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Which GPS to buy


linkguider
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Hey Everyone,

 

I guess I'm kinda new to geocaching.....found some, hidden one...having the time of my life.

 

My birthday's coming up, and I'm looking at getting a GPS unit. There are a couple that I'm trying to choose from....

 

One is the::

 

-Magellan Explorist 100GPS (it's orange)

-Garmin E-Trex GPS (yellow)

-Garmin E-Trex Summit (grey)

 

All of these can be found on this website..... http://www.canadiantire.ca

and they all range in about from 129.00-139.00, with the grey one on sale from 259.00 down to 129.00

 

So, if anyone could help me out that would be greatly appreciated.

 

Another question I have is, can I load a whole bunch of geocaches onto a GPS unit so that I dont have to print them out and try to find them.

 

Thanks a bunch!!!!

 

-linkguider

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Another question I have is, can I load a whole bunch of geocaches onto a GPS unit so that I dont have to print them out and try to find them.

yes, you can. i use a program called easy GPS. you can find it and many other programs here. the reason i like easy gps is because for what i do (simply load all of the geocaches into my GPS), its very easy to navigate and not confusing. other programs like GSAK can do a number of other things, like filter out caches that you dont want and do a radius of this point ect. so, if all you want to do is load any type of geocache into your GPS, i would go with easy GPS.

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...-Magellan Explorist 100GPS (it's orange)

-Garmin E-Trex GPS (yellow)

-Garmin E-Trex Summit (grey)...

 

Explorist 100. Thumbs Down. You can't connect it to a computer.

Yellow, Ok, it will do the job.

Summit, It will do the job but you are better off with a Legend if you are thinking about the summit. The compass and altimeter are not handier than the mapping you can do on the Legend (assuming of course you buy maps to do better than the base map).

 

This suggestion is based on what you said you were looking at. Others can give you ideas on other GPSs that you may want to consider.

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...-Magellan Explorist 100GPS (it's orange)

-Garmin E-Trex GPS (yellow)

-Garmin E-Trex Summit (grey)...

 

Explorist 100. Thumbs Down. You can't connect it to a computer.

Yellow, Ok, it will do the job.

Summit, It will do the job but you are better off with a Legend if you are thinking about the summit. The compass and altimeter are not handier than the mapping you can do on the Legend (assuming of course you buy maps to do better than the base map).

 

This suggestion is based on what you said you were looking at. Others can give you ideas on other GPSs that you may want to consider.

Or, you could always go for the GarminGPSmap60Cx....... :D

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Hello, I'm new too. Bought a Garmin Street Pilot so I could use it in the motor home as well, however,I am really struggling. Is this not the unit to buy? I have found a couple of errors as far as addresses. Is this normal? Thanks for the help. :lol:

 

The Streetpilot is a nice unit for the car, but not good for geocaching. You might want to get an inexpensive handheld for geocaching. Perhaps a Garmin Geko 201, an eTrex H or an eTrex Venture HCX.

 

You may find a few errors in your Streetpilot. The software is not perfect, but it is darn good overall and pretty accurate when you consider the magnitude of having every address and road in North America on your unit.

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I agree with the idea of the eTrex H. It's about the same price as the old yellow eTrex.

 

The new high sensitivity eTrex is not about the same price as the old yellow eTrex, it *is* the same price. What can we deduce from this. We can deduce that Garmin are slightly insane. Now that we have established that it is easier to understand another thing they do that is equally insane, which rules out the Yellow eTrex and the Summit.

 

The most basic thing you will want to do with your gps is to mark a waypoint in the field and name it. Think about this. You are walking around, maybe in the bush or maybe just in a street and you think "ooh I want to remember how to get to this place" so you press a button and mark it and name it. Doesn't that sound like a logical thing to do?

 

You've can store 500 waypoints in the basic units. However the Yellow eTrex and Summit and Camo, (in other words the three units without that little button on the front) are completely useless for doing this most basic of operations. For two reasons, one, you only have 6 spaces in which to give meaningful names to hundreds of waypoints. It ain't gonna happen. Two the method that Garmin provides for actually entering the names is so convoluted and awkward that if I could only afford a basic unit then I would get the Venture rather then the Yellow eTrexH with the high sensitivity receiver.

 

The high sensitivity receiver is very desireable but not that desireable that it is worth sacrificing the usability of the gps. Simply put, do not get the Yellow, Camo, or Summit. You will regret it. Any other eTrex is fine.

 

If Garmin were not insane then they would have put the discontinued the Yellow eTrex and replaced it with the Venture with a high sensitivity chip. Get the Yellow eTrex at your own peril, if you want a high sensitivity receiver then get any other one with an H in the name.

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:lol: Thank you. Would you mind telling me why it isnt' a good unit for g/c? Since i never have been and am wishing to very much to go ( geo caching)

I really didn't pay a lot for it, I don't think, and just am not well versed in the gps units at all.

 

Thanks again,

Renae

 

The Streetpilot is a nice unit for the car, but not good for geocaching. You might want to get an inexpensive handheld for geocaching. Perhaps a Garmin Geko 201, an eTrex H or an eTrex Venture HCX.

 

You may find a few errors in your Streetpilot. The software is not perfect, but it is darn good overall and pretty accurate when you consider the magnitude of having every address and road in North America on your unit.

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I originally bought to GPS units to test. One was the Garmin Nuvi 350 (like the street pilot) the other Garmin 60CXs. Me and my daughter went out to an area we weren't real familar with. Had both with us. (luckily!). I was so determined to find this one cache. The Nuvi kept saying just 20 more feet. We climb this huge hillside (lots of trees, cacti, boulders) with two dogs and my daughter. All for just 20 more feet. We ended up having to slide over a 100feet on our behinds over cacti and our legs were all tore up. Several hours into this quick cache jaunt we come down. I then get smart and figure it has to be on an actual trail. So we start on a trail path. Still (blindly) trusting the NUVI. After we return from the trail head not finding two other caches it said was along the trail carrying two large dead tired and hot dogs; my daughter is frustrated with me using the NUVI so she turns on the 60CXs. She knows when I get determined there isn't much stopping me and she and the dogs wanted to go home.

 

And....

 

The 60CXs led us right to the cool cache I was looking for just a few feet off the trail head!!!!!!! (my daughter almost killed me.) I returned the NUVI.

 

Just my adventure with a street type GPS.

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We got ourselves a yellow eTrex (wanted an "H" modle but couldn't wait :) ) and it seems to work just fine. True, we only have like 7 caches found and haven't done any 12 mile hikes through forrest and mountains, but the little eTrex has gotten us close enough to find everything that we have looked for. Its simple to use and easy to understand. Great for casual cachers like ourselves.

 

Now if you are going for numbers and want to try to get 1000+ finds in 3 months, then you might need a lot more GPS than the eTrex. But if you just want to get out and find a few, have a nice walk with the dog and kids, the yellow eTrex is a nice little unit.

 

L8R

 

Raths

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I'm a noob and just bought the Garmin E-Trex Vista HCX 2 days ago. I had a b-day gift cert so I splurged.

 

So far I've learned to turn it on and off. :)

 

I guess I have to buy a map program first or can I upload some freebies to get started?

 

I've never had a GPS before.

No, you don't need to buy a map program to get you started. Maps are only needed if you want street-level detail, topo, etc. Not needed (mandatory) for geocaching.

 

All you really need are the cache coordinates. Goto THIS page and enter your zip code to find the location/coordinates of caches near your house (or whatever location you are caching from...).

 

A list of caches nearby will pop up. Click on each to see more about it - including the coordinates. You can then enter these coordinates manually, upload them directly, or use EasyGPS to view & upload them to your GPSr.

 

Let us know if you need more info! Good luck!

 

edit: Here is a better link about waypoints and uploading them: HERE

Edited by wera172
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Don't laugh, but I got a Garmin Geko 301. I just print the caches and bring the paper along with me.

I have to say this little mini GPS has been extremley accurate for me, and is very easy to use.

I believe it has SOME pc functions but I don't know. But for my useage, money, it's worked excellent for me.

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I am brand new to this sport/passtime. I just ordered a new Garmin GPSmap76CSX. It had all the things that the advice on this site said to look for. I hope it will do what I need it to for this. I also hope it is pretty durable. I am hard on equipment and I really hate it when it fails. Can anyone tell me about this GPS and if it is good for this sport? Any feedback would be great. Thanks

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I am brand new to this sport/passtime. I just ordered a new Garmin GPSmap76CSX. It had all the things that the advice on this site said to look for. I hope it will do what I need it to for this. I also hope it is pretty durable. I am hard on equipment and I really hate it when it fails. Can anyone tell me about this GPS and if it is good for this sport? Any feedback would be great. Thanks

It's a very good one. We have a Garmin GPSmap 76CS and a Garmin GPSmap 60CSx, as well as a couple of Legends, and a Garmin GPSmap 60CS.

 

Internally the 76CSx is the same as the 60CSx. Externally, the 76 looks like a TV remote and the 60 is slimmer, but thicker. Some perfer the way one grips, some prefer the other. I like that I can set mine on the dash and it won't slide around ---and it floats (I fell in the creek the first time we went out with a group of cachers, so my joke is that my husband bought me the 76 because it floats!).

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To all the posters in general asking about which units to buy...

 

They ALL will get you to the cache. We did some caching with a fellow who had the little GEKO and he got to the cache about the same time we did using our Legends (of course, he has lots of experience). It's cute as it can be and it's teensy enough to fit in your shirt pocket.

 

Of course, aside from finding the cache, there are also features that make life more convenient for you. I suggest you buy the best you can afford right now, so it's that much longer until you want to upgrade.

 

One thing I appreciated quite a bit is the ability to hook up to the computer with a cable so I can upload coord without having to punch in the coords by hand. I make mistakes when I do that, even though I double check. I loved my eTrex Legend right away because it did that.

 

Another thing that is nice is a color screen. With a black and white screen you have more problem with glare. Color screens offer more options to find a color and brightness that suits you best.

 

The ability to add additional maps is a distinct plus. You can use the built-in basic maps to get around, and even to find some services while traveling (with the Legend anyway, I can't speak for anything under than model). But having the better city map sets gets you to the cache site faster, better, easier. If you will do a lot of hiking out in the boonies, you may want to add topo maps, too.

 

The ability to autoroute is really nice. It can take you turn by turn to the cache (or your hotel in a strange city, or to the nearest Starbucks, etc). We upgraded from the Legends to the mapping units just for this feature.

 

The compass and barometer are of little value to the average cacher. Once you have them you will occaisionally find a use for them. I'm a science teacher and I use my barometer to keep an advance eye on the weather. I usually turn the compass off, unless I'm doing a puzzle cache that requires it.

 

Sensitivity of the chip: The "H" series are the newest "high sensitivity" addition to the lower end Garmin line. I'd get a unit with the H over one without. The "X" series are the top of the line high sensitivity in the Garmin line. I'd get an X series over one without the x.

 

Each of those features adds expense. If you can afford it, I recommend the Garmin map60CSx or the map76CSx over any other GPS I've seen out there. If you want to save some money, do away with the "S" and get a Garmin Map 60Cx of the 76Cx. Plan on adding city maps at some point (so you can autoroute--about $100) and perhaps topo maps (amost another $100)

 

If those aren't in your budget, go for the best "H" series you can get. They look to be the GPS units with the best bang for the buck right now. Most features for the least money.

 

If those aren't in your budget, get the Legend with or without color. We found our first 300 caches with them, and loved them so much we kept them when we upgraded for my students to use and to lend to visitors who cache with us.

 

Still not sure? Go to an event and ask people to let you try out there GPS units. Handle them to see how they feel in your hand. Try the buttons to see what feels comfortable.

 

IN-CAR units:

Units that are made to go in cars are meant for onroad driving and don't follow the trail very well when you get them off-road. They are usually more bulky than handhelds and less durable, too.

 

Either buy a second less expensive handheld unit or just get a dashmount for a better handheld unit and ise it for the car too. unit My husband uses his Garmin map60CS to route himself in his semi at work. He can easily move it to the car to cache, take it out of the car when we get to the cache, or hide it when he parks to make it less attractive to thieves. (Disadvantage to not having a in-car unit: no talking. You have to read the directions and listen for beeps. There isn't a nice voice that tells you when to turn. You get used to the beeps)

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:blink: Thank you. Would you mind telling me why it isnt' a good unit for g/c? Since i never have been and am wishing to very much to go ( geo caching)

I really didn't pay a lot for it, I don't think, and just am not well versed in the gps units at all.

 

Thanks again,

Renae

The Streetpilot is a nice unit for the car, but not good for geocaching. You might want to get an inexpensive handheld for geocaching. Perhaps a Garmin Geko 201, an eTrex H or an eTrex Venture HCX.

 

You may find a few errors in your Streetpilot. The software is not perfect, but it is darn good overall and pretty accurate when you consider the magnitude of having every address and road in North America on your unit.

 

Several reasons:

 

-Battery life isn't very long.

-It's not designed to be held in the hand making it somewhat unwieldy to carry.

-Not waterproof

-Not designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use.

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I saw mention of a Venture HCx. Do they make a Venture, that is both H chip and xpandable? I thought the H chip Venture only had 24 megs and no ability to add a media card. Please let me know.

 

No, the Venture HC has fixed memory and doesn't do autorouting. The Venture CX does autorouting and has expandable memory but not the high sensitivity receiver.

 

If you want it all you need the Legend HCX

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I have a question about the magellen explorest 100 GPSr

 

Is their a screen that shows the cords. when you are moving(They will change as you walk)?????

 

The Magellan will tell you where you are. The 'Nav' button will toggle through 4 screens. One shows satellite locations (relative to the horizon), one shows where you are on the map (you are the arrow), one shows a compass that will point to your waypoint as long as you have one entered using the 'Goto' button and finally; you have the informative details screen that shows you your current coordinates (yes they change as you walk), elevation, the GPSr's accuracy (based on some error calculation algorithm), the date and time (accuracy here is important for locating satellites quickly), a trip odometer and your battery level.

 

The map view also shows you your heading and rate of travel (speed).

 

The compass view also shows you your rate of travel and distance from the target waypoint (this is my favorite mode for geocaching as it points right where you want to go (like Jack Sparrow's compass) and tells you how far away it is. Just be sure you are aware of the trails and terrain in the area so you don't fall victim to beating a path to your target as the bird flies.

 

That's my two cents,

 

MakoKidd

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I wish I had seen this topic before I purchased my 2 GPSr units. I started out as cheap as possible, I found a store display model of a Magellan eXplorist 200 for under $100. It was good enough to get me hooked on the sport and realize that I wanted something a little better. I had always figured that Magellan was a good brand name due to their "NeverLost" fame with Hertz. Can anyone out there tell me why everyone seems to be chanting "GARMIN!", "GARMIN!", "GARMIN!"? Are the Garmin units really that much better? Is this a matter of fact or personal preference (opinion)?

 

The reason I ask is that my 2nd GPSr was an upgrade to the 200 that I had originally purchased. Afterall, I had already become familiar with the Magellan UI and I didn't really care to relearn a new one. I got an eXplorist 500LE which had several improvements over my 200 (color screen, USB PC hook-up, SD memory expandability and Geocaching software). These features attracted me to this unit, but I ran into a reception problem with this brand new unit (still in the box with all the stuff that I never got with my first purchase). I was a little upset, so I took it back to the store and exchanged it for another 500LE thinking that this was just a bad unit. Afterall, my little runt 200 had never lost the tracking signal in about a month of use (pun was unintentional and discovered upon proof reading). Needless to say I am now closely watching how the replacement 500LE behaves. If this one drops my signal, I will be forced to change brands (and learn a new UI I guess). Or should I wait for the Triton 2000? Should I go to Garmin? What's the concensus?

 

I wish I had enough money to buy them all and pick the best one!

 

Thanks,

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I have used a little yellow eTrex since 2002 and have found the main issue is losing signal coverage under a heavy leaf canopy, but that happens with a lot of units. It's a bit primitive compared to most of today's models but it gets me close to a cache and then I just put it away instead of slavishly following the signal. For the more techo stuff - such as when I need maps, etc. I use a Bluetooth GPSr coupled to either a laptop or a PDA.

 

The way I look at the whole GPSr thing is thus:

Buying a set of high-end golf clubs won't make me a better golfer. Purchasing new bowling equipment will not improve my game. (I am notoriously inept at both and my average happens to be the same number!) The lack of a very expensive boat won't hinder me from fishing. Ergo, obtaining a new state-of-the-art GPSr won't help me in caching. In fact, it may hinder it as I may come to rely more on the equipment than on the skills, questionable as they are, that I have developed while on the hunt for the wily and elusive tupperware lurking beneath an unnatural pile of sticks.

 

Bottom line:

If you're going to use it primarily for caching then get what you want. You will adjust to a new interface. Any of the low end models will work fine. The ability to connect to a computer is the best feature IMHO. If you are going someplace where your life may depend on the operation of the GPSr then you need to have the ability to survive without it. If you don't have that then don't go. Anywhere in between and you need to strike a balance between what you want and what you can get. Only you can be the judge of that.

 

Happy hunting!

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:lol: Thank you. Would you mind telling me why it isnt' a good unit for g/c? Since i never have been and am wishing to very much to go ( geo caching)

I really didn't pay a lot for it, I don't think, and just am not well versed in the gps units at all.

 

Thanks again,

Renae

The Streetpilot is a nice unit for the car, but not good for geocaching. You might want to get an inexpensive handheld for geocaching. Perhaps a Garmin Geko 201, an eTrex H or an eTrex Venture HCX.

 

You may find a few errors in your Streetpilot. The software is not perfect, but it is darn good overall and pretty accurate when you consider the magnitude of having every address and road in North America on your unit.

Sorry it took so long to say Thanks again. I had computer problems and couldn't get signed on. I do appreciate the information and will be exchanging the street pilot for an easier system to operate. One sure must read a lot of posts to get an idea of what to do, didn't realize this would be so much work :lol: . I do appreicate the help though and look forward to meeting some of you sometime.

 

Several reasons:

 

-Battery life isn't very long.

-It's not designed to be held in the hand making it somewhat unwieldy to carry.

-Not waterproof

-Not designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use.

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I wish I had seen this topic before I purchased my 2 GPSr units. I started out as cheap as possible, I found a store display model of a Magellan eXplorist 200 for under $100. It was good enough to get me hooked on the sport and realize that I wanted something a little better. I had always figured that Magellan was a good brand name due to their "NeverLost" fame with Hertz. Can anyone out there tell me why everyone seems to be chanting "GARMIN!", "GARMIN!", "GARMIN!"? Are the Garmin units really that much better? Is this a matter of fact or personal preference (opinion)?

 

The reason I ask is that my 2nd GPSr was an upgrade to the 200 that I had originally purchased. Afterall, I had already become familiar with the Magellan UI and I didn't really care to relearn a new one. I got an eXplorist 500LE which had several improvements over my 200 (color screen, USB PC hook-up, SD memory expandability and Geocaching software). These features attracted me to this unit, but I ran into a reception problem with this brand new unit (still in the box with all the stuff that I never got with my first purchase). I was a little upset, so I took it back to the store and exchanged it for another 500LE thinking that this was just a bad unit. Afterall, my little runt 200 had never lost the tracking signal in about a month of use (pun was unintentional and discovered upon proof reading). Needless to say I am now closely watching how the replacement 500LE behaves. If this one drops my signal, I will be forced to change brands (and learn a new UI I guess). Or should I wait for the Triton 2000? Should I go to Garmin? What's the concensus?

 

I wish I had enough money to buy them all and pick the best one!

 

Thanks,

 

I just bought a Magellan eXplorist 500LE (haven't yet recieved it) and I really hope that I don't experience any reception problems. I had a question though- I'm really new to geocaching and I noticed after ordering the eXplorist500LE (bought on ebay from US-I live in Australia) that it has 'Built-in maps - North American or European basemap shows major roads, parks, waterways and many points of interest'. Will I need to buy some new software to get built in maps for within-australia onto the unit? or will the satelites just adjust when I start using the unit.

If anyone could answer that for me it would be much appreciated? also, does anyone have some positive feedback for the Magellan eXplorist 500LE systems?

Thanks. Happy caching!

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Hi...i had this question a few days ago myself...i got the venture cx...its the same model as the legend cx but doesnt come with memorycard/cable/software....i had a 1gig micro sd...and it takes the same micro usb cable that most mp3 players and digital cameras use..and the software (well that was given)..ive had it 2 days now and found 6 caches...its very accurate...i cant see realy how an "h" model could of taken me any nearer?? realy..it has color screen and expandable memory and its cheeper than the legend (because of the accessories)..so i would choose that model anyday...regards Hattster :laughing:

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Hey Everyone,

 

I guess I'm kinda new to geocaching.....found some, hidden one...having the time of my life.

 

My birthday's coming up, and I'm looking at getting a GPS unit. There are a couple that I'm trying to choose from....

 

One is the::

 

-Magellan Explorist 100GPS (it's orange)

-Garmin E-Trex GPS (yellow)

-Garmin E-Trex Summit (grey)

 

All of these can be found on this website..... http://www.canadiantire.ca

and they all range in about from 129.00-139.00, with the grey one on sale from 259.00 down to 129.00

 

So, if anyone could help me out that would be greatly appreciated.

 

Another question I have is, can I load a whole bunch of geocaches onto a GPS unit so that I dont have to print them out and try to find them.

 

Thanks a bunch!!!!

 

-linkguider

 

I have used a Magellan explorist 210 for nearly a year. Recently it died, seems like a software problem. Last night ordered a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx, exactly what I was looking for - $215.37 (total) from Amazon. I did a lot of research before deciding. Geocaching.com lets you download caches, but it does not work for Magellan units now. It will sure be nice to download to the Garmin, got awfully tired of spending lots of time keying in points to the 210.

Seems like Magellan is not interested in servicing the 210, hmmm could this be that it is still under warranty. I sent a service request off two weeks ago and have heard nothing from them. Have to try calling next week, it would be nice to have a backup unit.

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