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We are going to purchase a GPS today. Just wondering what other uses other than Geocaching , is a GPS good for and what you use it for? Where do you take it when not caching?

 

Also, not getting a lot of response on the other forum, but in your opion, which is the better GPS: Garmin Gecko 201 or the Magellan Sportrak (not the pro or map version, but the standard version). We are going in a few hours to get it and would like some vets to point us in the right direction. We are leaning towards the Gecko 201.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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Well I can't speak for those two models. I use a Sportrak Pro and it is great. Plenty of memory for the maps I use. Its worth it in my opinion that you get a map able GPS. My motto is do it right the first time. As far as uses I take mine with me everywhere. I don't leave home without it, period. I watch maps as they go by, evelation of areas, speed (which is nice becasue of oversized tires on my SUV). It a conversation piece for friends and family, hehe. Its hard to say, usally you can find something that you do everyday that you can add the GPSr to. Well have fun with it.

 

texasgeocaching_sm.gif

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We use our Garmin Rino while trail riding. Makes it a snap to navigate the backcountry and communicate on the move. I carry the Rino, and other riders pack frs radios, so whoever happens to be in back can notify the rest when they stop. Lately, I've discovered the utility of spotting dead trees (for firewood) while riding, and marking the locations on the GPSr for quick navigation to the wood when I return with saw and trailer. I originally bought the unit mainly intending to use it while hunting big game, but that was only 5 months ago, after the seasons were ended. Hope I don't wear it out before the next season. icon_wink.gif

 

As for which is better, the Gecko or the SportTrack? - I'm no old hand here, but I think you will find that there are pluses and minuses in both units. It depends on how you intend to use it. Those two models are very different from each other, so comparing them won't do you much good unless you have an idea of how you will use it.

 

OTOH, you could just get the Gecko with the idea that you will probably upgrade at some point (when you get a better idea of what your needs/wants/possibilities are) - then the Gecko could be easily carried as a spare.

 

One thing's for sure...there's more to GPSrs than geocaching.

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quote:
Originally posted by Woodsters Outdoors:

We are going to purchase a GPS today. Just wondering what other uses other than Geocaching , is a GPS good for and what you use it for? Where do you take it when not caching?

 

Also, not getting a lot of response on the other forum, but in your opion, which is the better GPS: Garmin Gecko 201 or the Magellan Sportrak (not the pro or map version, but the standard version). We are going in a few hours to get it and would like some vets to point us in the right direction. We are leaning towards the Gecko 201.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

 

If you get the Gecko, it will only be good for mostly Geocaching. I think that one has a few games as well, or maybe that's the next model up. I suggest that if you want your GPS for other things, Move up to the Garmin Etrex, the better ones have maps that you can use on the road while traveling.

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You got responses on the other thread. I believe I recommended the Garmin. However, think about your upgrade path: the same cables are used for the meridian and the sportrak. I assume the same is for the geckos and etrex, but I am not sure.

 

i use my GPS for caching, driving, and boating. The last 2 require a mapping GPS.

 

DustyJacket

Not all those that wander are lost. But in my case... icon_biggrin.gif

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Other uses for GPS (Garmin Vista)

1. Do track logs for the USFS, as a volunteer, to record and mark current trail locations.

2. Make waypoints for for problems encountered on trails such as blowdowns and trail washouts so trail maintenance crews can fix these problems.

3. Make routes for long distance trips to AZ from CO.

 

Even though vista has mapping capabilites, I prefer not to add additional maps, just use the base map that came with GPS. When in the back country or caching I use Topgraphic maps generated by National Geographic TOPO. And make my own maps to various scales depending the need and occasion.

 

Tahosa - Dweller of Mountain Tops.

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hmmmm....I'm kinda between a rock and a hardplace....I'm very torn. Now I wondering around online looking at the lower end Etrex's and now even the Gecko 101. I can get the Etrex for $120 and the Gecko 101 for $100. The thing is it worth the extra 20-40 to get a Gecko 201? Or a little more for the standard Sportrak.

 

Now I'm reading on here about people not using the WAAS or that they could careless about it. If it's not going to help or i'm not going to use it, then I could save some dough and get a lesser one right now. I know I will probably upgrade down the road, but price is playing a facotr in it right now. WE will more than likely just be using it for caching and playing around. At least until we figure it all out better and need it for other things. The 101 doesn't hook up to the puter though...sigh...

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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Brian, I took a look at your website and noticed that you are also into kayaking (or at least you were before your boat was stolen). Besides caching, I use my Garmin Legend for kayaking and mountain bike riding -- it's great for tracking top speeds and distances. It also serves as a speedometer (bike and boat), which is handy when I go out for a workout.

 

As far as the differences in the GPSr's that you're looking at, I can't really comment since I'm not familiar with either machine. I would however suggest that whatever you decide on has the ability to upload and download info to your computer -- coupled with mapping software, this is quite useful.

 

Hope you get your kayak back.

 

*****

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I guess I'll be a little more specific...

 

If I were still largely into backpacking, I would definitely get the Gecko, because it is the smallest and lightest. I can't imagine why it would be "only good for geocaching" - I have no doubts that it would work fine for backpacking, hunting, etc - anywhere that size and weight are a big issue. I do believe it would be just fine for cache hunts - especially urban caches, where you might find faking it as a celphone useful.

 

The SportTrack, OTOH, is larger and has a larger screen.

 

The SportTrack has a helix antenna, so it should work best held vertically. The Gecko has a patch antenna, so it should work best held horizontally. There seems to be some consensus that the helix antenna works better under tree cover and the patch works better in canyons.

 

Neither of them will accept mapping software, IIRC.

 

Oh yeah - the ST uses 2AA batteries and the Gecko uses 2AAA. This could be an issue, for some.

 

The ST screen is backlit, but there is no mention of that, IIRC on Garmin's site for the Gecko. (This may or may not be an issue. I no longer use the backlight on my Rino, because I find it easier and cheaper to use the light from my LED headlamp.)

 

The ST appears to be more robust and durable, but the Gecko boasts Garmin's "upcoming turn" feature (I am unaware if ST has this - they don't mention it in their info).

 

So, you see - they are quite different.

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StarshipTrooper, yeah I was looking at all the features between the both. Not sure if the Gecko is backlit or not as that was not important or anything. If it's dark, we will have a flashlight. I guess if your stranded with only your GPS at night, then the backlight would be a useful, but also battery draining feature. Size makes no difference to us right now. I do, or use to mountain bike and may get back in it. We moved from the Augusta Georgia area to the northern part of Massachusetts a few months ago and there are a lot of new trails to try. I am leaning on the Gecko 201. What about the Sportrak Map? Best Buy has it with a $50 mail in rebate. Making it $150. Is it worth getting that one over the Gecko 201 or regular Sportrak basic and the price.

 

Jomarac5, no that wasn't my kayak stolen. It was someone from Clemson University and I put it on my site so others could be aware of it. I don't Kayak. I just recently bought a Canoe (cheapo) to go fishing with and perhaps some small little jaunts. Had t oend up buying a trailer for it too. It wouldn't work on the Explorers roof rack like some canoes will on other SUVS. We were going to have to buy a special racjk and figured to jsut buy the trailer so I can pull it with my Jeep as well.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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Good choice, If you had gone with the 101 you would have had no way to connect it to your computer, something you will definitely want to do. The cable you got with your 201 (or may have to buy) will work with all the eTrex series. The 201's screen is smaller but sharper (more dpi). I think it's a great unit, and wish I would have gotten it instead of my basic eTrex. Good luck with your new Gecko.

 

If I upgrade, it wont be to any of the patch antenna Garmins. I brought a friend caching a few days ago (he has a Garmin GPS III, he connects to a notebook PC in his motor home, and uses it for kayaking). and his GPS III with the quad antenna did MUCH better under the heavy tree cover, common to most caches in this area. It left my eTrex im the dust. I may be wrong, but I believe all the eTrex line use the same patch antenna.

 

_________________________________________________________

If trees could scream, would we still cut them down?

Well, maybe if they screamed all the time, for no reason.

Click here for my Geocaching pictures and Here (newest)

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Well as the owner of a GPSV I can say it'd be tough to give up. Even if I quit geocaching I'd insist on having a routable GPS. My wife and I use it all the time.

 

It really has revolutionized the way we travel. If I'm heading to Memphis from Chicago for exmaple (which I recently did) I simply find the coordinate for the hotel and enter it. Then I let the GPS route me. IT tells me when to turn. When I've missed a turn. IT's great. Frees my mind to think about other things and enjoy the scenery.

 

And... if I find i have some extra time? I can get off on any ramp drive around back country and the unit will re-route me back on course.

 

I also love the fact it constantly calculates my approximate time of arrival, distance to next waypoint, etc.

 

My wife is famous for getting lost while running errands. Now all she has to do his hit "HOMEBASE" and CALCULATE ROUTE and the unit tells her how to get home turn by turn.

 

She loves it. (which will be a big help when it comes time to upgrade my toy).

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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I bought my first GPS (an ETrex Legend) for geocaching. Since then I've used it for:

 

Finding my way around unfamiliar cities.

 

Measuring trail distances while checking trails for a publication.

 

Finding my way to a remote pond and back home while showshoeing.

 

Determining my speed while skiing.

 

Measuring the acrerage of my brother's property.

 

Finding gas stations while driving.

 

Marking drop-offs and other hot spots while fishing.

 

Estimating arrival time while driving.

 

Finding routes around traffic jams.

 

Finding my way to points of interest while travelling and just plain finding my way anywhere.

 

Measuring distance covered while rafting, canoeing and hiking.

 

As a speedometer/odometer for my bicycle.

 

To upload tracks and waypoints to mapping software.

 

To determine the best route while bushwacking between trails.

 

And that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Of course you need a mapping GPS to do a lot of this stuff.

 

The Legend is $189 at Amazon.com and the $50 rebate brings it down to $139, which is only slightly more than a Gecko and yellow eTrex.

And it comes with the computer cable, which I think are add-ons for the other two. At that price, it's almost silly to consider the Gecko, Venture, or yellow.

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

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Wel lthe Gecko will do us fine for right now. Like I said, I will give this to my son or my wife can carry it with her if she wants later on when we get a better one down the road.

 

Unfortunately the Gecko 201 didn't come with a cable. Will have to seek one of those out and probably get it online. Garmins website said something like $40 for it and i'm sure I can get it cheaper somewhere else.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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quote:
Unfortunately the Gecko 201 didn't come with a cable. Will have to seek one of those out and probably get it online. Garmins website said something like $40 for it and i'm sure I can get it cheaper somewhere else.

 

That's one thing people fail to factor in. You can get the Legend/w cable and mapping for $139, or you can save a few bucks and buy the yellow eTrex for $99 and find yourself shelling out $30 for the cable a few weeks later.

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

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I didn't want a cable to my Amiga, but rather to the Palm... $25ish?

 

https://www.bluehillsinnovations.com/

 

(found via www.pfrancs.com)

I prefer the basic eTrex for AA batteries, have you ever compared the battery life 'tween the Yellow & Gecko?!

 

Other uses have included:

 

-Top speed skiing, odometer skiing (my father just joined us at Vail for about 25 miles of skiing a day for four days--he's in his mid-70's!)

(PS: Top speed downhill is currently 47 MPH set at Vail, I'm obviously going for 50 but need a steeper mountain near here!)

 

-Speed, routing and marking in/out points while kayaking

 

-Mountain biking speed/mileage

 

-when flying (don't use at take-off/landing however!)

 

-Hiking mileage (with a group)

 

-Ah, need to bring it on the lawn tractor next time I mow!! Heh..

 

Randy

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