Hiding geocaches and GPS that does average waypoints Having difficulty finding a GPS that does waypoint averaging
Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:40 PM
I am relatively new to geocaching, but my husband is pretty into it. His birthday is coming up and I'd like to get him set up so he can start hiding some caches.
From what I have read it would be helpful to have a GPS that does average waypoints? Currently we just find caches using the iphone app, but I believe the iphone isn't accurate enough to use for hiding caches and it would be best to have an actual GPS.
The other features I am looking for would be electronic compass and maps. Does such a beast exist without being hideously expensive? I'm thinking $300 and under. I guess my real issue is that looking at all the products on garmin and magellan sites I just can't see where it says they have an average waypoint function.
Hope someone can help.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:00 AM
Obtain a number of readings (best gathered over a few days), toss out any obvious anomalies, then add and average the others.
Think three-axis compass, rather than just electronic compass.
Garmin eTrex 20/30 series; Oregon; Montana may jump out of your price range. They need maps, either from Garmin, or free from a couple of sites.
Delorme PN-60... comes with Topo 9 mapping. You can subscribe to anytime map updates right from Delorme. PN-40 is also good but the PN-60 is much better on batteries.
Prices: Despite what you see in the GPS reviews, most all units can be had cheaper. Occasionally online sales will have blow-out prices, too. Shop hard, you will end up happier with a higher-end unit than you thought you could afford.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:31 AM
This post has been edited by briansnat: 25 April 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:02 AM
+1. I love my PN-40. I will keep it until it dies off. The waypoint averaging function is easy to use, and it has great paperless caching functions as well. It also gets good cover under trees for those hiking in the woods caches.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:59 AM
You can do this manually by taking several readings. I don't normally bother with marking them over several days, but that will help to ensure your numbers are good.
Typically I will make sure I am standing at the spot for a few minutes first to let my GPS settle down on the location. Then I will look at the satellite screen to see what it says my accuracy is. If it shows a high degree of accuracy (10 feet or so), you're probably going to get good coords right away. Mark a waypoint, then walk a couple hundred feet away and navigate back to your waypoint. See how close it brings you. I'd suggest letting the GPS settle for a few minutes then marking the waypoint again. If the numbers agree or are only 1 digit off, then you can just use those coordinates. If the numbers are off by more than that, I would repeat the exercise a few times until you start seeing some consistent numbers.
Pretty much any recreation-grade GPS will give you the accuracy you need to hide caches whether it does averaging or not. I'd look at other features you want for your price range and not worry about the averaging feature.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:58 PM
I agree. Automatic averaging, or averaging in general, doesn't really matter much. In fact Garmin at one point a few years ago decided to eliminate waypoint averaging from their units because they didn't think it was necessary. They quickly added it back when there was a minor uproar among GPS enthusiasts.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:25 AM
Not so much that it is/isn't available -- just that it isn't a feature one should base a purchase upon.
Handy -- yes; necessary to have -- no.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:00 AM
I was going to bring that up when I first saw the thread too. Except I had to show a one-year user of the GC where the well-hidden averaging feature was at an event last weekend. If the Explorist 110, which just came out in January, and the Garmin Etrex10 do averaging (both of which are basically $100 units), that would probabaly mean every current handheld model on the market can do it. Although I suppose you could go out and buy a 4 year old, but never opened Garmin Gecko on Ebay.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:28 PM
To do it manually you at very least need to wait and hour and come back. Then another hour. The idea is to give the satellites a chance to move around.
You are very correct about needing a real GPS and not hiding caches with a phone. I've seen caches hidden with a phone be 100 feet off.