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Best GPS under $100?


Edge Wise
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I have been hearing about geocaching for some time and have begun to research it. It looks like a great family activity: exercise, outdoors, family time. We live in the North Georgia mountains, so there is abundant opportunity around here. I have started researching and it looks like a Garmin etrex or Legend H would be my best bet, but don't know for sure. Even if we get into it we won't be going every weekend, maybe one or twice a month in good weather so I don't think we need all the bells and whistles but I want to be sure my bases are covered. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This will probably be "the family Christmas present," so I want to make sure we get the right one. Thanks in advance.

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The Legend H is a much better option. The H means it has a high sensitive receiver offering better sat loc under tree cover then the basic eTrex will give. Another big benefit is the USB connection where the eTrex uses a serial connection to link to your PC. Making the Legend H just that much more user friendly.

 

My first GPSr was a a Nuvi 1300 for my car then i got a Legend H. It is a great unit to start with IMHO.

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Sorry for posting in the wrong place. Thanks for the info. Which features should I be looking for?

 

H = high sensitive receiver;

C = color (vs monochrome), and has a slightly wider screen;

X refers to an extended (in addition to internal) memory.

 

The summit hc and vista hcx have the more accurate barometric altimeters. I wanted the better altimeter, and choose between the summit hc and the vista hcx. If you don't care about the altimeter, the legend h (monochrome, with maps), legend hcx (color with extended memory), or venture hc (with internal memory) might be good.

 

Then there's the choice between new or used. Here's a good video that was helpful to me.

Edited by johnlvs2run
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Very informative video, thanks. How concerned should I be about getting a used one?

 

You're welcome. This is my first gps receiver. My concern for used is less than a $300 new one having issues right out of the box, firmware not ready for 2 years etc, which would be quite aggravating. On ebay it is easy to return items through paypal that don't work.

 

Being patient,you can usually find a pretty good deal. I was ready to wait for a month, and it only took a few days. What model are you interested in? Below are some searches, you can change the search titles to find other models.

 

summit hc recent history

http://www.ebay.com/csc/i.html?_nkw=etrex-summit-hc&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=See-All-Categories&_okw=etrex-summit-hc&_oexkw=&_adv=1&LH_Complete=1&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=37&_udhi=115&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=200&_fpos=Zip+code&_fsct=&LH_SALE_CURRENCY=0&_sop=15&_dmd=1&_ipg=50

 

summit hc for sale

http://www.ebay.com/dsc/i.html?_nkw=etrex+summit+hc+altimeter&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=See-All-Categories&_okw=etrex+summit+hc+altimeter&_oexkw=&_adv=1&LH_TitleDesc=1&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=&_udhi=105&_ftrt=901&_ftrv=1&_sabdlo=&_sabdhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=200&_fpos=Zip+code&_fsct=&LH_SALE_CURRENCY=0&_sop=15&_dmd=1&_ipg=50

Edited by johnlvs2run
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Unless you can find a use H or HCX I don't think I would buy anything else in the garmin line that is not colour. Most people still want a good buck for the H and HCx models, I would seriously look at doubling up your money and at least look at the etrex 20, its colour, you can put maps on it and there are free maps that you can get and use and it also supports paperless geocaching. As long as the GPS is loaded before you go out it will have the latest logs in it. It is so nice to be able to be at a cache you are having a problem with and read the logs from the past few people to find it or not find it. Its also nice to read the description and the hint too if need be. But to have the logs there is so much help. I Have been to more than one cache with people looking for it and then read the logs and find out oh the last 10 people here where not able to find it and chances are its gone.

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My first GPS was a used etrex vista that I bought from the forums here from half way across the country, I am in Ontario near Niagara Falls and GPS was in British Columbia. I was happy with it and it served me well for a long time till it broke down and like you didn't have a lot of money to get another one, took me over a year but I did managed to save enough money and got myself a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx, didn't take long after going to a large event and finding out that I would be withing 5 or 6 feet of a cache every time even under trees, hell I was standing under a tree with the cache in it at one point saying its right here somewhere while everyone was looking up to 30 feet away for it. Many of those people upgraded shortly after that I think. I also think I paid just over $200 for the used one and now for $200 you can get some that just run circles around it.

 

Some I would just stay away from, I picked up a new GPS a few years ago, a bushenll I believe, BIGGEST POS I have ever seen, in fact its sitting in the junk pile now, it came with lithium enigizers in it which should have been good for years not being used, I still have a pair I carry with me that I got in a used digital camera many many years ago and are dated best used by 2011, I think they are now 9 years old maybe 10 or 11. They are still good and are well used. Anyway the bushnell killed the batteries, refuses to turn on no matter how it is powered and was a real PITA to load anything into it, maps are costly and a pain to load, came with a coupon for some free maps which the site refused to honour. So it sits in the junk pile and some day I may tear it apart or pretend its a baseball and let it meet a bat.

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Depends on how you like to cache. I find a map useful so i can tell if i'm making the right approach to a cache. Nothings worse then making a half mile trek to a cache only to find you are on the wrong side of a large body of water from the cache.

 

Not all GPSr can hold additional maps but most can. You don't need to pay for a map either. There are a great many free maps available. When you live will best determine where you go to get your free maps.

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Venture HC would be my pick for under $100 new, it's 99 bucks on amazon right now, and I just picked one up to use mostly on my bicycle. The Legend H is also a good choice and almost identical firmware wise to the Venture HC except it's a black/white screen and the HC is a color screen. Both will give you hours upon hours of geocaching fun and excitement.

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OK, I didn't know there were free ones. I've been reading about buying cds from Garmin etc...

Check out GPSFileDepot. They will have good topo maps of GA. Do yourself a favor and get a unit with a color screen. Its impossible to tell a river from a topo line on a black and white screen. Thats why i only used my eTrex Legend H for about 6 months before getting a Dakota 10. Giving me a color screen and paperless caching.

 

Here's the link. As you can see there are several options for GA. I would go with the topo that is an editor's choice. You will need to use Mapsource or Basecamp to load the maps into the unit. Assuming your getting a Garmin. The site has great tutorials on how to load the maps.

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/ga

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