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TheFender5

TOTAL newbie- Garmin units

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We are total newbies- and in the interest of keeping it sort of simple- I am wondering what people think of the Garmin GPSMAP 64ST or the eTrex Touch 35T? We are using the app on an iPhone now- but find we lose cell in a lot of locations and thus the geocaches-

 

On the app we can enlarge the screen with pinch motion and we can chose a cache to focus one after seeing all caches in the area via a map-

 

Can both of these do something like this? i.e. can you see all the caches in the area? can you enlarge the screen? Can you pick a cache to be generally guided to it?

 

It says they are preloaded with 250,000 geocaches- and I see people talking about downloading files- will I need to do that to get caches on there?

 

please remember we are total newbies- and I don't know all the lingo- we are just learning and I hope one of these units (or both/either) sort of will do what the app does without having to have cell connection- and we would like to learn more about using GPS coordinates.

 

Would I need to order the extra maps like the Topo 24K or is the included maps enough for simple geocaching and hiking?

 

(oh and is there another brand I should maybe look at- we have used the Garmins on motorcycles in the past- so most familiar with them as a brand)

 

i also see I can order the 64ST on line but have to find a dealer for the eTrex.

 

Thanks!

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You should be able to get an eTrex Touch online as well. Not all stores carry every unit (REI, for example), but Amazon is always a sure bet.

 

To answer your questions:

18 minutes ago, TheFender5 said:

On the app we can enlarge the screen with pinch motion and we can chose a cache to focus one after seeing all caches in the area via a map-

 

Can both of these do something like this? i.e. can you see all the caches in the area? can you enlarge the screen? Can you pick a cache to be generally guided to it?

Yes. Though only the touch units will do pinch to zoom. All units have a zoom in/out feature for the map, and you can customize what zoom level geocaches will appear/disappear. So yes, you can zoom out to see all of the geocaches in the area, and zoom in to select one. You can also select geocaches from a list - they'll generally be sorted by distance from you, and can be filtered according to your needs.

 

18 minutes ago, TheFender5 said:

It says they are preloaded with 250,000 geocaches- and I see people talking about downloading files- will I need to do that to get caches on there?

The 64 series came with a GGZ file with 250k pre-selected caches as kind of a gimmick and a partnership with geocaching.com.  I'm not sure whether Garmin keeps this file up to date, but I'm skeptical that they do, in which case those caches are woefully out of date. Most folks delete that file and load fresh caches listings by downloading them from the site. This is where Pocket Queries (https://www.geocaching.com/pocket/) come in handy.

 

18 minutes ago, TheFender5 said:

Would I need to order the extra maps like the Topo 24K or is the included maps enough for simple geocaching and hiking?

No. And Yes. There are many places to get great free maps for Garmin gps devices, and those maps tend to be as good or better than Garmin's expensive 24k topo maps. But if you are spending extra on the 100k topo basemap, it's good enough to start with. Though I found that I was still using the free alternative maps and declined to buy the "T" version for my second GPS.

 

18 minutes ago, TheFender5 said:

oh and is there another brand I should maybe look at-

At this point, no. The other brands (Magellan and DeLorme) have shut down their handheld GPS lines, and in DeLorme's case, been taken over by Garmin.

 

Finally, both the official app and Cachely let you save geocaches and the associated map tiles for offline use. So if this is the only reason you want to buy a GPS, and you're happy using your phone, there's no real need to spend the money. But a GPS can be fun if you like gadgets, and relieve some of your phone's battery usage.

Edited by Mineral2
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Thanks for all the info! For on the offline thing- i forgot that we have used the app after 'populating' the caches we wanted to do for a day and then still be able to use it (at least the locations but not the logs and stuff) when we lost cell connection- we screwed up today and did not do that and got frustrated- I have to look into Cachely thing- i am not aware of that-

 

So the 'T" on the 64 is for that map? Maybe I will look into getting the next lower version of the 64 and look into getting the other maps- or maybe I will just go easy on myself and get it with the map already there to start. ;)

 

Ok on the caches being downloaded :( sounded to good to be true! I see the pocket query thing- and again being a newbie to geocaching AND GPS- i don't get how that works yet :)

 

Thanks for input on whether we need a GPS or not- that is still a question- but probably would be good to learn how to use it!!

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17 minutes ago, TheFender5 said:

So the 'T" on the 64 is for that map?



Yes. The "T" stands for "topo" and these units cost anywhere from $50 to $100 more for a more detailed topographic base map.

The "S" stands for "sensor" and these units come with a magnetic compass and a barometric altimeter. The compass, in my opinion, is well worth the price. While the T denotation is standard throughout Garmin's lines, the S isn't always included. For example, all of the Oregon line comes with the sensors,  but in the eTrex line, only the 30 comes with the sensors. I believe both the eTrex Touch 25 and 35 both have an electronic compass, but the 35 adds the barometric altimeter. 

There are certainly good reason for investing in a GPS - durability, readability in bright sunlight, and to relieve battery usage on your phone. I think they are worth it, especially if you are into other outdoor activities (hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and road cycling, even ATV riding) and need to 1.) navigate on and off trail, and/or 2.) track your trips. But if you're only a light geocacher, the apps on your phone are good enough. Then again, maybe buying a GPS will turn this hobby into an obsession. :lol:

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wow- thanks for the info on the 'extras'- i do definitely want the compass- and we do hike- not to often off trail- or should I say not often purpose- however last week the geocaches we did seemed to be mostly 'off trail'.

 

I briefly looked at the Oregon- and Montana? They seemed to jump quite in price from the 'top' eTrex and 64- is there any good reason to invest the extra at this time do you think?

 

oh and i meant to ask in my original post if there is a feeling if a GPS unit is any more accurate than the GPS on the phone?? and do you know what the 'r' in GPSr I see stands for?

 

and yes- it may turn into an obsession- ;)

 

Thanks!!

 

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48 minutes ago, TheFender5 said:

oh and i meant to ask in my original post if there is a feeling if a GPS unit is any more accurate than the GPS on the phone?? and do you know what the 'r' in GPSr I see stands for?

 

Receiver.

The most "accurate" one can  assume for civilian GPS is around ten feet.  On a perfect day.  That's any,  phone or handheld GPSr.  Perfect days are rare.

We often hear "but my phone just took me within two feet of the cache",  which may be true, but they didn't notice what their +/- in location was. 

 - Big difference between 2',   and two feet with + 22'  location.     ;)

 

I only have experience with the other 2/3rds Iphone,  but in river gorges and alongside cliffs with a lot of rock, I seem to do better with a long-discontinued handheld, a 60csx.     I  feel it's simply the antenna.   Everywhere else we're pretty close.     :)

You now know you can use your phone offline, I'd  stick with it a while. 

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18 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Receiver.

The most "accurate" one can  assume for civilian GPS is around ten feet.  On a perfect day.  That's any,  phone or handheld GPSr.  Perfect days are rare.

 

 

Not sure if I am doing the quoting correctly-but yes that is basically what I had heard/understood- the accuracy is all about the same- and 10-16 feet no matter what you use- and thanks for the 'r'=receiver !

 

we do geocache in canyons- so a gps may help a little- we will have to see how it goes in the coming weeks!

 

Thank-you for your comments!!

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The main difference in accuracy with a phone and a dedicated GPS is WAAS.  I don't think any phones use WAAS.  This improves accuracy by 1/3 to 1/2.   i.e.  5 to 10 feet with WAAS, 10 to 15 without.  It makes a noticeable difference with cache finding IME.

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Since you mentioned the Oregon/Montana units, they do cost more than the others you have mentioned, but, I want to be sure you are aware the Oregon 7x0 series has the touch screen with pinch/zoom you desire (just like your smart phone) and is the only Garmin GPSr to currently have direct access to geocaching.com live services, so you don't have to use a computer to load caches to your GPSr! The Oregon 7x0 loads caches directly using your mobile phones internet connection. If you know you are going caching where service is spotty, just open up the geocaching app on the Oregon 7x0 before you get there and load caches for that area on the GPSr itself. This could be done in the car while driving to the location. Then enjoy the many features of the Oregon 7x0 series once you arrive!

 

Much more info can be found here.

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On 6/5/2018 at 7:13 AM, Atlas Cached said:

Since you mentioned the Oregon/Montana units, they do cost more than the others you have mentioned, but, I want to be sure you are aware the Oregon 7x0 series has the touch screen with pinch/zoom you desire (just like your smart phone) and is the only Garmin GPSr to currently have direct access to geocaching.com live services, so you don't have to use a computer to load caches to your GPSr! The Oregon 7x0 loads caches directly using your mobile phones internet connection. If you know you are going caching where service is spotty, just open up the geocaching app on the Oregon 7x0 before you get there and load caches for that area on the GPSr itself. This could be done in the car while driving to the location. Then enjoy the many features of the Oregon 7x0 series once you arrive!

 

Much more info can be found here.

Do you have one of the '7X0' units? If so which one, and do you really like it? I looked at Amazon- and there are not many reviews for the Oregon 7X0 series- and they are not really that great- but since there are not that many reviews- it only takes a few bad ones to bring the number down...

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5 hours ago, TheFender5 said:

Do you have one of the '7X0' units? If so which one, and do you really like it? I looked at Amazon- and there are not many reviews for the Oregon 7X0 series- and they are not really that great- but since there are not that many reviews- it only takes a few bad ones to bring the number down...

 

Yes, I have a 750t, but the 700 will do anyone just fine. Adding topo maps from many sources for free vs paying a little more for the Garmin topo map (which is the greatest, but is better than nothing) is a common practice. I like having the camera and extra memory the 750t has over the 700, just a personal preference. 

 

I have every touchscreen Garmin GPSr since the original Oregon, and used the Colorado and 60 series prior to those. The 7x0 series still has a coupe small issues the Garmin engineers are working out as I type this, but by far it is the best unit they have ever produced for Geocaching. I have a drawer full of GPSr going back 15 years, the Oregon 750t is always the one I grab for this hobby!

 

I just wish they would produce a Montana sized version of the Oregon 7x0 (NOT the Monterra).

 

edit: I want to add, the 7x0 is so configurable, has so many user configurable options to make it more versatile than any GPSr before it, and has TWO UI systems that are nothing like each other (also user selected), that many of the poor reviews I read come down to users not taking time to learn everything it can do, instead expecting to simply take it out of the package and start using it immediately like a smart (dumb) phone. You must take time to learn how this 'tool' functions before you can use it effectively.

Edited by Atlas Cached
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Atlas Cached- Thank you for the info! I will keep my eye on the Oregon- I fear i may not know enough to learn to use it properly and may get frustrated- I think I will hold off until either I learn more- or maybe the 'perfect' unit will be out soon- Also Thanks for mentioning the Monterra-i was wondering about that- and thanks for mentioning the Oregon 7x0 are good for geocaching, i think the 750t is the one I would like too- and after looking on Amazon- the prices are less than on the Garmin site- so I can add it to my list of ones I am interested in. Thanks again!!

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If you think the Oregon 700 is too much, you can always look for an Oregon 600 at reduced cost.

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