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Gps Question/recommendation


mars817
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Hello,

 

I want to start getting into geocaching and I need to get a GPS. I'm having a moral dilemma. I plan to get the GPS for geocaching and am not sure what else I would do with it. I don't think anything, but ?? So in that aspect I'm thinking I should go for the etrex yellow. The other side of me is saying spend more money now and avoid upgrading in a short period of time.

 

My question is: Is it worth spending the extra money on better models for just geocaching? What are good starter models if that's going to be my use?

 

Anyone have an opinion on the garmin GPS that is also a palm pilot? They have them on overstock and I kinda like the idea of it.

 

Thanks!

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My question is: Is it worth spending the extra money on better models for just geocaching? 

 

Yes it is. If you get a better model you will use it for a lot more than geocaching. Better models do autorouting and have a database of businesses and services. If you need to know where the nearest hotel, gas station, restaurant, post office, shopping mall, etc... is, the unit will not only tell you where it is, but it will provide turn by turn directions to the destination.

 

If you are a hiker, backpacker, hunter, fisherman etc... you can get software that can show fishing hotpots and terrain detail. It will tell you if there is a ravine, cliff, stream, swamp, mountain, etc... between you and the cache.

 

 

What are good starter models if that's going to be my use?

 

If all you want it for is geocaching there are many, inexpensive models that will do the job. At minimum you will want to make sure it has a PC hookup. That way you can download waypoints directly to the unit and also software upgrades.

 

As a starter model, the basic eTrex is very popular and probably has found more caches than all other units combined. But for a little more money you can get an eTrex Legend that has a base map and the ability to dowload detailed maps. The Legend is very popular because its inexpensive (around $130) and a good all around unit. Some other basic units that will do the job are the Garmin Geko 201, Magellan Sportrak Map, Lowrance iFinder and Garmin GPS 60. The GPS 60 might be the best of the bunch (dont confuse this with the higher end Map 60 and Map 60C(S).

 

Anyone have an opinion on the garmin GPS that is also a palm pilot.

 

They are good units, but not appropriate for geocaching. They are built for the office and car and simply are not designed to take the abuse that a GPS will receive while geocaching. They are not waterproof and shockproof. While geocaching you might find yourself in a sudden downpour or snowstorm, and your GPS will get dragged through brush, dropped on rocks and dunked in streams. Handheld GPS units are designed to take this. The Palm models are not.

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hoe much do you want to spend????

 

I'm not sure how much I want to spend :ph34r: That's what I'm trying to figure out. I mean I'd like to go cheap, because well I'm cheap:) But I've learned that you get what you pay for. I guess I'm really new to this and am not even sure what other things you can do with a GPS so don't anticipate using those features, but as I learn I may regret not getting them. Blah I don't know. I just want to order one already so that it gets here and I can play but I don't know enough to make an informed decision.

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One of the "good news" neat quirks about GPS technology is, more money does NOT necessarily buy better accuracy, so even a cheap entry level $69 iFinder GO will get you just as close to your target as a high end $400 60CS.

 

If you're that uncertain about long term usage & need of a GPS, then perhaps it is to your interest to pick up a very basic entry level model that you can use to get your feet wet with. The aformentioned Lowrance iFinder GO can be had for just $69 HERE and is a good sturdy little unit that will give you exposure to the technology. It doesn't connect to computer, so you will need to manually key in cache coordinates, but that task is really pretty simple anyway if you're just a casual cacher. The GO has good power & includes a basemap of major roads & lake/river contours etc.

 

If you find you like the technology & look to upgrade later, the iFinder can become either a backup for your upgrade, or you can sell/give it away to someone, resultinging in little expense. Good luck!

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One of the "good news" neat quirks about GPS technology is, more money does NOT necessarily buy better accuracy, so even a cheap entry level $69 iFinder GO will get you just as close to your target as a high end $400 60CS.

 

If you're that uncertain about long term usage & need of a GPS, then perhaps it is to your interest to pick up a very basic entry level model that you can use to get your feet wet with. The aformentioned Lowrance iFinder GO can be had for just $69 HERE and is a good sturdy little unit that will give you exposure to the technology. It doesn't connect to computer, so you will need to manually key in cache coordinates, but that task is really pretty simple anyway if you're just a casual cacher. The GO has good power & includes a basemap of major roads & lake/river contours etc.

 

If you find you like the technology & look to upgrade later, the iFinder can become either a backup for your upgrade, or you can sell/give it away to someone, resultinging in little expense. Good luck!

Though the GO is an OK unit for the money, if you get even slightly serious about geocaching you will find it very wanting and will soon be looking to upgrade.

 

If you're looking to go cheap, the units I mentioned earlier are all good choices and they have enough functionality where you won't outgrow them in a few months.

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I'll add my experience to the discussion. I too am very cheap - so much that my parents, friends, and co-workers make fun of me. I bought my first GPSr a year ago. It was an eXplorist 100 for $100. I've found 241 caches with it. The unit will get you to the caches, no doubt about it. I didn't want to spend much $ at first because I didn't know if I'd like this geocaching thing and didn't know what else I'd use the GPSr for. Well guess what? I'm hooked. I started using the GPSr for my job (I make maps, and should've known I'd use the thing for work). I'm also a volunteer with The National Map Corps. Not being able to download waypoints from my GPSr has made me a little less efficient at my job. I'm going out to collect 90-odd points soon, and didn't want to have to write them all down. And it's gotten tedious at times manually entering cache coordinates. So last night I bought an eXplorist 400 for $200 (after $50 rebate). I can down/upload waypoints. It can hold an SD card, so I have plenty of space to store points, routes, and maps in the future. I wanted to make sure that I had room to grow with the receiver. I think this receiver should take care of me for at least the next few years. If you want a receiver that's middle of the road in terms of cost and features, check out the upcoming eXplorist 210.

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I'll just echo the Garmin eTrex Legend as a good choice. For $130 you get a rugged, easy to use, smaller unit. The inclusion of a PC cable and mapping make it a very good bargain. I now use a GPSMAP 60C because of the nice bells and whistles but sometimes I pull out the legend because of its small handheld size.

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My recommendation would be to go for a good model, because you dont want to do liek I did....which is to buy a yellow etrex, ...then get hooked and want a better one so I got a an etrex legend,....then I wanted something bigger and better, so I went for the GPS MAP60C,.....which I am sure will be my final one.....myself, I want and need the Auto routing/ maps, and colored screen. and now you can still get the 60C for around 350$US.

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well like i said i upgraded to a map 60c and love it. if you cn stretch that far you wont regret it.

Yeah, I'm kinda leaning that way, but then I think, what if I don't really get into this than I would wish I got a cheaper unit and was out all the cash. I just don't know. I went out with my friends once and have been looking for a hobby like this but maybe I won't really get into? Is it possible or is it too addicting? :laughing:

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Some of the best cachers I've met (both in terms of finds and hides) use the Garmin Geko 201. When used properly, it's accurate, portable, and inexpensive. The unit allows PC connectivity, too.

 

I have an old eTrex Summit and I have no problems Geocaching with it. Its Geocaching performance is equivalent to an Yellow eTrex.

 

So I'll echo what IVxIV said, entry-level priced GPSr's are sufficient for finding caches.

 

The bells and whistles of more expensive GPSr's come into play when you want more efficiency. GPSmap 60 series' autorouting feature will minimize your getting lost while driving, and its ability to keep track of your finds will facilitate your logging them online once you get home.

 

Having a scrolling map on your GPSr is nice. I've used that to look for shortcuts or detours around traffic jams while driving.

 

If you don't want to pay the extra $$ for the more expensive units, you are not making a mistake. If you become ADDICTED later on, then you wouldn't care about the extra $$ for buying another unit anyhow. :laughing:

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well like i said i upgraded to a map 60c and love it. if you cn stretch that far you wont regret it.

Yeah, I'm kinda leaning that way, but then I think, what if I don't really get into this than I would wish I got a cheaper unit and was out all the cash. I just don't know. I went out with my friends once and have been looking for a hobby like this but maybe I won't really get into? Is it possible or is it too addicting? :laughing:

The sport is addicting, but if you don't get into it, a cheap unit will collect dust. If you were to get something like a 60C(S), you'd use it all the time even if you don't geocache.

 

I can't say enough about the autorouting and database of services and businesses. I've been staying in a strange area for a few months and my 60CS has been invaluable. If I'm in the mood for Thai food, I just click on "food", then "restaurants" then "oriental" and bingo I have a dozen choices listed in order of distance from my location. I hit GoTo and my 60CS takes me to the front door.

 

If I'm driving and the gas tank is low (I have a bad habit of waiting 'till its way low), I click on "Services", then "gas" and I know where the nearest one is and again get directions.

 

If I need shampoo, I click on "shopping" then "pharmacy" and every CVS and Rite-AId in the area appears on the screen.

 

If co-worker invites me to a party, I don't ask for directions, I just ask for the address and let my 60CS take me there.

 

And thats just the autorouting. There are many other neat features that have nothing to do with geocaching.

 

I can check a screen that tells me how long it will take to get to my destination at my current average speed. At the end of a trip I can see my top speed, average speed and the amount of time I spent moving and stopped.

 

The only thing my 60CS can't do is steer and who knows, maybe with a firmware upgrade... :laughing:

 

Some other uses:

I've used it to find my way back to my car after a day of hiking.

I've used it to see how far I hiked.

I've used it to make trail maps and to build hiking trails

I've used it as a speedometer and odometer on my bicycle.

Used it to find that neat camping spot I discovered on my last backpacking trip.

I've used it to calculate my verts and speed while skiing.

I used it to measure the acreage of my brother's property.

I've used it to find my way back to my hotel after a drunken night on the town.

Edited by briansnat
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well like i said i upgraded to a map 60c and love it. if you cn stretch that far you wont regret it.

Yeah, I'm kinda leaning that way, but then I think, what if I don't really get into this than I would wish I got a cheaper unit and was out all the cash. I just don't know. I went out with my friends once and have been looking for a hobby like this but maybe I won't really get into? Is it possible or is it too addicting? :laughing:

The sport is addicting, but if you don't get into it, a cheap unit will collect dust. If you were to get something like a 60C(S), you'd use it all the time even if you don't geocache.

 

I can't say enough about the autorouting and database of services and businesses. I've been staying in a strange area for a few months and my 60CS has been invaluable. If I'm in the mood for Thai food, I just click on "food", then "restaurants" then "oriental" and bingo I have a dozen choices listed in order of distance from my location. I hit GoTo and my 60CS takes me to the front door.

 

If I'm driving and the gas tank is low (I have a bad habit of waiting 'till its way low), I click on "Services", then "gas" and I know where the nearest one is and again get directions.

 

If I need shampoo, I click on "shopping" then "pharmacy" and every CVS and Rite-AId in the area appears on the screen.

 

If co-worker invites me to a party, I don't ask for directions, I just ask for the address and let my 60CS take me there.

 

And thats just the autorouting. There are many other neat features that have nothing to do with geocaching.

 

I can check a screen that tells me how long it will take to get to my destination at my current average speed. At the end of a trip I can see my top speed, average speed and the amount of time I spent moving and stopped.

 

The only thing my 60CS can't do is steer and who knows, maybe with a firmware upgrade... :laughing:

 

Some other uses:

I've used it to find my way back to my car after a day of hiking.

I've used it to see how far I hiked.

I've used it to make trail maps and to build hiking trails

I've used it as a speedometer and odometer on my bicycle.

I've used it to calculate my verts and speed while skiing.

I used it to measure the acreage of my brother's property.

I've used it to find my way back to my hotel after a drunken night on the town.

Briansnat is right. Our 60CS gets us ANYWHERE we want to go. We have CitySelect on it, so if we type in restaurants it tells us how to get there, beeps, shows us where to turn. Routed us the whole way to where we went on vacation.

 

It really does anything you need it to do, and then some.

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I also bought a less expensive model when I started out. After caching for about 2 years I upgraded to the 60CS. In addition to all the other benefits listed above I found that I could find caches quicker. Auto-Routing got me to my jump off point without me having to wander around trying to figure out what streets to take to get there. Maybe if you only cache in your home town this won't be an advantage, but I am always traveling for business, and this feature alone has been worth the additional cost. :laughing:

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i would go caching with friends or try to find another local cacher for a few more finds. make sure you're happy with the hobby and get fully addicted. then make a decision, try to go out with several people to see different units in action.....go to an event there must be one coming up near you as it's almost christmas. then get a unit in the new year.

 

you won't regret the 60c though..

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What ever GPS you buy Magellan, Garmin or Lowrance, get one whit a data cable to interface it with your computer. If you get one without this feature and get into geocaching you will fine yourself buy another GPS down the road. THere are advantages to havong a GPS with a Data cable

 

1) You can download waypoints directly into the GPS-this saves time and prevents incorrect coordinates.

 

2) If there is a firmware update you can update the GPS firmware

 

3) If you have a lap top computer you can hook the GPS to your lap top and with the correct software the lap top will nevigate and give you access to more map data than a GPS can hold

 

THere are lots to chose from without having to spend $400.00, Garmin e-trex legend, Magellan sport track map, Garmin GPS V, Magellan sport track pro, Garmin GPS 60, Magellan explorist 210(soon to be realeased) NOe of the above have a color screen but you do not need a color screen in a GPS, Other things you do not need are a Magnetic compass(sometimes called an electronic compass) An altimeter, and a barometer are all features that do no more than add to the price of a GPS, and non of these featrues are needed for Geocaching. I am sure some will p[ost that these features are need but htye are just a waste of money.

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If you want a more full featured GPS without spending as much money I am selling my Magellan SporTrak Pro, with the vehicle mounting unit, cables, USB to serial conversion and installation CD, and Topo software for $150. It is in excellent condition.

 

Sure wish I could type!

Edited by Night Stalker
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I've been messing with GPSr for a few years now, while geocaching for only a few months. My primary use (before GC) was to mark crab pot locations in the bay. My buddy and I refer to his GPS as the CPPS. (crab pot positioning system).

 

I did quite a bit of comparison shopping/research before I purchased my GPS. I opted for the GPSMap60C(S). It was about 400 bucks plus I popped for the auto kit which included North America City Select mapping software. Absolutely no regrets.

 

The unit is great for finding addresses (for my job) and tough enough to bounce off of rocks while caching.

 

The bottom line is, if you're going to spring for a GPSr, get the best you can comfortably afford. You most likely will start using those extra bells and whistles that you don't think you have any use for right now.....

 

Good luck and happy caching!

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Hello,

 

I want to start getting into geocaching and I need to get a GPS. I'm having a moral dilemma. I plan to get the GPS for geocaching and am not sure what else I would do with it. I don't think anything, but ?? So in that aspect I'm thinking I should go for the etrex yellow. The other side of me is saying spend more money now and avoid upgrading in a short period of time.

 

My question is: Is it worth spending the extra money on better models for just geocaching? What are good starter models if that's going to be my use?

 

Anyone have an opinion on the garmin GPS that is also a palm pilot? They have them on overstock and I kinda like the idea of it.

 

Thanks!

if you want to have a good GPSr for all porpose use, get the Garmin Etrex ledgend c, mapsourse, topo, and trip and waypoint manager (comes with GPS)

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I started out with a magellan Explorist. within a few weeks I was tired of having to manually input all the coords but it was a GREAT starter for me....it was so much so that I sold it to my mother and got her hooked with it. After I sold it to her I bought a Garmin extrex legend. I have loved it. I added waypoints for all my families houses out of town so whe I go there I can know about how far away i am and about how long its gonna take me to get there give my current speed. I can connect it to the computer and with the mapsource software I even have small streets to navigate better. It even has little waypoint icons for geocaching(geocache[a little treasure chest], and geocache found[an open treasure chest])My only quirk is that the reception is the greatest under trees but it still gets me where I need to go. It was stolen out of my truck last week so now I have to save up for another one but I can guarantee you I will purchase another like it. I might get the legendC just cause its in color but probably not.

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A 60C or 76CS is possibly a bit much. Have you thought about the Etrex Vista. It is a wonderful product. I have used one for a while, and I love it. I , however, in the process of getting a 76CS. As for as the question of will you use it...that makes me smile. You will use that little box more than you could ever imagine. Trust me.

 

PS Whatever you choose, make sure that you get a unit with enough memory for maps.

Edited by zito
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