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Best GPS for use in conjunction with iPhone 3GS?


crackthesky
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Hello All,

 

I am new to geocaching, I had been meaning to join the fun for a while now but after getting the Geocaching.com app on my iPhone I dove right in and did four in a day. I loved it instantly. My problem is that when using the iPhone for geocaching the battery life leaves something to be desired, and I have some concerns over the iPhones GPS reception under overhead tree cover.

 

I need to get a handheld GPS unit that is easy to use, I want to be able to hand the GPS to the kids and let them find the cache while I use the iPhone to make sure we are on the right track.

 

Geocaching for me is something I like to do on the spur of the moment, so I want to use the iPhone to pick the cache and then use the dedicated GPS unit to actually find it.

 

Which unit will be the easiest for me to input coordinates that I get for the cache from the iPhone?

 

In short I am looking for the following qualities, in no particular order:

1) Rugged.

2) Good battery life (6+ hours should be plenty for me, I think)

3) Easy manual coordinate entry.

4) Kid friendly (waterproof/resistant, drop friendly)

5) Exceptional accuracy even with overhead cover.

6) Good value (I want to buy a decent unit to start with then I'll get a better one when I figure out what my needs are)

7) Best unit for tech savvy user new to geocaching.

 

How cool would it be if there was a handheld GPS that could communicate with the iPhone wirelessly (bluetooth) and the Groundspeak Geocaching App could send the GPS all the info regarding the cache?

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Even if someone points me to the right forum for this question. I tend to like extra features but in this case I think I am leaning towards the simpler is better philosophy.

Edited by crackthesky
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DeLorme PN-30 or PN-40. Around $200-$230 at the moment on Amazon.com, for a complete paperless caching system with fully detailed street and topo maps for the US in the box.

 

In short: Meets your specs for 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

 

You'd also have point 3 "easy manual entry" on the DeLorme -- but you'll almost never need it. Spring an extra $10 for DeLorme's Cache Register program, and you'll have one-click loading of all your geocaches directly from the Geocaching website to the GPS. And on the GPS, cache info will be displayed almost as neatly as on the iPhone.

 

You'd still be able to manage "spur of the moment" caching, with the mininmal planning:

 

1) Set up some pocket queries on the Geocaching website (http://www.geocaching.com/pocket) and set them to run daily.

2) Sync the GPS on any morning when you think you might go out caching, or the night before, to have the "freshest" query results loaded.

 

And if by chance the iPhone shows you a nearby cache that wasn't in your query, you CAN add it manually -- but on any handheld that's a bit of a bother when compared to automagically downloading them.

Edited by lee_rimar
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Hello All,

 

I am new to geocaching, I had been meaning to join the fun for a while now but after getting the Geocaching.com app on my iPhone I dove right in and did four in a day. I loved it instantly. My problem is that when using the iPhone for geocaching the battery life leaves something to be desired, and I have some concerns over the iPhones GPS reception under overhead tree cover.

 

I need to get a handheld GPS unit that is easy to use, I want to be able to hand the GPS to the kids and let them find the cache while I use the iPhone to make sure we are on the right track.

 

Geocaching for me is something I like to do on the spur of the moment, so I want to use the iPhone to pick the cache and then use the dedicated GPS unit to actually find it.

 

Which unit will be the easiest for me to input coordinates that I get for the cache from the iPhone?

 

In short I am looking for the following qualities, in no particular order:

1) Rugged.

2) Good battery life (6+ hours should be plenty for me, I think)

3) Easy manual coordinate entry.

4) Kid friendly (waterproof/resistant, drop friendly)

5) Exceptional accuracy even with overhead cover.

6) Good value (I want to buy a decent unit to start with then I'll get a better one when I figure out what my needs are)

7) Best unit for tech savvy user new to geocaching.

 

How cool would it be if there was a handheld GPS that could communicate with the iPhone wirelessly (bluetooth) and the Groundspeak Geocaching App could send the GPS all the info regarding the cache?

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Even if someone points me to the right forum for this question. I tend to like extra features but in this case I think I am leaning towards the simpler is better philosophy.

 

Since you use an iPhone I'm assuming that you like a touch screen. Consequently, I suggest you take a look at the Garmin Oregon or Garmin Dakota series. Not sure about prices, but either the Oregon or the Dakota will meet all of your criteria plus you will have an easy to use touch screen. I have the Oregon 300 and love it. If you like touch screen you will love the Oregon or Dakota.

 

OldA'sFan

Edited by OldA'sFan
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Hello All,

 

I am new to geocaching, I had been meaning to join the fun for a while now but after getting the Geocaching.com app on my iPhone I dove right in and did four in a day. I loved it instantly. My problem is that when using the iPhone for geocaching the battery life leaves something to be desired, and I have some concerns over the iPhones GPS reception under overhead tree cover.

 

I need to get a handheld GPS unit that is easy to use, I want to be able to hand the GPS to the kids and let them find the cache while I use the iPhone to make sure we are on the right track.

 

Geocaching for me is something I like to do on the spur of the moment, so I want to use the iPhone to pick the cache and then use the dedicated GPS unit to actually find it.

 

Which unit will be the easiest for me to input coordinates that I get for the cache from the iPhone?

 

In short I am looking for the following qualities, in no particular order:

1) Rugged.

2) Good battery life (6+ hours should be plenty for me, I think)

3) Easy manual coordinate entry.

4) Kid friendly (waterproof/resistant, drop friendly)

5) Exceptional accuracy even with overhead cover.

6) Good value (I want to buy a decent unit to start with then I'll get a better one when I figure out what my needs are)

7) Best unit for tech savvy user new to geocaching.

 

How cool would it be if there was a handheld GPS that could communicate with the iPhone wirelessly (bluetooth) and the Groundspeak Geocaching App could send the GPS all the info regarding the cache?

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Even if someone points me to the right forum for this question. I tend to like extra features but in this case I think I am leaning towards the simpler is better philosophy.

 

I just recently joined the game and have an iPhone 3G. It sounds to me like you'd be very happy with the iPhone and a Geomate Jr. GPS. It works very well at pointing you to the cache and like you said, you can use the iPhone for all the details the Geomate will not give you. Also, at $70, it's a steal and should last in children's hands.

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My recommendation would be the Garmin Venture HC. You can get one for around $100-$130 from ebay, craigslist, or the forums garage sale section. It meets all of your needs that you listed. You can also download free maps for it. It would be a great unit to start out with.

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Yeah I'd suggest either the Venture Hc or maybe the 60CSx. Your iPhone does all the "paperless caching" for you and does it well, so you don't need the paperless ability in the GPSr. What you DO want is rock solid signal holding and a rugged proven unit the kids won't be able to break (too easily :surprise: )

 

It can't communicate directly to your iPhone, I don't think any GPSr can.. however I can see THAT ability as being on of the next upcoming "cool features" that I'm waiting for too! :laughing:

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YYour iPhone does all the "paperless caching" for you and does it well, so you don't need the paperless ability in the GPSr...
I used to lean that way myself but lately I've come to realize having all of the cache info on both devices is handy. This may be because the rainy season has started in Portland and I'm less comfortable taking my iPhone out of my pocket in some weather.

 

And this is funny. Though some people grouse that DeLorme's software is clunky, Cache Register stands out as a beautiful piece of work -- and unique for getting cache info onto the GPS. I still don't understand why Groundspeak's other trusted partners aren't offering a similar approach.

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There are always equipment available to protect your iPhone against rain, snow and dust. It really works, I've got one.

 

1942-05.5.jpg

 

For my own sake I've decided on the 60CSx for it's accuracy and good reception of signals. I will still use the iPhone for cache info, hints and logs - even maps, but I can probably save some battery on my trips by using the Garmin. It is probably not the best gps for kids, but it is surely rugged.

Edited by trondkj
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...to protect your iPhone against rain, snow and dust... (picture of Otterbox Defender case)
Not.

 

Otterbox's page for that case says Defender says: Case NOT protected against water. Will provide some added protection against drop, bump and dust. NOT intended for protection against water intrusion.

Edited by lee_rimar
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Not.

 

Otterbox's page for that case says Defender says: Case NOT protected against water. Will provide some added protection against drop, bump and dust. NOT intended for protection against water intrusion.

 

Well, of course I would never immerse the iphone in water, but it keeps my iphone dry and healthy long enough to use it in light rain and snowy weather. In heavy rain I prefer not to be outside, nor my phone. When I am out geocaching, I prefer to keep my iphone in that case, well enough protected to not stop functioning if it starts raining while I'm out. So my opinion is: Better with the Otterbox than without :D

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