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NewB needs recommindations


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I folks, I'm Floyd. I'm new at this, so please bear with me. I've been using an automotive type Garmin GPS ever since Hurricane ""Ike" in Texas. I'm looking into buying a handheld one for Geocaching as well as a few other outdoor adventures. I'm open for suggestions for a GARMIN, yes a GARMIN, I like the automotive type I have and want to stick with the same brand. What I'd like to be able to do if it's possible, is have one that will work as a the automotive use one I have and also as a handheld. I do fair amount of kayaking and also have been looking at doing some "hiking and kayaking around old gold mines" in my area. I'd like to be able to record my path, mark my "points of interest" and maybe even do an overlay map. I want to be able to get the tracks and paths from the GPS to my laptop or desktop computer for use with google earth. TOPO features are a big plus for the handheld. If I'm better off to skip trying to get one that I can also have the Automotive maps loaded, that's fine. I'm open to suggestions.

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...What I'd like to be able to do if it's possible, is have one that will work as a the automotive use one I have and also as a handheld. I do fair amount of kayaking and also have been looking at doing some "hiking and kayaking around old gold mines" in my area.

What you want to do is possible, but not really good.

Automotive units are not (typically) built for rugged use. Their battery life sucks -- and for the most part, they are not changeable.

They most certainly do not like water -- even rain. Being larger than a hand-held, they are not very conducive to being carried very well and hence, are dropped more often -- again not OK for an automotive unit -- hand-held units are much more bounce-able!


Garmin, Delorme and Magellan all make good units that (with proper mapping) will route you just as a automotive unit -- but, they don't speak to you, that's all. Then too, they are made for off-highway which (believe it or not) make them most suitable for your uses.


Garmin has excellent maps available, many too, are available online. Delorme comes with TOPO 10, a top-notch mapping program (they are map-makers, after-all). Not all that familiar with Magellan maps, but I have not heard a complaint about them!


As a side note, how do you kayak around an old gold mine?

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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I agree that units for both are not ideal. They are two separate uses.

The auto unit also is short on battery life for hiking, along with the other things mentioned previously.

Handhelds are for hiking and geocaching. There is no great unit for both driving and caching.

The Garmin Oregon series does beep when you need to turn, but is far less than ideal for driving, although great for caching.


There are many great units out there. Consider a unit that is "paperless", that is, will download all the cache info, not just the coordinates. The lower end Garmins will not. Since you already know you are going to play a while, then put the extra money out to get a paperless machine. They have come way down in price recently.


There are GPS reviews in the forums for technology I believe. I will link there when I get to a computer, or perhaps someone else will beat me to it.

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I was wondering what "paperless" was. Yeah, I found out the hard way about Auto type as far as battery life. You should try finding a cell tower to power back up with a bunch of trees down and you have to hike a ways to locate it by either physical address and/or Cords and have it die on you and have "find your way back" through woods you've never been in before. I'll see if I can find the reviews when I get a chance. Thanks!

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The Magellan eXplorist 710 includes turn by turn (automotive) functions with voice directions and a comprehensive POI database. The 610 and 510 also do turn by turn routing but never having used one I don't know if they do the voice or not like the 710. I've used my 710 in the car but prefer my TomTom :D . The GPS is designed really for outdoor use. The 710 comes with country specific maps (Europe/USA/Canada). It's also got some great features that Garmin can only dream about. All the Magellan range give you full paperless caching. I've written a detailed review of the 710 which is on my resource site (along with a page all about paperless caching). Link under my signature.




Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com


UK Geocaching Wiki

Geocaching.com Help Center

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website

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