Geocaching Lesson, My Smashed GPSr


As covered in our geocaching and traveling posting not to long ago, I am very lucky that I get to travel a lot as part of my day job. Working in renewable energy affords me a pretty good life, and takes me to some amazing places. A few days ago I landed on Maui to start a weeklong work stint. I’ll be posting some geocaching stories from both Maui and Oahu over the course of the next week or so, so be on the look out for them!

Of course you can’t work 100% of the time, even when traveling for work and not fun. And the Hawaiian’s even have a saying for this “pau hana” which means “work is done”. I knew that between the end of work and sunset each night I would have a couple of hours to jog, play in the surf and even get a few geocaches under my belt. I wouldn’t be able to tackle the longer hikes this time around, but I did want to get Hawaii checked off the “to geocache” list.

As a frequent traveler I’ve become somewhat proficient at packing. I know how to roll my t-shirts and ball my socks in order to get the maximum amount of stuff into my suitcase. And I can normally nail the 50 lb limit within a couple of lbs to spare so I don’t have any heavy bag fees. I’ve even checked baggage with bottles of wine and other goods in glass jars and bottles wrapped in clothing. In short: I thought I knew what I was doing.

That cockiness cost me a little because when I started to unpack after this latest flight I realized that my GPSr had a chunk of the plastic taken out of it! After a few choice words that I won’t bother sharing on here, I held my breath as I tried to turn it on. To my relief it indeed did work, though the rattling around piece of plastic is a tad annoying. If it stops working while I’m here on the islands I’m not to worried about it as I know I can geocache with my iPhone rather easily.

But as with most things, I’m going to try and look for the upside here.

My GPSr is a Delorme PN-20, which when I bought it three or four years ago was the Cadillac of GPSr devices. I was drawn to it not only because of the device itself, but the amazing map software that came with it. Later Delorme released a software update specifically for geocachers which allowed paperless geocaching, and direct downloads from the geocaching website. In short, I was always very happy with it. And I don’t hold the device responsible for this plastic chipping at all.

But I’m a bit of a technology hound, and whenever the latest gadget comes out I’m normally near the front of the line to try it out. I had successfully fought the urge to change out the PN-20; after all it works great (even with a chunk of the screen missing).

But now I am starting to wonder if I shouldn’t upgrade. There are a lot of great GPSrs out there. I may try reaching out to some of the manufactures to see if they’ll let us here at madcacher try them out and offer reviews. You never know until you ask I suppose. Do you have any particular GPSr you’d like to see reviewed or have us try out? Let us know and we’ll be sure to contact those manufactures!

What is your favorite GPS? What are you currently using? Any recommendations? Please feel free to get ahold of us on our contact page, like us on our facebook wall or just leave a comment below!

  1. Jay

    If you liked the PN-20 you will love the PN-60. 10 times better than the PN-40, much faster, more memory, runs from internal memory.

    • The Fox
      The Fox01-18-2012

      Thanks – that’s the very unit I was thinking about getting. You can read all the reviews you want, but hearing that from someone who has one helps a lot!

  2. George T
    George T01-18-2012

    I just got a Garmin Oregon 450 and I love it. It’s been great on the trails and even just picking up a few C&Ds here and there. I got a 16gb MicroSD card for it and have some topo maps as well as custom trail maps I geolocated in Google Earth then saved right to the device. The paperless geocaching works really well, though only loads the latest 5 logs. Otherwise I love it!

    • The Fox
      The Fox01-18-2012

      Great – Garmin is one of the companies I’ll be reaching out to see if we can review their stuff for sure!

  3. MadCacher

    I’ve used my Iphone while geocaching recently and loved having access to the notes and comments from others. Maybe we should write a post about the care and maintenance of technology :-) just kiddin Buddy

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