Trying to pick Garmin handheld for geocaching

MrsRockyRoo

Active Member
Jul 8, 2013
212
Thinking about investing in a handheld GPS for geocaching and possibly other uses down the road. After some brief research tonight the top 3 models currently are etrex 30, gpsmap 64s, and Oregon 600. Does anyone have any experience/thoughts about these models or another model you would recommend? THANKS!
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,383
Northern Virginia
I just bought the etrex 20 myself about a week ago so I'm still learning it. So far I like it, however the geocahing I was trying to practice with it was jumping from 70feet to ground zero so I just couldn't figure out what number to believe. However I had houses and trees that probably interfered. Then again I'm still very new to geocashing and GPS's in general so don't want to blame the devise if I could be doing something wrong. The etex 20 is pretty easy to use great handy size and battery lasted. Again I'm still figuring this thing out and still very new to gps's in general.
 

~erik~

Active Member
Jan 19, 2015
287
North Georgia
I have an older GPSMap 60cs or cx or something like that. It's worked great for years. Had an eTrex Vista before that. I didn't like the eTrex controls.

I've found that my iPhone with the Geocaching.com app works pretty good for finding caches too, albeit not for hiding them.
 

Hoomi

I write everything the voices in my head tell me.
Jul 20, 2012
856
85713
I have the eTrex 20, which I upgraded to from a Magellan a couple of years ago. My wife has the eTrex 30. Both are exceptionally good handheld units employing both the GPS satellite system and the Russian Glonass system. My eTrex locks onto satellites much faster than my old Magellan ever did.

There are just a few feature differences between the eTrex 20 and the eTrex 30, and whether those features are worth the additional cost of the 30 is up to you. I haven't missed any of those features in comparing to my wife's GPS.

We're pretty well sold on Garmin products. They seem to work very well, and from what I've seen, the company supports them well. I recently bought an old Garmin Forerunner 205 Fitness watch off of Craigslist. The Garmin website registered and updated the unit, despite the fact that the 205 is old enough that it's been out of production for at least a couple of years.
 

Dive808

Member
Apr 23, 2015
10
I have been geocaching for many years and have used a Garmin etrex from the beginning. Truthfully, I enjoy using the iPhone app more than the Garmin as you have more data at your finger tips and can search for caches whenever without a computer.
 

bflentje

Active Member
Aug 24, 2009
296
Mrs. RockyRoo said:
Thinking about investing in a handheld GPS for geocaching and possibly other uses down the road. After some brief research tonight the top 3 models currently are etrex 30, gpsmap 64s, and Oregon 600. Does anyone have any experience/thoughts about these models or another model you would recommend? THANKS!

Get the 64. The eTrex 30 is slow and lacks features. The Oregon and other touch screens are too small and hard to see in the sun.
 

MrsRockyRoo

Active Member
Jul 8, 2013
212
I ended up getting the 64. What can I anticipate the accuracy being? I felt that it wasn't terribly accurate when we used it last week, but we used it straight out of the box with no updating. Hoping that updating will improve accuracy. Or I will have to accept my assumption about accuracy was wrong.
 

bflentje

Active Member
Aug 24, 2009
296
Mrs. RockyRoo said:
I ended up getting the 64. What can I anticipate the accuracy being? I felt that it wasn't terribly accurate when we used it last week, but we used it straight out of the box with no updating. Hoping that updating will improve accuracy. Or I will have to accept my assumption about accuracy was wrong.

It will be the most accurate unit you can buy as a consumer. Remember, coordinates are only as accurate as all things considered.. the hider's GPS, your GPS, tree cover, the weather, satellite shift, etc. Either way, you have the most accurate unit you can buy. Make sure to turn on WAAS and enabled your unit to grab signals from the Russian constellation and you'll get even more accuracy.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,383
Northern Virginia
There is going to be some margin of error as you could have some interfearance. Most of the geocashes I have found were usually within a 20 foot radius around ground zero. However like the previous poster mentioned it also depends on the accracy of the hiders gps. I have found that my gps goes crazy when It's surrounded by houses and cars. It took me a couple try's when I first got my GPS to understand it and get a feel for the accracy. Grant you I don't have the 64 but mine isn't too bad either (etrex 20) it's a thousand times better then my old one.
 

bflentje

Active Member
Aug 24, 2009
296
jmkay1 said:
There is going to be some margin of error as you could have some interfearance. Most of the geocashes I have found were usually within a 20 foot radius around ground zero. However like the previous poster mentioned it also depends on the accracy of the hiders gps. I have found that my gps goes crazy when It's surrounded by houses and cars. It took me a couple try's when I first got my GPS to understand it and get a feel for the accracy. Grant you I don't have the 64 but mine isn't too bad either (etrex 20) it's a thousand times better then my old one.

Not knocking the eTrex because they have become better over the years. But the receiving antenna on the GPSMap series (60, 62, 64) is a superior design both from my experience (of owning both) and as stated by Garmin.
 

HappyFamily

Active Member
May 20, 2014
607
When we began to Geocache, we bought a used garmin from ebay for about $30 like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GARMIN-GPS-V-PERSONAL-NAVIGATOR-DELUXE-PACKAGE-/201347771149?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ee1432b0d

At the time, we didn't know if the hobby was going to be something we would keep doing or not and didn't want to invest a whole lot. It worked great in the open areas, but not as great under a thick canopy of trees. But still, worked well enough for us to find 300+ geocaches! You just had to walk back and forth a little bit more as you got within 30 feet of the cache.

After about 4 years, hubby wanted to upgrade both our membership to premium and get a really nice, more accurate GPS with more "bells and whistles". We got the Garmin Montana

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-trail/handhelds/montana-600/prod75226.html

hubby likes to upload all the geocaches in an area, rather than hand-write each one with coordinates and stuff on paper. The premium membership at Geocaching.com allows you to do that, and sends it directly to the montana via a cable. It also gives you the comments and other details.

We still let the kids use the old Garmin and it works fine for them. If it gets dropped we don't worry because it is tough and we have already gotten our monies worth out of it.

Hope this helps!

Good luck!
 




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