Budget GPS

Share navigation tips, discuss map-reading, compass use etc.

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Michael
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Budget GPS

#1 Postby Michael » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:11 pm

Hi guys,

I'm half looking to get (may do, may not, may do when student loan comes through - I'm rather indecisive at the moment!) a budget walking GPS and have been looking at some options. The two that seem best in terms of what I'm looking at are the Garmin etrex h and the Garmin geko 201. I was trying to work out what one is the newer / better of the two, some places seem to say the Geko is newer and some say the Etrex h is the newer one. On the face of it the Etrex h seems like the better model, but is there something I'm missing? I'm not after map support or anything like that - just something basic to last well, be waterproof, and give an accurate grid reference. The ability to save points and download them to a PC later would be useful as well.

Also, and more generally, do people find GPS's useful tools or do you find they take the fun out of letterboxing somewhat? I've generally seen it as the latter but especially last time I went out (I'm in south east england so it's a bit of a trek, get down there a couple of times a year though!) we stumbled across more than one box that had a 10 figure grid reference but bearings that were a few degrees out. These sorts of boxes in particular were proving very frustrating to find, and if I do get a GPS these are the sorts that I'm hoping it'd make easier and provide less frustration over!

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Sowerby Streaker
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#2 Postby Sowerby Streaker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:28 pm

Hi Michael - welcome to the forum. It might be best if you read through all the posts in the Navigation section re which type of GPS to get. This has been discussed at length and I'm sure you will find your answer in those threads. I personally use the Garmin Foretrak 201 wrist GPS - got it for £50 on ebay - brilliant for letterboxing leaving you hands free to read clues etc. I can upload the waypoints from my Track Log mapping system, then after my walk, download the walk back to my computer. Others prefer the handheld Garmins - from the very basic, to the latest ones which have touch screens and cost over £300. Good luck with the student loan :roll:

Michael
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#3 Postby Michael » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:41 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply - I'd read a few of the posts but most seemed quite old so I wasn't sure whether things had moved on a bit in GPS land since they were posted! I'll go have a more thorough look :)

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whoisthechallenger
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#4 Postby whoisthechallenger » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:02 pm

The Geko range are lightweight, simple to use and cheap. However they only have small black and white screens with low sensitivity receivers and short battery lives.

The Etrex range is much bigger, though replacements are imminent for most models, the prices are low but yet they still offer useful features. The Etrex H has the high sensititivity receiver (good around trees, tors and deep valleys) and a larger greyscale screen.

Take a look at http://www.garmin.com/uk/.

Welcome to the forum Michael.
A Dartmoor Letterboxing blog:
www.who-is-the-challenger.blogspot.com

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Sowerby Streaker
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#5 Postby Sowerby Streaker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:47 pm

WITC - have you managed to sort out a new one for yourself yet :wink:

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whoisthechallenger
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#6 Postby whoisthechallenger » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:34 pm

:D Not yet... Still saving up. We'll keep you informed.
A Dartmoor Letterboxing blog:

www.who-is-the-challenger.blogspot.com


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