Hi there, My name is Matt and a co-worker of my wife was telling us about geocaching. My kids, 11 and 7, thought that it would be fun to go on treasure hunts, especially the 11 year old. My wife works a lot of weekends so I am always looking for something to do with the kids and dog.
So, I am looking into all this. It seems a little overwhelming but I do not have a GPS unit yet. I think that once I have one in hand and learn how to use it a lot of this will make more sense to me. We live in Brunswick and it looks like there are many caches in the area so we could almost walk from home to a few to "get our feet wet."
Is it worth waiting and buying a used better unit when they come up or just getting the basic yellow etrex? You guys know the way these work and the 60 series seems nice with the antenna but over twice the price. I want the kids to be successful, if they are not they will want to stay home.
Thanks everyone and looking forward to the first find,
You can find them with the Etrex and many of us started at that level them bought up when we thought that we where ready. I started with an etrex and shortly after bought a 60 c and have loved it ever since. It is more money but the trade of is that it is much easier to use. ANd with getting the kids involved this way they can see where they are going. I just helped a woman get an etrex legend cx up and running and with the 50 $ rebate it was about 219 $ and that sounds a little easier to pallett then the 450.
Good luck and happy trails
Originally Posted by mattmill
Firstly let me welcome you to these forums and to geocaching in general. Your on your way toward total enlightenment, grasshopper. LOL:)
I think you and your family will really enjoy this sport and get to spend some great times together. I know my family really enjoys it.
As to the GPS unit you purchase, well they all basically work the same, they pick up signals from satellites that tell you your location on the face of the planet. I think everyone has their preference in brand and type, as do I but I think I will recommend to you to purchase the GPS that you can afford. The "higher end" GPS can be harder to learn but obviously have more extensive features, whereas "lower end" units may lack features that you'll want later on as you get more proficient with GPSing.
When recommending computers to new buyers I always say, "Buy the most you can afford as it won't become obsolete so quickly." I think this may hold true for GPS units as well.
Once Again welcome to this great sport and these great forums.
Welcome to the sport!
Another thought I just had was that if you did start with an etrex yellow or maybe even a legend, when you do upgrade, the kids can inherit the old one and use that. What a skill to have as a youngster!
I actually started with the legend and still have it, but have added a bluetooth gps and a pda so I can have guided mapping in the truck. When I get to the location, out comes the legend and that's what I hunt with.
Also, this thread might remind someone here that they have one to sell, and that might be an option.
Good luck and hopefully we will meet on the trail or an event someday!
Or even better the next best thing would be to hook up with someone down around that area to go caching with and let them lead you to the cache :) .Seriously though there are any number of options you could choose and I would say go with what you can afford now and upgrade when you can later. Don't wait any longer though as you will be just depriving your kids of some great fun. Welcome to the addiction.........:D And welcome to our site where as you can see we have a lot to offer. Oh and one other thing too, there are loads of people out there who cache without a GPS and they use Google earth and close in on the cache that way and then go out to look for it. Happy Caching
The Legend is OK but it tends to give you problems under tree cover. I found my first several hundred with a Legend though. I love my new GPS60CSx though. The idea of going with a local geocacher a couple times is a great one. That way if you don't think you will keep doing it you don't have money invested in it. Once you get hooked you can spend money on a good GPSr, then comes the PDA, the signature items, the......well you get the idea. LOL
I took my Mother-out-law a couple times. After the second she decided she wanted a GPSr and a Jeep. Two weeks later she had a GPSr (Legend). At the end of the Summer she had a Jeep. LOL
However you do it have a great time and we hope to meet you at some of the events.
Garmin did make it truely difficult to match the user friendlyiness and the dependabilty of the 60 series. The buttons on the front and the mark and find button so that you dont have to go chasing through the menu screens everytime that you want to check something out.:)
I just heard about a GPS60 w/o maps for $101 so I might go that way since that is the same price as the yellow etrex.
Originally Posted by dave1976
Thanks everyone for making me feel welcome!
Well it looks like I'm coming into this discussion a bit late, but figured I would add my two cents anyways.
Originally Posted by mattmill
First, as TRF mentioned, welcome to geocaching and to geocachingmaine.org . . . hopefully you and your family will find geocaching as fun and rewarding as I have . . . and hopefully you will find that geocachingmaine.org is a great site to get questions answered and to "meet" some great folks.
As for your specific question . . . my own opinion is to buy what you can afford. For $150 or so (or even less as you have discovered) you can purchase a new map-capable (something I personally like since I am very visually oriented) GPSr. In general the more expensive the GPSr is = the more features . . . but I have found that very often I use very few of these extra features (it really depends on what you're looking to use your GPSr for.)
My first GPSr was a Magellan Meridian color unit . . . I bought this since it had a color screen and the bundled package made it very attractive to me since it came with software, cords, vehicle mount, etc. I still use this GPSr today . . . primarily in my vehicle to get me to the parking area of the cache since it offers turn-by-turn directions . . . although I also use it when sledding and ATVing as I have a topographical map loaded on it as well.
My latest (and favored) GPSr however is a Magellan Explorist 210 which I purchased for $150. This unit is wicked small and light-weight and seems to be a bit more accurate than my older Meridian. This unit does not offer a color screen, but I find it more useful when hiking and geocaching.
Regardless of what GPSr you purchase you should find that just about any GPSr on the market will serve your needs for geocaching . . . and be aware that even though the latest and greatest GPSrs may be better the accuracy and success of the hunt depends on both how accurate the hider was in establishing the coordinates (and consequently how accurate their GPSr was/is) and your own ability in determining where and how a cache may be hidden (and this is something you will learn with experience.)
Final thought . . . we've all started out brand new to geocaching and we've all made plenty of mistakes or had questions . . . so if you start out and have questions, ask away!
Thanks everyone. Here is a first question. At the store they told me to always take a traditional compass and topo map with me for navigation, do you guys do that? I guess I thought that this would take the place of all that even without the mapping GPS unit. Is it back to boy socut orienteering for me to start?