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Tahoe Skier5000

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Posts 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. 

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  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. 12 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

    This is also supported in Etrex, but in bikepacking context I'd turn this type of features off to conserve battery anyway.


    For a "modern" device, a Fenix pro smartwatch is also an option. You can get a bike mount for it, you pretty much everything Edge 530 does, the battery life is pretty amazing (and more importantly, it's achieved on a very small battery so you don't need to reserve that much power bank capacity to top it up). The high cost and small screen are the obvious downsides.


    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.



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  5. 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.

  6. On 4/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Atlas Cached said:


    Some users just really love their "AA" batteries and won't let them go. For the rest of us, without a misplaced fear of new technology, there are many great advantages to enjoy.


    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. 



  7. 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.








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  8. 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.

  9. 2 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:


    The GPSr does not distinguish between any cache types. What your photo shows is a waypoint with a couple lines of shorthand notes that a GSAK macro have created based on an actual geocache file. This information is very limited on your GPSr, and the device can not filter geocaches based on type, difficulty, terrain, size, status, (etc.) like all modern devices. Your GPSr does not display the description, hints or logs from other users, and you can not enter your own log after finding a geocache. All you are seeing there is a waypoint disguised as a geocache, and it is mostly a hollow shell. Of course, for many years this was how we all geocached and millions of geocaches were found in this manner, so it can be done, but it simply does not compare to what a modern GPSr is capable of today.


    Did they add Geocaching in a later firmware update?


    This photo shows a geocaching icon....


    Garmin GPS - ETREX VISTA HCx - w/box, accessories - camping/hike  [0921170076] - $60.00 : EdsGoodStuff.com Online Shop, it's all good...


    4 hours ago, Mineral2 said:


    No! No! No! No!

    Those devices are ancient. They require special cables. They aren't inherently geocaching compatible. And they don't really give you a taste of how modern GPS units function. If you are going to take the legacy route, go no farther back than the oldest models that support USB mass storage mode, gpx file support, and paperless geocaching. The eTrex 20/30, the Oregon 200/300, the (defunct) Colorado series, or the gpsMap62. Those are the oldest models we should be recommending to new users looking to save on a GPS. Anything else is like recommending your grandparents buy an Apple IIe as their first computer in 2021.


    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 :lol:



  11. 20 hours ago, TreasureBee46 said:


    I want to figure out what I would use in the GPSr, then see where that starts in the price department.  My hubby wants to make sure this is not a "passing fancy" of mine.  SInce I'm still new...my first find was 3/28/2021...I still need some more experience before investing in a "toy" for my new hobby.


    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.

  12. 22 hours ago, Atlas Cached said:

    Yet, here we are, arguing about which is better, Phone or GPSr. Again. Still.


    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.


    22 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

    In general, phones are no less accurate than a GPSr. There may be some specific low-end models or old obsolete models that don't have great location hardware, but any phone purchased in the last 3-5 years is going to compete just fine with a handheld GPSr, recent models with multi-band notwithstanding. The key is understanding your phone's location settings. Android phones, for example, have 3 options - one that uses GPS receiver only, one that uses cell towers only, and one that combines both. If you don't take the time to choose your method of location finding, you may be on the wrong one for geocaching. Many phones today will connect to multiple satellite systems - GPS, GLONASS, Gallileo, etc. 


    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... :D


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  13. 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. :)

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  14. On 4/1/2021 at 4:48 AM, robertlipe said:

    The non-field-replaceable battery thing isn't as cut and dry as it used to be.

    When I needed three laptop batteries to get to my office (I had a tough commute...), I could swap that battery with my eyes closed, under the seat, and without lifting my seat back tray.  Now that I can compile AND watch video for 20+ hours, I no longer care that I can't swap it.

    I can't testify if the situation with the 66SR is similar, but it IS possible that the increase in energy density in the chemicals used and the improved physical shape (look at how much space is between two parallel cylinders) can make the experience so much better that you won't miss being able to swap them. You'll still need to plan for cases like not starting the day on E because you can't just pop another set in from the quick-stop on the way, but the common charging "bricks" or even lipstick batteries (usually a single 18650 cell) can probably charge a GPS several times.

    Spinray has apparently been outside caching and not inside reporting back on his impressions, but IMO he made a good call. $150 for a used 60CSx in 2021 (that's the 2006 version of a 2004 model) just doesn't make sense. That was a workhorse of a GPS, widely used in this crowd, but tech just isn't a place to be sentimental for tools you use.

    Good input from lots of views here and nobody got nasty, so gold stars for everyone. Executive takeaway: Don't be dismissive of change.



    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.

  15. On 3/27/2021 at 7:06 AM, 2quigs said:

    With the Garmin GPSMap66s, there's an option of using different satellite systems ie. GPS, GPS +GLONASS or GALILEO.  Since this is a new feature on newer GPS receivers, I was just wondering what others might think of this...


    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. B)




  16. 4 hours ago, Sgt_Strider said:


    It's hard to believe that 3 AA batteries doesn't provide enough power to do that. 


    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.

  17. 8 hours ago, cerberus1 said:


     We've kept both our blue legends, good for open areas, and spares for new folks on simple hides.

    They still work, but  "just a tree" knocking it outta whack (when your entire area's trees...) all the time was a real pain-in-the-can.

    We were spending more time time time looking for "clearings" than caching.   :D 


    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.

  18. Garmin Basecamp is your friend. You can just import the GPX file into it and then drag the geocache(s) into the GPS. 

  19. 1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:


    Yep, the other 2/3rds used an app and her phone for caching well-before it was a thing here.  She just prefers it. 

     - She too still uses a GPSr when in the woods.  Smashing the glass on a two-week old phone hitting rock (local gorge) cured her of that.  :)


    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.

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  20. 16 hours ago, cerberus1 said:


    Yep.  I'm still using a 60csx, and have loaded it manually since starting.  Just a small notepad for hints n such, and good to go.  :)

    I have spares too, but if I wanted to upgrade,  like Mineral2 says, the 65s would work well for me, and IIRC, still takes AA batteries.


    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.

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  21. 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!



  22. 15 hours ago, SpinRay said:

    @Tahoe Skier5000 Do you have any recommendations for setup or must have accessories?


    To be clear - I understand the battery argument has two sides.  Different strokes is ok.


    Thank you for helping me and letting me learn from your experience.


    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.




    Atlas Cached's link is probably more relevant to what you're looking for. 

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