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This looks so Cool!!


Jdads2
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OK, before you think I'm a very excited teen, I'm 39 (and still very excited). I read about gecaching in the local Sunday paper's travel section this past weekend. I've never heard of it before. They listed this site as one of the best, so here I am.

 

Boy, do I have questions.

#1. Do you think I should settle down a little before I jump into the world of geocaching?

 

#2. What is a good GPS unit to purchase for a newbie who has 3 kids who will want to learn to read it?

 

#3. Where should I get this unit? Can I get it online, or shoul I get it locally and get a warrantee with it?

 

#4. How long have you fols been doing this? I don't consider myself a putz so I can't understand why I haven't heard of this before. I would guess It got much easier in 2000.

 

Thanks in advance

 

squirrelly as all heck

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David,

 

Many of your questions can be answered from this link.....http://www.geocaching.com/about/

 

To answer some of them myself

 

1) As for settling down, I would read all of the info on the geocaching site. It will answer many of your questions. No nead to delay a long time before beginning.

 

2) My gps is a yellow etrex from Garmin. I have used it alot and have been very satisfied. You can get one for around $120 or less. It has no mapping capabilities but it is a good starter unit. Mapping in my opinion is better, but not a neccessity. I recommend you do a search for Garmin or Magellan GPS and read the info for the different units. Then you can make a better decision as to what will suit your needs and budget.

 

3)You can get them at Wal-mart or online. You can also order them from the geocaching.com website and the site gets a little commission to help run it. Your choice. I have found better prices online than the ?mart stores. Read these forums. Many people talk about good ordering experiences and bad ones.

 

4)again, the link...

http://www.geocaching.com/about/

will help with this one.

 

Hope this has helped. These forums are the most useful I have found. I recommend searching for your questions before posting. Most answers can be found quickly that way.

 

Thanks,

KYtrex

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to the wonderful world of Geocaching!

quote:
Originally posted by David S. Costantino:

#1. Do you think I should settle down a little before I jump into the world of geocaching?


Nah, stay excited, it’s more fun that way.

quote:
#2. What is a good GPS unit to purchase for a newbie who has 3 kids who will want to learn to read it?

We use a Garmin III+ but there will be others to reply with lots of good advice.

quote:
#3. Where should I get this unit? Can I get it online, or shoul I get it locally and get a warrantee with it?

Yes, you can get your GPSr unit online, that’s where we found a great price for our Garmin III+.

quote:
#4. How long have you fols been doing this? I don't consider myself a putz so I can't understand why I haven't heard of this before. I would guess It got much easier in 2000.

We started in January of 2002 so we haven’t been at this long. Since we started, no less than 19 countries have been added and at least 150 new caches in our state.

Have fun and WELCOME to Geocaching!

 

sun_smiley.gif

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First of all, welcome to the addiction David. This is a great activity for the family. You can get GPSr's at any outdoor store and any unit will work, from the least to most expensive unit. The more you pay the more bells and whistles you get. I'm still using an out of production Garmin that only tracks 8 birds. All now can track 12. The manufactures all have warrenties, so it wouldn't matter where you bought it. BTW, if you do it in the rain, put the unit in a ziplock, even waterproof units can fry. I just did this to a new magellan 315 with drips from my kayak paddle. Fortunatly, it was only 2 days old.

 

This all started in 2000 when SA was turned off, I discovered it in June 2001 from a newspaper article, and have been hooked since.

Your going to have a lot of fun with this.

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quote:
Originally posted by David S. Costantino:

 

Boy, do I have questions.

#1. Do you think I should settle down a little before I jump into the world of geocaching?

 

#2. What is a good GPS unit to purchase for a newbie who has 3 kids who will want to learn to read it?

 

#3. Where should I get this unit? Can I get it online, or shoul I get it locally and get a warrantee with it?

 

#4. How long have you fols been doing this? I don't consider myself a putz so I can't understand why I haven't heard of this before. I would guess It got much easier in 2000.

 

Thanks in advance

 

squirrelly as all heck


 

Welcome. Before long, you will realize how fast the popularity of this 'hobby' is growning. I've owned a GPS for over two years and I only stumbled across Geocaching while doing a search for software for it. When I first became a member here back in February, I believe there were less than 3000 others. Recently, we crossed 10,000 member threshold.

To answer your questions, no need to settle down too much. It is an exciting sport and the novelty does dwindle a small amount, but you soon learn there is so much more than just the 'scavenger hunt' aspect of it; especially if you have a family.

For GPS units, they come in a wide variety of functions and prices. I would strongly suggest you do a bit of reading on their capabilties and pick a unit best suited for you. I find there a two distinct classes of GPSs, ones with maps and ones without. Try reading a bit here.

or here.

That should keep you busy for a bit and there is definately more than enough info to arrive at your own conclusions for an appropriate GPS.

Don't forget to read the FAQs for geocaching as well. There has been several (occassionaly heated) discussions here about finding/placing a cache and their contents - it wise to be well informed before heading out.

One final point. There is basically an unwritten rule -well suggestion anyway - to find several caches before placing your own. I guarantee after your first find, you'll be thinking about when/where you'll want to place your own. Give it some time and find several others first. You'll notice after several finds, there is much to be said about experience when it comes to Geocaching. Further, there are already many many caches out there - especially in the U.S. - so there is certainly no shortage of places to go. You'll want to make sure your first cache is a memorable one. I myself have found over 30 but have still not hidden one. I'm just waiting for a little light bulb to start flashing over my head.

Again, welcome aboard.

 

MajBach

You can't have everything,where would you put it?

1compass.gif

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I have been playing with GPSr's for years now. First in the military, then I purchased a Mag 315 which was the best in my opinion for the longest time. Then I upgraded to a Mag Map 330, which I absolutely love. But if I were new to the game and knew what I know now, and that is there are a lot of things you can do with a GPSr (that was a confusing sentence, eh). I would, provided I had about $500 to spare, go for the gusto and get all the bells and whistles, which would be confusing at first, but would provide many hours of interest and intrigue. At best, you will probably want your GPSr to interface with your PC, this is excellent for downloading coordinates, and just all around fun and interesting with a TOPO program. Not only could you map out your caches, but place your tracks on it, and completely research a new area to hide caches. I would go for a Magellan Meridan Platinum with barometric altimeter, already has a PC cable, then purchase the Topo CD-Rom which allows you to download detailed maps into the GPSr and the kicker is, buy the memory card, not cheap, either an 8, 16, 32, or 64mb for holding map info. Yes it is pricy, and they will make lots of money off of people who don't really know what they are looking for, but that is what I would get if I had the cash. Magellan just happens to be my favorite, someone else that has more experience with a GARMIN or others may know of one with those features too, I'm sure they're out there.

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I have a family of 4. My children are 7yo and 10yo. We go on most of the hunts as a family. It is a great family oriented activity. Some caches may not be suitable for kids, and they usually warn you in the cache description. I purchased the beginner level Yellow etrex ($100). It is a great beginning unit for a family, for several reasons. At some point you will want to let your kids carry the GPSr. They will demand it after a while. The etrex is very durable, but make them wear the lanyard around their neck in case they drop it. You will soon want more in the unit, but I have have talked to several geocachers who bought a GPSr with more bells and whistles, but still use their yellow etrex in the woods in case it is dropped, etc. You can't go wrong with the price, and durability. Hope this helps.

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You can save a lot of money by shopping online for your GPS and accessories. I bought my Magellan Meridian Platunum from www.planetgps.net for a hair over $300 shipped. This is about $50 less than your local retail store and no sales tax! Also, if you go with a unit that has expandable memory via SD or CF cards, you don't have to go with that brands cards. For example, a 32mb SD card from Magellan is about $80 (minimum!), I bought a Memory Pro brand one from www.digi4me.com for $24, and it works like a champ. I found both of these sites through Yahoo! shopping.

 

Good luck with your research and shopping, and welcome to geocaching!

 

Wes

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quote:
Originally posted by Jdads2:

OK, before you think I'm a very excited teen, I'm 39 (and still very excited). squirrelly as all heck


Jdads2 don't feel bad about your age. There are literally hundreds of us that are "39". Some are more 39 than others but we have equally amounts of fun from this sport/hobby/activity.

Happy Caching, Olar

 

wavey.gif

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I was able to track down a GPS unit from a guy at work, he uses it to hunt and fish. I don't know what kind it is but at least I'll be able to try it out for a few days just to see what I like and don't like about it.

 

Thanks again for all of your comments and suggestions.

 

Dave,

squirrelly as all heck

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Just make sure it is set to the correct format (i.e. N 32 17.222 W 116 35.675). Some older GPS's will not take three numbers past the decimal point (seconds) and will not be accurate enough. Friend at work has an older one for astronomy and only has two numbers past the decimal point.

The newer ones should be okay.

 

nscaler

"Anyone not here, raise your hand!".

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Well, as it turned out the one that I borrowed does not go to thousandths in seconds. Two decimal point places not three. It should still be fun to get the feel for a GPS. I'll see what happens and let you know.

 

Dave,

squirrelly as all heck

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It might not be displaying the third decimal point. If I remember right, a Maggie 310 does not go to the third decimal point. A Maggie 315 with old firmware on board doesn't default to displaying the third decimal point, but in the setup in can be changed to display that decimal point.

 

However, something to consider: in your neck of the woods (Angola, NY) changing your longitude 0.005 minutes (what it would be rounding) is 22.37 feet and changing your latitude 0.005 minutes would be 30.40 feet. Just about the range of accuracy for most of the GPS units.

 

You'll probably do OK with the borrowed unit to try it out. Just make sure you go on a staryellow.gifstargreen.gif cache.

 

Markwell

My Geocaching Page

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I did a lot of research and decided on the GPS V by Garmin. The nice thing about it is that it will do "autorouting". That is,it will take you turn by turn, road by road, to the cache from your home, and then you can switch to "off road" and walk the rest of the way. This is great when you don't exactly know how to get to the starting place, or you are in a big city.

 

I have found that you need to start with as good stuff to begin with if you can, so you don't have to lose money "trading up". I bought mine from Affordable GPS.com. They are nice people and have good prices.

 

Hope you enjoy this sport as much as I have!

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quote:
Originally posted by megatech:

I did a lot of research and decided on the GPS V by Garmin. The nice thing about it is that it will do "autorouting". That is,it will take you turn by turn, road by road, to the cache from your home, and then you can switch to "off road" and walk the rest of the way. This is great when you don't exactly know how to get to the starting place, or you are in a big city.

 


 

IMHO Big cities with lots of roads per square mile are they WORST places to use the autoroute feature! (fewer roads give the GPS less chances to think you are someplace you are not!)The V will sometimes (frequently) tell you to make turns on roads that don't exist or tell you you are on a road quite different from where you actually are! (road density, map inaccuracies, etc all contribute - not blaming it all on the V.) I've been using GPSs since they first came out and were $1000 for an all digital only unit (traxar) so am familiar with the set-ups, lock to roads, waas, etc. Not trying to start a debate about accuracy or brand, just want to let people know not to rely on the accuracy of the autoroute feature or to buy based on this feature alone.

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We're new to this sport, too, but having a ball. I bought a "no box" Etrex yellow at Best Buy for $75 and it is fun. My kids and wife often go with me and we all have a good time.

 

No doubt the very first cache was the most exciting, but they've all turned out to be fun in some way.

 

Go for it!

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