"Neil R. Ormos" <>
Sent: 3/5/2007 11:55:27 AM
"GPS Stash Y! Grp" <>

Re: [GPSstash] Which GPS Device?wi

Steve Turney wrote:

> I'm thinking about thinking about getting into
> geocaching. What would be a good GPS device? I
> don't want to get a "beginners" unit then move
> up after I get experience. I want to start off
> with one I can use for a long time.

The list might be able to better assist you if you
told us a little more about your situation, such

how much you're willing to spend initially;

how much you're willing to spend over time for
map data updates;

how comfortable you are with technology (i.e.,
is initial ease of use important to you or are
you willing to invest some time in reading the

whether you have any affinity for a particular
brand (i.e., Garmin, Magellan, etc.),

whether you need a color display;

whether you want an internal compass and
barometric altimeter;

whether you prefer a unit that has a
rechargeable battery;

whether you might want to use the GPS receiver
for in-vehicle navigation; and the like.

It doesn't make much sense to recommend a $350
Garmin GPSMap 60CSX if your upper limit is $200.

If you're really insistant on expecting your first
GPS receiver to satisfy you for a long time, you
should do a lot of your own research to supplement
any recommendations you get here.

> Also, could a GPS device used for geocaching
> also be used for hiking (like in the woods).

Most GPS receivers sold in the consumer market,
excluding those designed for in-vehicle
navigation, and excluding multipurpose devices
(e.g., cell phones, PDAs, etc.), would be suitable
for hiking. The features that make a GPS receiver
good for hiking include (1) presence of
recreational navigation features, including
appropriate displays, a large number of waypoints,
deep track memories, track-back features, etc.;
(2) light weight; (3) good battery life; (4) water
resistance; and (5) a highly effective receiver
and antenna.

Receiver performance varies among brand and model
and can be important when hiking (and geocaching)
because tree cover attenuates GPS signals. As an
example, here's a web page that reports a
comparison of two high-end consumer GPS receivers,
in which one receiver appeared to perform
significantly better than another in terms of the
number of satellites the receiver was able to use
to calculate a fix. This might (or might not)
translate to better performance in the field.

--Neil Ormos