|Geocaching GPS Features to Consider|
|by Jesse Sampson on April 13, 2009 1041 views
Geocaching is a great game created for GPS enthusiasts around
the world. With hundreds of thousands of geocaches world wide, this
games can be enjoyed by everyone everywhere. All you need is a GPS with
suitable features. What GPS should you choose for geocaching. Here are
some feature considerations.
Mapping - Mapping is a feature
that makes navigating to the geocache with your GPS a little easier.
There are many types of maps available for compatible GPS devices, such
as street and topographic maps. Topographic maps are popular amongst
geocachers because they provide a lot of detail that is useful when
searching for a geocache in the great outdoors. Topographic maps also
have a non-routeable street map layer. When geocaching the road
routing feature is not necessary. When choosing a mapping handheld for
geocaching be sure to check what types of maps and features are offer
by the manufacturer.
Memory - GPS units for geocaching come with
various memory capacities and most will have external memory card
capabilities. If you buy a mapping handheld the you will want a lot of
internal memory (~1Gb) and or external memory capabilities. The most
commonly use memory type in GPS devices today is SD or micro SD
(Transflash). Some mapping comes on preprogrammed memory cards making
the external memory capability a must.
Paperless Geocaching - This is a new feature found
in some GPS devices. It allows you to view allot more information about
a geocache on your GPS. With paperless geo-caching you can see the
description and hints on your unit instead of printing or writing down
the hints on paper. It is another way to do your part in minimizing
your impact on mother earth.
Digital Compass - GPS units without a digital
compass can give you a bearing but you first must move a few feet in a
straight line to determine your heading. A cacher can use the digital
compass to point to the geocache without moving in any direction to
determine you heading. The only draw back is reduced battery life
compared to a model without a digital compass.
External Antenna - An external antenna is helpful
for handheld gps models that do not use a high sensitivity GPS
receiver. External antenna's are used when reception is poor using the
internal antenna of the GPS. You can attach an external GPS antenna and
position it where it receives better reception (more sky view) and
still have the handheld easily accessible.
Waterproof - A waterproof GPS is key when
geocaching. Geocaching is a enjoyable hobby and you will find yourself
outdoors a lot more in all types of weather.
Computer interface and compatibility is important. You can always
manually key in your Geocache coordinates. Some GPS devices
allow you to download from the geocaching website directly you your GPS
using a special Internet Browser add-on. Some low end GPS
units come with older technology to communicate with your PC such as
Serial (RS-232). The serial interface is not supported in
most new PCs or Laptops. Newer units come USB ready which is
supported by PC and MAC computers. Using USB is the eiasier way to
communicate with a GPS.
User Interface- An easy to use interface will make
your geocaching adventure more enjoyable. The most common GPS for
geocaching has a rocker for controlling a map cursur and various
buttons to access the units features. If you are willing to spend a
little more some handheld GPS devices suitable for geocaching come with
a touch screen. Touch screen units are great for viewing maps on a GPS
and the tend to have simplified menu's.
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