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Forums —» Regional —» Lower Mainland / Coast Mountains —» Best GPS to buy?
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Best GPS to buy?


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nuiloa



Joined: Oct 15, 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Port Moody

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

I'm new to geocaching (about 2 hours ago!) and need to buy a GPS. I'd like to keep the cost under $200 if possible. It has to be "idiot proof".

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Is the TomTom worthy buying?

Nui
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Teddy2k



Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 358
Location: Rosedale, BC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

Are you looking for something to use for vehicle navigation or to take with you on the trail when you are geocaching? TomTom doesn't make the latter. The Garmin eTrex H is a basic handheld GPS that fits your price range. I opted for the Garmin eTrex Venture HC so that I could load topo maps on it (and it also fits your price range). I would not recommend buying a vehicle navigation GPS to take with you in the bush.

Hope that helps!
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

I agree the vehicle ones use a city/road style map that is not as easy to use for geocaching. The hand held units usually come with a basic map program simular to the vehicle units. You would need to buy an additionial topographical map program which is better for geocaching or use one of the free online topo map programs being offered in some of the forums.
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nuiloa



Joined: Oct 15, 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Port Moody

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

Thanks for your help! Best Buy has a Garmin NuVi that looks interesting. I can't wait to start signing logs!

Nui
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:54 am    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

The Garmin Nuvi is a Vehicle style GPS and again hard to use for caching.

Try one of these:

www.canadiantire.ca/br...earch=true

www.canadiantire.ca/br...earch=true

www.canadiantire.ca/br...earch=true


I would go with the first one if you can stretch your budget or either of the other two if you can't.
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

For geocaching I would recommend a hand held (outdoor) unit, that has the ability to do vehicle navigation (sometimes depends on what maps you buy).

Also you have to budget for maps, base maps will not be of much use except for major roads. Maps often cost $150+. (some units come with more detail maps, so that is built into the price).

Some units are 'geocaching' enabled, and provide more function for geocaching. Some are very caching enabled, you can drop a GPX file on the unit, and you will see a version of the cache page, logs hints on the screen. Of course those cost more.

Check out some of our sponsors, Deakin.com and GPSCity.ca for options.

_________________
~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
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nuiloa



Joined: Oct 15, 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Port Moody

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

Thanks! I'm off to Canadian Tire tonight and looking forward to a sunny weekend! Even better - one of the geocaches is practically in my backyard! Lol

Nui
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CAMOKELLY



Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 482
Location: Abbotsford BC

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

So what did you end up with?
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nuiloa



Joined: Oct 15, 2008
Posts: 6
Location: Port Moody

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

I bought the Garmin eTrex Venture HC but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to use it. I somehow have to figure out where I am vs. where the cache is - it seems I can get one of the other, with the result that I focused so much on changing the screen that I just about took my eye out when I walked into a low hanging branch. Lol!

What I don't understand is that it will tell me I found the cache, and a second later it will tell me to go SW 10 feet, then NE 7 feet then SE 14 feet.

I found my first cache by accident. The GPS got me to the general vicinity but then I stumbled on the cache when I hit it with my foot. I never did find the second cache, even though it was rated easy.

I'll have to find an orienteering course somewhere. Do you know of any?

Nui
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_canadianbacon_



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 1154
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: Best GPS to buy? Reply with quote

Don't expect the distance to put you on top of the cache. Given the accuracy of the persons GPS who placed the cache, and the accuracy of your GPS you could end up anywhere from 0-20m (most cachers I know here use metric).

Also check that your Compass page for Bearing vs Heading.. Bearing is direction to Waypoint, Heading is Direction your are actually walking.

Set to Bearing and the arrow on your GPS compass will point in the general direction of the waypoint. I have come across a few people who had the compass set to heading, and yeh, they did do a lot of walking in circles!

I also know of cachers who never left the map page, and tried to find caches based on where they were, the little icon on the page, and the line between them, and the waypoint. This is made even more confusing (for me at least) when the map is set to North Up (I perfer Bearing Up, so map is aligned in the direction you are moving). Though, if you have a good set of TOPO maps, and maybe a trail route overlaid, you would be switching between the map view and compass view.

Set up the fields on your gps screens to have the information you need, distance, bearing, accuracy etc.

There is some discussion here:
forums.groundspeak.com...37469.html

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~~~~ _CanadianBacon_~~~~
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