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Entry level etrex


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I suspect this has been asked about a million times before, but I can't quite get confident with the answer and want to be certain before I make a purchase, so here goes:

I am looking for an entry level handheld unit to do a bit of Geocaching, backtrack me along trails (bad habit of getting lost and not being able to find where I came from), and help with finding trailheads by coordinates so I can at least set off following the routes from the right place. I have been looking at the etrex as it appears to be the cheapest one around, and have good reviews about signal finding (we are doing canyons in Utah on holiday this year so that is quite important.

 

For all this I dont *think* I will need to buy detailed maps above the "worldwide basemap" which seems to come with the unit, but it would be nice if someone could confirm that.

 

Also at the moment the etrex 10 seems to be in stores for £100, but the etrex H is available for £60 - as far as I can tell the etrex 10 is a newer model and uses USB over a serial port to connect to the computer, but otherwise I can't tell much of a difference. Is the 10 worth the extra money?

 

Thanks for any advice anyone can give.

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At least a million times, yes.

 

One similarity between the H and the 10: Neither can display any real maps. They have an extremely sparse basemap, cannot have additional maps loaded. If *all* you is backtracking and waypoints, both are good entry level units, but nothing more.

 

As for differences, start at this comparison page eTrex H : eTrex 10 : eTrex 20. The highlighted/grey line items are the differences, and I included one higher end unit you didn't ask about.

 

As you noted, the 10 has USB while the H is an older style serial connection. The 10 also has a newer (arguably better) receiver, a somewhat different user interface, a higher resolution screen, the ability to load "paperless" geocaching information instead of just storing your geocaches as plain waypoints -- and most important to me, much better battery life.

 

Hope this helps. If you're really going to want maps though, you'll need to set your sights higher, like the eTrex 20 -- which is why I included it in the Garmin link above.

Edited by Portland Cyclist
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Buying an entry level GPS seems to be the right move when you first take up Geocaching. But (and its a BIG but), you will very quickly come to regret that decision as you will grow out of it! My advice is to buy the E trex 20, its got everything you'll need as a newcomer...plus you just wont grow out of it!

If you do what I did (I purchased an Etrex 20 in January) you can can get one for just over £130.

Step one - go to www.handtec.co.uk and check their price for the '20 = £145.20

Step two - go to www.gooutdoors.co.uk and check their price for the '20 = £162

Step three - contact www.gooutdoors.co.uk by email and tell them your interested in the Etrex 20 and that Handtec are selling it for £145.20...

Go-outdoors will beat handtecs price by 10%, so they will email you back confirming that they weill sell you an Etrex 20 for £130.68

You'll need to buy a go-outdoors discount card (£5) to get it at that price (you can order it at the same time as the Etrex 20), you can then use the discount card for future purchases from them....so you win both ways!!

Final bit of advice, dont buy anything that doesn't allow you to add maps. Talkytoaster maps (as mentioned earlier) are excellent, and FREE!

Feel free to contact me by email if need further advice on purchasing your GPS...

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Croesgadwr

North Wales.

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