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Noob mom trying to find affordable handheld


koolma_k
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I haven't had the pleasure of geocaching yet but I would love to start getting out with my kids (ages 12 and 13) and have some fun hunting and searching. I would love any input on models that will work well for us. I would like to keep it under $200, I have no laptop or iphone or anything fancy like that to help out with, just a home computer to get the starting info to find the cache. I saw an etrex h on clearance for $100 at target and was wondering if that may suite my needs (seems a good price). I may just look online for used too, I just want to make sure that I get what I will need (kind of hard to know what you need if you have never done it..... and that is why I am asking all you experienced cachers!! :unsure: )

Thanks for all the help in advance!!

Deb

 

Sorry, that wasn't a etrex H, it was an xtrex legend H that I saw on clearance for $100

Edited by koolma_k
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Most any GPSr does the job. Some with bells and whistles, some without.

 

Right now, many very good sales are going on. Check Amazon.com (hate to mention websites), but currently some stupendous offers, super prices on pricey instruments.

 

The model you mentioned is fine, just lacks some of those extra amenities. :unsure:

 

EDIT: typo

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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Most any GPSr does the job. Some with bells and whistles, some without.

 

Right now, many very good sales are going on. Check Amazon.com (hate to mention websites), but currently some stupendous offers, super prices on pricey instruments.

 

The model you mentioned is fine, just lacks some of those extra amenities. :unsure:

 

EDIT: typo

 

Maybe a good question for me would be what type of amenities are "got to haves" and what are "nice to haves" (don't need the useless expensive "dont' need to haves" lol)

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The minimum I would consider is the Garmin Venture HC. It uses USB connections as opposed to the etrex "H" with a serial connection.

 

It also has color screen, long battery life, geocaching mode, some map memory, small form factor and is quite rugged. All for about $115 if you shop around.

 

ayep.

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Look at the Garmin Oregon (may not hit your price point) and Delorme. Delorme has one on Amazon for 199 that's pretty well liked. The Delmore fans can tell you the model becasue I can't recall it off the top of my head.

There are actually 2 of the Delormes on sale on Amazon.com at the moment. Both are great for paperless caching and have lots of bells and whistles that like the paperless aspect are not really needed, but are nice to have. One of the Delormes is the PN-30 for $179 and then the other is the PN-40 for $199.

 

I'm always very happy to recommend the Delorme PN series GPSr's because they are in my opinion an awesome deal, but I sensed that maybe lower than your max of $200 might be better for your needs. If that is true then really pretty much any modern GPSr will work for your family's needs. Since all that's really needed is a GPSr that you can input coordinates into and then it will point the direction to the cache and tell you how far away it is and one with less bells and whistles may be just right for you.

 

If I'm sensing wrong and you'd really feel comfortable going up to the $200 point, or close to it, then the Delormes are certainly a good option. If you want more indepth info on the Delormes you can either go over to the GPS and Technology where not just Delormes, but lots of other brands are frequently discussed. Or, if you'd prefer you can click on my screen name and at my profile page send me an E-Mail requesting more info on the Delormes and I'll be happy to tell you more about them.

 

Good luck in finding the best GPSr for your needs and welcome to the game. :unsure:

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Check Walmart as well. They were selling the DeLorme PN-20 for $99. Currently it's listed at $149. Never know, they might drop the price again. That's a good entry level unit, color screen, aerial imagery, etc.

 

This is an OK unit as long as you don't expect it to road route you to the cache location. It's slow on map redraw and calculating routes. On the other hand, it would make a decent starter unit for the budget-minded person!

 

A better unit for just a little more are the DeLorme PN-30 or the DeLorme PN-40. Either one are great for caching and will route adequately (for me at least, ymmv) I'd check them out and then you'll at least have an idea of what the bells and whistles are should you decide to look for others. In your price range though, these are great units and will do far more than the etrex lines!

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Hi Deb, You sound like a great Mom. Here's my take: Get a basic, entry level unit, Focus more on ease of operation than anything else. This will either be your future back up unit or will be a paperweight. Once exposed to the obsession your kids more than likely want personal units with particular bells and whistles, and of course their own.

 

Most kids this age I know are more tech savvy than I so I say let them discover the mapping, paperless. GSAK, macros and ARRRRGH I can't go on!!

 

Seriously though, I would keep it as simple as possible, get them caching and see if it takes off.

The Etrex H would do that and the price is good.

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I'll 2nd bobandrobin's thoughs :unsure:

 

An entry level unit will get you on board CHEAP, and if/when the Geocaching obsession really kicks into top gear then that entry level model will still be an excellent backup, OR hey you might give-or-sell it to the next newbie you (as a veteran!) will be recruiting lol

 

But having said that, I would rather suggest you do consider the Etrex Venture HC over the Etrex H. It's only a few more $$'s than the plain Etrex H but has a MUCH higher room for growth, and is still just as simple to learn and operate.

 

Good luck with your decision and welcome aboard :unsure:

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Thanks for all the help and info. I am more than certain that my kids (and myself) will quickly become geocaching addicts!!! We love to get out when ever we can and I am certain that having a challange will get us out much more. We can start out with simple and then THEY can blow their allowances on getting the fancy stuff that they will understand better than me...lol See you all out their after xmas :)

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I have to add that we bought a Venture HC from Amazon 34 days ago, I was on the phone with them last night asking for slack in their 30 day refund policy. The unit shut down and won't accept the software update. Garmin will make it good if we send it in, but I don't trust the model any longer.

 

Before it went down we loved it, but searching online for solutions we got the impression this is a common defect, and the technician we worked with had lots of experience with this issue.

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I have to add that we bought a Venture HC from Amazon 34 days ago, I was on the phone with them last night asking for slack in their 30 day refund policy. The unit shut down and won't accept the software update. Garmin will make it good if we send it in, but I don't trust the model any longer.

 

Before it went down we loved it, but searching online for solutions we got the impression this is a common defect, and the technician we worked with had lots of experience with this issue.

 

Every model and brand of GPS will have a few lemons. I went through 3 Delorme PN40s in the first 6 weeks I had the unit. My current one is going on 9 months without a problem.

 

I know people who have had lemon Garmin 60CSXs but mine has worked flawlessly for 4 years.

 

Sometimes you get a bad unit. It doesn't necessarily reflect on the entire line.

 

Tecnicians tend to have a lot of experience with malfunctioning units, because nobody calls them when their unit is working fine.

Edited by briansnat
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I have to add that we bought a Venture HC from Amazon 34 days ago, I was on the phone with them last night asking for slack in their 30 day refund policy. The unit shut down and won't accept the software update. Garmin will make it good if we send it in, but I don't trust the model any longer.

 

Before it went down we loved it, but searching online for solutions we got the impression this is a common defect, and the technician we worked with had lots of experience with this issue.

 

Every model and brand of GPS will have a few lemons. I went through 3 Delorme PN40s in the first 6 weeks I had the unit. My current one is going on 9 months without a problem.

 

I know people who have had lemon Garmin 60CSXs but mine has worked flawlessly for 4 years.

 

Sometimes you get a bad unit. It doesn't necessarily reflect on the entire line.

 

Tecnicians tend to have a lot of experience with malfunctioning units, because nobody calls them when their unit is working fine.

 

Call me old fashioned, but I feel a new product should be the manufactures' best effort. A result of research, development and quality control. My function as a consumer is not to weed through the lemons until I get what I paid for.

 

I don't believe this is a case of an occasional lemon, more likely a decision to market a product with a known defect. I'm sure the repair of the units in question is much less than recalling and testing/repairing the lot. A cost effective decision was made to compromise their obligation of quality control. My willingness to keep trying units until I find a good one would condone this.

 

How about we agree to disagree on this one?

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I have to add that we bought a Venture HC from Amazon 34 days ago, I was on the phone with them last night asking for slack in their 30 day refund policy. The unit shut down and won't accept the software update. Garmin will make it good if we send it in, but I don't trust the model any longer.

 

Before it went down we loved it, but searching online for solutions we got the impression this is a common defect, and the technician we worked with had lots of experience with this issue.

 

Every model and brand of GPS will have a few lemons. I went through 3 Delorme PN40s in the first 6 weeks I had the unit. My current one is going on 9 months without a problem.

 

I know people who have had lemon Garmin 60CSXs but mine has worked flawlessly for 4 years.

 

Sometimes you get a bad unit. It doesn't necessarily reflect on the entire line.

 

Tecnicians tend to have a lot of experience with malfunctioning units, because nobody calls them when their unit is working fine.

 

Call me old fashioned, but I feel a new product should be the manufactures' best effort. A result of research, development and quality control. My function as a consumer is not to weed through the lemons until I get what I paid for.

 

I don't believe this is a case of an occasional lemon, more likely a decision to market a product with a known defect. I'm sure the repair of the units in question is much less than recalling and testing/repairing the lot. A cost effective decision was made to compromise their obligation of quality control. My willingness to keep trying units until I find a good one would condone this.

 

How about we agree to disagree on this one?

Well of course it had some known defects when it was shipped.

 

I would venture to say that nearly ALL consumer products do. It becomes a matter of percentages and impact on the company. If they determine that a low amount of consumers will need a specific repair - they bump the price a bit and live with it versus the cost of delaying the shipping of the product. I know thats they way much software (from ALL companies) works. It goes out the door with known but relively minor defects that may or may not get fixed via patches later.

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I have Venture HC that is working great after firmware update. I am even selling it right now in the GPS Garage Sale. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=237069

 

Check it out. It's a great unit. I just Don't need it and I never used it. It was my back up unit and I just bought the PN40 and will use my 60csx as the back up.

 

Edited for spelling. Using my iPhone

Edited by ao318
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We bought our first unit off of craigslist, just with an inexpensive Garmin Etrex for about $50 and has been a great basic unit.

 

We wanted to make sure that we'd really enjoy geocaching so we just started with a basic unit, i've since gotten my step-daughter, parents and sister hooked, the etrex is still great for how we geocache/hike.

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