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BigOpe

Reluctant Upgrader Questions

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I'm at almost 2200 finds with a plain-vanilla ETrex H, but had to buy a replacement last winter when the buttons on one wore out, then again last week when I lost the replacement. I confess -- I'm something of a Luddite, perfectly happy with the Etrex H, but it's getting harder and harder to find the GPS itself, not to mention cables and compatible GPS-to-PC software. If anything happens to this latest ETrex H, I think I'm going to be forced into moving up whether I want to or not.

 

That being said, I still want to stay as "plain vanilla" as possible -- adds to the challenge, dontcha know. I know the ETrex has many upgrade models -- 10, 20, 30, Venture, and on and on. I haven't paid any attention at all to Lowrance or Magellan, but I assume they have basic models as well. So I'm really looking for folks who will share their experiences with ANY brand of geocaching-focused GPS that is toward the bottom of the respective product line. Not interested in "It was okay but I wanted a color screen," or "I liked it but it wouldn't connect to the Internet," or any of those kinds of stories; I want to know what's the next simplest GPS up the food chain, any brand, that will do what the ETrex H does and is still more or less widely available in stores and in the aftermarket (EBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc.) Also not interested in using it in my car -- strictly for geocaching and general hiking.

 

Anyone with experiences and advice to share, please chime in.

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Until I was sure if I would take up geocaching I bought a secondhand Etrex on ebay, it served me well, in fact I still have it, Hubby bought me another dearer one which was even better, but I use my iphone now for caching and hubby uses my gps. Although he is not a cacher <_<

I must say I do not like the opening on the back of my newer gps as I managed to break the little handle so had to get a new back for it. Even now I am nervous opening the gps so usually hand it to hubby to open then I can blame him :lol:

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Foretrex 301 (no compass/altimeter) and 401 (compass/altimeter) are probably closest to the old eTrex line for what's out there in stores currently. I think the prices run about $130 and $175 new, respectively. They hold 500 waypoints, nothing fancy, no maps, B&W screen, etc. One big plus is that they use a USB cable for connection to the computer and save files in GPX format, which is a *huge* advantage over monkeying around with the old serial cables that the old eTrex line had. They run off a pair of AAA batteries, and can use alkaline, NiMH (Eneloops are great), or lithium cells.

 

I've had the 301 in the past, and have the 401 currently. The 301 does seem to have a slight edge on battery life, since there is no mag. compass/altimeter as in the 401 (although you can turn the compass off). Both are rock-solid, and judging from online reviews, they have been used (and abused) over in places like Afghanistan without so much as a hiccup.

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