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Garmin Foretrex


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I havent been on any caches in a couple of years, due to being deployed. My brother, when he went to Fallujah, "acquired" several Foretrex 101 models (I think they are...the ones that take AAAs). Anyway, he gave one to me upon his return. I am wondering how well these things work, how many people here use them, etc. I had an old Etrex, that, alas, did not survive my last deployment. This new Foretrex came at the right time, as I want to get my nephew out into the world, and this is the perfect medium. I guess I am just looking for anyt pros/cons on this model. Thanks for any help ion advance!

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I picked up a Foretrex 101 this past fall. I really enjoy mine. It is very comfortable when I wear it, and it is very discreet if you are using it in areas where muggles are watching.


I also wore it recently while X-country skiing. It worked out very well. It was fun to keep checking the screens and see how far I'd traveled, how long I had been moving, my fastest speed. It is a great little unit.


I was worried that with x-country skiing that the swinging of my arms would cause problems, but it kept perfect lock even under the trees and during a heavy snow.


I've used it several times for caching. I found it to be as accurate as any of my other GPSr's. (Garmin and Magellan)


I'd say it's a great unit, especially at the price you got it for. (Can't beat free)





Edit: Oh yea... when you are reaching into and searching around for the cache container, you have to remember that you now have the gps on your wrist. Several times I smacked it on branches hunting for the cache. I started pulling my jacket sleeve down over it when I wasn't looking at it.

Edited by Quintheeskimo66
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I have had one since the beginning of last summer. I love it. I use it to replace my old Garmin GPS 12 (which I now use as my in-vehicle model). It is great for urban geocaching because of its small size. I have not had any problems acquiring a satellite lock, and I love the idea of having easily replaceable (or rechargeable) batteries. I am very happy with it.

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I just completed a 43 mile back country back packing excursion. We did over 25 miles of no-trail bushwhacking. I carried the Foretrex 101 because it let me use AAA lithium batteries, take spares with me and no GPSR is lighter. It was awesome! I am thinking the 3 guys I went with are going to get one now. They all realized how useless mapping units are when you need 1:24,000 quads with you anyway.

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I'd say yes....


I bought my ForeTrex 101 as a first unit last August... I dont regret it...


I've since bought 4 other units (GPS 38, 45, etrex legend, and a single board engine i'm playing with in an embedded application). I've played with a number of others....


Of them all, I still like the Foretrex best - especially for the caching and hiking i do now. Yea, the legend has topo maps loaded on it (now) - but I like my NG Topo maps on my laptop better)


Its very lightweight, and since it's on my wrist, I dont have to worry about dropping it, or it hanging in my way from my neck as I"m bending over.


Battery life is pretty good. I"m get over 16 hours from Rayovac alkaline (cheap) batteries, about 10 hours from radio shack nimh rechargable, only 4 hours on nicad. It seems to do very well at picking up satellites - it seems i rarely lose signal with it.


I've not done any distance running for about 10 years, but I could see some uses for my foretrex if I still did. I think it would do well for that. As I understand it, the Forerunner's are better set up for running (timers and stuff). I think the foretrex might have a stopwatch function in a menu.

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Thanks Crystal Sound, that has been helpful.B) I,m considering getting the foretrex 201, any pros or cons vs the 101?


Also, how do you enter a destination? Do you need a computer (if so does it come with product) or can you do so on the fly?

Edited by tinmanson
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I looked at the 201 when looking at units, but I decided that the ability to put new batteries in the unit, rather than going for a recharge, made the 101 more attractive to me.


Yea, the 201 is about .3" thinner than the 101, but i dont think the difference is that noticeable. The ability to change out batteries, when several miles back in the wilderness, is worth the peace of mind.


Waypoints can be entered on the fly with the enter/pageup/pagedown buttons to scroll through values / positions. Once you know how (which isnt tough), it's not too hard to enter data "on the fly" while in the field. It's kinda like how you set time on a wristwatch - one button advances, the up/down buttons change the value up/down. A little cumbersome, compared to a full keypad/keyboard, but still usable.


The data cable is definately worth it for downloading several waypoints at a time, or backing up the unit, interfacing to mapping programs, ect.


You can download the manuals for any Garmin product through their website. When looking at my first unit (which ended up being the foretrex) I downloaded several manuals, to get an idea how it worked and what features it had. If you have the time, it might be worth a peek. The only differences I could find were thickness of the unit (the 101 is thicker), colour of the unit, internal battery of the 201, and the 201 comes with the data cable / charger - 101 does not.


If you are handy with a soldering iron, or know someone who is, a cable for the 101 can be built easily with radio shack parts, or you can buy online cheaply.

Edited by Crystal Sound
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I have a 201, both the 101 and 201 are excellent units for geocaching. If your worried about the battery going dead you can carry a battery pack for it that will charge off aa's. I can also charge my ipaq, sell phone, or camera off this same battery pack so its a backup for all of them. Yes its not as convenient as swapping out the batterys but most cachers don't go for extended periods of time without a car or ac outlet that they could charge off. I prefer the slimmer size of the 201 and the rechargeable battery. As a bonus the 201 comes with the data cable so in my opinion its a better deal.


Either way the foretrex's are great GPS's for caching. I often choose my foretrex over my explorist 600.

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Thanks Crystal Sound and JeepCachr, for all the info. It has been helpful. I'm sure I'll have more questions after I make my purchase. I am leaning towards the 201 though. Don't forsee staying out that long, but I'm sure thiswon't be the last unit I buy. I've already started eyeing other units for the future.

Thanks again and look for more questions to come in the near future.

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