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Am I looking for too much in a GPS unit?


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Ok so I’ve been geocaching for a little while now. I’ve mostly used the iPhone app to find my targets. I have a limited data plan so the phone use is killing me. My backup is a Garmin eTrex (Original from 2010) It’s a pain to load coordinates one at a time and its not compatible with my computer anymore.

 

So I’m in the market for an upgrade. I know on the new units I can download and store cache info but can I display multiple points on the screen at the same time? Right now I can sit in a parking lot and think “Gee I wonder if there are any caches close?” Pull up the phone app and check and off I go.

 

If I DL let’s say 200 caches that are close to my home, can I do the same thing on the GPS screen? Will it show multiple targets for me to choose from?

Any recommendations in the under $400 range?

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$400 is an ample amount to get a unit that can hold up to 5,000 geocaches (loaded at a rate of 1,000 per click).

There are lots of makes and models to choose from -- THAT is the problem, deciding on which one. :)

 

Garmin is a very popular make, look at any unit with a designation higher than 10. You may wish to purchase additional mapping or purchase a unit with the "T" designation (better maps already installed). Online (free) mapping is available to download.

 

Magellan is rapidly gaining in popularity, with $400 to spend, you should also stick to something higher-end than the lower units.

Don't buy into the "Pre-loaded with the World's Most Popular Caches" -- it's a sales gimmick. Hard to get many of those unless you travel extensively.

 

Delorme has one, the PN-60. They do not offer a low-end unit. It does just about everything except brew your coffee. It comes with perhaps some of the best mapping available.

 

Lowrance... well, it seems they have been dragging their feet as far a geocaching goes.

 

Go to each manufacturer's website and check the specs for each unit. Just Google the brand name. Pricing varies and deals can be had, so use the MSRP listing as a comparison guide only.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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I have the Garmin Oregon 550, so I can't speak for the other models. Since you are a Premium member, you can take advantage of Pocket Queries to load thousands of caches to the device. With a newer, paperless device you would have access to all the hints, description, recent logs, etc. in the field.

 

You obviously shouldn't expect an iPhone-like experience right out of the box. You will have to spend some time learning the unit, loading the maps you want, and of course, Pocket Queries. There's a bit of a learning curve involved. BUT, once you get it set up like you want it, it will do pretty much what you're describing.

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Unit-to-unit sharing (wireless), electronic compass and barometric altimeter are the difference(s) between the '20 and the '30.

 

The eTrex 30 scores higher, but I dunno if it is truly worth a $100 differential.

 

Unit-to-unit sharing is good, if you have somebody with like-equipped units.

Electronic compass is good in that you needn't be moving in order to obtain a directional reading.

Barometric altimeter is negligible unless you have an actual use for one.

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Many, myself included, prefer buttons for outdoor use ... despite the price I wouldn't want an Oregon 450 :)

 

I disagree. I find the touch screen much easier to use than scrolling through options with buttons. But, that's why we have the Oregons for those who want touch screens, and the updated 62 series for those who want buttons.

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