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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. I have generally recommended against using the same GPSr for both driving and geocaching. The reason is that good caching units don't generally make good car navigation units (small screen, no voice directions). Plus, you need two sets of maps, a city set for driving, and a topo set for caching. Dedicated car navigators have gotten so inexpensive that they aren't that much more expensive than a set of city maps. So, their lighter weight, larger screen, and voice directions don't really cost much more these days. You can get a good car navigator for as little as $200. I use both types of units, and I have been very pleased with the results.
  2. I was hiking last week in 90-100 degree heat. For the first time, I ditched the t-shirt and shorts in favor of synthetic long-sleeved shirt and pants. I was amazed at the difference. It was actually cooler than the t-shirt and shorts, and I think it's because I didn't have sweaty clothing clinging to me. I'm a convert in hot weather, as well as cold.
  3. If he has Internet access on-base, he might want to download Expert GPS, which can convert tracks to routes and reduce the number of points in the resulting route. Helps when storing a number of routes in the GPSr.
  4. I use CacheMate on the Palm for cache descriptions/ logs, and SplashPhoto on the Palm to store maps and aerial photos of cache sites. Works nicely. I'm a huge fan of the Garmin 60Csx--great coverage under trees and in canyons.
  5. I'd recommend against putting the GPSr in check-through luggage. A lot of stuff has gone missing here in Chicago. I keep mine in my carry-on.
  6. As a practical matter, you need a topo or city map to go along with the GPSr. A lot of places sell packages of both at a discount.
  7. Hi Robert--First of all, thanks for GPS Babel. It's a neat piece of software. I forgot PC batch files years ago, so I wrote a little console app to traverse the folder and invoke GPS Babel for each file. A 'folder convert' feature would be a nice addition to the Win GUI for those who don't program.
  8. Can GPS Babel be told to convert an entire folder of files from one format to another, using the same filenames? In going through the GPS Babel documentation, I see only single-file conversion options. Thanks!
  9. I don't think you can transfer GPX files directly to the Palm OS. There is a conversion that needs to be done to the Pal OS database format. CacheMate does this conversion.
  10. We were in So Cal last week. We did some urban caches in Santa Monica, and went 0 for 5. We didn't log DNFs on these, because we are convinced that all five were under our noses, and we don't want to create any impression they were missing. We spent almost an hour looking for one of these caches. Urban micros are definitely a different game from the ammo-box-in-the-woods caches we normally do. The most frustrating DNF of the week was a cache out on a mesa. Prior logs said that the posted coordinates were as much as 100' off, but no finders posted any alternates. Come on, folks, lend a hand to a lowly newbie and post coordinates in your log report if they differ significantly from the description! We spent an hour looking for the cache and went through more water than we should have. It led to some nervous moments on the hike back.
  11. Congratulatulations! (no kidding) That really is a tremendous accomplishment. I used to hike the TN/NC portions as a kid, and I gotta lotta respect for anybody who's done the whole thing.
  12. We decided to go paperless last week, so we purchased a Palm Z22 and CacheMate to hold cache data in the field. The bid advantage to the Z22 is its price--less than $100 new. It worked pretty well, too--we think its a pretty good solution to the problem of carrying cache data without consuming paper and ink. As you can see from our stats, we are pretty new to the game, and we typically go after a few caches at a time. In other words, we aren't numbers people, and we don't normally deal with a large volume of data before we go out on a hunt. A cacher who goes after forty or fifty at a time may come to different conclusions than we have. The best thing about the Z22 (besides its price) is its size. It fits easily into a shirt or a jacket pocket. The worst thing about the Z22 is its readability in direct sunlight--we had to find shade to be able to read the screen. Another minor drawback is the lack of a case for the unit--it is susceptible to scratches in the field. We've ordered a flip-top case for the Z22 to solve both problems. CacheMate worked fine for us in the field. Very easy to learn (we are both Palm OS veterans) and very easy to use. Our only complaint is the limited number of prior logs--we can only get the five most recent logs on a cache. But that's not a limitation of CacheMate or the Z22--it's a limitation of the Pocket Query feature of Geocaching.com. Since we have both used the Palm OS over the years, using the stylus to enter notes for our log presented no problem. If you haven't used the OS before, there is a learning curve to writing on the screen. The Z22 has a smaller screen than some other PDAs. We didn't find this to be a problem--in fact, we like the small size of the unit. But if you load dozens of caches into the unit, you could find scrolling around to find the next cache to be a bit of a chore. CacheMate does include a "find next nearest cache" feature that might alleviate the problem. All in all, we are pretty pleased with the Z22. It's relatively easy to get data into the unit, and it works well in the field. We're planning to use it as our main data source in the field.
  13. I log a DNF if I made a pretty good effort to find a cache without success. The point of logging a DNF is to alert the owner the cache may be missing. If one person (especially me ) posts a DNF, it may not mean anything. But if three or four people in a row post them, it may mean the cache has been muggled.
  14. Sure beats the heck out of wool! All kidding aside, take a look at Criminal's post. He sums it up pretty well.
  15. "Cotton kills" is a backcountry hiker's mantra. Cotton wicks out body heat, rather than moisture, so it can aggravate hypothermia, which can set in with ambient air temps as high as 55 degrees. That's why the really serious types prefer synthetics that wick out moisture as efficiently as possible.
  16. I'm too new to the game to have placed caches, but I would think a transparent, or at least translucent, container would go a long way toward reassuring law enforcement officials. That, plus a prominent "Official Geocache" sticker with the geocache ID and geocaching.com address. I'm surprised at how many ammo boxes I find in the woods with no markings at all. If I was a LEO, I'd probably assume the worst, too.
  17. I know--you hit it with your stamp (which, by the way, is pretty cool)
  18. We just picked up a Palm Z22 that we use pretty much just for geocaching. Everything works as advertised. We're using CacheMate to downoad GPX pocket-query data to the Z22, and no problems so far. Other units have larger screens, but the price was right on the Z22.
  19. Thanks! Please add my request to the wish list.
  20. When I generate a pocket query, whether it's a query from a bookmark list or a custom query, the five most recent logs are included. I don't see a default or a setting to increase the number to, say, the ten most recent logs. Is there a way to increase the number of logs returned in a pocket query? Can the default number be changed? Thanks!
  21. I'd go straight to the Garmin 60 Csx. I went with an eTrex Vista to save money, but it was severely challenged in the woods where I do most of my caching. I put it on eBay within two weeks and got the unit I should have gotten in the first place. Moral of the story: Don't try to geocache on the cheap. Figure out what kind of unit you need, and buy it! Sell your old computer, your mother-in-law, or whatever it takes to raise the cash to get a good GPS unit. No, I didn't sell my mother-in-law. My wife threatened to sell me, but realized her profit wouldn't cover the shipping costs!
  22. Are you going to be using the unit under tree cover, in canyons, or in large cities, such as downtown Chicago? All of these areas present serious challenges to conventional GPS units. Units with high-sensitivity receivers perform much better in these environments. It means the difference between getting a signal lock and not. If you don't plan to use your unit in any of these challenging environments, then don't worry about high-sensitivity. But if you do, and you're going with eTrex, I'd recommend going with one of the 'H' models.
  23. Above all else, multis have to be fun. You're asking a lot of the finder, who has to locate several caches just to record one find. So the value proposition comes out to: Entertainment value :> effort required The best multis that I have done have involved local history, and each stage of the multi taught me something new. In other words, each stage of the multi had a point. If finders enjoy your multi, they will rave about it in their logs, which will draw other finders to the cache. I'd suggest that's a lot more important than the mechanics of each stage. Cheers!
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