questionsanyone know of any good deals on handheld gps…

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The Garmin eTrax are a pretty good series for reasonable prices. I recommend not buy the base models of any handheld model though. Garmin Dakotas are great models in the 250-300 range and Garmin Oregons are excellent in the 400-500 range. But if you're in it for geocaching i'd recommend the eTrax series like the Legend HCX or the Magellan Explorist series.

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@ebersole12: The HCX also is a turn by turn car gps!

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Thanks for the suggestions. I've been kicking around the idea of a Garmin Dakota, but I might hold off until the new etrex line releases later this month. I'm hoping new models will mean discounts for old models.

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it beats me why handhelds are not at the same price level as car units today. few days ago there was a TomTom on woot for $30. would buy hiking GPS at that price level...

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@jamesbottomtooth: It requires different software and antennae. The hiking ones can track up to 12 GPS satellites, track a bunch of routes, trackback feature, not only has long/lat but also altitude and a bunch of other features. There's also more ruggedness and waterproof features.

The car GPS has GPS overlaying on a map that calculates routes which is fairly old technology.

There's also the issue of economics - they can amortize out the R&D costs across more car GPSes than they can the hiking ones.

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Just to toss in my two cents...I needed a handheld GPS for geologic mapping for my dissertation. As a destitute grad student, I settled on a Magellan eXplorist I found on clearance at a Sears (~100 bucks about 4 years ago). I was impressed with the battery life and how rugged that thing is. It took quite a beating over two field seasons, and still runs great.

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@llbeanj: How's the interface on that explorist? I've heard pretty mixed reviews of the software on the Magellan units.