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how to spend smart?


tabard
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New to geo caching but got the bug. So off to get my first GPS, this is where the problems begin. I have been reading comments and reviews till I think I will go blind. I have a budget of no more than $300 to spend this will need to include any map updates that need to be bought. I think that the best two choices are: Garmin Dakota 10 or Garmin Dakota 20. I do not want to grow out of the GPS too soon or develop GPS envy. I would like a clue or two if these are ok or if I should try something else. I really want to make a wise purchase that will provide the best experience with my new endeavor. (I noticed when I post this it says I have been A member for a long time, I logged on once a long time ago but I still like my name so I kept the same account.)

thank you for your help.

Edited by tabard
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If you have a Smart Phone, there's an app for that. Attend an event and talk to other geocachers about what they like and dislike about what the use. When you decide on a unit, shop on Ebay for a unit that has the maps loaded or comes with the software.

I recently scored a Magellan Meridian Color with the Mapsend CD for less than $100. Buy the best one you can afford so that you are not upgrading in less than 2 years.

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If you're willing to go up to $300, I'd consider the etrex 20 or 30. The etrex 10 does not do maps. The 20 and 30 have SD card slots to enable them to hold maps. Both offer paperless Geocaching, the primary difference between then is the 30 also has a 3 axis electronic compass and an altimeter.

 

The etrex 20 can be found online for around $180 US, the 30 will run you about $250.

 

You can either purchase the maps you want on SD card from Garmin, which is easy but expensive, or you can download the maps you want for free from gpsfiledepot.com (yes, it's legal). A little trickier but manageable.

 

You can get many of the Garmin mapping handhelds for under $300 if you search online...don't go by the MSRP on Garmin's website.

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Since Garmin is sort of a dirty word the last 1.5 years to Groundspeak (long story), you could consider a Magellan. The Explorist 510 has a suggested price of $300, although you can probably find it cheaper if you shop around. It has a 3" touch screen, which I assume is probably smaller than the Garmin Models, to be honest. If you go lower priced in the Explorist series, you're going to have to deal with a non-touchscreen and joystick navigation. Which is a pain in the butt, but you do get used to it. :)

 

Oh, here's a link to it

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You could look at the Delorme PN60 you get the maps with it. You get topo 9 and the PN60 for 299.00 through Delorme. I use the PN20 and thinking of moving up to the PN60. I can also tell you you can't beat there tech. support I called them Friday about my PN20 and they helped me and I have had mine for I think around 5 years now. Just a thought.

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You could look at the Delorme PN60 you get the maps with it. You get topo 9 and the PN60 for 299.00 through Delorme. I use the PN20 and thinking of moving up to the PN60. I can also tell you you can't beat there tech. support I called them Friday about my PN20 and they helped me and I have had mine for I think around 5 years now. Just a thought.

 

Ditto on the PN60. A lot of GPS for the money.

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