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I need a New Garmin Geocache GPS


Rylsetter
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I started Geocaching with an old Garmin EMap, I now use my old Nuvi 350. I'm looking for a good, Garmin, Geocache GPS. It will only be used for Geocache, and to keep me from getting lost while Geocaching. :) I've looked at the eTrex 20 and 30 and the Oregons, and Dakotas. But, the more I look, the more confused I get. I like the paperless feature, since I now use my iPad Touch for Cache info.

If you were buying a not "top of the line", Garmin prefered, GPS for Geocaching, what would you get?

Any help is appreciated.

 

Rylsetter

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You really can't go wrong with any of those Garmin's for geocaching, all are paperless. However, out of those three brands, I would pick the Oregon 450 for geocaching. Nice size, touch screen, does everything but take pictures (the Oregon 550 for about 20 bucks more will take pictures).

 

The Dakota 20 is basically a smaller version of the Oregon 450 but for geocaching, it's equal. It's touch screen like it's big brother the Oregon.

 

The Etrex 20/30 are not touch screen units and physically the smallest out of those you listed. It probably looks the brightest in sunlight. Some people prefer not to have a touch screen. The Etrex 20 is cheaper then the Oregon series.

 

If you have a brick and mortar store, go check them out by putting them in your hand and playing with the options.

 

Good luck and happy caching.

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I just bought an Oregon 450 for $196 at Costco...$199 if you buy it off their site. That's Canadian, so I'd guess they'd be even cheaper in the US Costcos?

There's a few other online places I found the 450 for $199, but Costco is right up the street and has a 90-day satisfaction policy....

 

I recently picked up a mint eTrex 20 on Kijiji for $125 which was a great deal, but I didn't care for the small screen and joystick control. I played around with it for an evening, and sold it. The 450 screen is a good size, and the touch screen works very well....

 

Lots of people debate the electronic compass, but if you understand how it works and how it compliments the navigation, it's well worth having (in my opinion). I use my GPS on the handlebar of my ATV a lot, and trying to sort out intersecting trails when you're stopped is a pain when the map may be upside down, sideways, etc. The eTrex 20 does NOT have the electronic compass, or wireless...the 450 does. The 30 has them, but runs around $250.....

 

The 450 is $50 cheaper than the 30, and has a bigger screen, touch screen, 3-axis electronic compass, and wireless.....each choice, in my opinion.

Edited by gcfishguy
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gcfishguy, thanks for the response. Let me ask you a question, how often do you calibrate the compass on the 450??? Some say every battery change, some others just don't bother.

 

I have never had to re-calibrate the compass! Ever.... I bought it Tuesday. :lol:

 

Sorry....I had to.

 

The electronic compass comments were around my 60csx...electronic but not 3-axis...and the RAM mount holds it about a 45 degree angle on the ATV so most times it was confused which was north was (when stopped) unless you took it out of the RAM mount and held it flat.

 

I just had the e-compass discussion with a co-worker who was GPS shopping a few days ago. "Why would I need a compass?? I always have a compass with me anyway...." And that's what a lot of people think....but the nice features of the compass show up when you're stopped and your map continues to orient properly, and when you get close to a cache and you don't have to keep walking back and forth so the GPS can know which way north is.

Edited by gcfishguy
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Thanks to everyone for the quick replies. So, I researched more, based on the responses, and bought the Oregon 550. I like the fact of the camera, one less thing to carry. I thought of waiting for the 600, but really didn't want to pay that much. $250 was as much as I wanted to spend. I had almost picked the eTrex 20, but I know I'll be much happier with this one.

I'll be hitting the trails tomorrow. :)

 

Thanks Again,

Rylsetter

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I just bought an Oregon 450 for $196 at Costco...$199 if you buy it off their site. That's Canadian, so I'd guess they'd be even cheaper in the US Costcos?

There's a few other online places I found the 450 for $199, but Costco is right up the street and has a 90-day satisfaction policy....

 

I recently picked up a mint eTrex 20 on Kijiji for $125 which was a great deal, but I didn't care for the small screen and joystick control. I played around with it for an evening, and sold it. The 450 screen is a good size, and the touch screen works very well....

 

Lots of people debate the electronic compass, but if you understand how it works and how it compliments the navigation, it's well worth having (in my opinion). I use my GPS on the handlebar of my ATV a lot, and trying to sort out intersecting trails when you're stopped is a pain when the map may be upside down, sideways, etc. The eTrex 20 does NOT have the electronic compass, or wireless...the 450 does. The 30 has them, but runs around $250.....

 

The 450 is $50 cheaper than the 30, and has a bigger screen, touch screen, 3-axis electronic compass, and wireless.....each choice, in my opinion.

I came to this board looking for info on whether the Oregon 450 at Costco was a good deal. Have you had a chance to use yours? Did it come with maps? I would be buying it in Alberta and (obviously) would want Canadian maps. Thanks for any help

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gcfishguy, thanks for the response. Let me ask you a question, how often do you calibrate the compass on the 450??? Some say every battery change, some others just don't bother.

 

I'm going to be be the voice of dissent against the 450. I've gone through two of them now and I've had nothing but issues. Compass calibration is almost with every use. Every second use for sure. I've had a GZ relocate to 5 or 6 different spots within a 10m radius when looking for a cache in one spot. Caching while coming back home yesterday, the accuracy was beyond horrible. Ifollowed it to GZ on one cache and searched around the area for nothing. Thenthe signal went haywire and had me off in another direction. Thank God for theclues and my wife's ucanny geosenses as she found the cache. The 450 would have had megoing an additional 20M from where we found the cache!

 

At another cache in the same park, it got me to the rough direction (thankgod for hints) but again, GZ location was way off. After signing the log, Ichecked the readings again and was reading 9m off, but then the numbers to theGZ started dropping and i thought to myself "maybe I just need to let thesignal settle a bit first", but then the readings moved 9m in the oppositedirection! I had similar experiences at othercaches. The record for the trip is 24m away from the actual location of thecache. I had to reset thecompass on my Dakota every 3-4 weeks. This 450? Every day to 2 days of use!

 

This last weekend was probably one of the most frustrating one's I've had sinceI've started Geocaching. If I had started Geocaching with this particularmodel, I probably wouldn't be geocaching today!

Yes, it's on WAAS/EGNOS. Yes, it's on datum WGS 84. Yes, the firmware has been updated. Is there a way to hard re-boot it?

Edited by CacheHownds
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gcfishguy, thanks for the response. Let me ask you a question, how often do you calibrate the compass on the 450??? Some say every battery change, some others just don't bother.

 

Re electronic compass calibration, voltage is the key. With Sanyo Eneloop 2500's I seldom have to calibrate my 450 or 62S after a battery change but I always check them.....if needed, calibration takes 15-20 seconds ( Waaaaay too much is made of compass calibration....it takes me longer to clean my screen than to calibrate the compass).

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