Trees, Trees Everywhere!!!
My Garmin Etrex seems to give me a lot of problems whenever I am in any kind of tree cover, especially on cloudy days. The manual warns about dense tree cover all right, but I may as well not even use the thing at all, even with a light tree density. It also says clouds and weather will not affect it, but that's not what I've experienced. Admittedly, I don't put brand new batteries in it every time I use it, but I would think that as long as the battery indicator is above half I should expect reasonable performance. I would expect a few problems below half battery strength. Are my expectations too high? Also, I have never had an accuracy reading below about 20 feet in any conditions. Is that about normal? I appreciate any comments or suggestions you more experienced folks might have for me.
I have the Etrex Vista and at times under really heavy tree cover I tend to lose signal but not as a rule.I think most every GPS will lose signal under really heavy cover ,at least that is what I have read in other forums. I think most of us tend to get a little anxious when we are caching and not give the GPS time to really track the satelites. I know when I am under really heavy cover and I still have a signal I will just stop and let it do its thing and usually within a couple of minutes it will finally settle down and give a better and more accurate signal. A far as the 20 ft rule, well I tend to think that is about as close as you will get most times. I know when I travel in my car ,as I have one of those windshield suction mounts, I have seen the signal get as low as 8 ft. When caching I have zeroed out on many occasions but mostly when there are clear skies and very little cover. Hope that allays some of your concerns and I know you will get more responses but that is just my 2 cents.
I kinda agree with Haffy. I've found that the "move then wait" technique seems to agree with my eTrex Legend. If I keep moving in heavy cover, I'm going to have to backtrack, ALWAYS.
I have found that clouds affect my Etrex slightly. I was on the ocean on the 5th in fog. (It really is a blast to navigate with GPS and no visibility, but go slow, be familiar with the area, and know how to navigate without it!) Normally I get about 8 ft accuracy, but the best I could do that day was 17 ft. Otherwise, I agree with Haffy too.