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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. IMHO, you don't need the NG topo software for a Garmin 60 CSx, although you might want to use the NG software to print backup paper topos in case your GPSr fails. I've used the Garmin topo sets (US Topo 2008, National Park Topo) for trail navigation for about four months now (in California, Georgia, Illinois, and Wisconsin), and I haven't had any problems. I've seen some criticism that the Garmin topos don't show trails, but that hasn't been an issue for me. I get most of my trails online as GPX files, or I create them myself in Google Earth using trail map overlays. Either way, the trail downloads directly to the GPSr. I haven't yet come across a significant missing topographical feature or inaccuracy while using the Garmin topos on the trail.
  2. Try GPS Babel software--it may convert them.
  3. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the OP's question, but why not simply trace the fence lines as paths in Google Earth and convert from KML to GPX using GPSBabel? They should show up in the mapping program as tracks, and shouldn't require a change of GPSr.
  4. You can't transfer directly from the GPSr to the Palm. You need to upload from one to a PC, then download to the other. The best way to manage data is to download GPX, either from GC.com directly, or from your GSAK database. The GPX file will have coordinates, description, logs, and so on. Then, download the GPX to your GPSr, which will load the coordinates from the GPX file. Finally, download the same GPX file to CacheMate. It will load everything from the GPX file. If you don't use GSAK (I don't), you can use a pocket query to bulk-download caches. Or, if you are selective (I am), you can bookmark the caches you want to hunt, then PQ the bookmark list.
  5. Garmin has a great reputation for customer service, which my experience bears out. I recommend them without hesitation.
  6. Google 'camera stabilizer' and you should get some sites that offer neoprene belly straps for digital cameras. They are basically belts that hold your camera steady while you are walking, so that it doesn't swing back and forth. The belt slides off the camera when you're ready to shoot a picture. So, you hcan have your camera at the ready without having it swinging about. Very handy if you use a digital SLR.
  7. Another vote for trekking poles (we use Lekis). We use them all over the US and Europe. They are particularly good for rock scrambling and hiking of any wet surface. My poles have kept me from tripping and falling more times than I care to remember.
  8. I'll second the recommendation to recalibrate the compass. I generally have to recalibrate mine every time I turn it on, or I get the sort of problems you're describing. It's about the only thing I don't like about the unit.
  9. The 60CSX is a bit more rugged than the Vista, but a bit larger and bulkier. It won't fit in a shirt pocket the way a Vista will. The 60 CSX will take an external antenna, which can be handy under particularly challenging conditions. You really can't go wrong with either unit. If it came down to a new Vista HCX or a used Garmin 60 CSX from eBay, I'd probably go with the Vista, just to eliminate the risk of buying a stolen receiver. Garmin has a $50 rebate on the 60 CSx right now
  10. The odds are roughly the same as the cacher getting hit by lightning while hunting the cache. You wouldn't let that stop you from placing a cache, would you?
  11. Lemme see--"I lost a contact lens", "I lost my car keys here yesterday", "I'm checking for a North Korean Tree Beetle infestation". Someone once asked me what the GPSr was. I told them it was a car key locater. If you have a door-locking key fob, it can locate your car keys within twenty feet by homing in on the signal that the key fob uses to lock your doors. "They sell 'em on eBay. I bought one because I am constantly losing my car keys." Did it with a perfectly straight face. Person gave me a very funny look and walked away, scratching their head.
  12. It's a know problem. GS tech support doesn't have a workaround, but they say they're working on it.
  13. No--ignore the waypoints file. CacheMate only needs the other one (1302135 .gpx). Download the same file to your GPSr.
  14. I use the electronic compass on my 60 CSx. Occasionally, it behaves the way you describe. When it does, I simply recalibrate the compass, and that solves the problem.
  15. Yeah, I've seen that option as well, but adding trails one at a time from tracklogs is even more painful than one park at a time. This seems to beg for a community effort. If everyone added their tracklogs as polyline routable trails, we could come up with some data in a hurry. I'll second that! It's a shame there isn't something like Groundspeak for hikers.
  16. I second that. We have a Z22 that we use just for geocaching. Only complaint is that the screen isn't readable in bright sunlight. but that's a problem with most PDAs.
  17. You know you can just rotate the GPS don't you? I used to simply rotate the GPSr, but switched over to the Garmin two-step, because it is much easier to keep the GPSr level while rotating. That has a significant effect on the quality of the calibration.
  18. Cool! We always carry a map and compass when hiking. Sometimes, it's fun to plot our polisition and course using those, instead of the GPSr. But it can be difficult in Chicagoland, where everything is flat!
  19. Let me add another reply to my own thread! We're about to go, and we decided on two hikes. The first is Mystic Falls, a short three-mile loop with moderate elevation. The second hike is in the 'Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone'. It's a large canyon with two sets of falls at its head. There are trails on the north and south side of the canyon near the falls. I found both trails on Garmin's US National Parks Topos.
  20. I just bought my wife a pair of ploarized wraparounds at the local REI. Came of the budget rack--with case, came to $25. She loves them.
  21. Yes--Backpacker.com, TrailRegistry.com, LocalHikes.com, and many others. Google 'GPX hike', and you should get a bunch of hits.
  22. Best of luck! IMHO, you've got your priorities in the right place.
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