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Best Caching Gps For Around 400$


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It's definitely handy, as you don't have to pace back and forth trying to get a proper direction. I have a regular compass which I use (anyone who is going into the "wilderness" with only a GPS is taking risks), but it's not as convenient. Whether it's worth the cost is a decisionn you'll have to make.

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If $400.00 is all you want to spend, you might consider the Garmin Vista C. You will also want to buy the City Select software which is going to run you another $100.00 or so.

 

I got the Vista C for $280 and the City Select software with the auto-mounting beanbag bracket with cigarette-lighter adapter for another $145.00.

 

I like both the compass and altimeter feature of the Vista C.

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How handy is the compass feature in caching. Never had one so I don’t know if I’m missing out?

It depends. I find it a PITA most of the time and leave it turned off whenever I have a GPS that has one. There are exceptions and for those I can turn it on by pressing and holding the compass button (it's marked) on the 60CS. The other 99.9% of the time the Two steps I have to take for the GPS to start pointing are well worth not having to deal with a compass.

 

The vast majority of people who have an electornic compass on their GPS are happy with it though.

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The Explorist 600 is a great unit. The compass works even when standing still. It is a 3axis compass which means it will work when standing on level ground or upside down - doesn't matter. That is very nice. The SD slot allows you to add up to a Gig of addtional memory. Do not underestimate the value of this. That means for around $35 you can put in an extra 512mb of storage, and for about $60 you can get a Gig of extra storage. You can store far more wayponts per track log than any other unit and it is very one-hand usable. It is light and the color screen is downright great. It is as wonderful in the sunlight as it is at night. You can configure and store your data as you want. You can create different directories for different needs. In other words, you can have a directory for just geocaching logs, and a different directory for hikes or camping, and a different directory for other types of uses. This way you don't have to scroll thfrough a million listings if you happen to be geocaching today and backpacking tomorrow. It has an altimiter and a thermometer and a barameter. Lots of stuff to get excited about.

 

The 14 parallel channels working with WAAS and EGNOS technology makes this one of the most accurate handheld GPSr's you can get. Certainly none are better. I have never lost satelite tracking even under the oaktrees that line some of the trails I hike on. When I hike it is normal for me to be tracking 11 or even 12 satelites. If I am in the open I never, and I mean never, have less than 7. If the overhead cover is really dense then I will drop to fewer, but so does every other GPSr. Right now I am in my upstairs beadroom and I am tracking 4 satelites. When I go downstaris and watch tv I will drop to about 2 satelites (occasionally I will have to go back upstairs or out on the patio to reacquire satelites. Then I simply go back inside and contiue my play. I get accuracy readings down to 7 ft. when I am out in the open.

 

Now some people say you don't need all the stuff the E600 offers, and that might be true, but it is nice that it is all included anyway. It is definately worth looking into.

 

CAStarman

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I agree with AtoZ on the Yellow. We have a Yellow and we have a 60CS and it's incredible what the 60CS can do. But the yellow gets a fix and finds a cache faster. The 60CS wins overall because it really is incredible how accurately it marks coordinates when you are hiding. It is also much more user friendly in every way than the Yellow. But it's such a nice electronic device that you worry about it. The yellow, on the other hand, is gear, not fancy electronics. If it bounces into the floorboard and wants to ride there for the trip, that's cool. If someone wants to borrow it, no prob. The 60CS, however, is quick to become 'the precious.' Oooh, my precious!!!

 

- T of TandS

Edited by tands
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I'll add a monkey wrench in to things... You could buy a Navman Pin (Mio 168) for $350 from outpost.com and then have a choice of many different applications and not be stuck with only garmin software.

 

Navman SmartSt -- not very desirable, but comes w/the unit

BeeLineGPS - complete paperless solution for finding a cache and downloading pocket queries

Mapopolis - door-to-door navigation.

GPXSonar - Another GPX viewer

GPSTuner

Vito Navigator

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Perhaps somone could give a list from 1 to ??? of each of feature for the 60cs (or 76cs) has and then you can make a point by point comparison. Then you could determine what features are important and which are simply fluf. It really depends on what you want to do. I like to backpack and I take mine with me. I like being able to set up direcories for each of the types of track logs I do, hikes, geocaching, etc. I like all the extra memory the Explorist has, which means I can load all the map data i want and never even come close to using up the memory. I especially like the 3axis electric compass the Magellan has. Moving or not, on level ground or not it works great. The color screen on is fantastic. Day or night it is just a bright and easy to read. I like the size of the Explorist line as well. It small and light but the ergonomics of it is very user friendly. But, if all you want to do is one day geocach hikes then ir really does not matter which one you get. I am sure either the Garmin or the Magellan will be great units.

 

Also, you will get used to whatever mfg you buy. You will get used to the interface and how it all works. Familiarity is a big deal when it comes to a lot of things.

 

Looks to me like I just repeated myself. There is an old saying that I have found to be very accurate. Get the best model of whatever you are looking to buy (up to your price limit) because you will never be unhappy with the bells and whistles even if you don't use them. You will never feel like you had to settle. And when it comes to selling it it will always be worth more than the one that has fewer bells and whistles. It is kind of like when I buy a car. I always get the sunroof, if it is an option, because even though I may never open it once, the car will still be worth more down the road (no pun intended) when it comes to selling it as a used car.

 

Good luck and I am sure you will enjoy whatever you decide on buying.

 

CAStarman

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And this is where I throw a monkey wrench in to the equation and say look at the customer support experiences for any unit you would like to buy. There are testimonials all over this forum, Hopefully you won't need customer support, but if you do, you want to come away with a good feeling, not a bad experience.

Edited by wornout
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I like all the extra memory the Explorist has, which means I can load all the map data i want and never even come close to using up the memory

 

Don't be so sure. If its like the Meridian, you are limited to 4 maps of of a certain size (I think 100 megs each is the max but I could be wrong about that). I've heard that some people have figured out a "hack" to get more maps into the unit, but if you just go with the mfr's settings there is a limitation, at least in the Meridian. Maybe this isn't the case with the eXplorist.

Edited by briansnat
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I like all the extra memory the Explorist has, which means I can load all the map data i want and never even come close to using up the memory

 

Don't be so sure. If its like the Meridian, you are limited to 4 maps of of a certain size (I think 100 megs each is the max but I could be wrong about that). I've heard that some people have figured out a "hack" to get more maps into the unit, but if you just go with the mfr's settings there is a limitation, at least in the Meridian. Maybe this isn't the case with the eXplorist.

To clarify: both the Meridian and the Explorist can only have one detail map file active at a time, but one can store as many detail map files as will fit on the SD card and choose which one to use at a given time.

 

(the number 4 comes from the ability of the older MapSend programs to comine up to 4 regions of as large as 16MB each into one file that could therefore be as large as 64MB. Newer MapSends do away with the arrangement, using a single large region per file)

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Minimoose, I've found that the following strategy works well for me whether I'm using the 60CS or the Yellow. Walk steadily with purpose in the average direction of the arrow as you approach the cache. When you're within 50 feet don't stop. Keep your pace to a slow walk. When the needle swings around more than 90 degrees from the direction you've been walking, stop. Put down the GPS. I'm usually right on top of the cache when this happens. The last 4 finds of ours this happened within 3 feet of the cache location.

 

- T of TandS

Edited by tands
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