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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. Google Earth is definitely a good way to go. I use it for overviews of caching locales. It doesn't do a pure map view, but if you enable 'Roads' in the Layers pane, it will overlay a street map onto the image. You can save the image to a JPG file by selecting 'Save Image' from the file menu. Then you can print that using your favorite image viewing program. Or, you can select 'Print' from the file menu and specify 'Graphic image of 3-D view'.
  2. Garmin 60 CSx is generally considered top-of-the-line. $500 will get you the unit and Topo US 2008, if you don't already have a Topo set. The new eTrex series 'H' models also do very well in the woods, for about $100 less. Which is better is really a matter of personal preference. Many people like the eTrex size, others like the slightly larger screen on the 60. I personally think the 60 is a bit more rugged. I've dropped mine several times and never suffered any ill effects.
  3. Be careful--In most jurisdictions, if you insist on a real cop, you will find yourself on the wrong end of a disorderly conduct charge, no matter how polite you are.
  4. I used to hike like crazy when I was a kid. Gave it up after college and didn't hike for twenty five years. Picked it up again a few years ago, and now we're moving to California, largely because of the outdoor opportunities.
  5. You can use GPS Babel to convert your source files to GPX format, which will load to a Garmin using MapSource or Easy GPS.
  6. As you probably gathered from the previous replies, there are two schools of thought, and they mirror the two approaches people use when they cache in groups. Some groups use a 'one for all' approach. Everybody goes after the cache, one finds it, and all log it. That's not my cup of tea. Other groups use an 'all find' approach. If you find the cache, you don't say anything, you walk to a different spot and announce 'Got It!" but don't tell where it is. When the last person finds it, everyone logs it. Since for me, the game is in the hunt, I prefer the latter approach. But a lot of people don't see it that way, which I respect. So, I'm not surprised that a lot of folks see no problem in giving away the secret. It's one of the reasons my wife and I go out on our own.
  7. Do you think that just maybe, this cache would generate a lot of negative opinion from the geocaching community? As one who grew up in Kentucky, not far from Dan'l Boone's statue, I can appreciate the humor in your proposal. But I doubt that you'll be the most popular girl at the dance if you try to implement it.
  8. I've got it. The no-contest, this-is-the-worst-cache-container-in-history. A fence hide, similar to a fence-post hide, except this fence had a horizontal piece running the length of the fence about halfway up. The piece was a shaped like an I-beam (like this: |--| ), with holes for the fence's uprights to slide through. This cache was something--I don't know what--wrapped in about 847 layers of electrical tape and crammed up into the little I-beam piece. It took a pocket knife to pry it out. The top wasn't screw-on, it was held on, sort of, by electrical tape. It contained one sorry, soggy log. I wanted to sign the log 'TNLNSH' (took nothing, left nothing, shook head). But that would have been unnecessarily rude.
  9. You won't be able to download the topo maps to your handheld (at least not a Garmin), only the routes and waypoints you set.
  10. I just discovered something very cool about Google Earth, and I wanted to share it. How many times have you wished hiking books included GPX data on the hikes they include? How many times have you wished parks and forest preserves would publish GPX data with their trail maps? Turns out you don't need it. I found a cache in a new (to me) forest preserve this morning that I decided I'd really like to go back and hike. It's big enought to include an eight-mile hike, which is a rarity in Chicagoland. So I went online and found the forest preserve's trail map. The problem is that there are a number of criss-crossing trails, and I can tell by looking at it that I'm going to want to plot a route before going in. What to do? I did a cache a month or so ago where the cache owner had digitized hundred-year-old plat maps of the county, which you could load into Google Earth to see how everything had changed. It occurred to me that I could do the same thing with the trail map. So, I exported the map from PDF to JPG and loaded it into Google Earth (Add > Image Overlay), then stretched the overlay (very easy) to fit the Google Earth landmarks. It fit perfectly! Now I can use Google Earth tools to plot a route for my hike. When I'm done plotting the route, I'll save it as a KML file and convert it to GPX using GPS Babel. From there, it will load right into my GPSr. I can do that for just about any hike. I can scan a trail map from a book, or find a trail map online. As long as the map is to scale (and it doesn't matter which scale, since the overlay can be stretched in Google Earth), I can overlay it on Google Earth and plot a route from it. I thought this was pretty cool, but maybe I've just stumbled across something that's widely done. Is anyone else doing this with Google Earth?
  11. When Winston Churchill ran for Parliament the first time, he lost. He complained to his mother that almost nobody voted for him. She replied "Why, Winston, I didn't vote for you." Dumbstruck, he asked "Why ever not?" "Because you didn't ask me to!" was her reply. Well, let me not be guilty of the same sin. We've got an entry in the July Jeep Geocaching challenge--it's here. I'd like to solicit your vote. If you like the picture, click the 'Nominate For Winner' button. Thanks!
  12. I'm glad I'm not the only person who does that. Our declination in Chicago is only 3°, changing by 5' per yr. The distance was only 143 feet, so you can see from the math that we're talking ten feet.
  13. An excellent point. In this case, the CO projected back, but he subtracted 180° from the heading back to the original point in his posting instructions.
  14. GSAK isn't required to do paperless caching. It's great if you want to maintain a local database of caches on your computer. But some us simply create pocket queries of the caches we want to find on a particular outing, then load the results (a GPX file) into CacheMate. In other words, we skip the local database step in the process. I prefer that approach because I find it simpler and easier than maintaining a local database.
  15. Aren't they called 'thieves'? Petty thieves, perhaps; but thieves nonetheless.
  16. I'm in Chicago--we have a pretty small declination. In this case, it came out to ten feet. But you're right, in other areas, with larger declinations, the distance could be larger.
  17. I don't really have a problem projecting a waypoint. I use a Garmin 60CSx--to project a waypoint, hit the find button, select 'Geocaches', select the cache that represents the Stage One coordinates, then instead of hitting the 'Go To' button, hit the Menu button to show the pop-up menu. Select 'Project Waypoint', and a new waypoint will appear, with its distance field selected. Tab right to the 'mi' field and hit Enter to change units to feet. Then tab left to set the distance and bearing. It's really pretty easy. What I've discovered this morning is that it makes a difference whether the GPSr is set to true north or magnetic north, even over a short distance. The cache I'm hunting didn't specify one or the other, so I've asked the CO which it is. Hopefully, that will put me in the right spot.
  18. Funny you should mention that. One of my first trips with my 60 CSx was a hike up Kennesaw Mountain over Memorial Day weekend with several other out-of-town visitors. A local was supposed to lead the hike (basically from the Illinois Monument to the top of the mountain), but he had a family emergency, so my wife and I ended up leading the hike with only the GPSr base map--I hadn't loaded local maps, because I'd just found out about the hike late the night before. The 60 CSx worked like a champ! Great reception in the woods, and the base map was (barely) adequate to navigate by. Big help at points where the trail was a bit obscure!
  19. You don't have to use GSAK to get this done, and you don't have to use macros. CacheMate has an option that will let you display a list of caches by its friendly name or by its GC number, or both. I use both; it shows the GC number, followed by the friendly name.
  20. This is more for the benefit of other readers, since the OP seems to be pretty familiar with Garmin. The Garmin Topo map products are not locked. I migrated my topo maps from an eTrex to a 60 CSx with no issues.
  21. I'm doing a two-stage multi, where the second stage is a projection from the first. I find the first with no problem, but not the second. Others are finding it, so I know its there. Here's my question: I'm using a Garmin 60 CSx. When it projects a waypoint, it does so using trig calculations, right? In other words, the unit's compass isn't used to project the way point, right? Thanks
  22. AFAIK, the 60CSx is still a current model. There was a rumor a while back about a price drop, but it hasn't happened yet. Garmin maps are the only ones that can be downloaded to the 60CSx. Topo maps are fine for camping, and the new Topo 2008 is not bad for navigation (it now has street names), although it doesn't do turn-by-turn. Topo US 2008 maps are 1:100K (only major trails like AT or PCT). US Nat Park Topos are 1:24K and have a lot (but not all) trails.
  23. The PCT isn't a trail, it's a major superhighway! I didn't know it was on there--I suppose the AT is, as well.
  24. Pretty cool stuff--and all new to me. There seem to be a couple of different applications for creating custom map stuff. What's generally recommended? Thanks.
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