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Tatally frustrated, NO fun at all


AnneJennifer
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I read about geocaching and thought it would be a great thing to do with my 6yr old daughter. Get us outside and away from the tv. Well, it has turned out to be super expensive, frustrating and the worst idea I have ever run across. 1st I printed out a bunch of geocaches that were near the house. Read about different GPSes and got totally confused. As many people who like a unit that many dont. So, headed to the store to ask for help. Got none. Bought a unit for $149. Got home and found it only came on in German. 45 min on the phone to Magellan service to have the man in India tell me to 'learn German'. Tried to take the unit back and only got store credit! (I never shop in this kind of store so now I will have to buy some camping stuff I will never use to get my money "back"). Next went to Sports Authority. $270 some dollars later, got talked into a "really good Garmin", got home and opened the package to find a used and broken unit. At the store I couldnt prove I didnt break it (only had it 37 minutes) so got store credit. Again a store I have never shopped in before and wont again. So took a $79 garmin to use some of my credit. Got home to find out It only tells me where I am and where I have been, not how to get to a certain point. Called for help and the guy said "sorry". I HATE GEOCACHING. Too (darn) expensive. Too frustrating and when we did find a site (because I knew where the tank was on Tuttle Ave) we never found the cache. We looked and looked and looked. I even used the hint and it didnt help. So whoopee. Tons of fun? not. Spent $$ I didnt have to waste, lots of gas going back and forth to stores I dont usually visit, a crying 6 yr old, tons of frustration for what? Nothing. You can keep your crummy sport. It is NO FUN. Anne

Edited by mtn-man
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I read about geocaching and thought it would be a great thing to do with my 6yr old daughter. Get us outside and away from the tv. Well, it has turned out to be super expensive, frustrating and the worst idea I have ever run across. 1st I printed out a bunch of geocaches that were near the house. Read about different GPSes and got totally confused. As many people who like a unit that many dont. So, headed to the store to ask for help. Got none. Bought a unit for $149. Got home and found it only came on in German. 45 min on the phone to Magellan service to have the man in India tell me to 'learn German'. Tried to take the unit back and only got store credit! (I never shop in this kind of store so now I will have to buy some camping stuff I will never use to get my money "back"). Next went to Sports Authority. $270 some dollars later, got talked into a "really good Garmin", got home and opened the package to find a used and broken unit. At the store I couldnt prove I didnt break it (only had it 37 minutes) so got store credit. Again a store I have never shopped in before and wont again. So took a $79 garmin to use some of my credit. Got home to find out It only tells me where I am and where I have been, not how to get to a certain point. Called for help and the guy said "sorry". I HATE GEOCACHING. Too (darn) expensive. Too frustrating and when we did find a site (because I knew where the tank was on Tuttle Ave) we never found the cache. We looked and looked and looked. I even used the hint and it didnt help. So whoopee. Tons of fun? not. Spent $$ I didnt have to waste, lots of gas going back and forth to stores I dont usually visit, a crying 6 yr old, tons of frustration for what? Nothing. You can keep your crummy sport. It is NO FUN. Anne

 

You have not geocached so how can you hate geocaching?

 

You had some bad shopping experiences, but we don't hear you say you hate shopping.

Edited by mtn-man
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I'm torn between posting what I really think, and being polite. So forgive me if this message seems a bit schizophrenic.

 

First, let me say that I don't believe a word of this. A Magellan that only works in German and tech support can't tell you how to change it? Sports Authority selling used merchandise as new? I'm not buying it.

 

Second, just in case you are serious: I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. Maybe some other activity would be a better fit for your budget and technical abilities?

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:sad:

 

So basically you had issues with the stores where you got your GPSr and therefore it's the fault of geocaching?

 

What exactly do you expect to accomplish by posting this? If you are looking for friendly advice, you've started out all wrong.

 

just sayin'

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I read about geocaching and thought it would be a great thing to do with my 6yr old daughter. Get us outside and away from the tv. Well, it has turned out to be super expensive, frustrating and the worst idea I have ever run across. 1st I printed out a bunch of geocaches that were near the house. Read about different GPSes and got totally confused. As many people who like a unit that many dont. So, headed to the store to ask for help. Got none. Bought a unit for $149. Got home and found it only came on in German. 45 min on the phone to Magellan service to have the man in India tell me to 'learn German'. Tried to take the unit back and only got store credit! (I never shop in this kind of store so now I will have to buy some camping stuff I will never use to get my money "back"). Next went to Sports Authority. $270 some dollars later, got talked into a "really good Garmin", got home and opened the package to find a used and broken unit. At the store I couldnt prove I didnt break it (only had it 37 minutes) so got store credit. Again a store I have never shopped in before and wont again. So took a $79 garmin to use some of my credit. Got home to find out It only tells me where I am and where I have been, not how to get to a certain point. Called for help and the guy said "sorry". I HATE GEOCACHING. Too (darn) expensive. Too frustrating and when we did find a site (because I knew where the tank was on Tuttle Ave) we never found the cache. We looked and looked and looked. I even used the hint and it didnt help. So whoopee. Tons of fun? not. Spent $$ I didnt have to waste, lots of gas going back and forth to stores I dont usually visit, a crying 6 yr old, tons of frustration for what? Nothing. You can keep your crummy sport. It is NO FUN. Anne

 

I can understand your frustrations, but its a little unfair to blame geocaching for your hatered. As far as I can see you had a rough deal whilst shopping for a GPS.

 

Finding a cache can be tricky the first few times until you know what your looking for and the sport doesn't have to be expensive. I picked up a Garmin Etrex H ,the entry level unit, for $70 and it is perfectly adequate for the job. Thats it for expense unless I wish to travel further afield.

 

I hope you give another go sometime as It is a fantastic pastime once you have your head around things a little.

Edited by mtn-man
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Sorry you have had so many problems! I don't know what to tell you about your bad shopping experiences. As to what unit you ended up with, you might want to post a message here, in the GPS and Technology section of the forums. Lots of very friendly and knowledgable folks can probably tell you the best way to go about geocaching with your unit. I would also suggest that you read a bunch of posts here in the Getting Started forum. There are lots of tricks that can make finding a geocache easier. It's also possible that you didn't pick a very good one as a first try. If it's a micro, and/or has a high difficulty rating, it might be very difficult to find. Finally, you might want to find out if there is a local geocaching association near you. Somebody in your area could take you out and show you the ropes, or at least give you suggestions of what caches might be good to start with. Good luck to you.

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I read about geocaching and thought it would be a great thing to do with my 6yr old daughter. Get us outside and away from the tv. Well, it has turned out to be super expensive, frustrating and the worst idea I have ever run across. 1st I printed out a bunch of geocaches that were near the house. Read about different GPSes and got totally confused. As many people who like a unit that many dont. So, headed to the store to ask for help. Got none. Bought a unit for $149. Got home and found it only came on in German. 45 min on the phone to Magellan service to have the man in India tell me to 'learn German'. Tried to take the unit back and only got store credit! (I never shop in this kind of store so now I will have to buy some camping stuff I will never use to get my money "back"). Next went to Sports Authority. $270 some dollars later, got talked into a "really good Garmin", got home and opened the package to find a used and broken unit. At the store I couldnt prove I didnt break it (only had it 37 minutes) so got store credit. Again a store I have never shopped in before and wont again. So took a $79 garmin to use some of my credit. Got home to find out It only tells me where I am and where I have been, not how to get to a certain point. Called for help and the guy said "sorry". I HATE GEOCACHING. Too (darn) expensive. Too frustrating and when we did find a site (because I knew where the tank was on Tuttle Ave) we never found the cache. We looked and looked and looked. I even used the hint and it didnt help. So whoopee. Tons of fun? not. Spent $$ I didnt have to waste, lots of gas going back and forth to stores I dont usually visit, a crying 6 yr old, tons of frustration for what? Nothing. You can keep your crummy sport. It is NO FUN. Anne

Doesn't sound like you have a problem with Geocaching as you've tried it yet. Sounds like you have a problem with the retail outlets you shopped at. You could have had the same experience buying a stereo.

 

What is odd about this story is that, at either store, you could have used your store credit to purchase a working unit. No need to go to another store.

 

I just checked the Sports Authority website. They offer full refunds if done within 30 days and have a process for dealing with damaged items.

Edited by mtn-man
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:sad:

 

Never has this emoticon been more appropriate.

 

As the others have said, you've had a bad shopping experience, not a bad caching experience. As for the cache that you did try, micros on large pieces of machinery often give experienced cachers trouble.

 

My first GPS was a little bit over $100. My current one was about $500 when I bought it. Both are cases of money well spent. Fortunately, I didn't have to try to buy an ounce of patience first!

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I'm going to second, third, fourth... whatever we're on at this point, that your experience was not with geocaching, it was with shopping. Second, pick an easy cache in a spot you know. I found my first few while very (VERY) pregnant and without a GPSr simply by examining the satelite map and knowing the area. I still find some this way if I happen to be in a place I've researched and can pick out the cache area from the map. My unit cost me 50 dollars and no it won't give you step-by-step instructions, but it does point to where you need to go as the crow flies. I will admit to being able to "get above myself" very easily and look down at a map in my head (which is probably why I'm always the navigator on long trips, but I digress) but it's not a superpower and I'm not 100% reliable. I urge you to try again. It really is fun.

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As the others have said, you've had a bad shopping experience, not a bad caching experience. As for the cache that you did try, micros on large pieces of machinery often give experienced cachers trouble.

 

My first GPS was a little bit over $100. My current one was about $500 when I bought it. Both are cases of money well spent. Fortunately, I didn't have to try to buy an ounce of patience first!

 

Perfectly fine statement.

 

:sad:

 

Never has this emoticon been more appropriate.

 

Just outright mean.. even though I am not convince the post is real.

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The first couple of times I tried, I did not have much fun either. The fun part is finding one. Not finding it is... less fun. Especially if the location is an empty parking lot, like one of my first failure to find experiences. At least hiking in a park is a nice place to be while not finding something.

 

I had two big problems. First, I was using a GPS that is designed for driving directions. The coordinates it shows are not precise enough (DD° MM' SS" instead of DD° MM.MMM') so I could get close to the right spot, but not always find it. Also, it does not show you if the GPS signal is weak or strong.

 

Second, I did not know where to look. When I went to that empty parking lot, I was supposed to look inside a lamp post base. That is a common hiding spot, but I did not know that, so I looked all over the bushes and wasted a lot of time. Everybody else could find it easily, because they looked inside the lamp post.

 

If you are totally frustrated, find someone who knows how to find a geocache, and ask them to take you on a trip. There is probably a geocaching group in your area, and if you can find them, one of them will probably be able to help you.

 

It is so much more fun when you FIND the cache you are looking for.

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After reading through all that, and the above replies, the one thing that really strikes me as sad is....

 

...a crying 6 yr old, tons of frustration for what?

 

So my question to the OP is:

 

What lesson did your unfortunate 6 year old daughter come away from all this? It's better to sit in front of the TV so Mom doesn't go into a fit? :(

 

Just my candid and unvarnished opinion, but I think you need to be setting a better example for your daughter :sad:

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So took a $79 garmin to use some of my credit. Got home to find out It only tells me where I am and where I have been, not how to get to a certain point.

 

I'll let the others comment on your shopping experience. Regarding the above statement, I can't think of a Garmin hand held GPS made that doesn't tell you how to get to a certain location. It is the entire point of a GPS.

 

At the $79 price point I'm guessing that you may have purchased an eTrex H, which will indeed tell you how to get to a certain point. I can't imagine that a Garmin tech wouldn't know that (Your experience with Magellan on the other hand isn't out of the realm of possibility. They are not known for their customer service).

 

The typical method is to mark a waypoint and edit the coordinates to match your destination. Check your owners manual for the sections about marking and editing waypoints for instructions.

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Should have bought it on line and it would have saved gas money. As much as i am not buying this, I will say if it was so simple it was boring then it wouldn't be growing as big as it is and it would be no fun. You need to look online for a geocaching club near you and hook up with someone that can show you how to use your GPSr.

 

Some caches are hard to find I have 2 micros that are giving me fits. I have yet to find them after a 3 times searching but check the logs and see that people find them after I have tried. That to me is a challenge.

Edited by Team_Searchgeo
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I kind of feel the same way. I originally bought my GPS for hiking and learned about geocaching from the Garmin site. I've been hiking, backpacking in some very remote areas for 30 years without a GPS. Dakota 20 + 24K map + a premium account here, and I'm wondering if I'll still like geocaching in 3-4 months plus I don't really need a GPS for hiking. $400+ for a novelty?

 

Time will tell.

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I HATE GEOCACHING

Anne, might I suggest knitting? :sad:

You say you downloaded some cache pages. Presumably you blew right past all the "Getting Started" web pages which would have shown you tips on hunting caches. By the time you printed the pages, you either knew, or should have known, that there was a slightly high tech aspect to this game, and you decided you would rather enter into such an activity while clueless. After being handed your first GPSr, and finding that using it was not the easy-peasy lark you thought it might be, you decided to go elsewhere to purchase another GPSr, and you decided you would rather still be clueless, ignoring all the resources available which would have helped you. So you failed again. You can't keep a handle on your emotions, so now your child is crying.

 

But, somehow, this is the fault of Geocaching? :(

 

Perhaps you should try curbing your deep sense of entitlement prior to stepping outside? :)

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My first experience purchasing a GPSr was HORRIBLE. I got a brand new Garmin Colorado 300 from a local big box store. I think at the time it cost right around $400.00 after taxes were included. I got home and powered that sucker up...only to have it freeze up. I tried 10 more times but every time it conked out. So I brought it back and they happily (and quite apologetically) replaced it with a working model. Then I got home and realized I had to download the software to my computer to be able to download GPX files. Having only a dialup connection at the time, this was a major pain. This was all very frustrating as it was a beautiful Spring Saturday and I really wanted to get outside. After we FINALLY got it all set up we downloaded a few caches and…it was dark out. I have never waited for dawn on a Sunday morning like I did that night. We were able to get out and find a few local ones and we've never looked back.

 

With all that being said, Geocaching is a wonderful hobby (addiction?) that has taken me to so many awesome places and I wouldn't trade all the fun I've had being out and about for anything.

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I HATE GEOCACHING. Too (darn) expensive.
It doesn't have to be. I found hundreds of caches before I bought my first GPS receiver. When I did buy one, I spent less than $100.

 

As others have said, I'm sorry you had such a bad shopping experience. If you decide to reconsider geocaching, then here are a few tips that may help:

 

A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.)

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10'). That applies both to your GPSr, and to the GPSr of the cache owner, so you may find the container 15-20' from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate.

 

It might help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak.

 

Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums.

Edited by mtn-man
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So your first post in the forums is after you've gone through all that frustration. If you were new to this and had never owned a GPS, perhaps a visit to the forums first would have saved a lot of aggravation. People here would have been happy to provide GPS recommendations within your budget and also would have provided ideas on the best places to buy (Sports Authority would not likely be on that list). You also would have been advised to search for regular size containers and avoid micros (especially those on tanks) until you had found a few.

 

Having said all that, I find cetain details of your story pretty hard to believe.

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I read about geocaching and thought it would be a great thing to do with my 6yr old daughter. Get us outside and away from the tv. Well, it has turned out to be super expensive, frustrating and the worst idea I have ever run across. 1st I printed out a bunch of geocaches that were near the house. Read about different GPSes and got totally confused. As many people who like a unit that many dont. So, headed to the store to ask for help. Got none. Bought a unit for $149. Got home and found it only came on in German. 45 min on the phone to Magellan service to have the man in India tell me to 'learn German'. Tried to take the unit back and only got store credit! (I never shop in this kind of store so now I will have to buy some camping stuff I will never use to get my money "back"). Next went to Sports Authority. $270 some dollars later, got talked into a "really good Garmin", got home and opened the package to find a used and broken unit. At the store I couldnt prove I didnt break it (only had it 37 minutes) so got store credit. Again a store I have never shopped in before and wont again. So took a $79 garmin to use some of my credit. Got home to find out It only tells me where I am and where I have been, not how to get to a certain point. Called for help and the guy said "sorry". I HATE GEOCACHING. Too (darn) expensive. Too frustrating and when we did find a site (because I knew where the tank was on Tuttle Ave) we never found the cache. We looked and looked and looked. I even used the hint and it didnt help. So whoopee. Tons of fun? not. Spent $$ I didnt have to waste, lots of gas going back and forth to stores I dont usually visit, a crying 6 yr old, tons of frustration for what? Nothing. You can keep your crummy sport. It is NO FUN. Anne

 

Entertaining. Thank you for my daily smug superior feeling. :sad:

 

How so you may ask? :)

 

You equated your shopping experience and frustration there in to geocaching. Laughable. Shopping is not geocaching.

 

You blamed geocaching for your inability to operate your GPS unit and being unable to find a cache you admittedly tried to find without using said GPS unit. Again, laughable.

 

Perhaps you should take a course on personal accountability and then blame the instructor for your late arrival or missing the class completely. :(

 

If you decide to give geocaching another try for your child's sake, I'd suggest going to a geocaching event and asking the nice locals for help. Geocachers are awesomely helpful in person. They will be much nicer if you leave out the introductions that you included in your first and only post (so far) to these forums. B)

Edited by mtn-man
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I'm torn between posting what I really think, and being polite. So forgive me if this message seems a bit schizophrenic.

 

First, let me say that I don't believe a word of this. A Magellan that only works in German and tech support can't tell you how to change it? Sports Authority selling used merchandise as new? I'm not buying it.

 

Second, just in case you are serious: I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. Maybe some other activity would be a better fit for your budget and technical abilities?

So Sorry you dont believe me and that I seem to be getting so much negative response out here. Just lets me know what kind of people I am dealing with.....you small minded ones. I am not lying. I can show the sales slips but did not get the name of the man I spoke to at Magellan who told me that once a unit was set for a language it cant be changed and to learn how to read it in german.

The Sports Authority box came out of the locked cabinet with the "spider web" anti theft device still on it. That is why I, and Hank (the salesman) could not believe it was used, but it was, even had the old duracell batteries in it. He said he was sorry but could only help so much.

I guess we will try some other form of entertainment, something that has nice and helpful people who take part. I would not want to run into you in the woods, you are too mean and to schizophrenic. Just reinforces my feelings of what this is all about.

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I'm torn between posting what I really think, and being polite. So forgive me if this message seems a bit schizophrenic.

 

First, let me say that I don't believe a word of this. A Magellan that only works in German and tech support can't tell you how to change it? Sports Authority selling used merchandise as new? I'm not buying it.

 

Second, just in case you are serious: I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. Maybe some other activity would be a better fit for your budget and technical abilities?

So Sorry you dont believe me and that I seem to be getting so much negative response out here. Just lets me know what kind of people I am dealing with.....you small minded ones. I am not lying. I can show the sales slips but did not get the name of the man I spoke to at Magellan who told me that once a unit was set for a language it cant be changed and to learn how to read it in german.

The Sports Authority box came out of the locked cabinet with the "spider web" anti theft device still on it. That is why I, and Hank (the salesman) could not believe it was used, but it was, even had the old duracell batteries in it. He said he was sorry but could only help so much.

I guess we will try some other form of entertainment, something that has nice and helpful people who take part. I would not want to run into you in the woods, you are too mean and to schizophrenic. Just reinforces my feelings of what this is all about.

 

Where did you ever ask for help in your original post? I as well as others would have helped if you would have asked.

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We can't help you with your shopping issues, but we can help you with geocaching.

 

What garmin did you end up with? For that price, I assume that it is the basic yellow etrex H. A huge amount of geocachers started with that unit (or the non-H one that it replaced). It is a good unit that will serve you well in this game.

 

What caches did you look for? I would suggest starting out with caches with low difficulty ratings. Perhaps also stick to caches sized regular or large. Save the harder and smaller caches for after you get your feet wet, so to speak.

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I don't know where you got the first unit, but Sports Authority is a nationwide chain. I would not stand for getting a store credit for them selling me used merchandise. If you allow yourself to be a door mat you are going to be stepped on. Ask for a manager and if that doesn't work ask for his/her manager until you get a cash or credit refund.

 

For that matter, if a store sold me a unit in the wrong language and wouldn't give me a credit to my card or cash they would have to call the police to get me out of there. Grow a backbone. Sorry but I am not buying this either.

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I defended the harshness of the posters in another thread, as it was a lively debate over a particular cache, its rating and the inability of anyone to find it.

 

But this seems over the top. Granted, AnneJennifer started out on the wrong foot, ranting against the sport because the sporting goods store stiffed her. But really, did her comments deserve all the torches and pitchforks that are coming at her?

 

Something tells me she is not going to give geocaching another try after she returns her GPS to Sports Authority.

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