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Best beginner GPS

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I'm looking for some ideas, recommendations for a beginner level GPS. The Geocaching club I belong to has been putting on at least two caching events each year for the last four years. We have had people attend our events who are real beginners, some don’t even own a GPS. We are looking to replace several older Garmin etrex units that we loan out to the beginners with something a little more user friendly. We have been talking about trying the Geomate Jr. as it seems to be very easy to use (just three buttons).

I have dome some research on the Geomate Jr and it looks like it would be a good unit for our needs. But there are a few items / functions I have not been able to determine. and we'd like to find these out bfore we purchase any units.

1) When a cache is marked as found in the Geomate does it disappear from the main list (Not longer shows as the nearest)?

2) Are you able to remove / delete caches from the unit? We would be using the Update Kit to load our event’s temporary caches (customer gpx file), but would we be able to remove the event caches after the event so they would not be in the GPS for the next event?

Any other ideas for an easy to use, entry level GPS?


Thanks and happy caching!!

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While the Geomate Jr is a good starter unit i wouldn't recommend it as a loaner for your organization. The idea is to introduce them to caching but at the same time they should also be learning how to use a basic hand held GPSr. I think the Jr is great for kids and those people that will be using the event as a one time caching opportunity. But for those who would like to stay long term, should have a better unit to work with. One that will be similar to the one they may buy in the near future. Whatever unit you have as a loaner will most likely become the first unit those people buy. I know i wouldn't want others to start on the Jr only to find a few weeks later how limited it is and realize they need to spend another $100 on a better unit. Just my humble $.02.


When a cache is marked found it is no longer IDed as the closest cache and the unit will move on to the next cache. It doesn't delete the cache from the memory.


With the update kit you will be able to remove existing caches and add new ones.

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The best starter GPS (and I assume you to be of at least high school education....kids are a different matter....) that I have seen is the Magellan eXplorist GC. And, you can find them used for under $100. (Target stores were selling them new for $40 at one point. I doubt you can find that now, though....) I currently have one (because I broke my Oregon, and am saving for a Montana), because it was the lowest cost paperless unit out there. If you are used to one with more features (like my Oregon, for example) it is lacking. But if you don't know better, it will be an excellent choice for a beginner. It has a base map (no topo, but the roads on it are decent....The "so what" here is that you could use it as a "normal" GPS as well for hiking, etc.) that you can not update or upgrade, is fully paperless (this actually works very well on it), has decent battery life and the interface is actually fairly intuitive (imho). In all fairness, I will likely not buy another Magellan, because the Garmins offer more features (like FREE maps), but you asked about a starter unit. The GC was designed specifically (and was the first to be so) for that purpose.


Hope this helps!


Edited to add: GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!

Edited by DazDnFamily
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I'm trying to help my Mom research a beginner GPS for her, and I keep coming up with the Magellan 310 over and over after reading reviews and threads here. She needs something simple to run, easy to read, decent battery. But my huge question....is it Mac compatible, does anyone know? That seems to be a stumbling block to choosing one for her. Thanks!

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This is Waz from Geomate.jr. I thought I would jump on and answer the original questions direct. And here they are!


1) When a cache is marked as found on the Geomate.jr, two things happen. One, a smiley will appear on the main screen to indicate that you have found that cache, and two, that cache will be added to a "found list" on the device. At the end of the day, you can then scroll through your found list (which shows the GC code and the date you found it) and update your found log on geocaching.com


2) As for events, we have two tools that you might be interested in. One is our Pocket Query support. If you have your own pocket query, you can use the Update Kit and the Update Zone to load your own pocket query to as many Geomate.jrs as you want. The second tool you might be interested in is our Custom Caches ability. This lets you setup your own PRIVATE list of geocaches and then load that list to as many Geomate.jr's as you want.


You can check out more info about our pocket query support and custom caches here: http://www.mygeomate.com/update_kit.html

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