Once you understand this, you will see that deciding whether a possible Geocaching GPS is right for you, becomes very simple and straightforward.
It really doesn't matter if you read a breathlessly enthusiastic review about a new, uber cool GPS that's all-singing, all-dancing. You won't be swept off your feet because you'll be able to compare it's virtues with your shopping list of needs and wants. And if this super new GPS does not actually do what you want it to do, in the way that you need it done, then you'll be very surprised how quickly it stops being an object of desire for you. You can move on and assess the next GPS.
To get a full picture of your Geocaching GPS needs, here are some important things to think about:
How audacious, how bold are you planning to be?
Will you be going to unfamiliar territory?
How serious are you about Geocaching?
What sort of caches will you hunt? Easy? Medium? Difficult?
How competitive do you get?
Are you going to try and break cache-finding records?
Are you going to compete with friends?
How far are you happy for your quests to take you? Are you likely to drive a significant distance before you set off on foot?
How good are you at navigating? How confident are you about being able to find your way home if you got lost?
What sorts of maps do you find are easy to understand? Full on 3D maps? Line drawings?
How technical are you? Do you need cache locations to almost magically float through the ether into your GPS, even as you break the seal on the box? Or are you happy to get extra cables and bits that make basic tasks like entering waypoints, that bit easier ? Or do you embrace the whole entering of longitudes and latitudes manually (in code if possible)?
These questions will help you discover what you need in a Geocaching GPS, to be successful and to be safe.
Here's An Example To Show You How
You are looking at some GPS reviews. You're drawn to three. The main differences between them is how well they hold unto their satellite signal, and how much they cost. These two features happen to be directly related. So the better they are at keeping a lock on a satellite signal, the more expensive they become.
Now you can see that if you happen to be hunting on the outskirts of your town, and the sky gets a little overcast, and you lose your signal, at worst it's a disappointment. An unsuccessful hunt. If, however, you are out in the wild and you lose your signal, you are not just looking at missing out on a find. It's a lot more serious. You might not be able to find your way home.
So, from the questions above, you know you are not going to be too audacious. For a while yet, the furthest you'll be going will be a few miles out of town, perhaps with the kids. So, you can decide to go for the GPS that has less of a grip on it's satellite signal. A cheap one. It's more affordable, it answers all your Geocaching needs, you know you can expect the occasional disappointment. You're happy to roll with it. Done. Decided.
If, however, you know you will regularly go much further afield, embracing the great outdoors, intrepidly exploring the wild, you can immediately see that getting the cheapest GPS is a false economy.
Because, the more adventurous you want to be with your Geocaching, the more important it is that your GPS is like a rottweiler, refusing to let go of it's satellite lock.