Review: Garmin eTrex 10 GPSr

Manufacturer: Garmin | Year: 2011 | List Price: $119.99 | Buy from Amazon

After finding over 50 geocaches, we started thinking about buying a GPSr to save money on the data that we use when we geocache using the Geocaching Intro iPhone app. One day, one of our family friends came over to our house and surprised us with a Garmin eTrex 10.

The Garmin eTrex 10 the base model of the eTrex series. It has a transflective monochrome display and 25 hours of battery life. It is durable, rugged, and waterproof to IPX7 standards. It supports paperless geocaching and holds up to 1000 waypoints. The eTrex 10’s high sensitivity receiver makes use of a WAAS enabled GPS receiver with Hotfix and GLONASS support. It features a sun and moon calendar, hunting and fishing information, area calculation, and other stuff you’d expect from an outdoor GPSr.

I think the Garmin eTrex 10 is an easy-to-use and affordable GPSr. The readings are dead on, making it ideal of Geocaching. The interface is simple and intuitive without sacrificing functionality. The monochrome display is as good as black and white screens get. The only complaint I have is the map. It lacks important information such as certain land masses. For example, the entire country of Singapore doesn’t exist on the basemap. The map is also missing roads, small bodies of water, and certain cities. The only landmarks you’ll find on these maps are your waypoints, borders, country names, and a selection of cities. Other than that, the eTrex 10 is an awesome GPS for outdoor use.

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List Price: $119.99 | Buy from Amazon

Tutorial: Start Geocaching

As warmer weather approaches, it’s a great time to get back into the Geocaching mood. For the not-so-many of you out there who don’t know what Geocaching is, it’s sort of an internet treasure hunt in which coordinates are posted online that will lead you to a physical box, often loaded with some trinkets. To start geocaching, all you need is a GPS. (As a side note, you may not even need one, though it will be harder. See this video.) Once you have your GPS, make an account with Geocaching.com. It’s free, but you can get a premium membership for some extra features. Once all that is figured out, you’ll need to locate a cache near your home. If you are using the internet from your house right now, it’s unlikely there won’t be cache within 1 km of where you are. (For example, there are 101 caches within a 5 km radius of our home, which is in a small town not far from a big city.) Choosing a cache for your first find is important. There are difficulty and terrain ratings for every cache, and anything above a 2 for either may be too difficult for a newbie. It’s totally up to you, but you can also click the box labeled ‘Highlight beginner caches’ and the site will suggest caches it thinks is easy for beginners. Once you have chosen a cache, you should print out the cache description. A map with the geocache and its surroundings could also be helpful, especially if you are not using a GPS. If you are, simply type the coordinates onto your GPS, and head off! Finding the actual cache can be tricky, as the cache owner will often put them in devilishly cunning places. Also, most GPS’s are only going to be accurate to about ten feet or so, so you’ll have to rely on intuition to get you the last few yards. This is all part of the game, and Muggles (non-Geocaching folk) could never imagine the excitement and happiness of finding a cache, especially if it took many tries and visits to the cache location, or if it was in a hard-to-reach location. We hope you find this intro to Geocaching helpful and inspiring, but if you need more info, head over to Geocaching.com, where you will find guides and videos on how to find your first Geocache, the rules of the game, and much more!!!