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Sea Monkey

What is the best GPS for geocaching?

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I had a really old Magellan that picked up satellites under tree cover when most others could not. It looked low tech by todays standards because it did not have a map, but It had 5 nav screens and I was able to easily hone in on the coords with precision. My GPS was ripped off a while back and I finally got a new one, a Magellan Crossover. It was expensive and has a lot of cool features that I have no use for. It doesn't seem very well suited for accurately honing in on the cache coords. I'm looking for the best gps for geocaching. What might that be?powerlineman@aol.com

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I've been buying Garmins since they were first available to the general public. That doesn't make me a good reference, just a loyal customer. :ph34r:

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Short Answer.

 

Any Garmin. I would bet that the number of people Garmin is at 99% or better and there is a reason.

 

Thank's Walt. I see you are from Rescue. I lived in El Dorado Hills for 13 years and moved to Washington 6 years ago. We were practicaly neighbors.

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My second Magellan so far has been adequate. The first one did not and was exchanged shortly thereafter.

 

Their customer service has not been adequate on many, many occasions.

 

I have been told more than once that my problem has been escalated to the next level of customer service. LOL. I never ever hear back from them. They also in most situation do not answer/return my emails. This is just part of the problems, not all.

 

I will do most anything i can do to avoid ever buying a Magellan again.

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We have been using the same Magellan Sportrack since 10/03. It does not have a lot of space for uploading maps but so far its worked for us.

 

We are not loyal to Magellan but ours has been very reliable so far.

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Moving thread from Geocaching Topics forum to the GPS Units and Software forum.

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Don't overlook Lowrance, I'll put my iFinder Hunt up against any consumer gps on the market, and it's half the price of many of the other units on the market.

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i have a 210 and a 60cx and the 210 by far gets better accuracy after turning t on for 10 mins my magellan is down at 12ft and the garmins up there in the 30,s! this is because the explorists have 14 channels garmin usually sticks to only 12 and the magellan tri axis compass is a must! i regret buying the 60 i should have bought an explorist 600. theres only one thing i like about garmin and thats their geocaching mode. before you buy a gps you have to ask people who have used both garmin and magellan or even lowrance. (i just havnt heard good things about them) also if you want maps for your gps i would take a look at some prices. you will be surprised at the difference :ph34r:

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Short Answer.

 

Any Garmin. I would bet that the number of people Garmin is at 99% or better and there is a reason.

 

Advertising!

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Short Answer.

 

Any Garmin. I would bet that the number of people Garmin is at 99% or better and there is a reason.

 

Advertising!

 

Not advertising sound like opinion and its the same as mine. Great customer service and well as good products. I own 6 of them right now including the ones my kids use.

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Most any GPS will work for geocaching, it depends on whar features you want or need.

 

I have been using a Magellan Explorist 500 for the part 2.5 years. I started out with a Garmin e-treks, then and E-treks legend, I even tried a Vista (for me the magnetic compasa in the viste was and is usless) I also have a magellan sport track color (That one has a very poor color screen-but it has a traxial compass that out performs any compass in any Garmin GPS-but I still feel a magnetic compass in a GPS is usless for geocaching) I carry a real compass.

Then I used a Magellan Sport track Map, then a Magellan Meridain Gold. I used the Meridan gold utill I bought a Garmin Street Pilot 320 ) The street pilot is not very good for finding a cache, it will only get you within about 100 feet-but I only paid $150.00 new. I use it just to get the the general area of the cache then I use my Explorist 500 to find the cache.

I have always had better accuracy from Magellan, but the one feature I really need is the ability to have several cache files on the memory card of my Explorist 500 and Meridian Gold. I keep a file for each geographic area that I cache in. these may be set for anything from a 5 mile radius to a 20 mile radius denpening on cache density.

 

Files on the card may reflect any aspect of the caches, the files can reflect Terrian, Difficulty, Cache type, region, and so on. I even keep files for cache that are 6 months old.

 

So far I have not seen anything from garmin that would fit my requirements in a hand held GPS.

 

Edit to add

 

It doesn't seem very well suited for accurately honing in on the cache coords.

What accuracy are you getting?

Edited by JohnnyVegas

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I got 2 words for you!

 

Garmin 60 CSx.

 

I use a Garmin 76CSx and i love it. well...after i got used to it being upside down. :rolleyes:

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I really depends on how much you want to spend. But these are the 3 units I recommend handheld units..

 

Very little Magellan Expolorist 210

+ Topo capable

+ Multiple waypoint sets (able to keep multiple 200 waypoint sets with info and hints)

+ USB interface

- Black and white

- Limited memory but sufficient for some maps and sets of waypoints

- Backlit hard to see at night

 

Mid range Magellan Explorist 500

+ Topo capable

+ Multiple waypoint sets (able to keep multiple 200 waypoint sets with info and hints)

+ USB interface

+ Color Screen

+ SD capable to allow for a very large number of maps and waypoint

+ Backlit very easy to see at night

 

Money to burn Garmin 60cx

+ This is on the top of the heap but you have to pay for it.

- Limited number of waypoints

- Interface for inputting waypoints on the fly required using 2 buttons

Edited by Team Sand Dollar

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Lowrance iFinder GOII...16 channels, keeps signal in heavy cover, accurate to 15', 48 hour battery life.

 

I've used this unit from the beggining. We geocache regularly with friends that have Garmin and Megellan and just purchased a Bushnell. The Lowrance consistently finds the hide over any of their units. Not bragging, just stating fact.

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Hey, thanks for all the great info. I'm starting to do a little research on Garmin and I see that their new Legend HCx and Vista HCx have some kind of enhanced reciever technology that helps lock on better under heavy tree cover and in canyons. Anyone try them yet?

Edited by Sea Monkey

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Garmin 60Csx! Cool little treasure chest icons that flip their lid open when you find 'em...plus the option to "Find Next (closest) Geocache".

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Hey, thanks for all the great info. I'm starting to do a little research on Garmin and I see that their new Legend HCx and Vista HCx have some kind of enhanced reciever technology that helps lock on better under heavy tree cover and in canyons. Anyone try them yet?

The expected release is some time in the Third quarter, so that could be anytime between July 1st. and the end of september.

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I have just started geocaching and have been using a friends Magellan Explorist 500. It's a nice unit with a large color screen but several things are frustrating about this unit. It seems to take a long time to adjust to changes, even when you have a lot of satellite locks and accuracy is good. It is most noticeable when you stop then start again, and most annoying when you're close to the cache trying to get an exact lock. <_< Of course this could be due to my inexperience.

 

After a lot of research, I ordered a Garmin GPSMap 60csx which should arrive tomorrow. I'm curious to see how the two compare side by side and if it was worth spending the extra money. It is suppose to have a faster response time and better satellite locks under cover. Also curious to see if the compass is worth it. Will post a side by side comparison after a little playing!

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Garmin GPSMAP60Csx is what I have now, it is expensive, but most certainly worth it due to the external antenna. I have also used Magellans Explorist series and a Magellan Meridan is what I used to have, I am glad I switched to Garmin.

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The absolute best unit is, of course, MINE!

 

Actually I do kind of feel that way though. I have a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx and I love it. Accurate as heck and gets a signal (and holds it) where older non-x units fail.

 

Garmin service is second to none. I've broken my unit and told Garmin that I know it was my fault. I asked if they would repair it for a fee. When they found out I had owned the unit for less than a year they replaced it for free. I sent it in and within less than 2 weeks I was holding a new unit.

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Garmin 60Csx! Cool little treasure chest icons that flip their lid open when you find 'em...plus the option to "Find Next (closest) Geocache".

 

76CSx has the same feature. :D

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Garmin 60Csx! Cool little treasure chest icons that flip their lid open when you find 'em...plus the option to "Find Next (closest) Geocache".

 

76CSx has the same feature. :D

 

All current colour Garmin handhelds have this feature.

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I got 2 words for you!

 

Garmin 60 CSx.

 

I use a Garmin 76CSx and i love it. well...after i got used to it being upside down. :)

 

Why would it be upside down? Doesn't the 76 CSx have the option for track up instead of North up? That would drive me nuts! I'm thinking about buying the 76, so I need to know about this upside down thing.

Edited by Sea Monkey

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Any GPSr unit on the market will work for geocaching and will work as well as any other unit. All of them will get you to the general location of the cache. The rest is up to you. You won't find more geocaches with a mega-unit. Even if you spend $400 for the "best" model, it won't help you find those clever micros.

 

I guess it depends on how much you want to spend on bells & whistles.

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This might be the fly-in-the-ointment for the standalone GPS units but...

 

I use a Pocket PC PDA, a GPS receiver that connects to it, and a PDA/GPS software called Backcountry Navigator. This setup costs about $300.

 

Besides having really great GPS, I can listen to music, view the Internet, store photos, read books, and check e-mail.

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I would go with Garmin anyday over Magellan. I recently purchased a Magellan eXplorist 500 when they said it was a final sale... and I did not like it :) The screens were not colourful and interactive as compared with my dad's Garmin Legend C. My dad actually managed to return it. So now I am trying to decide on the Vista Cx and the Venture Cx from Garmin. Visit this thread to finalize my decision: Link

Edited by Blazing Hornet

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Doesn't the 60 CSx have the option for track up instead of North up? That would drive me nuts!

 

Yes the 60CSx has the option of being set to track up or north up

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I've found that if the cacher who placed the cache used a Garmin and you have a Magellan you'll be about 20 to 30 feet off from GZ. I've been told its because they use different logic in their program that reads the satellites. Kind of a big deal if your looking for a bison tube in a hedge row. I've also noticed way more Garmin than Magellan, though not quite 99%, so most of the caches were placed using a Garmin. I've been using a Magellan for about a year and found that for my unit, in this part of the world, if I add 3 to the longitude, I'll often get a lot closer. :)

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I've noticed that as well. I have a Garmin Vista C and if I know the cache owner has a Magellan, I start widening my search earlier, rather than later, if the cache is not immediately obvious.

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I got 2 words for you!

 

Garmin 60 CSx.

 

I use a Garmin 76CSx and i love it. well...after i got used to it being upside down. :anitongue:

You aren't supposed to stand on your head when you use it... :P You can go to menu when you are looking at the map and choose map setup to use "Track up." However, "Track up" tends to bounce around a lot and "North Up" is more steady. I sometimes find it easier just to turn the GPS in my hand in "North Up" mode for a second if it looks funky. Edited by TrailGators

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I would have gone for a Garmin but ended up with a MioGPS 510 satnav unit, the minister of finance decided I didn't need expensive toys. Although it does place me near the caches I still need to do a lot of running up and down the cache sites to find out where it is likely to be then I do the mental thing to find them. Of course clues are very helpful at this stage. The thing about the whole placing of caches is that you need to make sure the sky is clear cause clouds are also going to mess around with your signal. And that 10 meters that it places you off the actual spot will be messing you around as well as the next guy. I usually go back to my caches and check the co-ords each time to make sure that they are more or less spot on. Just been notified that one is quite a bit off but I half expected it as it is amongst trees and I dropped it at night. I did leave a spoiler to make it easier for the next guy to find. Will have to get back there and check it out again.

Edited by Wazat

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I have a Garmin ETrex legend. After about a year and a half the joystick quit working, well it didn't quit completely if I tap on it enough it will work in the down direction only. Then I took it to Ohio, was doing some caching in ~5F degree weather and ever since the screen will go out on me now and then. Again, tap on it a little and it comes back. Think I will try a magellan, many of the folks I cache with swear by magellan.

 

And my brother in law also has a Garmin (much more expensive version) and he says his joysitck goes out on him also.

 

That is just my personal experience.

Edited by thesandman

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I'm somewhat satisfied with my decision to go with the Garmin Vista Cx over the GPSMAP® 60CSx. I love the battery life, but would love to have better receiver and the extra 500 waypoints would DEFINITELY come in handy. It looks like the new Etrex HCx will split the difference between the much more expensive 60Csx and the Vista Cx. If you can hold out for the HCx that's the way I'd go.

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My gps got ripped off months ago and life has never been the same. I'm ready to buy a new one NOW! NOW! NOW! I need it NOW! I couldn't possibly wait for the Hc even though I know I should. Thank you all for your opinions. After reading what you had to say, and doing a little research on the net, I ordered the 76 CSx. It should be waiting for me on the porch when I get home from work tomorrow. I'm so excited! :unsure:

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I am using a Garmin eTrex Legend C and it works great no complaints..... and since it is the only one I have had I would recommend it.

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I have a Magellan Explorist XL and I find it to not only be accurate but also easy to use. The large color screen makes using it a dream compared to units I've tried with smaller screens.

 

I think, for me, one of the most important aspects was expandability. The XL can use XD cards. This allows me to store maps, caches, routes, etc. of many different areas with less fear of losing them because of some issue with internal memory. The external card has been most valuable when I've upgraded firmware on my XL. I didn't lose a single piece of data because I've been storing things on the SD card from day one.

 

I only have one problem with Magellan. I had to call to return a piece of software and they wouldn't reimburse me for shipping or pay to have the software shipped back ... so in the end I was out almost $20 between shipping both ways. I'd ordered the software from their web site. They indicated that Worldwide Basemap was the replacement for DirectRoute Europe. I'd wanted DirectRoute Europe for my trip to England and Italy a few weeks ago. Needless to say ... Worldwide Basemap is exactly that ... only a Basemap with no more detail than the built in basemap except maybe that you can get a basemap showing the ring road around London.

 

When I returned the software they said that if I change my location to UK on the web site I'd be able to order DirectRoute Europe. That didn't turn out to be the case. SO, basically ... it's useless for Europe if you want to display any kind of detail on the unit.

 

Oh, one other comment ... about the units with a built-in compass. I've never used one with a built in compass, but there are times I wish mine did have that ... like those times I forget to grab my real compass out of the bag.

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I have the Garmin 60CSx and it has been a superb unit so far. Accuracy is great and the unit is easy to use. It is truly the Rolls Royce of GPS units.

Edited by Arthur & Trillian

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I've been caching for about 5 years now, and I can't wait to finally have a gps that has a topo map. The electronic compass sure will help also. I can't tell you how many times I've used my compass to lay out a North/South line and watched the fractions of minutes on my gps go up or down as I marched along closer and closer to the cache. The 76 CSx is allmost on my doorstep! I'm STOKED!!!

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I love my new Garmin GPSMap 60 Csx. Found several caches in the past few days with it.

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I use a Delorme PN-20, my first GPS. It uses the Send to GPS feature from geocaching.com with my premium membership. It makes it really great for paperless caching. No more entering coordinates -- just clicking a virtual button! :)

 

My dad has a PN-30 (Realtree Camo) and it locks on in ~5 seconds and within a minute gets ~9ft accuracy. In contrast I usually get ~21 ft or so. I will stick with Delorme because of the paperless caching and my customer satisfaction with them.

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For a new unit I'd go with the Garmin 60 CSx but the best unit I've seen for caching is the Magellan Meridian Platinum which can be bought used/Ebay ....it has a true 3-axis elect. compass and at least one great feature no other NEW unit has ( can store almost unlimited amount of files/caches on a SD card so on long trips you don't even need a computer).....if Magellan would add a high res color screen and paperless functions to it it would blow everything else away ( I think it does anyway)

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