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GPS help

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I'm very new to all of this and am going to buy my first GPS as soon as I get my X-mass money. So heres the problem I'm only foreseeing about $150-$200 in x-mass cash. I know I'm not getting a really high end device for this amount but I would like to find something decent that I can use to start geocaching as well as something that will help out on the road or trail if I'm lost. So far the best option that I have found seems to be the Garmin gpsmap 60c I can get one of these off of eBay for about $150 Then I figure I'll try to get some extra maps for it after I save a little more cash.


What do you guys think? Are there any know drawbacks to this model? Any advice would be appreciated.


Thank you


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The Garmin gpsmap 60c is a pretty outdated unit. It was nice enough back then, but this is now.


You'd be better off buying one of the less expensive Garmin models or saving your cash a bit longer and getting a better unit.


The Garmin 60 CSx has been on sale lately for around $275. That's what I use, and it is a truely awesome unit.


But you might consider something like the Garmin Vista HCx or even just a Legend HCx.


Keep in mind that to really get the most of out the more expensive units, you will eventually want to add city navigation maps for about another $100.


Of course, you can go with the least complicated, fewest bells and whistles model out there and find the cache. The Garmin Geko or the Garmin Legend for example---but I really really suggest you get an "x" model at the least. They take SD cards, so they ultimately have more flexibility and you don't outgrow them quite so fast.


Even if you are sold on getting the 60C, you can do better than the price you mention if you watch. The garage sale forums here tend to be a good place right after Christmas--Lots of people get upgrades for presents and sell off their old units.

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So you would suggest something like the garmin GPSMAP 60CSx?


I was searching eBay and saw some new ones selling for about $250 this is a bit out of my range but if I can get my girlfriend to chip in we might be able to swing it.

Absolutely. I think it's the best all-around unit on the market right now. Many others agree with me; it's a wildly popular unit. Rugged, way to use, and has very sensitive reception.


There are other high sensitivity gps units out (and I already mentioned a few of them), but they have all had their fair share of problems with programming issues that require frequent updates for fixes. The 60CSx has already been through those growing pains and is probably the most recommended unit right now.


We liked my Garmin 60CSx so well that I bought my husband one for his birthday (to replace his 60CS). I looked at the more expensive units, and considered buying some of them for various features. He likes bells and whistles as much as the next guy. I could afford to get him the more expensive units, but I decided to go with the 60CSx because we know it works time after time.


I even thought about getting him another gps for Christmas, since he already had the 60CSx that he loves, just for the new toy value --maybe an Oregon 400t or a DeLorme PN-40--but ultimately I decided to wait until they have those units "perfected"


Truth be told: Almost every gps out there is worth what you pay for it. Some are just easier to use or more rugged or more attractive than others, or they have more extra features. You can use the least expensive unit out there to get to the cache. However, if you stick with caching, you will want certain features at some point, usually sooner than you think. The 60CSx is the best value for your dollar right now.


You certainly would not regret the purchase of a Garmin 60CSx.

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I was able to pick up a Garmin CZ for $210 last night on e-bay through Geekdeal as I recall. Also had free shipping and no tax(unless your in WA). I almost pulled the trigger on a Colorado 300 that I found for around $190 but the reviews to date on the unit were still all over the place, so I went with what i found to be a tried and true unit.


Lots of research material on line, so do your homework and search for the best deal.


Best of luck to ya,



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Walmart has the Garmin Vista HCx for $165..




The Vista HCX is in some respects even better than the 60CSX and it's far, far better than the 60C that you are looking at. The chief limitation is that if you want to use it in your car for driving directions, the buttons are on the side, so it's not easily operated when in a mount, but if that isn't important, the Vista HCX is an outstanding choice. Even more so at $165.

Edited by briansnat
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First of all thank you all for your advice there is a lot to this whole GPS thing.


After searching through evey Garmin X model that I could find and checking out all of the links that you guys offered it seems that one of a few different things can happen from here.


1)I can get lucky and win a low bid on a really high end model. (I had a crushing "you have been out bid" moment earlier in the closing seconds of an auction.)


2) I can listen to my girlfriend and buy an extremely low end out dated used model for like $30 and make sure I like geocaching before I invest much more cash.


3) I can go with a middle of the road model like the Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Handheld GPS for $150 on ebay or the Garmin Vista HCx for $165 at walmart


4) I could attempt to display some self control and wait a few weeks for all of the after x-mass deals to pop up.


I guess I'll just have to see how much cash Santa brings and how impatient I become.


By the way any opinions on the Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Handheld GPS? It looks decent but I could be missing something I am still learning.

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3) I can go with a middle of the road model like the Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Handheld GPS for $150 on ebay or the Garmin Vista HCx for $165 at walmart


By the way any opinions on the Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Handheld GPS? It looks decent but I could be missing something I am still learning.

Sorry about you sad loss of the great eBay deal...


The Garmin eTrex Vista HCx is a perfectly nice gps. (So is the Leggend HCx, but I like the compass/barometer and for $15 more, I'd certainly get a unit with those than without!) Some people even prefer it over my beloved 60CSx because it's smaller.


They have had some chip/software issues lately, but the recent updates seem to have fixed most of those. If I had to buy a gps on a budget, I would be satisfied with either of those. My first unit was a plain eTrex Legend (blue) -- We found over 600 caches with that unit. These two units at least have higher sensitivity chips in them.


I really 'recommend' the 60CSx, but with the money you save if you get the Vista HCx, you can buy the city maps sooner.


I really wouldn't recommend buying a truly low-end unit. It just increases the chance that you will be frustrated and not enjoy the hobby. Of course, you can find geocaches with them...it's just not as easy.


I would recommend haunting the garage sale forums here. As people get new units for Christmas, they will probably sell off old units at reasonable prices. I've only rarely seen a sale go bad there. Sometimes you can get really good deals on gently used equipment.

Edited by Neos2
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I'm having no luck here I tried to order the vista from Walmart and it was out of stock. So I thought I'd check back now and then and see if they had any in but when I just checked their price went up to $225. Go figure.


I guess I'll keep looking :)


Thanx again for all the advice guys I now feel like I know what I'm looking for. It's just a matter of finding it at a good price.

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The world apparently hates me.


I went to target.com to order the item and guess what its OUT OF STOCK :shocked: !


It was in stock 5 hours ago and I thought I'll wait till my girlfriend gets home and let her order it she has the prime credit card rate and all.


So, now I have missed the opportunity to order the vista twice.


I decided that I would just get 1 off of amazon and pay an extra $25. I guess thats what I get for being slow. sorry to complain just dumb luck I guess. Either way I should have my new vista hcx in 5-9 days then I can start searching for caches :shocked:!

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I have learned over the years that enjoyment of any hobby is directly proportional to the quality of the equipment being used!


If you spend all your time fighting your equipment, you will not have fun! I learned this during cooking; started out with some dull knives, always fighting to something but after I got my nice sharp wusthof's I've loved cooking ever since! Of course I also learned that a nice sharp knife will slice though your finger as easily as it does a chicken breast...but that's a story for another time

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