I already own a Garmin Streetpilot III which I used to find my first cache. Although useable it was far from ideal being relatively heavy and an awkward shape to carry. It is intended for in-car on-road navigation.
I decided to opt for a good, basic GPSr for caching. I like the quality of Garmin equipment and chose from their range. I had seen varying reviews on the low end Etrex models and decided instead on the Geko range. The 101 can’t be connected to a PC so I rejected that model. The 301 seemed expensive for the extra features offered and so I decided on the 201. I have the latest version of the 201 with the revised casing around the power button. I have yet to experience it accidentally begin turned on or off when in my pocket so I guess the revision to the case is a success.
1) Small & lightweight. I bought a protective case which attaches to a lanyard around my neck. Being so light I hardly notice it. Looks just like a mobile phone when necessary.
2) PC connection to download waypoints and routes. The 201 accepts data from Mapsource (PC software that came with the Streetpilot III). This is an RS232 connection – I would prefer USB.
3) Relatively inexpensive. I am sure cheaper units are available but I wanted good build quality.
1) Small display but what else do you expect on a small unit!!!
2) No sounds. This could be regarded as a positive – ultra stealthy!
3) Uses AAA batteries. So carry some spares, they can be swapped on seconds. I bought high capacity NiMH rechargeable cells on Ebay. I have never run out of power (Unless you count the time I went out with batteries that were nearly flat and forgot the fully charged ones were still at home, DOH! I now have a couple of packs of alkaline cells left in the car for the next time I forget).
I had to struggle to come up with the dislikes. The Geko 201 is an excellent unit for both beginner and experienced cachers. If the user wants advanced features then look elsewhere but for a good quality, basic GPSr that does exactly ‘what it says on the can’ then the 201 is hard to beat.
I wonder how long it will be before I become convinced I need a new GPSr with all the bells and whistles? The GPSMAP60 range looks interesting……. Hmmmmm