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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. Don't get the Vista Cx. It's being phased out in favor of the Vista HCx, which has a high-sensitivity receiver. It should be on par with the 60 CSx for reception. The biggest remaining advantage of the 60 CSx is a better antenna and a larger screen. With the 60 CSx, you can record a good breadcrumb track while the unit is hanging on your belt. That's great for recording hikes, which I do a lot. The Vista has to be held horizontally to record a reliable track, so it doesn't work very well hanging on your belt.
  2. 'Scuse me a second, while I put my armor on. Being from Chicago, I don't want to get cut down by the crossfire. I think the point that others are arguing is that legal doesn't equal moral. Is it morally wrong for me to go into a park after hours? If you believe that by democratic vote we can legislate morality, then you would say "Yes, it's morally wrong. It's against the law." But others, including myself, don't see it that way. I may not have the legal right to go into the park after hours, but that has nothing to do with the morality of sneaking in to be FTF. "But it's immoral to break the law!" you might answer. To which I would respond, "No, it's only illegal to break the law." A lot of laws, like the law against murder, happen to correspond to moral principals that are universally accepted. But others, like closing-hours regulation of public parks, don't. Some people feel that the government knows best, and they feel morally obligated to follow all laws. Others don't feel that way--they view the government as a less-than-benign institution, and they will break laws if doing so harms no one else, and if they feel the risk is low. IMHO, the analogy to the Founding Fathers is actually spot-on. Those who say they will cache after hours, and the law be damned, are actually saying the following: "If I cache after hours, who do I harm? Certainly nobody else. And the government has no right to protect me from myself!" Those are precisely the principles the Founding Fathers took up arms over. And in their case, it all started with a spat over tea! Yes, it's only a game, and it was only a cup of tea two hundred thirty years ago. I was one of the first people in this thread to argue against after-hours caching, on the grounds that it tends to bring the sport into disrepute. I stand by that. I think most people don't cache after hours for that very reason. That, and the legal hassle of getting caught. But if someone wants to assert a moral right to do it, I won't disagree. The laws are stupid, and the government certainly does not know best. And now, back to our show!
  3. GSAK is good if you want to keep a local database of caches. GSAK users might download hundreds, even thousands of caches, into the local database. But the local database has to be kept up to date with the online geocaching.com database, and as far as I know, there is no fully automated way to synchronize your local GSAK database with the online database. So, we simply bookmark caches we want to do, then download those caches before an outing. We transfer them to our Palm Z22 using CacheMate, and off we go. When we return, we log our finds and clear the CacheMate file. It saves us (what we view as) the hassle of maintaining a local database. But, as you can see from other replies, opinions vary, and many people swear by GSAK.
  4. Try here Well, actually, I was thinking more like here!
  5. If you are a premium member, you can get caches along a route that you create. You can create the route in a topo program, or in Google Earth, using the Path tool. If you use GE, the Path tool will create a 'track', rather than a 'route'. You will need to convert the track to a route before submitting it to GC.com. I use GPSBabel to convert the KML file to a GPX. Then I use ExpertGPS (paid version of EasyGPS) to convert the track to a route. I submit the converted GPX to GC.com. The Google Earth process is a bit easier if the route follows streets, instead of a hiking trail. In that case, I ask GE for directions and save as a KML, which creates a route. I can submit that to GC.com without any conversion.
  6. Anyone know where I can find about 8,000 Little Red Jeeps to leave as signature items?
  7. Nice history lesson (and break from learning NHibernate). Thanks!
  8. Welcome to the forums! As the previous poster said, the zip code you supply is only the certer point of the search. The goal is to show all caches around you, ordered by distance. AFIK, the site doesn't have a way to limit the display to a single zip code.
  9. It varies by state. Start with the administration of the particular park in which you want to place the cache. Your starting point may be the local ranger, who can refer you to their boss, and so on. I have seen that hiders sometimes print out material explaining geocaching to help educate the park administration on geocaching and its benefits to the park (primarily, increased utilization by well-mannered, environmentally-aware people).
  10. How are you creating routes in GE? If you are using the Path tool, you will get a 'track', not a 'route'. Ask GE for directions from the start of the planned route to the end--that will generate a 'route'.
  11. As the previous poster said, you need to upgrade to ExpertGPS (the paid version) to get maps. There are scans of USGS maps and aerial photographs. I like ExpertGPS a lot, but I use it mainly for its ability to edit routes and tracks. I use Google Earth for Aerials, and Garmin MapSource for Topos.
  12. If I understand correctly, you are asking how to use Google Earth to locate caches. In Geocaching.com, go to your account page and select "Download Geocache browser in Google Earth" from the right-side menu. It may be a premium feature, so if you aren't a premium member, you may not have that menu option. After you click the link, you will have the option to launch GE with the geocahe browser. Enter the name of the place you want to examine, and GE will zoom to it, showing all geocaches in the area. You may need to zoom in several times before GE starts displaying them. Click on any cache just like any other place name, and GE will display an info balloon for the cache. Click on the cache link in the balloon to see the cache Description page.
  13. In GE, go to File > Open, instead of doing drag-and-drop. You will need to change the file type in the Open File dialog. GE should open the GPX file and zoom to it.
  14. Another option is to get a Bluetooth-equipped PDA and a Bluetooth GPSr. Garmin makes a Bluetooth unit designed for use with a PDA. We use a conventional Garmin unit with a Palm Z22 that we got just for geocaching. That combination works pretty well, and we don't miss the fact that the two units aren't integrated. For one thing, most PDAs aren't very readable in direct sunlight; most GPS units are.
  15. imajeep


    Welcome to the forums! Hang in there--you will get the hang of it quickly enough. It took me several tries to get my first few caches a couple of months ago. Try looking for easy caches first. If you can, look online for classic 'ammo boxes in the woods' type caches. These tend to be larger and easier to find. Smaller 'micos' are definitely tougher; enough so that some cachers won't hunt them. Anyway, when you have identified a cache to go after, use your GPSr to get close to it. The GPSr should get you within fifty feet or so. Then look around for anything out of the ordinary. Here in Illinois, fallen-tree hides are very popular. So, we check the ends and crevices on any large logs in the vicinity. If loose bark and sticks have been used to cover up one end of the tree, its a safe bet the cache will be there. Sometimes, camoflauged Tupperware containers are stuck in the middle of three trees growing out of the same spot. And sometimes, cammoed peanut-butter jars are hung from branches in a pine or a fir tree. A couple of weeks ago, we found a small cache stuck inside a stuffed-animal squirrel, which was stuck inside the cover of an evergreen. So, think of clever hides in the region, and ask yourself, "If I was going to hide a cache here, where would I put it?" You will pretty quickly learn to zero in on the most likely hiding spot. Of course, that's not always where the hider puts it! Good luck!
  16. Welcome to the forums! Which is best depends on your needs. Get an 'H' model though, they have high-sensitivity receivers that make them better performers. The computer cable lets you download data from your PC to your GPSr. So, for example, if you are going after a dozen caches today, you can download them from GC.com to your PC, and download the coordinates from there to your GPSr. Saves the hassle of entering coordinates into the GPSr by hand.
  17. So, is the problem micros, or lame hides? I know, I know; overwhelming chorus replies "It's micros, you fool!" And I would agree that some of the lamest hides we have found in our brief caching career have been micros. But some of the most fun have been micros, and what they have in common is that they have all been very clever hides, which required a lot of thought and effort on the part of the cache owner. We'll do those any day.
  18. Aw, come on, let's stick to the non-controversial stuff--like why Windows is better than OS X!
  19. Slightly different approach: We don't use GSAK. Instead, we download descriptions log, etc., of the caches we want to hunt on a particular outing onto our Palm Z22 using a Pocket Query, which we load onto the Palm with CacheMate. If aerial Photos are helpful, we grab them from Google Earth and load them onto the PDA using Splash Photo. Finally, we load the PQ waypoints into our GPSr using ExpertGPS (Easy GPS does this just as well, and it's free). After we get home, we log our results and clear the Palm and the GPSr, until the next outing. Speaking of which, if I'm going to get a couple of caches in before dinner, I've got to run...
  20. AFIK, you can't add custom software to a Garmin consumer unit to record data that isn't normally captured by the unit. If you want to save heading info, you may need commercial-grade gear.
  21. I've read that geocoins are an outgrowth of the 'challenge coins' used in the military for years. Units had coins made up with their insignia; if a unit member din't have their coin on them when challenged by a fellow member, they had to buy a round of drinks.
  22. Thanks for the post. I hadn't thought about Colin Fletcher since "The Complete Walker" came out in 1968, in the backpacking days of my youth. I didn't realize he had died.
  23. Ditto, with US Topo 2008, and US National Parks Topo (we're hikers)
  24. Don't know if this will help, but they are big in the US: http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/TrimbleOutdoors.aspx
  25. Hadn't thought about this problem. But I ran a piece of yellow tape across the back of my Garmin 60 CSx, which seems to be the most popular unit out there. Hopefully, that will keep it from getting mixed up. Now, if I could only find something to keep me from getting mixed up!
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