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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. My Garmin 60 CSx handles MapSource US National Park maps, which are 1:24K equivalents.
  2. Forgot to mention--try SoCal Geocachers. The forums have sections for events and group caching.
  3. See you next yesr--we're relocating to SoCal, probably OC. Beats 45° in Chicago--Brrrr!
  4. Second that kudo on the new maps--very cool!
  5. That's true of the city navigation maps, but not the topos. They don't require unlocking.
  6. Just played around with the new map, doing a search for all caches around my home coordinates. I like the changes!
  7. For hiking, definitely get the Topo 2008. I have used mine for hiking all across the country, and I have been very pleased with it. The base map that comes installed in the GPS unit has very little detail, and it isn't very useful.
  8. About 2500 miles away. We live in Chicago, and we've cached almost a dozen Western states, including California.
  9. An older Vista (pre-HCx) may give you problems under tree cover or in canyons.
  10. I don't think you are doing anything wrong--it's just a limitation of the software. The 60CSx doesn't have the same trail-finding ability that Topo 2008 has. So, routes that follow a trail nicely in Topo 2008 revert to straight lines when downloaded to the unit. That means laying out a route still requires that you put a waypoint at every significant change in heading. Hope that helps!
  11. If you haven't tried this already, zoom the map in or out a bit, and see if that doesn't make caches appear.
  12. Two suggestions: If you like the eTrex form factor, upgrade to one of the new eTrex "H" receivers. They are as high-sensitivity as the Garmin 60CSX, the 600-pound gorilla of GPS units. The second suggestion? Right--the 60csx, but only if you want a larger screen or the ability to use an external antenna. It's what I use hiking. I've banged mine up quite a bit, and it's never missed a beat!
  13. I just discovered that Google Earth has major trails in US national parks--go to a national park, such as Yosemite, and checkmark Layers > Travel and Tourism > Parks and Recreation Areas > US National Parks > Trails, and the trails appear in red. That's cool, but does GE have major trails outside the national parks, such as the Appalachian Trail, or the Pacific Crest Trail?
  14. Ditto the previous comment. So long as you don't cache under tree canopy or in canyons, you're in good shape. But if you do, check out the Vista HCX. Much better reception in difficult locations.
  15. Sounds like a Garmin change--they may not be able to get 64MB micro SD cards anymore.
  16. As someone else noted, physical caches are not allowed in national parks. However, there may be virtuals, or earth caches. to find them, get a waypoint for the center of JTNP. You should be able to set one in your GPS mapping software. Or, if you don't have mapping software, you can set a placemark in Google Earth. Now, in the geocaching.com search page, use the coordinates of your waypoint/placemark to do a search. On the results page, click on the "Search for caches with Google Maps" link at the top of the page. That will show you a map of JTNP, with icons for any caches in the park. The caches will also be listed to the right of the map. Zoom out on the map until you can see the entire park. Hope that helps!
  17. Take a look at the Garmin GPSmap 60csx. It's very sensitive, and rugged to boot. I've had mine up Yosemite Falls, down the Grand Canyon, and out in the back country in Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain. I've dropped it, sat on it, and (accidentally) smacked it against rocks, and it works like a champ. The sensitivity of the 60csx used to be it's biggest advantage over the eTrex line. Since the arrival of the eTrex 'H' models, that advantage has gone away. So the primary benefits are durability, and the ability to plug in an external antenna for better reception in deep, narrow canyons. I've got a Gilsson antenna for my 60csx, but I haven't had to use it yet! If you like the form factor of the eTrex line, and you don't bang your unit around a lot, the eTrex Vista HCX is a good choice. If you do bang your unit around, or if you do a lot of hiking, I'd recommend the 60csx.
  18. I personally hate ( that's H-A-T-E) intentionally bad coordinates! But I let my emotions run away with me. It's just that I have spent too much time looking for a hide at the posted coordinates, only to find out later that the cache owner intentionally posted bad coordinates, in an effort to make the hide more interesting. It doesn't--it only makes the hide more evil. There--now that Mr. Hyde has vented all of that hostility and pent-up frustration out of his system, Dr. Jeckyl would like a word. Some people (myself included) get all crazy when a hide has intentionally bad coordinates. The best way to make a hide more interesting is to find a really nice place to put it. Beverly, one of the oldest active caches in existence, is in one of the nicest spots I have ever seen--a pine forest with no underbrush and a floor of pine needles. Another way to make a hide interesting is to make it clever. I once found a cache cammoflouged as a fake 'constructed by' sign on a chain link fence. It took me two tries to find it and I loved every minute of it. But then, I went after another cache whose coordinates pointed directly to a lamppost. The cache was actually stuck under a park bench fifty feet away. That's not clever--it's just evil, and it irritates the daylights out of people like me. So enjoy, and thaks for placing those caches. But please--don't make them evil.
  19. We're out West now--We'll be in Utah this weekend. Carry water--lots of water. Take extra batteries for your GPS. As you suggested, be careful reaching under things. Trails aren't always as pronounced asthey are in the East, so it's easier to get turned around. And water--did I mention water? Seriously, carry as much as you can. Stuff your day pack--you won't regret it.
  20. There are different opinions on this subject. Some people swear by multi-purpose GPS units, while others (like me) prefer different units for the car and geocaching. For a multi-purpose, Garmin is very popular. the Garmin Vista HCx and Garmin GPSmap 60 CSx are very popular. They both do a great job on the trail, using Garmin US Topo 2008 digital maps, and higher-detail Garmin National Park Topos. And they do a pretty good job of street navigation, using Garmin's City Navigator digital maps. Actually, the city navigation is very good. What I don't like is the absence of turn-by-turn spoken directions. And I like a larger screen for the car than I get on a handheld unit. So, I use a separate unit for the car (comparable to a Tom-Tom). Hope that helps!
  21. CacheMate also converts GPX files, so you can run the PQ's GPX file through CacheMate and get it onto your PDA. GSAK is a nice program, but it isn't necessary for paperless caching. You can get a PQ of your target area and load the resulting GPX file directly into your PDA and GPSr. GSAK is very helpful in two situations: (1) If you want to keep a local database of hundreds (or thousands) of caches, GSAK can do it. (2) If you are on an extended road trip (as we are at the moment), GSAK makes a good offline GPX viewer. Before we left, I created routes for each leg of our trip, then set up a pocket query for each route. I'm having Groundspeak generate the PQ for each leg the night before we need it. So, each morning, I clear the GSAK database from yesterday and load the PQ that Groundspeak generated last night. Once in the car, we pop open the laptop and start looking for good caches along the route. Since we have about 50 caches on each leg, it's easier to look at them on the laptop in the car, rather than having to hunt through a list on our PDA.
  22. US Topo 2008 is great for routing hikes, but IMHO you'll be happier with CN for street routing.
  23. As a homeschooler, I disagree. Gecocaching is part of our curriculum and my three kids (8,7, and 5) have a blast. They are also very respectable of the caches. I think the key is to start education at an early age. And not to forget the all important lesson of respect with whatever is taught. But no matter how much respect is "spoken of", it is better learned through example. That's what falls on us as adults to do. The part in bold changes your situation quite a bit. Yes I know I made a blanket statement but everything has it's exceptions. So you're implying that my child, who attends public school, is disrespectful? That's disrespectful. Oh, by the way, the neuter singular possessive pronoun is "its," not "it's." "It's" is a contraction for "it is." I learned that in public school, thank you very much. In what kind of school did you fail to learn it? (Yes, "spelling flames" are usually lame, but thanks to you, we're talking about the relative value of different kinds of education. Everything has its exceptions! )
  24. REI has the Garmin 60 CSx on sale, plus the mfr has a $50 rebate. Amounts to $100 off.
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