"What is the best GPS for geocaching out there? I have realized that I can't use my phone for navigation while trekking and now I'm looking for a geocaching GPS unit that I can use on the go."
As I read this query posted by a geocaching enthusiast, I realized that a lot of people out there encounter this issue as well. Most of the people think that their mobile phone's GPS is enough for geocaching, which is often wrong. When you are out in the wilderness and have no signal, a dedicated handheld GPS for geocaching would be a lifesaver. Though, it is important to have the best GPS for geocaching with you. In this guide, I'm going to tell you how to pick a good GPS for geocaching with some expert suggestions.
Often known as modern-day treasure hunting, geocaching lets us look for various caches (hidden objects) the world over. For this, participants are needed to know the exact coordinates (longitude and latitude) of the cache that they need to find. Although, some geocaches might be available in the city, most of them are hidden in the wilderness. Therefore, to find a geocache, you are supposed to hike or walk a lot in the wild, which can be difficult.
If you only rely on your smartphone, then you can get disappointed. For instance, it can get damaged during the hike or might lose network in the wild as well. In this case, you can get lost without knowing your way. That is why, a geocaching GPS device is needed to help you navigate to the cache and find your way back home. Most of the geocaching GPS units have dedicated channel satellite support for GPS and are pretty sturdy so that you can use them outdoors easily.
Now when you know the importance of a good GPS for geocaching, you are ready to pick a reliable device. Since there are so many options for geocaching GPS devices out there, you can consider the following things in mind.
This is certainly the most important thing that you should look for in a geocaching GPS unit. The device should have a good basemap so that it can provide exact navigation for the designated location. Also, get to know about the number of channels that it supports. Most of the good GPS for geocaching units support around 12 channels.
If you are in an emergency, then you want your geocaching GPS device to be responsive. Get to know how fast it would lock the satellite signals and its efficiency to re-route the navigation. Make sure that you check its working on a cloudy day to get better results.
- Dimensions and screen size
Ideally,the best GPS for geocaching should be a handheld device, smaller than your smartphone. In this way, we can easily keep it safe in our pocket or place it on bikes as well. Also, note the screen size of the unit as it should display everything without any visibility errors. Most of the units have a display size of 2.2-inches, which is acceptable.
- Power source and battery life
Since you would be using the geocaching GPS tracker outdoors, you won't have an active power source. That is why it is recommended to know the kind of power source the geocaching GPS has so that you can keep some spare AA or AAA batteries. Also, check for how long it can operate so that its battery life won't ditch you in an emergency.
- Water resistant
Thankfully, most of the handheld GPS for geocaching units are water resistant so they can be used in a sturdy way. Nevertheless, you should check the exact standard of water resistance for the geocaching GPS you are interested in. I would recommend getting a geocaching GPS unit with IPX7 standard that allows it to be in water till 30 minutes without damage.
- Other features
There are several other features of the geocaching GPS devices that you can check. For instance, it should not be too heavy to carry and must be easy to operate. Some people prefer a touchscreen, but since it can be broken, you can get a geocaching GPS unit with a rocker keypad. Also, check features like its external antenna jack, interface jack, and its memory to store certain routes.
Last, but most importantly, have a prior budget in your head while picking the best GPS for geocaching. Since there are so many options out there, an estimated budget will help you pick the best handheld GPS for geocaching without overspending.
As you can see, there can be so many things to consider while picking a good GPS for geocaching. Keeping these things in mind, I have listed the three best GPS for geocaching options that you can try.
1.Magellan eXplorist GC Waterproof Geocaching GPS
If you have a limited budget, then you can consider buying Magellan eXplorist GC waterproof geocaching GPS as it is available at under $80. It has a 2.2-inch screen to display the map and can be connected directly to the geocaching website. The geocaching GPS is easy to use and comes pre-loaded with thousands of geocache locations the world over.
- Easy to use with different control buttons and simple graphics
- Has an inbuilt 2.2-inch screen to display the map and other options
- It comes inbuilt with thousands of geocache locations that you can browse.
- Extremely sensitive SiRFstarIII GPS that has an accuracy of up to 3 meters.
- Waterproof (IPX7) with battery durability of 18 hours (runs on 2 AA batteries)
2.Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
If you are looking for the best Garmin GPS for geocaching in a budget, then you can try the eTtex 10 model. It is waterproof, super-easy to use, and has decent battery life. The geocaching GPS can be used by kids and adults alike.
- This Garmin GPS geocaching device comes with a worldwide basemap and has a 2.2-inch screen.
- The GPS technology is powered by WAAS with HotFix and GLONASS support to provide accurate positioning in less time.
- You can work with both GPS and GLONASS satellites at the same time (so that you would never be lost).
- It runs on 2 AA batteries that provide a battery life of up to 25 hours.
- The Garmin GPS geocaching unit is IPX7 standard waterproof and can sustain in water for 30 minutes.
3.Garmin eTrex 22x Waterproof Geocaching GPS
If you are looking for the best GPS for geocaching and hiking, then eTrex 22x by Garmin should be your pick. While the Garmin GPS geocaching device has a higher price tag, it does come with tons of add-on features to justify that.
- Both GPS and GLONASS satellite systems are inbuilt to ensure that you get the right navigation no matter where you go.
- It has an inbuilt memory of 8 GB and supports SD cards as well. You can save coordinates and the entire navigation routes in this Garmin GPS geocaching unit.
- It has a 2.2-inch sunlight-readable display with dedicated buttons on the side for seamless use.
- Comes with preloaded Topo Active maps for hikers, bikers, and geocaching players
- Waterproof with a battery life of up to 25 hours (runs on 2 AA batteries)
I'm sure that after reading this guide, you would be able to pick the best GPS for geocaching. I have provided an honest experience of using some geocaching GPS devices and what major things you need to consider while picking a geocaching GPS. Furthermore, I have even suggested some Magellan and Garmin GPS geocaching device options that you can explore on your own. If you still have any queries about picking the best GPS device for geocaching, then let me know about it in the comments below.
Have a happy (and safe) geocaching experience!