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Thread: Newbie help - equipment

  1. #1
    Kelgrath Guest


    Having been pointed at the main website a few days ago, I'm just starting out. What's the best receiver to get?

    So far I've found one cache by maps alone. I guess it would be a lot easier with the proper equipment!

    I'm looking at a budget of about 100 quid or so, so I realise I'm not going to get an all-singing, all-dancing model, but what can I get for my money? What features can I expect to get? Obviously a PC link would be a big advantage, as would proper maps, but how much extra do you pay for these features. What features should I be looking for?

    Cheers in advance for the help!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Ringwood, Hampshire


    Hello, Kelgrath. First of all, I'm no expert but I am also a newcomer to geocaching (about 6 weeks) and I hope this will be of benefit to you. I bought a Garmin Geko 201 for 119.99 at Maplin Electronics after doing a fair bit of research on the internet. I used it to find 4 caches (I found its accuracy very good) but then my head was turned by the Garmin eTrex Vista, after a bloke in our pub said he wanted to buy the Geko. Now he's changed his mind! The Geko is an excellent entry-level unit and I would recommend it to you. Happy caching! By the way, I've found that the forums on are far more frequently used than these. Cheers!
    It only takes one drink to get me drunk, but I can never remember if it was the thirteenth or fourteenth.

  3. #3
    Kouros Guest


    First of all, welcome! Now...

    We recently bought my sister a Geko 101 from and while setting it up with a few caches for her (it was a Chrimbo present and we thought that it would be nice if she could "go" from opening it up) I realised it was a very impressive GPS for the price, especially considering that it is so small and light.

    It does have a downside - you can't plug it into your computer to download longitude and latitude. For this reason, it may be worth buying the 201 as Lois recommends, but do bear in mind that you may have to pay extra for the cable.

    Another alternative (though a little more bulky) would be the Fortuna GPSmart which you should be able to find for about 90 - this does have the ability to connect to PC's, but again, you may have to pay extra for it.

    In terms of mapping capabilities, the GPS I've listed will give a "relative" map of your location (that is to say, the screen will show you, and any nearby waypoints you've logged into the unit). For propers maps, you will have to spend more - the cheapest that I am aware of is the Garmin eTrex Legend, though if anyone knows better, please feel free to correct me.

    To be completely honest though, for most needs, you will only require the most basic of units - anything extra that may be offered by more expensive units are luxuries, sure, but it is very easy to get by without them. If you can read a map (and it is evident that you can) you will not suffer any detrimental effect from using a standard Geko 101, 201, or even the bulky (and somewhat ugly, to be honest) Fortuna GPSmart and keeping the relevant OS map to hand just in case of any emergencies - actually, I would recommend this anyway, in case your batteries run out.

    In terms of forums to look at, there's quite a wealth of them about. Those at are very popular, but it may also be worth having a look at those at as well, as there are a number of well-informed individuals who are regulars there. I would also hasten to add that keeping an eye on these fora would also be well worth your time, especially in the coming months.

    Hope this all helps, and welcome (once again) to the addiction!

  4. #4
    BugznElm'r Guest


    The only maps that really don't disappoint are OS maps (like Memory Map). These, loaded onto a PDA connected to a GPS are the best! Downside however is price ...

    Mapping on most of the GPSrs out there is really aimed at driving.

  5. #5
    Kelgrath Guest


    Cheers for the help guys.

    It's given me a few pointers to go have a look. Looks like I'll do my usual trick: Go play with a few in the shops then order online for half the price

  6. #6
    Paul G0TLG Guest


    Welcome Kelgrath!

    Kouros mentioned globalpositioning up above somewhere...just thought I'd add my five eggs and say, you probably won't find a cheaper source in the UK. I've used them a couple of times and have found their service faultless.

    Needless to say, I'm nothing to do with the company, just a very satisfied customer.


  7. #7
    paul.blitz Guest


    The first GPSr we bought was an eTrex yellow, and it still works fine (although we now have other GPSr's to). The newer Geko units are even nicer....

    Official Garmin serial cables are a bit pricy, so you might like to look at Lynks Cables ... they even sell the plugs if you want to make your own cables up.


  8. #8
    Sheards Guest


    Just to chip in, I did find a Garmin eTrex Venture cheaper somewhere other than, but when I spoke to them about it, they not only matched the pre-delivery price, but included free delivery and 4 AA batteries. Another recommendatin for (No link other than as a happy customer).

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