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What GPS Unit to Buy?

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Try this link...




then browse the forums and familiarize yourself with the 'find' feature. To answer your question...there is no 'correct' answer. It really depends on how much disposable cash you have and how much you like fancy gadgets. Some of the most sucessful cachers use very basic models of GPS receivers.


Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore

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It all depends on what you want to use your GPS for. If you need it for driving as well as geocaching, some great units are:


Garmin Legend (very popular)

Garmin Vista

Magellan Sportrak Pro

Magellan Sportrak Map

Magellan Meridian Gold

Garmin V

Garmin GPSMAP 76

Lowrance iFinder Plus


Mostly driving: The best unit would be the Garmin V. It has the ability to give you turn by turn directions, and is relatively cheap for what it does ($339). It already comes with mapping software, dash mounting kit, and power adapter for the car.


Mostly geocaching: The eTrex Legend, eTrex Vista and Magellan Meridian Platinum are very popular units. The Vista and Platinum have an electronic compass which gives you a direction whether your moving or not. All three are excellent choices though.


Amazon.com GPS selection


GPSnow (very cheap prices)





Garmin Vista

Using Opera 7.1

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It's really just making a decision of which features are worth paying for. You can do a side-by-side comparison of models at both the Garmin and Magellan websites.


Your question is vague, so either supply more info (features you need, price range, etc.) or browse through the older posts for many other topics just like yours.


note: I bought the Garmin GPSMAP76S, and my second choice was the Magellan Meridian Platinum.


Best Wishes,


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I've been using a Garmin GPSMap 176 that I've had on my boat (still use it on my boat, too). However, since it's bulky and there is no practical way to carry it except in your hand, I bought an eTrex Vista yesterday.


I was torn between the Vista and the Legend. For me, the deciding factors were the extra memory in the Vista - 24 MB vs 8 MB - and the compass. If the Vista had only had one or the other over the Legend, I would have just got it.


After a day of Caching with the new unit, I have to say that I love the compass. I'm sure it eats batteries, but it's a very nicely implemented feature that really makes caching easier. If you need an excuse to justify getting a model one step above one you're looking at, this feature would be it IMO.

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I originally bought a Yellow Etrex and after a week of use and a proving Newton’s Law a couple of times it kept shutting itself off every few minutes. I used that as an excuse to return it and upgrade to the Vista (which I bought through the main page of this site at a great price).


This is a much better unit. Beyond the above features it also included the cable. I downloaded easygps freeware that makes it much easier to send / receive your waypoints from your computer. About 1 month and 20 caches so far and it’s worth it.


I'm the good kind of pirate... if there is such a thing

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To me it was :-)


The buttons on the 76 series are clearly labeled and on the front. Also, the 76 buttons have a distinct 'feel' to them when pressed; the eTrex buttons are "squooshy." That might be a factor when using the unit with gloves on. Also, the 76 can be set to BEEP every time a button is pressed.


The eTrexes have a cool "thumb stick" though and a niced picture-driven menu.


The larger screen is the primary benefit of the MAP76S, but that is offset by the weight and price. Either way I don't think you'll be sorry.


Happy shopping,


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I also considered the 75s. However, since the main reason I wanted a second GPSr was for trail use, I opted for the smaller size of the eTrex line.


I let my dad use my 176 over this past weekend and I had to use the Vista on the boat. I sure missed having the larger screen on the water. However, I love the Vista on land.


The controls/menus on the eTrex are completely different than the 176 (and I'm assuming 76). The eTrex screens are simpler to navigate, but I wouldn't really say they're better. The eTrex buttons would be harder to manage with gloves.


Overall, I don't think you could go wrong with either unit.

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I own a Magellen Meridian.


"Buy It Now" on Ebay for $129.99:



I purchased it from Ebay like on the above link for "Buy It Now" for a similar price.


This GPS is great. It has a large screen with mapping ability. I have a 64Meg revoveable card for it and the Magellan Mapping software. I have uploaded to the unit all of California and about 95% of Nevada in Topo! maps.


Also, the same card can at least dozens of tracks which are the points it collects as you move along-to see the path where you have been.


Also, the unit is fully WAAS capable. WAAS is a geostationary satellite over the Equator that recieves fine tuning updates on the other GPS satellites, thus allowing about 1 yard accuracy.


It's also tough. I banged it around and dropped it and it still works great.


It has MSComic font and looks wonderful.


I really love the unit-it's not too heavy, looks great and overall is ROCK-SOLID WAAS TOUGH.


Oh yeah

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I went to our local Outdoor World to get a hands on look at the GPS models. Whew...lots to choose from.


The Magellan Meridaian does look good. The expandable memory looks like a plus.


I read an online review about a Magellan from someone who dropped in the lake and it filled up with water. According to this person, the Magellan company was giving them a hard time about replacing the unit.


Anyone else had a problem with the Magellan?

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I went to our local Outdoor World to get a hands on look at the GPS models. Whew...lots to choose from.<BR><BR>The Magellan Meridaian does look good.  The expandable memory looks like a plus.  <BR><BR>I read an online review about a Magellan from someone who dropped in the lake and it filled up with water.  According to this person, the Magellan company was giving them a hard time about replacing the unit.<BR><BR>Anyone else had a problem with the Magellan?

Actually, I once had a 315 Magellan that stopped working. I sent it to Magellan for repair and they sent a new 315 with improved 320 software along with a free computer link cable and charged me nothing.

Edited by GPSCache
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