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Newb here


stinger18
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:) Hello all just came across this geocaching and I am very excited. I managed to find my 1st two caches with using my laptop...it was funny.

Decided that it was a good idea to pick up a hand held one so bought a Garmin Venture HC. Wondering if this is the best one i could of bought.

I haven't been able to locate any caches with it yet, tried three different ones and got very discouraged.

So any advice would be very appreciated. CHEERS!

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The Venture HC is a very fine Geocaching GPS.

 

Maybe check the setup a bit. Make certain wgs84 is set as the datum and decimal minutes as the format for coordinates.

 

A few General tips:

 

Look for caches with a difficulty of 2 or less for your fist few caches. Stick with regular sized caches for your first few. Stick to areas you are familar with. Look for anything out of place or unusual. Look for unusual piles of sticks, grass, leaves, rocks, sand, etc. Feel where you cannot look. Think vertical, not all caches are on the ground. Look up or at eye level. Look for traces of previous searches to zero in on the spot. Think like hider - where would you put a container? Look for things too new, too old, too perfect, not like the others. Be prepared to not find the cache more often then you think.

 

Most hand held units average a n accuracy around 20 - 25 feet so be prepared to expand your search radius up to 50 feet or so of where the unit thinks ground zero is. Most often they are within 20 feet but do be prepared.

 

Most of all - have fun!!

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Hello

We are newbies too, we looked around, asked around and ended up with the same GPS as you have. Its great and we love it. We looked at other models but it seemed that you had to pay extra for stuff to bring it up to the same usefulness. Our local outdoor shop (who had run out of the Venture HCs) really raved about them and recommended them over the others that they had in stock.

 

As to its accuracy, we have learned to trust 'banana-nav' (its bright yellow), its not let us down yet. We take it skating, hiking and cycling too. Tomtom gets us to the parking, Garmin gets us to the cache. :)

 

Happy caching

Edited by Water-Rats
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There are definitely better units out there (60csx, Oregon, PN-40 among others), but I don't think you can get a better one brand new for the price.

 

I use the same unit. Bought it after my first few finds (done with a Nuvi 660). I did notice that it may be wildly off if you're among tall buildings, and sometimes it helps if you walk off about 50 feet and start moving towards GZ. Also, remember that the original coordinates may not be spot on even if your GPSr is.

 

I'd suggest changing the 4 boxes on the compass screen so that one of them shows the accuracy.

 

Good luck and have fun.

Edited by Chrysalides
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I have an eTrex Venture HC and it is a fine unit.

 

I was getting discouraged when going to Cache locations and the coordinates were off by 15-20 feet for like 10 caches in a row. We went to a Geocache meet and greet and I asked around and everyone agreed that its not the unit but the Hiders not averaging there reading before posting it. Half the people at the meet and greet had high end GPS's and over 1000+ finds so I tend to believe what they say when it comes to coordinates being off.

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I have an eTrex Venture HC and it is a fine unit.

 

I was getting discouraged when going to Cache locations and the coordinates were off by 15-20 feet for like 10 caches in a row. We went to a Geocache meet and greet and I asked around and everyone agreed that its not the unit but the Hiders not averaging there reading before posting it. Half the people at the meet and greet had high end GPS's and over 1000+ finds so I tend to believe what they say when it comes to coordinates being off.

 

It has little to do with the hider not averaging coordinates. Consumer grade units ares only accurate to about 10-30 feet. You can spend $500 on a Garmin Oregon and get the same general level of accuracy.

 

So even if the hider use a $10,000 Trimble to obtain coordinates accurate to the inch, you will still likely be off 15-20 feet most of the time. And most geocachers don't use $10,000 units to hide their caches, so 15-20 feet is actually pretty good. It's often more.

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I have the same unit. I couldn't beat the price I got for the gpsr and topo map bundle. I've only had a couple DNFs with it, and that was my fault for just not expanding my search and looking long enough. Plus, factor in that I'm not only new at this, but I also do most of my caching at night. It's a very good unit and I'm extremely happy with mine.

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I have an eTrex Venture HC and it is a fine unit.

 

I was getting discouraged when going to Cache locations and the coordinates were off by 15-20 feet for like 10 caches in a row. We went to a Geocache meet and greet and I asked around and everyone agreed that its not the unit but the Hiders not averaging there reading before posting it. Half the people at the meet and greet had high end GPS's and over 1000+ finds so I tend to believe what they say when it comes to coordinates being off.

15 feet off is just not worth mentioning. Took me a long time to understand that but it is just the reality of our handheld GPS units.

 

Averaging will have one of three effects.

  1. An odd errant single reading will be averaged with good ones - result = possible error but closer than errant reading
  2. You have good satellite alignment and strong signals - result = virtually no different than a single reading
  3. you have poor sat alignment and weak signals, frequent bad data - result = you are just averaging the poor data and it is no better than a single reading

Can averaging help? Certainly. Does it help in all cases - no.

 

And as Briansnat pointed out - even the $89 eTrex H is every bit as accurate with readings as the new high end Oregons and Delorme PN units. (in the case of the new Oregon beta firmware - maybe much better!!)

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