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New Family To Start Hunting - A Few Questions


sugarcrum
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Hiya all, newbie here with a few questions. I've been reading quite a bit, but, sometimes it is best to try to get answers to specific questions :laughing:

 

After reading around a bit and doing lots of comparisions I finally decided on the Garmin eTrex Vista C as my new found buddie. I've been telling the kids about some "treasure hunting" we're about to do in the woods and such and they are very excited! Got a couple of things though ..

  • What, in your opinion, would be good mapping software to purchase for the Vista C? I'll use it for driving around so I do want to have street level details, but also, of course, I'll be using it lots in the wild :yikes: hehe.
     
  • I have a 4 year old and 10 year old, and a wife. I'm thinking of getting a cheaper, or used, unit for the 10 year old so he can feel like he's really doing all the work. Any suggestions on a pretty decent unit, say, under $100? I'm not looking for a piece of junk .. but, also not a newer top of the line unit either. I'd like to stick with a Garmin, just becase that is what my unit will be.
     
  • I've done some searches and saved about 15 caches that I think are good "starter" finds for us. A few look very simple, a few are a little further in the woods. I didn't take anything that looked too hard right now, just because we've never done this. Any hints or suggestions for newbies? Like .. what if I'm way out in the woods somewhere and some guy comes up and says "what the heck you doing on my land?" hehe.
     
  • Last thing, we're going to Disney in a week and Daytona (close to boardwalk area) after that. I'm not sure if there is any good hunting around such a populated area .. but, anyone know? Any suggestions? I'm a premium member and can do great searches .. but, not sure what to search on something this specific .. or, if anyone has any specific finds that they would like to share.

Thanks for any remarks! We're VERY excited about getting out and taking on some new adventures!

 

-- sugarcrum

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I have a 4 year old and 10 year old, and a wife. I'm thinking of getting a cheaper, or used, unit for the 10 year old so he can feel like he's really doing all the work. Any suggestions on a pretty decent unit, say, under $100? I'm not looking for a piece of junk .. but, also not a newer top of the line unit either. I'd like to stick with a Garmin, just becase that is what my unit will be.

You can get the basic yellow Etrex new for just under $100. It's a great unit, just no fancy stuff.

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Mapping software, Mapsource City Select in the way to go. It will give you routes and points of interest on loaded maps. You might want to wait a few months though as Garmin will be releasing version 7 soon.

 

Etrex yellow for your son. It can be found new at many stores for around $100 dollars and rumor has it that it has found more caches than any other unit due to its popularity.

 

Hints, look for something out of place when you get within 20 feet of the the cache. Put the gps away after you get to "ground zero" Too many new cachers keep following the arrow and try to get it to 0 feet. Ain't gonna happen. Get close and look around.

 

Don't forgo those "harder" caches. They are enjoyed by kids particularly if they can get muddy and crawl around.

 

Learn to identify poison ivy, nothing will turn off your kids and wife and even yourself more than coming down with a nasty rash.

http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/nathis...ge/flora/poivy/

http://www.poison-ivy.org/index.htm

http://www.trackertrail.com/survival/food/...tification.html

Note the second picture here that shows the "hairy" vine, very good way to identify the vine type.

 

For searches use a pocket query based on a latitude and longitude.

 

Lastly find a local event or cacher to hang out with.

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To start with software for your Vista C. You have to purchase the software that is sold by Garmin. The best for auto routing is City Select. This also works pretty well for geocaching also.

 

Decent unit-There are used units for sale on this site as well as on Ebay. You take a chance when purchasing anything from Ebay, but I have always had good luck. Buying a used unit from someone who has upgraded to a more powerful unit can get you a more powerful unit for the same price as a new unit.

 

Caches should not be on private land unless the cacher has permission from the land owner. If you see no trespassing signs you most likely are approaching the cache from the wrong direction. If you have concerns do not go there.

 

Lastly. Find out the zip codes for the areas you are visiting and enter them on the hide and seek page to find nearby caches. You can actually load these caches into your new Vista if you put Easy GPS on your computer. If you have a laptop you can set it up and take it with you. This will allow you to load new maps and new caches to your GPS as you travel. If you pay the $30 fee to become a premium member you will also get additional abilities like automating downloads of files with the caches you want in them.

 

If you have any questions about what I have in this message send me a note and I will be glad to give you more help.

 

:laughing:

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For a garmin unit, the Mapsource programs are your only choice. They are the only programs that will work in a garmin.

 

For Street maps, Cityselect is the top of the line (I thnk it is the only one with autorouting, but I could be wrong) No topo maps though.

Edited by Docapi
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What, in your opinion, would be good mapping software to purchase for the Vista C? I'll use it for driving around so I do want to have street level details, but also, of course, I'll be using it lots in the wild  hehe

 

For the Vista C you'll want Garmin's autorouting software, City Select. You might also want to put Mapsource Topo on it for when you're off trail. With the 24 megs of memory though, you might be a bit limited as to coverage if you use both at the same time. Either one alone should however give you pretty wide coverage.

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Hi & welcome to the hobby/sport, to your whole family! :laughing:

 

You'll like the Vista C it is quite a capable unit, and with the Garmin Map software it should cover your road needs too. As far as a more basic model for your kids to tag along with I would suggest (if you really want to stick to Garmin) one of the Garmin Geko's they have games builtin to the GPSr, which your kids will probably find fascinating. The Etrex yellow suggestion I would shy away from.. If you're out caching in the woods under moderate/heavy tree cover you're probably going to often get cases where your Vista C (newer technology) will continue to work but the Etrex yellow will "die" because they are prone to losing signal lock under tree cover, at least moreso than the Vista C. Not always, but enough to probably frustrate your kids to think they have a "dud" on their hands lol.

 

Regarding what caches to begin your adventures with, sounds like you've done some good research already. Start with 1/1 caches, and if possible review the log history just before heading out to them. Read the comments & see if the cache was a good find. You should print the whole cache listing and take it with you if your don't (yet lol) have a PDA and can do what is known as "paperless caching"

 

Again. welcome to the hobby/sport!

Edited by IVxIV
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If you are going to shop around for a yellow Etrex be aware there are two hardware versions. There could be some "old stock" brand new units units still around. And certainly used Ebay units will probably be the old hardware. The new hardware allows you to load the new software allows you to pick up WAAS. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the old hardware, but you should look for a better price if that is what is being offered.

 

Read this: Etrex Upgrade?

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have a 4 year old and 10 year old, and a wife. I'm thinking of getting a cheaper, or used, unit for the 10 year old so he can feel like he's really doing all the work. Any suggestions on a pretty decent unit, say, under $100? I'm not looking for a piece of junk

 

Consider a Garmin Geko 101 or 201. Very easy to use. The 201 connects to a PC so you might want to go that route. I've seen the 101 for as little as $49 though. The 201 is usually coser to $100. They are nice becuause they are very small

and will fit easily in a 4 year old's hand. They are very good GPS units.

 

Another option would be a Lowrance iFinder GO or GO2. Both sell for well under $100 and are nice, functional units. Their main weakness is that , like the Geko 101,they can't connect to a PC.

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A few other tips:

Always bring several pens with you. Nothing more frustrating than finding a micro or a regular with no pen in it and the pens are in the car 0.5 miles away!

 

Bring water. Even in a suburban park on a hot day, you can get dehydrated. Last July, I was on a walkway maybe 700 ft from my car. It was 2 PM and >90 degrees. I had drunk only one bottle of water so far that day and had skipped lunch (caching fever). I was looking up at a tree for a cache and suddenly started getting tunnel vision. Luckily I was at a bench. When I recovered, I went directly back to the car and drank two bottles of water and ate.

Also you can use the water to wash mud off your hands or ants off a cache container.

 

Before bushwhacking, determine if there might be a closer, easier approach. I had a couple of finds where I trooped up a slope and found that if I stayed on the trail, it passed only 10-20 ft from the cache.

 

Also remember that the person had to place it. I have started looking in groves of thistles, PO, etc, when I realized they would have had to get in there to place it. The caches were in much more accessible places.

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  • Last thing, we're going to Disney in a week and Daytona (close to boardwalk area) after that. I'm not sure if there is any good hunting around such a populated area .. but, anyone know? Any suggestions? I'm a premium member and can do great searches .. but, not sure what to search on something this specific .. or, if anyone has any specific finds that they would like to share.

As far as Disney World is concerned, try Magic Kingdom and then click on ...all nearby caches to find nearby caches.

 

For Daytona Beach, try Donut Park Resurrected and do the same.

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We are new too. Don't underestimate the power of a 10yo. LOL My 11 yo is pretty handy on the GPS (we use a Magellen) I've only just this past week surpassed him on GPS skill. :ph34r: My 7 yo is catching on fast and can follow the compass and the knows to watch for the feet getting smaller. (Wow, I'm techinical huh?) Put together a pack with something like water and granola bars. Nothing worse than hot, hungry kids. Also, make sure everyone wears pants, not shorts. Maybe those zip off pants so you can convert them to shorts if the kids get hot and you aren't on a bushy cache.

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Welcome. I cache with a 3, 5 and 7 year old. One thing I have done is given each girl a safety whistle that has an internal water proof compartment with a paper that has a prewritten (completed by me) form with name, DOB, eye hair color, emerg contact,med ins carrier and many other important tidbits. I have impressed upon them that this is not a toy--it is for emegency use only. I also use the rule of "if I cannot see you, then you are too far away." I pack snack packs of crackers and nutrigrains and I encourage swapping goodies from cache to cache instead of taking something from each. (We go back and look at logs to see who took our swaps) The other thing that I learned the hard way is "do not tell them they are going hiking....you are just going for a walk" be ready on "walks" to take breaks. It takes a lot longer to do 2 miles in and 2 miles out but if you pace and watch all can have fun.

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