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You must hate people like me, but you were all new once.


doc22026
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I only just heard of geocaching 72 hours ago, and already I think I feel an addiction coming on. The concept seems clear, but when looking for equipment, I am flooded with information about fishing, camping, etc. What I want to know is what type of GPS I need to start this adventure. I don't have a ton of money, and I am eager to start...TODAY. I would order a system, but don't know what I need, nor do I have the patience to wait for the mail to come. Anyone feel my pain and have some useful advice? I will appreciate it all. Thanks, and happy hunting.

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Any GPS will get you going. The least expensive ones work great.

 

In my mind, here are the two biggest issues.

 

1) You can key in the coordinates by hand into any GPS, but after a while this gets tiresome. A unit that can be interfaced with a computer is real handy. Just about all GPS units, except the Geko 101, can be attached to a computer. Some have the cable bundled in, some don't. The cables are custom, so don't expect to find one lying around in your junk box. In some areas, mail-order may be your only option to obtain a cable. In any case, when comparing GPS packages, take into account if there is a cable included or not. Figure $30 or so if you have to by the cable as an accessory.

 

2) The ability to have maps is a great feature. Not totally necessary for geocaching, but can be real handy at times for planning your route. Mid-range GPS units tend to have mapping, and usually have a pretty decent base map (major roads, cities, etc). More detailed maps or specialized maps can be purchased and downloaded. A big issue here is how much memory to get. 8MB isn't too bad. 24MB is pretty nice. 24MB lets me easily load all the major cites in Texas. Some units use removable memory cards (e.g. many Magellens) so you can have lots of memory, but I personally haven't had the need.

 

There are other issues...antenna types, screen resolution, control buttons, WAAS, blah, blah, blah....but these are really fine points and don't have a big impact on geocaching.

 

The simple fact is that any GPS receiver on the market, even the cheapest and simplest, will get you to a cache.

 

George

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Folks, I *really* do appreciate your advice, but after seeing the eTrex suggestions, I looked them up. There are about 20 different kinds. I truly do not yet understand which options or features I will need in this journey. Can you suggest a model? I'll be checking the web for the nearest Best Buy. Thanks again.

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gpscity.com has the eTrex Legend for $203 & then you get a Garmin $50 rebate. That's final cost = $153 for a decent unit with waas & mapping capabilities. 8mb of memory capacity. Don't own one myself, but for a starter unit, it's a great deal. You can buy the mapping software at a later date if necessary. Plenty of fellow cachers swear by the Legend. Just a little input from my end. Hope it helps. icon_wink.gif

 

"Gimpy"

 

--N2GLS--

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ok... i have a magellan. it is bigger - so more bulky... but the screen is bigger too, and i like that.

it is a meridian, so not bottom of range but close - picked it up for 119,00, but that was online.

waas means it's using an additional set of geostatic satellites (along with the 24 GPS sats) and that will get you closer to what you're looking for (from 30, to 10 feet). my model does have this.

i don't have any extras, don't imagine i'll need more memory - how much do i really need to store on it at one time?

it could be as simple as - how much do you want to spend? and is mapping important? go to a store and have a look at some.

 

___________________________________

 

there is no knowledge, only things, which is really old knowledge.

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oh - i think the garmin's are a little better on batteries... plus they have that great little man walking around, don't they?

don't get too stressed out - go and see what you like.

sounds like entry level mapping (not the cheapest, but next one up) for either magellan or garmin will be perfect.

enjoy - it really is fun and totally addictive!

i'm just waiting for it to cool off a little here before heading out...

 

___________________________________

 

there is no knowledge, only things, which is really old knowledge.

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My advice.

 

RUN...RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!

 

Or by an entry level Garmin with a data cable. How much are you looking to spend? That would let us narrow it down to just a few units. Then we can argue which is better for you to buy.

 

====================================

As always, the above statements are just MHO.

====================================

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc22026:

I only just heard of geocaching 72 hours ago, and already I think I feel an addiction coming on. The concept seems clear, but when looking for equipment, I am flooded with information about fishing, camping, etc. What I want to know is what type of GPS I need to start this adventure. I don't have a ton of money, and I am eager to start...TODAY. I would order a system, but don't know what I need, nor do I have the patience to wait for the mail to come. Anyone feel my pain and have some useful advice? I will appreciate it all. Thanks, and happy hunting.


 

Got me a Magellan Meridian just a couple of days ago. Works really well and also had a $50 rebate. Got to the first cache without any problem. Enjoy the map feature and pretty well leads you to within 20 feet of the location without any problem. In my opinion, can't go wrong with the Meridian Platinum. Bought mine at shopharmony.com

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Of the avaliable garmin and magellan GPS recievers avaliable the only one I would recommend you not get is the magellan 310 its a handly unit for hunting or such but its 2 decimal place accuracy make geocaching a bit tougher your coords are up to 5 times less accurate with it. I am sure the 310 will have to be discontinued soon its not much cheaper than the 315 which is 3 decimal accurate and has more nav screens. The only further sugestion i have is if you plan to do urban caching a mapping unit with software makes city caching a lot easier.

 

Eeyore

 

I'm one sat short of triangulation.

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I think Sports Authority has the eTrex on sale for $99. I have one and really like it. One drawback: my computer only has USB ports and eTrex uses serial connectors. Therefore, I have to enter all waypoints manually. I don't mind ....yet.

 

What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

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My suggestions:

 

Make sure the GPSr you choose has a data cable, or at least a data port you can buy a cable for.

 

Maps are great. You will find yourself using the GPSr for more than caching when it has maps.

 

Tracking is a nice feature if you hike a lot.

 

My $0.02. I have a Garmin Rino 120 - has all of the above plus a FRS/GMRS radio and 8MB of memory to add additional maps - you can find them on the web for around $220.

 

Adversity is certain, misery is optional.

texasgeocaching_sm.gifntga_button.gif

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Welcome new geocacher. We don't hate newbies even ones who ask questions! icon_wink.gif

 

We started geocaching last August. We bought the cheapest most basic yellow Garmin etrex. Yes we have to enter our waypoints by hand but we really don't mind at all. In fact, we feel it gives us more connection to the cache hunt. But we're low tech kind of people. Keep in mind you'll need to save money to spend it on cheap trinkets and gas so get the best model for your needs for the least amount of money. Happy hunting.

 

That moss-covered bucket I hailed as a treasure,

For often at noon, when I returned from the field,

I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure.

 

Samuel Woodworth The Old Oaken Bucket

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Greetings Doc! icon_smile.gif

Lots of opinions out there to be sure. Make certain an interface cable is with the unit that you buy (Garmin/Magellin) and that it has mapping capacity. If you cheap out right off the bat, once you learn more about GPS and mapping, you'll want to upgrade quickly.

My pref. is Garmin Legend. Very comfortable in price and capacity.

My 2 cents

Magellin users will favor their machines. As well they should.

Pool all the info from your fellow cachers and use your gut feelings on a product.

When it is all said and done, you'll be geocaching in no time. And that is what we want to see!

 

Buy Fugi

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Status Update: I bought the Garmin eTrex Legend. icon_smile.gif Thank you ALL for your advice and help. You people ROCK! I thought that I would enjoy the hunt more than anything, but I am starting to see that the hunters are what will make this fun. I look forward to crossing paths with you all again.

 

Doc

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Ya know, if you have equipment from other hobbies that presently consume your time, you should put all of it on eBay immediately. I mean, once you discover yourself caching during lunch, after work, on weekends, on your anniversary, etc., you'll see that you have no need for that stuff any more. Plus and it frees up cash for map software, geo-baubles, fast food and gasoline.

 

There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.

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quote:
Originally posted by Brian - Team A.I.:

That $30 ceiling scares a lot of people (I assume) as a 'necessary' accessory. I bought a cigarette lighter adapter and a PC cable for $10/each from the same person on eBay. She does a HUGE business in aftermarket GPS gear, and the quality is excellent.

 

http://www.stores.ebay.com/id=32049213

 

Brian

Team A.I.


 

I would have liked to have known that before I bought all the cables I have now, but she probably wasn't there way back then.

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I'm new, too. I shopped around a bit, then went to Costco.com. They have the Magellan Pro Kit, that includes GPS, car power cord, PC cable, carry case that fits extra batteries, and MapSend Sreets and Destinations software, and the price can't be beat, $279 - nobody ever beats Costco. And there's a $75 rebate to boot! Sure, it has the fishing/hunting stuff you don't need for geochaching, but it's still pretty easy to learn how to use.

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I too am quite new to caching. Same thing - the day I heard about it was the day I knew I was gonna love it. Since I was so excited to try it - and didn't have a clue what to buy - I headed down the Outdoor Program at the University and rented one ($5.00) The only kind they rent is the Garmin E-Trex. Experienced cachers here on the forums assured me that's all you need. The e-trex is cute, simple, and friendly. I bought one of my own a few months later at a pawn shop ($100 CDN). Sometimes I think that a GPS with mapping would be nice - but since I cache with a man who thinks that even looking at the map on the cache page first is "cheating" - its probably better that I don't have it. For recreational caching near urban areas - you'll probably be fine with the E-Trex. You can always upgrade later if its not enough for you. Also you might give a few models a trial run. Try Roger's Rentall, or if there's a large university near you, they may have an outdoor rec program that rents them.

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