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Nuvi for geocaching?

#1 User is offline   samsclan 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:40 AM

Has anyone ever tried to use a Garmin Nuvi for geocaching? We tried and found it very difficult to lock onto coordinates. We were trying the Nuvi 200. But I just read that the Nuvi's come with the high-sensitivity WAAS-enabled. So shouldnt the Nuvi's lock on coordinates as well as the handheld units with the Waas? Just wondering if anyone else has had luck or no luck using a Nuvi for geocaching. I mean, despite the obvious problems with using it in the field (not waterproof, bulky item, etc) it seems like if it can lock on as well as others that it could be something to consider since it comes preloaded with regional maps. Anybody have an opinion??? thanks

#2 User is offline   Sassygeogirl 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:52 AM

View Postsamsclan, on Jan 10 2008, 07:40 AM, said:

Has anyone ever tried to use a Garmin Nuvi for geocaching? We tried and found it very difficult to lock onto coordinates. We were trying the Nuvi 200. But I just read that the Nuvi's come with the high-sensitivity WAAS-enabled. So shouldnt the Nuvi's lock on coordinates as well as the handheld units with the Waas? Just wondering if anyone else has had luck or no luck using a Nuvi for geocaching. I mean, despite the obvious problems with using it in the field (not waterproof, bulky item, etc) it seems like if it can lock on as well as others that it could be something to consider since it comes preloaded with regional maps. Anybody have an opinion??? thanks


I have a Nuvi 200w and it just isn't precise enough. I use it in conjunction with a handheld. I program the Nuvi (we affectionaly named it "NuNu") w/the geocaches and use it to guide us to the general location, then fire up the handheld for more precision.

#3 User is offline   samsclan 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 08:04 AM

why is that?? I am new to this gps thing but can you tell me why, if both the Nuvi and handheld are waas endabled -- why are they both not equally accurate with readings? Yours is the same experience we had. the nuvi would get us close, but rarely "there". thanks agian for your help

#4 User is offline   cowboyshootist 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 11:34 AM

View Postsamsclan, on Jan 10 2008, 08:04 AM, said:

why is that?? I am new to this gps thing but can you tell me why, if both the Nuvi and handheld are waas endabled -- why are they both not equally accurate with readings? Yours is the same experience we had. the nuvi would get us close, but rarely "there". thanks agian for your help


I suspect that it is not the accuracy of the gps but rather the accuracy of the maps on the Nuvi. First off, the Nuvi doesn't have ToPo maps so the level of detail is going to be less when you're off-road. If you're trying to route to the cache with the Nuvi you probably need to select Off-Road instead of Vehicle navigation as I believe that with Vehicle navigation it will lock you onto the nearest road.

The other thing you have to remember is that geocache locations are not always 100% accurate as people sometimes do move the cache around, even slightly.

#5 User is offline   samsclan 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:24 PM

soooo, does that mean that if i go ahead and purchase a handheld model to use -- that it will likely respond the same as the nuvi unless i also purchase the topo maps as well? I do realize that people move caches, get coor wrong, etc., and I actually like the challenge that the nuvi gives us by only getting us "in the ballpark". But I am trying to justify purchasing a handheld to use for caching as we were getting pretty frustrated with trying to locate a needle in a haystack when the nuvi only gets you to within 50 feet or so. And you are right, the nuvi does lock on the roads -- also presenting another very obvious challenge when trying to find a cache in the woods. We did try using the pedestrian mode to overide that problem, just didnt seem to help much. Just trying to figure out, before i spend the money, whether a handheld will make that much difference in trying to locate caches and why. Thinking about a etrex legend or vista hcx.

#6 User is offline   Chuy! 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:28 PM

I have a Nuvi 660; the maps zoom down to only 120 feet. That is not good enough. I tried caching off the map page on my handheld that zooms down to 20 feet, and that was difficult enough.

If you have a satellite page, you'll have better success - just line up the #s. That how I use mine when I have to (forget the handheld at home :grin: ).

BTW, WAAS and high sensitivity are two different things. WAAS helps with accuracy; high sensitivity chip helps with securing a signal under less than ideal conditions (canyons, trees overhead, etc...).

#7 User is offline   nljones 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:31 PM

You should set the nuvi to pedestrian and off-road and maybe that will get you closer. I've tried my 650 and it says I'm there when I've still fifty feet or more from the cache (I already knew where cache was). I haven't tried it with the Waas enabled yet. A handhelp compass may also help.

#8 User is offline   cowboyshootist 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:50 PM

View Postsamsclan, on Jan 10 2008, 12:24 PM, said:

soooo, does that mean that if i go ahead and purchase a handheld model to use -- that it will likely respond the same as the nuvi unless i also purchase the topo maps as well? I do realize that people move caches, get coor wrong, etc., and I actually like the challenge that the nuvi gives us by only getting us "in the ballpark". But I am trying to justify purchasing a handheld to use for caching as we were getting pretty frustrated with trying to locate a needle in a haystack when the nuvi only gets you to within 50 feet or so. And you are right, the nuvi does lock on the roads -- also presenting another very obvious challenge when trying to find a cache in the woods. We did try using the pedestrian mode to overide that problem, just didnt seem to help much. Just trying to figure out, before i spend the money, whether a handheld will make that much difference in trying to locate caches and why. Thinking about a etrex legend or vista hcx.


Not necessarily. It would depend on the quality of maps loaded into the handheld. There are several models that include decent Topo maps and I would probably go for one of those. The Etrex and the Garmin 60C would be good places to start. You might also look at the Magelln Explorist or Triton handhelds as another option.

#9 User is offline   Cacheoholic 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:56 PM

The biggest problem is the nuvi doesn’t have a compass page. The next problem is, even when set to “Off Road” the nuvi only counts down distance to 30’ then throws a checkered flag that you have arrived. If you stand still and do the “Go To” again the nuvi will show distances of less than 30’ but as soon as you move you get the checkered flag. Also remember that your location is the center of the arrow head not the tip. This can cause error. Does the nuvi 200 show a satellite screen when you touch the signal strength bars? If it does, there’s the coords. Get close with the map, switch over to coords and go to the posted coords of the Geocache. It’s a bit of fooling around but every bit as accurate as any handheld GPS. Remember, the GPS is only taking you to the posted coords. The Geocache hider is often times 50’ - 100’ off.

#10 User is offline   nljones 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:02 PM

You should set the nuvi to pedestrian and off-road and maybe that will get you closer. I've tried my 650 and it says I'm there when I've still fifty feet or more from the cache (I already knew where cache was). I haven't tried it with the Waas enabled yet. A handhelp compass may also help.

#11 User is offline   FantasticCat 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:12 PM

I have been using a Nuvi 300 for geocaching for 3 months. It is a stop-gap whilst waiting/deciding whether to buy a Triton, but is an excellent stop gap. It has a max battery life of 4 hours, but if you are driving you can recharge. It is not rugged, but have had no problems with that. Inputting is easy with a touch screen and it is pretty accurate- have found loads of caches with it. Just bought my brother and is wife one as a delayed wedding present. I love it as a car satnav also, although I don't have any experience of any other models.

#12 User is offline   apersson850 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:07 PM

The accuracy regarding a point on the map is no issue with the nüvi. When searching for a cache, you are looking for a point you've created on the unit, not something that's on the map.

Not being able to see well enough where you are, on the map, is an issue.
That a nüvi 200 has the antenna on the underside, and thus suffer from inferior reception when carried in you hand, is another issue.
That the nüvi says you have arrived, when you are within a distance from where you easily would spot a house (the main purpose of a car navigator), is a third issue.
That the nüvi 200 doesn't show the coordinates in a screen that updates continously, hence making coordinate matching difficult, is a fourth issue. The 250W will do that, though.
The lack of a compass screen is a fifth issue.

On the whole, a Zumo 550 is a much better road navigator for geocaching than the nüvi is. A lot better is of course an outdoor unit like the GPSmap 60 CSx or the Colorado. All issues above are moot points with these units.

#13 User is offline   Lknot 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:47 PM

I heard of someone getting accuracy of two feet, on the satellite page, while using an external antenna.

#14 User is offline   asromzek 

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 04:38 PM

Bought a nuvi 200 last week and went searching for my first cache the next day. Setting it to pedestrian mode as well as offroad mode got me to within 10 feet of where I needed to be. Unfortunately it was too dark and I never found what I was looking for, but the gps did the job. I was really worried dropping it in the snow, since it is rather fragile.

Since I had a little money left over after christmas, I ended up purchasing a Garmin Vista HCx the next day. The nuvi gets me close by vehicle, and the vista finishes the job. One thing I didnt' like about the nuvi was it didn't have ability to save tracks or routes, which makes it a little difficult to hike with. You can mark your vehicle, but it simply gives you a straight line back to it with no bread crumb trail. I also picked up a 2GB micro SD card and the 2008 topo maps. So far it seems to be a killer setup. :grin:

#15 User is offline   samsclan 

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 06:33 AM

I would like to thank all of you that took the time to explain this topic to me. I think I now understand how the nuvi works and therefore why it has the limitations that it has in the field and with zeroing in on coordinates. This makes it much easier to determine why the expense of the handheld would be worth the money. I will try to find a good used handheld. Gotta keep the expense down since our six year old is hooked on "treasure hunting" and likes to "help" hold the gps unit. Thanks again for the help.

#16 User is offline   Nuvinian 

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:44 PM

I got the Nuvi 200 for Christmas and knew nothing about Geocashing. I heard the term on the news and googled it. For three days now I have successfully found eight cashes. When I drive to my destination I change the mode to "off road" and it works fine when walking. The reception has been no problem even in wooded areas. It has literally brought me to within 5 feet. Normally around 10-20 feet. The only limits I have is the amount of time to cache. The Nuvi 200 has been great for me and I dont know why others have put it down. Go look at my posts to verify. Hope this helps. Good luck with your purchase and caching.

This post has been edited by Nuvinian: 19 February 2008 - 12:46 PM


#17 User is offline   partimcmpr 

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:55 PM

Hand helds also have other features which are useful for geocaching. For example, a recent cache required a waypoint to be projected based on some clues in the area of the original waypoint. I am not sure if this could be done on other 'navigation GPSr's.

ParTimCmpr

From Vista HCx owner's manual;
Projecting a Waypoint - Create a new waypoint by projecting the distance and a bearing from one location to a new location.
Vista HCx User's Manual

#18 User is offline   palewryter 

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  Posted 20 February 2008 - 07:19 PM

I have a nuvi 200W and have fantastic success when set to pedestrian and off-road modes- it's not unusual for it to get me to within 5' of the cache site... and when it's off by 10' or more, I assume that the cache has been moved from the original coordinates. Overall, a good dual-purpose unit- as long as it is handled reasonably well and protected from the elements!

#19 User is offline   pinegold 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 12:34 PM

:) I just got a NUVI 200 to use on my motorcycle. Then realized it could also be used for geocaching. I think it works great. Once got right on the numbers and the cache was hidden immediately below. It does not have an active coordinate readout screen, but I quickly found how to overcome that. It gets you close by road as auto navigator, then switch to pedestrian mode. Then get as close as you can using the dashboard screen feet to go readout. And finally use coordinate screen to find your current position, move a little if you have to and refresh the screen to update actual position coordinates until you are at the location. Doing this a few times, becomes habit and I feel is very accurate.

#20 User is offline   Chuy! 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 12:41 PM

Maybe the coordinate screen is a new feature. Past threads indicated the Nuvi 200 did not have a satellite screen. Or is your "coordinate readout screen" a different screen? I'm just asking for others. My Nuvi 660 has a satellite screen.

#21 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 01:08 PM

I recently got a Nuvi 200W, and I absolutely LOVE it for getting to the park. I also use a GSAK macro to load in cache information using POILoader so I can use it for semi-paperless caching. But to use it instead of a field GPS for actually hunting the cache would be to use the wrong tool for the job. Even in pedestrian and offroad modes, it simply wasn't designed for that purpose.

#22 User is offline   Motorcycle_Mama 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 02:45 PM

View Postpinegold, on Apr 1 2008, 04:34 PM, said:

I just got a NUVI 200 to use on my motorcycle.

Yikes. Be careful doing that. The nuvi isn't waterproof and the nuvi line in general is fairly fragile and not designed for use in an outdoor environment and definitely not designed to take bumps and bruises. Also, be sure that the mount you use on the bike is extremely securely and you might want to think about using a tether as well.

This post has been edited by Motorcycle_Mama: 01 April 2008 - 02:45 PM


#23 User is offline   Chuy! 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 09:11 PM

View PostMotorcycle_Mama, on Apr 1 2008, 03:45 PM, said:

View Postpinegold, on Apr 1 2008, 04:34 PM, said:

I just got a NUVI 200 to use on my motorcycle.

Yikes. Be careful doing that. The nuvi isn't waterproof and the nuvi line in general is fairly fragile and not designed for use in an outdoor environment and definitely not designed to take bumps and bruises. Also, be sure that the mount you use on the bike is extremely securely and you might want to think about using a tether as well.

Waterproof is a concern on motorcycles, but too fragile for it? On a dirt bike or ATV, yes, but most road bikes ride smoother than trucks. I put 60K on a Yamaha Radian 600; it rode significantly smoother than my 2007 Tacoma. I also rode a 1971 Honda 175 Twin in high school. As I recall that bike also rode relatively smoother. I miss that old bike.

#24 User is offline   Motorcycle_Mama 

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 03:15 AM

Harleys certainly aren't without vibration. ;) And the majority of bikes experience much more vibration, (particularly at the point at which most people would attach a GPS unit, the handlebars) than most cars.

#25 User is offline   silenthunder26 

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:37 AM

I recieved a nuvi 200 and thats what I first started geocaching with it and I had some pretty good results most of the time. Some times not so good but I recently bought the garmin 60Csx and I almost felt like I was cheating it was such a drastic difference. Living in a city I really need the street maps to help me get me the closest before I get out of the truck so Im using both together until I get the street navigator for the hand held ...Im just waiting until the 2009 maps are released

#26 User is offline   rvjn 

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 11:49 AM

View Postsamsclan, on Jan 10 2008, 08:40 AM, said:

Has anyone ever tried to use a Garmin Nuvi for geocaching? We tried and found it very difficult to lock onto coordinates. We were trying the Nuvi 200. But I just read that the Nuvi's come with the high-sensitivity WAAS-enabled. So shouldnt the Nuvi's lock on coordinates as well as the handheld units with the Waas? Just wondering if anyone else has had luck or no luck using a Nuvi for geocaching. I mean, despite the obvious problems with using it in the field (not waterproof, bulky item, etc) it seems like if it can lock on as well as others that it could be something to consider since it comes preloaded with regional maps. Anybody have an opinion??? thanks


I have a Nuvi 350 (WAAS enabled) that I have been using for Geocaching for 2 months now with great success! (got 212 caches so far). When I get within the cache area I switch to the satilite screen that shows the coordinates and from there it's an easy matter to walk directly to the cache coordinates. On two occassions I got to it faster then another couple using handhelds (which had only arrows to follow). In Quartzsite (first 55 caches) I was always withing 2-4 feet if the caches. In Yuma, however, I was usually 5-25 feet. But then Yuma is noted for making the hunting more challenging! :lol:

#27 User is offline   pilotsnipes 

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 03:20 PM

Hi,

I've had fantastic success with the Nuvi.

Here's a tutorial for the 7xx series, the 3xx series is coming soon, but all nuvis are so similar that the gist is the same for all.

http://forums.Ground...howtopic=190042

#28 User is offline   yehawdude 

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 07:22 PM

Has anyone tried the Nuvi 500? It supposedly is made for Geocaching... supports paperless caching, has topo maps, etc. Too good to be true? And it's only in a non-widescreen version, as far as I can tell.

https://buy.garmin.c...p.do?pID=13424#

#29 User is offline   Redwoods Mtn Biker 

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:29 AM

I have, but I think there have been some firmware improvements since my review.

#30 User is offline   anndeefam 

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:43 PM

I don't think I'm repeating anyone so I'll go ahead and give my opinion on this issue. If your going to do any serious caching you must use a handheld. That said I would never go caching without my Nuvi. I download all the caches of the area that I'm caching in for the day in my Nuvi. This way my Nuvi informs me when I'm close to caches and I can either tell nuvi to drive me to the cache or I can at least see the roads to the cache, this way I save time and gasoline. Then when I park I use my handheld to take me to ground zero.

#31 User is offline   christopher1968 

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:39 PM

OK I just came back from the Anza Borrego desert and some geocaching. Using a Nuvi 200w. Pretty successful too. Found 8 of the 10 we went after. However, I downloaded the caches to the nuvi in hopes that I could read and manually enter the coords into my e-trex. No go couldn't figure out how to display the coords on the nuvi. Little fustrating that it kept trying to send us back to the main raod. We just scaled out until we could see the cache and drove over to it. All in all very accurate and lots of fun for a $120 nav unit.

#32 User is offline   Chrysalides 

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 10:33 PM

View Postchristopher1968, on Jan 5 2009, 08:39 PM, said:

However, I downloaded the caches to the nuvi in hopes that I could read and manually enter the coords into my e-trex. No go couldn't figure out how to display the coords on the nuvi. Little fustrating that it kept trying to send us back to the main raod. We just scaled out until we could see the cache and drove over to it. All in all very accurate and lots of fun for a $120 nav unit.

If you use the Nuvi macro for GSAK, and have the caches as custom POIs in the Nuvi, you can easily see the coordinates.

#33 User is offline   red_w_wings 

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 11:25 PM

I think that the model Nuvi that you have makes a big difference. Not all are WAAS enabled. I have a Nuvi 360 and I can get within 3-6 feet pretty consistantly...it runs a good race against my geo buddies garmin and magellan. Again don't forget to be a pedestrian/off road.

#34 User is offline   Cacheoholic 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 06:10 AM

View Postchristopher1968, on Jan 5 2009, 08:39 PM, said:

OK I just came back from the Anza Borrego desert and some geocaching. Using a Nuvi 200w. Pretty successful too. Found 8 of the 10 we went after. However, I downloaded the caches to the nuvi in hopes that I could read and manually enter the coords into my e-trex. No go couldn't figure out how to display the coords on the nuvi. Little fustrating that it kept trying to send us back to the main raod. We just scaled out until we could see the cache and drove over to it. All in all very accurate and lots of fun for a $120 nav unit.


Sounds like you might have “Lock on roads” enabled.

Nuvi for Geocaching? Sure it will work. But it’s kind of like my younger days when I’d haul 1 ton of firewood on a ½ ton pickup. It got the job done but wasn’t the right tool for the job. I’ve bought 7 nuvi’s. My parents have one, father-in-law has one, wife has one, daughter has one, son has one, sold one and mine got stolen. I feel no need to replace mine at this point since my Oregon is serving me pretty well for auto navigation and Geocaching. I think many of the folks posting this thread have only ever used a nuvi to geocache and never experienced a good high sensitivity handheld GPS.

#35 User is offline   texasfords 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:45 AM

New to geocaching and have a Nuvi 200W.

Once we drive to the area, I switch to the "Where am I?" page (you can do this by touching the vehicle icon) and the coordinates update as we walk. It does not have an arrow to guide you, so you have to know directions (or use a compass) and how to read the coordinates. The only problem I have had is that the touch screen is sensitive and it will sometimes go to another page.

The biggest plus is that I was able to use it intuitively while my husband is still reading the manual for a Magellan that someone loaned us.

After watching the Geocaching DVD we saw the definite advantages of having a portable; however, we are seeing how long the interest in this current family hobby lasts before purchasing a handheld. LOL. Just like any other hobby, you invest in it as your interest and skill grow...

#36 User is offline   EScout 

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:27 AM

The value of the Nuvi for geocaching is the many people who can try it since they already have one. see the above posts, or this one in the Nuvi Paperless Tutorial Thread by a new cacher:

"This tutorial is killer! I have done one cache and barely learned about the sport, and with little time and effort I am ready to rock with several caches programmed into my Nuvi! Thanks a ton for your work! You rock!"

With the easy GSAK macro, we can load our friends Nuvis and they can see all the caches as they drive in their area and try some. Many Nuvis have another neat feature GPS newbies might enjoy. (hint: see below link in my sig line)

#37 User is offline   Happy Landins 

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:07 AM

I've been using my Nuvi 300 for a while now and I've just found how to get the thing to behave more like a handheld GPS with accuracy down to 2 feet.

1. I use the "go to coordinates" option [Where to - down arrow - Coordinates (enter coords) then GO]

2. When I am getting close I change the settings to pedestrian [Settings - Navigation - Route preference=off road - Vehicle=Pedestrian]

This gives the familiar purple line which is sort of like the arrow on a regular GPS

Now this is the clever bit. . . .

3. Tap on the bar across the top of the screen. A step by step navigation screen appears at the bottom of the screen

4. Tap on the step by step screen and another screen appears with a vertical division

5. As soon as you get close - say 500ft - (may be a bit closer) a circle appears with an arrow. It may be a bit closer than 500 feet - - try it till you see the circle appear at the bottom of the screen.

The arrow is really like the arrow on the regular GPS. It points at the cache location. And the countdown changes to show a 10 foot countdown (100 - 90 - 80 - 70 - 60 ) when you are less than 100 feet away, and then single foot counting (like 6 feet) when you are close (20-19-18 - -- 6-5-4-3-2) . the arrow point to the cache location.

This gives you as much accuracy as you would get on any GPS.

#38 User is offline   hoyshnin 

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 06:37 AM

Anyone who's nuvi caching should read and use this excellent webpage - http://geocaching.totaltechworld.com/

#39 User is offline   small oaks 

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 02:02 PM

Nuvi 500 / 550 series is now very good in geocaching. Just copy gpx in it and you get cache descriptions, hints and last logs and caches with different cache type icons on map view. I have used topo maps of my country with it and it works fine also in offroad mode with compass view almost like in real handheld gps.

#40 User is offline   rabbithutch 

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 09:29 PM

This has been a great thread for me. Before I start I want to thank the OP and everyone who has replied.

I'm a geezer but a noob to GC. I know only the very little that I've read on the 'net; and that, of course, can be very confusing. I have an old Street Pilot (NOT suitable for GC IMO) and a very old Magellan brick (prob. not GC friendly). Being retired, I don't have extra cash; so need to spend wisely and had about convinced myself that a Nuvi 1300 would be the best buy for me and the bride (which would rule out buying a unit to dedicate to GC). Reading this thread gives me hope that I can buy a Nuvi and still enjoy the kind of not-too-rigorous GCing that I can do. At least until I find the limits of a Nuvi for the GCing that I will do. :blink:

The problem is that I don't know much about either GCing or vehicle GPS systems (or hand-held GC-friendly units). I have lots of questions, but I'll only ask a couple - OK 3 - of them here.

1) How can I determine whether or not a particular Nuvi has WAAS? (Specifically the 1300).

2) Is the Garmin Nuvi 1300 series suitable for the needs I described above or is there another Nuvi series I should look closely at? The 1300 at $120 sounds like a bargain but I've spent money unwisely before

23) Why are there 2 types of GPSr? It seems to me that Garmin could make topo maps for the Nuvi. Surely that cannot be more memory or processing intensive than all the street names, POIs, traffic, et al functions made for the motorist's use. (Remember that I confessed my ignorance up front).


Would be great if the admins here could create a forum for Nuvi and other motorist's unit posts.

#41 User is offline   Redwoods Mtn Biker 

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:06 AM

@rabbithutch - I don't think newer nuvis have WAAS capabilities, as it is of little use in road units.

Check out the nuvi 500/550. They offer paperless geocaching and a compass (though the screen is smaller).

You can add free topo maps to any nuvi. A good source is http://gpsfiledepot.com

#42 User is offline   Border Caz 

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:42 AM

I currently use a Nuvi 205, when I started caching I had a 250 - but I lost it when out caching.

They are pretty good at getting to the co-ords and easily match (sometimes are better than) the accuracy of units such as the basic Etrex and the Gecko which friends have. They can also support paperless caching, which the basic handhelds can't. I've currently got full details of 1900 odd caches on mine.

There are two big disadvantages to using it for geocaching:

1) As it is designed for use in a vehicle, there's nothing to attach a wrist or neck strap to and it can't take being rained on. I get round this with a cheap small camera bag, and if it rains I put it in a plastic bag. But I do have to be careful not to let it slip through my fingers.

2) Battery only lasts about 4.5 hours so no good for a whole day's caching expedition.

#43 User is offline   KBfamily 

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 06:29 PM

I used a Nuvi 265 for my first year of geocaching. It was awesome and finding GZ. Recently, I was blessed with the gift of a Colorado 400i but it just couldn't do better than about 5 ft from GZ. Then, I bought a NUVI 500, thinking it would have a GZ as good as the 265, but it doesn't. It has me off by 50 feet. Is there something so much different between the 265 and the 500 that I am making GZ be off? Does something need to be set that I am not doing correctly...I am so frustrated with this....also, the Colorado died and Garmin sent me a refurbished Oregon and it doesn't give me a GZ like my Nuvi 265 did....I miss my 265..... :(

#44 User is offline   gelfling6 

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:42 AM

View Postrabbithutch, on 06 June 2010 - 09:29 PM, said:

23) Why are there 2 types of GPSr? It seems to me that Garmin could make topo maps for the Nuvi. Surely that cannot be more memory or processing intensive than all the street names, POIs, traffic, et al functions made for the motorist's use. (Remember that I confessed my ignorance up front).



Quite the contrary... I have a set of topo maps on my 1300, loaded from MapSource, which came with my Legend HCx..
I saved the map to a memory card, and if you go into the tools, Setup, Maps, Info setting, If you uncheck the North American maps, it will display the topo layout. I've also included a set of trail maps and such when I did the export from MapSource, so there are at least 7 selectable layers beside the the North American street map.

I would imagine, the Topo map micro-SD cards for the 'x' capable (able to add an micro-SD card) eTrex models will use the same maps on a Nuvi.

Stephen (gelfling6)

#45 User is offline   BAMBOOZLE 

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:38 AM

View Postsmall oaks, on 08 March 2010 - 02:02 PM, said:

Nuvi 500 / 550 series is now very good in geocaching. Just copy gpx in it and you get cache descriptions, hints and last logs and caches with different cache type icons on map view. I have used topo maps of my country with it and it works fine also in offroad mode with compass view almost like in real handheld gps.


The 500/550 are the only Nuvi's factory made for geocaching.Totally paperless + uploading of field notes.... check them out.

#46 User is offline   CacheFreakTim 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:52 PM

View PostBAMBOOZLE, on 22 May 2011 - 08:38 AM, said:

View Postsmall oaks, on 08 March 2010 - 02:02 PM, said:

Nuvi 500 / 550 series is now very good in geocaching. Just copy gpx in it and you get cache descriptions, hints and last logs and caches with different cache type icons on map view. I have used topo maps of my country with it and it works fine also in offroad mode with compass view almost like in real handheld gps.


The 500/550 are the only Nuvi's factory made for geocaching.Totally paperless + uploading of field notes.... check them out.


I also agree. The Nuvi 500/550 are amazing for Geocaching. If you want an all in one unit that can do both driving and caching it really is the best bet (at least until the Montana comes out!)

#47 User is offline   Maingray 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:53 AM

View PostCacheFreakTim, on 23 May 2011 - 04:52 PM, said:

View PostBAMBOOZLE, on 22 May 2011 - 08:38 AM, said:

View Postsmall oaks, on 08 March 2010 - 02:02 PM, said:

Nuvi 500 / 550 series is now very good in geocaching. Just copy gpx in it and you get cache descriptions, hints and last logs and caches with different cache type icons on map view. I have used topo maps of my country with it and it works fine also in offroad mode with compass view almost like in real handheld gps.


The 500/550 are the only Nuvi's factory made for geocaching.Totally paperless + uploading of field notes.... check them out.


I also agree. The Nuvi 500/550 are amazing for Geocaching. If you want an all in one unit that can do both driving and caching it really is the best bet (at least until the Montana comes out!)



Gotta disagree, the battery solution on the 500/550 limit their ability to leave the car for long periods of time, plus lacking a "real" compass for smoother navigation. A much better bet is an Oregon 300+ or Dakota 20 coupled with City Navigator, which have very good automotive modes for a handheld. You don't need to be tied to the nuvi name to get a great car solution :)

I don't know anyone who bought one of these and then got into caching very seriously to keep it.


PS nuvis will load topos. Both my car-bound nuvis which I use when non caching have topo maps loaded as well. Great for offroading.

This post has been edited by Maingray: 24 May 2011 - 10:55 AM


#48 User is offline   Tobias & Petronella 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:10 PM

View PostMaingray, on 24 May 2011 - 10:53 AM, said:

I don't know anyone who bought one of these and then got into caching very seriously to keep it.


My first question is: what do you mean by "one of these"? Are you only talking about the Nuvi 500/550 or do you mean any Nuvi.


And my second question is: What is "very seriously" to you? Everyone caches at a different level and speed. What you call very seriously others may call it an Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


For ourselves, we first brought a 255w Nuvi for driving and then got into geocaching. Since then we have upgraded to the 1350T Nuvi and are very happy with it for both Driving and Caching. We just reached 2500 caches in which 99% were done with a Nuvi and have gotten 267 FTFs & co-FTFs. We've used it at the Ocean, the Desert, in City, in the Woods, in the Hills and Mountains. The longest hike we used it on was about 5-6 hours. Living in the Seattle, Washington area we have used them in the rain without any problems.

I'm not saying that a Nuvi is a good fit for everyone or that all Nuvi's can do what ours can do. However there are cachers that only use a Nuvi and are just as good and fast as those that use handhelds. For us, switching over to a handheld at this point would be the same as down grading, and we see no reason to do that.

#49 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:53 PM

View PostMaingray, on 24 May 2011 - 10:53 AM, said:

View PostCacheFreakTim, on 23 May 2011 - 04:52 PM, said:

View PostBAMBOOZLE, on 22 May 2011 - 08:38 AM, said:

View Postsmall oaks, on 08 March 2010 - 02:02 PM, said:

Nuvi 500 / 550 series is now very good in geocaching. Just copy gpx in it and you get cache descriptions, hints and last logs and caches with different cache type icons on map view. I have used topo maps of my country with it and it works fine also in offroad mode with compass view almost like in real handheld gps.


The 500/550 are the only Nuvi's factory made for geocaching.Totally paperless + uploading of field notes.... check them out.


I also agree. The Nuvi 500/550 are amazing for Geocaching. If you want an all in one unit that can do both driving and caching it really is the best bet (at least until the Montana comes out!)



Gotta disagree, the battery solution on the 500/550 limit their ability to leave the car for long periods of time, plus lacking a "real" compass for smoother navigation. A much better bet is an Oregon 300+ or Dakota 20 coupled with City Navigator, which have very good automotive modes for a handheld. You don't need to be tied to the nuvi name to get a great car solution :)

I don't know anyone who bought one of these and then got into caching very seriously to keep it.


PS nuvis will load topos. Both my car-bound nuvis which I use when non caching have topo maps loaded as well. Great for offroading.



I have the Nuvi 500. I've attempted to use it for caching several times. The compass is worthless, it doesn't update. It's not particularly comfortable to hold in the hand and it took me far longer to zero in on the cache then it does with my hand held units.

Battery life is a serious issue. 3-4 hours if lucky. Insufficient for a day of caching away from a power source. At least the batteries are removable and you can snap in a fresh one when the battery dies, but a replacement battery was $30 last time I looked and you have to worry about keeping both charged.

This post has been edited by briansnat: 24 May 2011 - 01:53 PM


#50 User is offline   Maingray 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:23 AM

View PostTobias & Petronella, on 24 May 2011 - 01:10 PM, said:



My first question is: what do you mean by "one of these"? Are you only talking about the Nuvi 500/550 or do you mean any Nuvi.


And my second question is: What is "very seriously" to you? Everyone caches at a different level and speed. What you call very seriously others may call it an Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


I'm talking about the post I quoted and was replying to, which was about the nuvi 500/550.

We'll agree to disagree about the suitability of Nuvis in general for caching. $ considerations aside, I guess if you have never used a newer generation paperless handheld you don't know what you are missing,but yes, any GPS you can enter co-ords is going to be fine.

PS love the OCD comment by someone who then tells us they have 267 FTFs / co-FTFS. :laughing:

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