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Anybody Useing This Unit For Caching?

Three Simple Words

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after readin the manual. it does appear possible to geocache with this unit. there is navigation mode although it appears limited based on screen shots, but it seems functional. the literature also says that it can track previously marked waypoints and the waypoints are capable of being uploaded from a computer; which is pretty much geocaching in a nut shell.


as for waas it doesnt appear to support it. making your theoretical accuracy 49ft. as was already noted this is close enough to start searching with one's eyes instead of their GPSr.


if you only plan on geocaching here and there it should work fine, if your more addicted to the game however i would suggest a GPSr more solely geared towards navigation, not fitness, such as an etrex (i suggest the legend) but thats a personal choice.

Edited by ganlet
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Keep in mind that while you technically can cache with any GPSr, those that are designed for specialties other than hiking (for example, your unit, which is designed for keeping track of your walking/biking/running, there's a similar Navman unit out there like it, though not designed for the wrist; another example is the TomTom units made for car navigation) usually don't make it easy to set off-road waypoints and routes that are the essence of caching.


But I think Ganlet put it best, it really depends to what extent you cache. Good luck!

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I just picked up the forerunner 201 at target to see if I would enjoy geocaching. Turns out I do. Hehehe. Well my first observations was this is mainly measure lap times and speed and incline and such. Basically for joggers, bikers, etc. However for simple navigation to get to a geocache it does work well. I have done 4 caches over the weekend and hit all four with very good accuracy from the unit.


The unit can be programmed with icons and waypoints. It does leave a bread trail that you can follow back, it has a auto go back to where it will send you back to your start point. It does show the map in on screen where it shows a little person walking and the waypoint icons show on the screen. When you get close it says on the screen arriving at destination.


One drawback I have noticed is if you need to know what your coordinates are on the fly it will show it and automatically add it as a waypoint. Also to enter in a new waypoint is not that easy unless you are inputing with your pc with gps easy. You basically enter in your current location automatically then you go and edit the location and resave.


I use a high end navigation system in the car and I like the color screen and the maps. Since I like the sport I will probably look into getting a portable high end one with color that I can load topo maps into.



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I don't use this unit, but I know of another cacher who does, and has been successful in finding geocaches.


I too agree that WAAS is overrated. I don't use it and do just fine.




Thanks, Bec.


I find my trust old eMap (no WAAS) is every bit as accurate as WAAS-enabled GPSrs. Caching with other folks that do have WAAS, I've had exactly one instance where my GPSr wasn't as accurate on the cache as theirs was. It put me on the other side of a tree. Like I wouldn't have walked around that tree to the opposite side after looking for 5mins (or less) on that side? By the same token, I've seen a WAAS-enabled GPS drop someone 20ft from where my GPSr said the cache was - and I grabbed it first. So at the end of the day? No measurable difference to my caching experience.


I'd love to have all the "geocache-specific features" of a 60Cx. I'll probably eventually buy one. But for the moment, I've been unable to harm my eMap, it's always put me on the cache, and the mapping functionality has given me an advantage a time or two over the "cache-specific" GPS's that don't have maps installed. The driving navigation screens are great for figuring out where your *real* next-closest cache is without going into "find-nearest". Obviously, a top-of-the-line tricked-out GPS gives that and more. But sinking $400-500 so that I can have the hint or full name displayed, and a pretty color screen? I just haven't found $400+ advantage to it yet in Geocaching.


"Run what you brung." IMHO. If you're not good yet at finding caches, the top-o'-the-line unit isn't going to give you an advantage. If you're really good at it, you don't need the advantage. :mad:

But like everything else, if you've tightened the loose nut behind the GPS as tight as it will get, and you want that liiiittle extra edge, then it becomes a "gold card sport". As we always said in racing: "speed=money. How fast do you want to go?"

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For my first 18 months of caching I used a Foretrex 201 and was quite successful, so I expect you'd be okay with the Forerunner. I had quite a few times with the Foretrex where I lacked WAAS coverage (due to terrain, foliage, etc) - perhaps I searched a little longer in some of those cases, but I can honestly say that I can't think of a single instance where the lack of WAAS correction data led to a DNF. My recollection is that I typically had anywhere from 18' to 30' accuracy, with 24' sticking in my mind as the average for most of my hunts. It was extremely rare to see accuracy in the 50-100' range, unless I was about to lose (or had just regained) a lock on the satellites. I did have difficulty keeping lock under tall/dense tree cover - old pine forests in particular seemed to be my nemesis. (WAAS becomes kind of irrelevant if you don't even have enough satellites for a 2D position fix. :mad:) In moderate/light tree cover or open areas, performance was usually fine. I'm not sure about 'concrete canyon' areas like NYC though - I don't remember doing any urban caching with the Foretrex.


The screen setup I most commonly used on the Foretrex (compass/nav screen with distance and bearing data fields) doesn't appear to be present on the Forerunner. But the map screen could give you pretty much the same info if you adjusted the zoom level as you went along. (After all, if you're running with 24' accuracy, is there really any difference between eyeballing the scale on the map display to guesstimate that you're 15' from the waypoint versus reading a data display saying that the distance is 17 feet? Either way you're plenty close enough that it's time to put down the GPSr and switch to the ol' eyeballs. :mad:)


A nice thing about the Foretrex/Forerunner line is that they're extremely compact, and leave both hands free for fending off any branches/thorns/etc that might want to invade your personal space when you're bushwhacking. They're also rather discreet to use - the only times that muggles took notice of my Foretrex was because they thought it was some sort of MP3 player, and they wanted to know what I was listening to. :( Might come in handy if you need to be stealthy for some of those NYC caches.


Side note: if you mountain bike, the Foretrex/Forerunner line have a nice low profile using the Garmin handlebar mount. (Something I've come to miss now that I'm clamping a relatively monstrous 76CS to my bike.)

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