Handheld GPS for Geocaching

When I first heard about Pokemon Go! My first thought was that it was an awful lot like geocaching. Funny thing is, just before it came out, I was busy researching what GPS I wanted to buy to make my geocaching even better. For the past few years I had been using the free app C:geo to make my finds. And that worked really well…until we moved out into the redwoods! We rarely get a decent enough signal on our phones to actually track a cache down. So Mohawk and I decided we needed to get a better tool so we could continue to build our Geocaching habit.

After reading many reviews online, and trying to weigh the various issues like cost and functionality, I settled on the most basic handheld GPS, the Garmin Etrex 10. It’s black and white, and doesn’t have tons and tons of bells and whistles. But let me tell you what we love about it so far:

👌Price! The price for this unit is on point with our limited budget, especially because we are also trying to build up our camping gear, which takes some major 💲! We paid around $100 after taxes. I saw it online between $80-100, and it just depends on s/h and taxes at the end.

👌Signal. This thing connects fast, gets a strong and consistent signal, and we LOVE it. It’s nice being able to really hone in on GZ, and spend our energy actually finding the cache, not questioning if the coords are bouncing.

👌Trip Odometer – this is a fun feature for us on a number of levels. First of all, it lets us know how soon sunset is (1 hour 9 minutes away), so we can gauge if we have time to complete our walk before dark. Out here we don’t like to take chances because of the night crew! 🐺 It also tells us our speed, time spent moving and still. This is super cool because it doubles as a fancy device to help us towards our fitness goals. Two-for-one?!? Heck yes!


👌Easy to download geocaches! So, at first, I thought I was going to be sad because my primary device to use at home is a Chromebook. I logged onto geocaching.com and I clicked “Send to GPS,” and it turns out I have to download the little plug-in thing, which my Chromebook isn’t beefy enough to do. 😞 BUT, wait! Don’t lose all hope yet, because the fabulous InterWebz helped me out, as always. I realized I could simply download the GPX file, and transfer it directly to my Garmin. Easy – extra step, but easy. No paper needed, no signal on my phone needed, and I’ve got everything I need to grab those caches!

For us, this was a great first GPS purchase. Basically we decided to go with this one because it was simple, doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles we wouldn’t even know how to use anyway. Someday, we plan to purchase a second one, and by then we will be a little better versed in how the handheld GPS works, and we will know exactly what features matter to us. I’m also super thrilled to get out and adventure in the acreage here at home.

Let us know if you have a recommendation for our next handheld GPS, or if you have any tips and tricks for us as we learn how to use this great gadget!