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Need advice on GPS to buy for a beginner

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For beginning, I'd suggest something on the low end. Perhaps the Garmin eTrex (the yellow one), or the magellin 100. They're new for about $100. They don't "do" much, but can lead you near a cache just like the more expensive ones. If your friend really gets into caching, he'll quickly outgrow these units, but at least they're only $100.


I started with the Garmin Vista. I kinda picked a middle-of-the-road unit. It is about $160 new, but had some things I wanted (ability to load some maps, and an electronic compass). I'm starting to outgrow this unit and am looking at the 60CSx.

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I want to buy a GPS for a friend who is a beginner geocacher. What can anyone suggest?





I would recommend the eTrex Venture (the current model, not the one coming out this fall.) It costs more than the basic yellow etrex, but supports mapping (if you decide to go that way) and has MUCH better reception and accuracy. In short, you won't outgrow it as fast, and maybe never.

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One more factor to add, one that I'm always harping on. GPS receivers fall into two categories--normal-reception and high-sensitivity. Low-end units tend to be normal-reception. They can't receive satellite signals in wooded areas or canyons. If you're geocaching, you have to step into a clearing to get a reliable fix on your position. That means a lot of triangulating, which many people find to be a pain.


So, even for a beginner, I'd recommend springing for a high-sensitivity unit. In the Garmin line (the manufacturer I'm familiar with), that means either the 60 Cs(x) or the 76Cs(x). You may be able to find a used 60 Cs on eBay for $150 or so.


The situation may change (at least for Garmin) pretty soon. They are rumored to be adding high-sensitivity to their mid-range eTrex line. If that proves to be the case, then the eTrex high-sensitivity models would be another good option.

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