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New to geocaching


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Hello all!

I have not started geocaching yet but i am getting very excited about it. As you can see i am also new to the forums. I don't have an iphone or anything that could serve as a GPSr. Furthermore, i am fresh out of college and do not have much money to be spending on a GPSr. I have read many posts in the GPS Related Topics but none that i have read really explain in depth the benefits to spending 3-4 times the money on a new GPSr for the bells and whistles. Understandably it will make things easier and possibly (i don't know) even a necessity to get to some caches. However, I will be buying used for my first GPSr and i don't want to spend over $100. What features are an absolute MUST in a GPSr? I don't mind using paper print outs, and i am pretty handy with a map and compass. I have seen the garmin etrex in several places used for under $60 but does not have maps. Will i be ok as a starting geocacher with a GPSr like this one? Or will i have to save up some more money to get the better models? Thank you all for your advice and suggestions.

 

-KrazyRaider

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Hi and welcome.

 

Not sure where your interests lie, but I would suggest a Garmin Vista HCX, Vista CX or venture CX. You should be able to pick up a CX for under $100 easily. Some people upgrade to Oregons and sell thier Vista off cheaply.

 

These have a colour screen, and take microSD cards for maps. There are a lot of free maps available that will work.

 

The Vista has a compass and altimeter, theses are really novelty items, a cheap compass is actually better than the 2 axis Garmin device. The HCxmeans H=high sensitivity, works under leaves, C=colour screen, x takes external microSD memory.

 

If you cycle, get a 'bike mount, any of these will work as a cycle computer, giving a large display of speed and distance. They will record a track of where you went, that you can download, and convert to Google Earth, to see where you went.

 

You can work out a trail in Google Earth, save it as a KMZ file and get it uploaded into the Garmin, then you can follow your route on the GPS, either walking or cycling. I do this for road journeys and follow the GPS map, although all of these units can work as a SAtNav if you get the right maps.

 

I forgot, all of these use a standard camera sized USB lead, I take photos and use the saved track from my GPS together with Geosetter, to geotag all my pictures, I can then upload my favourites to Google Earth.

Edited by facade66
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Hi and welcome.

 

Not sure where your interests lie, but I would suggest a Garmin Vista HCX, Vista CX or venture CX. You should be able to pick up a CX for under $100 easily. Some people upgrade to Oregons and sell thier Vista off cheaply.

 

These have a colour screen, and take microSD cards for maps. There are a lot of free maps available that will work.

 

The Vista has a compass and altimeter, theses are really novelty items, a cheap compass is actually better than the 2 axis Garmin device. The HCxmeans H=high sensitivity, works under leaves, C=colour screen, x takes external microSD memory.

 

If you cycle, get a 'bike mount, any of these will work as a cycle computer, giving a large display of speed and distance. They will record a track of where you went, that you can download, and convert to Google Earth, to see where you went.

 

You can work out a trail in Google Earth, save it as a KMZ file and get it uploaded into the Garmin, then you can follow your route on the GPS, either walking or cycling. I do this for road journeys and follow the GPS map, although all of these units can work as a SAtNav if you get the right maps.

 

I forgot, all of these use a standard camera sized USB lead, I take photos and use the saved track from my GPS together with Geosetter, to geotag all my pictures, I can then upload my favourites to Google Earth.

IMHO I would get a GPSr with the H receiver. This is much better at getting and retaining fixes in woods and gulleys. Most of the modern units have USB interfaces and that will make getting the Coords into the unit much easier. Any of the other features are just nice to have.

 

I have a Legend HCx and love it, but a eTrex H would be just as usable.

 

Best of luck with your new hobby.

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As far as bare necessity the only feature I would require of a GPS is computer connectivity. After that it's all convenience. If you want to go on the cheap I would recommend an explorist 400 and up, or one of the garmin etrex line. Just make sure if you get an etrex with serial interface that your computer has a serial interface as well. Or you can get a serial to USB converter.

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