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Forums —» General Caching —» How To? —» Car vs handheld
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Car vs handheld
Have question about how to use your GPS, hide a cache or solve a problem, let the local experts try to help.
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Lady_Jac



Joined: Jun 09, 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:47 pm    Post subject: Car vs handheld Reply with quote

Im a fairly new geocacher but already hooked. Im using a car gps which rarely seems to take me to the right spot, or maybe its iust me! But without descriptive hints I can nver find them. Are handhelds more accurate? Thanks to anyone that can help. Smile
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KnL_Caching



Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Posts: 20
Location: Richmond, B.C.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Car vs handheld Reply with quote

Hi!

I think the dual-use GPS units are fine - the units that have Paperless Geocaching and will offer turn by turn directions in your car.

The car only units are not great for Geocaching although they will work to some degree. Your smartphone or a dedicated Geocaching GPS will get you closer, likley offer some information on trails and terrain, plus give you access to the description, hints and previous logs for the cache.

That being said, the GPS system is only SO accurate, and all GPS units accuracy can be affected by tree cover, weather and other factors. You can get down to 1m accuracy, but 3m or even 6m is fairly common. "Searching for a nano in the forest" is a term of frustration when the GPS unit is offering 6m of accuracy in a densely treed area while looking for an itsy-bitsy cache container.

I am sure a car only unit would get you close to the cache - but I think you can count on the dual-use, dedicated unit or smart phone to get you a little closer, all considered.
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katcogo



Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 543
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Car vs handheld Reply with quote

I managed to find my first 400 caches with a car GPS. Be sure to set it to "off road" and pedestrian modes otherwise it will deposit you at the side of the street closest to the cache. You won't have detailed maps, which help, and you must keep switching back and forth between proximity and distance screens. It was a good compromise until I could come up with a good excuse to purchase a handheld. It required a lot of paper and/or good memory about the hints - a notebook helped.

When I was in Europe I purchased maps for the car GPS and used it in conjunction with the handheld to find my away around the quirky little town I was in.
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Team K1W1



Joined: Feb 16, 2005
Posts: 54
Location: New Westminster

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Car vs handheld Reply with quote

I look at a car GPS as a navigation system when driving and a hand held GPS for navigating back roads/trail systems and for Geocaching.

On my car GPS I stick with the preloaded maps (and updates) and obviously use the routing and turn by turn feature. Most preloaded maps don't have details of back roads and trails.

On my handheld (Garmin) I use Open Street Maps and don't bother with routing when exploring back roads and trails - rather I use the maps to get an overview of where I am going and use the "bread crumbs" to see where I have been. For Geocaching I mainly use the compass & maps to navigate to the cache.
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ValHamilton



Joined: Feb 05, 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Car vs handheld Reply with quote

I load my Pocket Query into GSAK and then send it to my car Nuvi and handheld. If I'm in the U.S. or going to an area out of cell range, I'll also put it into my iPhone.

I use the Nuvi for safe driving as it has a nice big screen and a voice giving instructions. The handheld Garmin is the best when walking to the cache and the iPhone is for logging the find.

Geo Bucket is on my iPad. You can load all the caches in an area or your Pocket Query. You can read the information on a cache and see everything on the map while offline. A blue dot even show where you are.

Lots of toys and they all have their role in this great game.
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Lady_Jac



Joined: Jun 09, 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Car vs handheld Reply with quote

Thank you all for your replies and much needed good advice. I think Ill stick to my current gps just while I improve my searching skills. Ive just discovered 'cgeo' for my little tablet, looks great so far, and will hopefully give me a much needed boost.

'Searching for a nano in a forest' I like that and definitely something I can relate too!

Thanks again everyone! Smile
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