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What GPS should I buy? was: GPS

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I'm looking into getting a GPS. My iPhone works pretty well, but living in the Adirondacks in NY its spotty at best. Especially for caching. I'd like to get a nice one so I won't have to upgrade again soon. Thoughts? I've had a few recent DNF's from poor GPS signal from my phone. Thanks!

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We are in upstate NY as well. Have a look at the Garmin 64s. Does it all, and now offered at a good price if you shop around.

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Another +1 vote for the GPSMAP 64s. Speedy processor, holds lots of caches, great unit, and an additional boost from GLONASS reception for those of us in the northern latitudes.

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Unless you have a really old iPhone, your phone has a GPS chip that's comparable to any of the stand-alone handhelds out there. If your DNFs are really due to poor signal, you'll have that problem with a GPS too.

 

On the other hand, the coordinates posted online are only as good as the cache owner's ability to obtain them. If satellite reception isn't great, the posted coordinates may not be spot on either. And that will be made worse if the cache owner used a phone or a GPS and did not use waypoint averaging.

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I'm looking into getting a GPS. My iPhone works pretty well, but living in the Adirondacks in NY its spotty at best. Especially for caching. I'd like to get a nice one so I won't have to upgrade again soon. Thoughts? I've had a few recent DNF's from poor GPS signal from my phone. Thanks!

 

You can find some charts online that show current phone and stand alone GPS models compared.

 

If there is a location a modern (4 year or newer) smartphone does not triangulate GPS signals, a stand alone will not be able to either.

 

Just a heads up 😃

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There are a few places where there really isn't cell service at all which means I can't load caches. It makes walking around in circles and difficulty loading frustrating. Especially if I'm on a road trip to find caches and they won't load because of the minimal 3G or LTE service. We recently hiked a mountain and walked around for almost an hour guesstimating where the cache was because the service for the cells was less than stellar and almost nothing. This GPS would also replace my old school TOMTOM for travel in the car. Garmin has the Oregon and the Montana which is what is trying to figure out, but both have thier plusses and minuses. Any input would be great. Thank you so much for the input. As we are newer into caching, any info is appreciated!!

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my advice - get an automotive unit for your car. It's tempting to try and find an all-in-one solution, but the reality is that handhelds aren't stellar at vehicle navigation. Screens are small, and the interface is clunky and requires more taps for the same output.

 

Remember, you can always download lists and pocket queries for offline use on your phone. I'm not trying to dissuade you from buying a GPS, they really do have their advantages, but I don't want you to buy one for the wrong reasons and then be disappointed.

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There are a few places where there really isn't cell service at all which means I can't load caches....

You're missing the point here a bit. A handheld GPS requires preparation ahead of time before you can use it. You have to go online and download caches and maps using your computer and then copy them to the handheld GPS. You have to do this before every new outing.

 

You can do this same exact thing with your phone and then you are not dependent on cell signals any more when you are in the boonies. My wife and I usually put our phones in airplane mode when we know we're caching in a bad reception area. Batteries last quite a bit longer this way, too. With the same level of preparation, my wife's iPhone works as well as my Garmin does out in the wild.

 

Either option (phone vs GPS) requires the same work and setup ahead of time when you're going to the boonies.

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Hello,

Here is my opinion: Buy a good quality GPS. If you are caching in the Adirondacks, don't bet the farm on a cell phone. It only takes one time of getting turned around in the woods to make you wish you had a GPS with a bread crumb trail to get you going in the right direction. Even the most experienced cachers/outdoor types have this happen. I think cell phones are wonderful tools and I too use one in urban environments. Slip crossing a creek, fall/slide on your cell phone in any terrain and the cell phone is toast. GPS's are designed for harsher outdoor environments. I am going to recommend GPS units with a topo map built in. I use free maps, especially for better trail info, but if I forget to download a map, I still have the built-in one available. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are good units that will do what you want: Etrex30X, 62st, 64st, PN60. You can make a phone work, but the best tool for the job is the one designed to do it. My opinion. Best of luck whatever you eventually decide. Peoria Bill :>)

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Another +1 vote for the GPSMAP 64s. Speedy processor, holds lots of caches, great unit, and an additional boost from GLONASS reception for those of us in the northern latitudes.

 

Another vote for the 64S, great unit.

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Another +1 vote for the GPSMAP 64s. Speedy processor, holds lots of caches, great unit, and an additional boost from GLONASS reception for those of us in the northern latitudes.

 

Another vote for the 64S, great unit.

+1 Yep.

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There are a few places where there really isn't cell service at all which means I can't load caches. It makes walking around in circles and difficulty loading frustrating. Especially if I'm on a road trip to find caches and they won't load because of the minimal 3G or LTE service. We recently hiked a mountain and walked around for almost an hour guesstimating where the cache was because the service for the cells was less than stellar and almost nothing. This GPS would also replace my old school TOMTOM for travel in the car. Garmin has the Oregon and the Montana which is what is trying to figure out, but both have thier plusses and minuses. Any input would be great. Thank you so much for the input. As we are newer into caching, any info is appreciated!!

 

The stand alone cannot load more caches than a phone, and is limited in that you cannot load caches without a computer.

 

BOTH devices will work fine for navigation with out cellular service. Cellular service has NOTHING to do with gps triangulation, navigation, or cache storage.

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Hello,

Here is my opinion: Buy a good quality GPS. If you are caching in the Adirondacks, don't bet the farm on a cell phone. It only takes one time of getting turned around in the woods to make you wish you had a GPS with a bread crumb trail to get you going in the right direction. Even the most experienced cachers/outdoor types have this happen. I think cell phones are wonderful tools and I too use one in urban environments. Slip crossing a creek, fall/slide on your cell phone in any terrain and the cell phone is toast. GPS's are designed for harsher outdoor environments. I am going to recommend GPS units with a topo map built in. I use free maps, especially for better trail info, but if I forget to download a map, I still have the built-in one available. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are good units that will do what you want: Etrex30X, 62st, 64st, PN60. You can make a phone work, but the best tool for the job is the one designed to do it. My opinion. Best of luck whatever you eventually decide. Peoria Bill :>)

 

 

Bread crumbs..... You mean GPS track recording? Yes, smartphones have been doing that for a decade.

 

Rugged ? Yes, my phone are 4 years old or better, and survived more than a few trips from my handle bars, across the creek, and stuck into mud banks.

 

For future reference, if you can triangulate with a standalone in the Adirondacks, the smartphone can too. Both use regular old GPS antennas, it's really not a big deal.

 

If you like those free maps from osm, thank a smartphone user, we upload tons of changes every day. ;-)

Edited by ohgood

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We have a Oregon 600T and Monterra T and both work so nice...both have Glonass which is the best now to use..I've used it over many places I've been before with other Garmins over the years and the tracks show much better lock and true paths... amazing units...fast and accurate. Rugged as well. Batteries last 2 days or more constantly on. Sleep mode between looking at the screen.

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Another +1 vote for the GPSMAP 64s. Speedy processor, holds lots of caches, great unit, and an additional boost from GLONASS reception for those of us in the northern latitudes.

 

Another vote for the 64S, great unit.

+1 Yep.

 

DITTO

 

I just received my 64ST.

It comes with 250,000 caches already installed.

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I just received my 64ST.

It comes with 250,000 caches already installed.

 

Many of them already archived :ph34r:

It's a useless option. Why would anyone go out with old data?

 

Wouldn't get rid of my Oregon 600 these days.

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Unless you have a really old iPhone, your phone has a GPS chip that's comparable to any of the stand-alone handhelds out there. If your DNFs are really due to poor signal, you'll have that problem with a GPS too.

 

On the other hand, the coordinates posted online are only as good as the cache owner's ability to obtain them. If satellite reception isn't great, the posted coordinates may not be spot on either. And that will be made worse if the cache owner used a phone or a GPS and did not use waypoint averaging.

 

THANK YOU for this comment! I'm going in a camping trip and there is no cell phone service and I use a geocaching app on my iPhone. I've been worried that it wouldn't work. It will right?

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Unless you have a really old iPhone, your phone has a GPS chip that's comparable to any of the stand-alone handhelds out there. If your DNFs are really due to poor signal, you'll have that problem with a GPS too.

 

On the other hand, the coordinates posted online are only as good as the cache owner's ability to obtain them. If satellite reception isn't great, the posted coordinates may not be spot on either. And that will be made worse if the cache owner used a phone or a GPS and did not use waypoint averaging.

 

THANK YOU for this comment! I'm going in a camping trip and there is no cell phone service and I use a geocaching app on my iPhone. I've been worried that it wouldn't work. It will right?

 

You may want to play around with it. The official app does support offline lists, however I'm not sure if that feature is available for all users or only to premium members.

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Unless you have a really old iPhone, your phone has a GPS chip that's comparable to any of the stand-alone handhelds out there. If your DNFs are really due to poor signal, you'll have that problem with a GPS too.

 

On the other hand, the coordinates posted online are only as good as the cache owner's ability to obtain them. If satellite reception isn't great, the posted coordinates may not be spot on either. And that will be made worse if the cache owner used a phone or a GPS and did not use waypoint averaging.

 

THANK YOU for this comment! I'm going in a camping trip and there is no cell phone service and I use a geocaching app on my iPhone. I've been worried that it wouldn't work. It will right?

 

You may want to play around with it. The official app does support offline lists, however I'm not sure if that feature is available for all users or only to premium members.

It isn't available to basic members using the official app, but Kaycie92 said in in another thread that they were using cachebot. :)

I'm not sure of that one...

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The issue is that the API is very limited for basic members. The only app I know of that may work well without a premium membership is uh.... one that Groundspeak doesn't like us talking about for android.

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