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Thread: Help for some newbies, please

  1. #1
    TheTorHunters Guest

    Default Help for some newbies, please

    Hi everyone,

    We are new to this site and have just discovered Geocaching, so are looking to get a GPS sometime soon. We are experienced hillwalkers who would like to get the best we can afford, so have been looking at the Garmin Etrex Legend/Vista HCX, Garmin GPS 60csx or Garmin Oregon 200/300 as possible contenders.

    We like a bit of technology and are trying to ensure futureproofing as far as possible - I notice that the OS have developed maps for the oregon. Are they worth the money?

    All opinions and experience would be gratefully received as this is quite a minefield!

    Many thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Hi,

    Its very much a matter of personal choice with GPS units - I have a 60csx which does me just fine. I have the Garmin Topo maps for it but recently I have been trying out Talkytoasters Opensource OS maps - which seem to work most of the time.

    Others on the forum will favour the Oregon or Colorado.

    as I say its down to personal preference - go to an outdoor shop and have a look at the differnet models - then buy online.
    Happy Caching

    Gazooks

    - Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gazooks View Post
    recently I have been trying out Talkytoasters Opensource OS maps - which seem to work most of the time.
    Interesting that - they've worked 100% of the time for me (on a Vista Cx), except when I tried the routable version, which was a bit jittery.

    go to an outdoor shop and have a look at the differnet models - then buy online.
    That's the way to do it alright.

  4. #4
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    very hard to answer. buy the most expensive unit is a method that usually works.
    get to a couple of events and beg borrow or steal a couple of units for a few mins to see what they're like.

    garmin are very good. i've been happy with my map60c for a couple of years now.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmancuso View Post
    Interesting that - they've worked 100% of the time for me (on a Vista Cx), except when I tried the routable version, which was a bit jittery.
    What I meant was the coverage of the maps - where they have been updated. The actual maps actually work well.
    Happy Caching

    Gazooks

    - Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.

  6. #6
    TheTorHunters Guest

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    I am thinking now of the Oregon 300. Has anyone used the GB discoverer maps yet and are they any good. How do you plan routes using them - on the handset or on the PC.

    Thank you for your help.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTorHunters View Post
    I am thinking now of the Oregon 300. Has anyone used the GB discoverer maps yet and are they any good. How do you plan routes using them - on the handset or on the PC.
    Thank you for your help.
    Routes can be planned on the unit. Town/city to town/city or cache to cache.

    Or if you have Memory Map on the computer routes can be transferred to the unit.

    Discoverer maps -I can recommend them.
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTorHunters View Post
    I am thinking now of the Oregon 300. Has anyone used the GB discoverer maps yet and are they any good. How do you plan routes using them - on the handset or on the PC.

    Thank you for your help.
    I used a Garmin etrex Vista HCx very successfully for 18 months - both for geocaching and walking - with its TOPO GB map. This tries to show footpaths, but are a bit hit and miss! On the other hand its very good at including canals (for towpath walks) and contour lines so as you zoom in to a cache, you can use clues about whether it is uphill or downhill of you even when it doesn't show the footpath you are on. You do have to find your own route to the cache though as you can only get it to create a route on roads. (When driving to a trailhead I use my TomTom anyway as it's much more convenient in the car.)

    I recently bought an Oregon 400t as it includes the TOPO Europe map and I'd found it frustrating to go cacheing in France and Spain when on holiday and not have any maps on my etrex. But I soon realised that the TOPO Europe map was not as good as the TOPO GB map in the UK (less detailed coverage and no canals!). So I added my TOPO GB map to it as well for cacheing in the UK. I've also bought the Discoverer GB Northern England OS map which replicates the Landranger detail. This is great for navigating along footpaths to a cache area, but if you zoom in on approaching the cache, you find the cache hidden in a blurry map! (My solution is to either use the compass page instead or to switch to a second profile using the TOPO GB map.)

    The National Parks OS Discoverer maps are more detailed and may let you zoom in more but I was unable to find out what they included geographically, and so settled on the 1:50000 map instead.

    I also suffered from the common problem of the rubber handgrip on my etrex coming loose and although Garmin have given me a free replacement it's put me off the etrex now.

    Chris
    Chris of Matthew 7:7 Too

  9. #9
    TheTorHunters Guest

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    Thank you for the info, that is interesting. So would you recommend the topo maps or the discoverer maps for caching? I am totally new to this, so want to try and get the best all round solution until I can afford to add to it. Can I also ask how you have both map sets on your Oregon, please?

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTorHunters View Post
    Thank you for the info, that is interesting. So would you recommend the topo maps or the discoverer maps for caching? I am totally new to this, so want to try and get the best all round solution until I can afford to add to it. Can I also ask how you have both map sets on your Oregon, please?
    If you like Ordnance Survey maps, go for the Discoverer. Thats what they are, OS on a GPS!

    I had Memory Map on a PDA for the maps, but the Oregon gets more time from the batteries.

    I don't think you can get both mapsets on the same unit, they use the same name for the map image...
    However, I did read on one of the forums it may be possible?
    Last edited by Bear and Ragged; 1st October 2009 at 08:56 PM.
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  11. #11

    Join Date
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTorHunters View Post
    Thank you for the info, that is interesting. So would you recommend the topo maps or the discoverer maps for caching? I am totally new to this, so want to try and get the best all round solution until I can afford to add to it. Can I also ask how you have both map sets on your Oregon, please?
    It all comes down to cost I suspect. I already had the TOPO GB maps as I'd bought them for my etrex 18 months ago, and Garmin allow you to load them onto up to 2 GPSrs (the TOPO Europe maps came with my Oregon 400t). I bought the OS Discoverer map for around 80 via Amazon, but the price has now increased to around 110. (There is a half price offer but that is only available if you pay the full price for your new Oregon -- with the discounted prices available it isn't a very good deal!)

    The latest Oregon software allows you to access as many maps as you can squeeze onto a 4MG SD card -- some users have been able to use 8MB SD cards, but others say you can still only use 4GB of it. You can also rename the maps to avoid 2 maps having the same name. I bought the OS Discoverer map on an SD card & immediately copied it onto a 4GB card. Then I added to TOPO GB map to it. The TOPO Europe card is already present in the main memory on my Oregon. There is a very useful Oregon Wiki which gives a lot of useful information about the details of this (at http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/) and there is also a useful thread on the Geocaching.com forum.

    Chris
    Chris of Matthew 7:7 Too

  12. #12

    Join Date
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    A few further comments to throw in the mix and confuse you! the discoverer maps, (AFAIK) are only 1:50,000 coverage apart from some select areas. As experienced hill walkers, I'm guessing you're used to 1:25,000 and, as such, you may not be happy returning to the 50's.

    Someone mentioned Memory Map earlier - this is a fantastic product, with 1:25,000 full coverage, HOWEVER its blinkin' expensive and won't work on Garmin units - you'll need a PDA type device. Many of us use this (including myself) and I didn't want to splash out on further OS mapping for my new Oregon. To this end, I've stuck with Talkytoasters maps (free) which are pretty good.

    One thing which I don't think is mentioned is paperless caching. Many of the more basic units will only display the coordinates, and maybe a hint. The newer and more expensive ones will give you the whole cache description, hints, logs and so on. If you want to future-proof, then this is probably the way to go.

    Depending upon where you are, find a local event and turn up for beer, chat, and a nose at other people's GPSs! (event in reigate, Surrey tonight - plug plug!) Alternatively, get in touch with some locals and see who's up for caching with you!

    HTH

    Dave

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew 7:7 Too View Post

    <snip> ... some users have been able to use 8MB SD cards, but others say you can still only use 4GB of it. <snip>
    wow, an 8Mb card with 4Gb of usable space! is that some kind of quantum thingy?

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