely button operated. Another alternative is to pick up a used or legacy model off of Ebay. I have purchased a number of my devices over the years this way and have been very happy. The great thing about GPSrs is that they don't really become obsolete paperweights like a lot of other electronics, so the used ones can often be a great value!
  23. I don't really use many accessories with my devices, so I'm afraid I won't be of much help in this area. However, I generally carry around a spare set of lithium AAs in my hiking pack, as well as a spare set of rechargeable NIMH in a plastic case similar to the one below. https://www.amazon.com/TheLovelyBird-4PCS-Cell-Battery-Holder/dp/B00Y35762I/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=AA+battery+case&qid=1616244843&sr=8-14 Atlas Cached's link is probably more relevant to what you're looking for.
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