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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. Go for it! Pick a couple of easy caches that don't require bushwacking, long hikes, or other inconvenience for the little one.
  2. There are a couple of other alternatives. We use our Garmin for hiking, some in National Parks, but most out. There are a number of web sites that post GPX tracks for commonly-used trails. Backpacker.com, TrailRegistry.com LocalHikes.com most immediately come to mind. And when that fails, we've been able to locate trail maps online (usually in PDF or jpg format), which we load into Google Earth as overlays. That allows us to use GE's Path tool to create a route, which we then save as a GPX file. So even though Garmin's topos don't have a lot of trails, we've found it pretty easy to add them from GPX files.
  3. Okay, but riddle me this, Caped Crusader: How does the GPS get a bearing to a set of coordinates? When it's moving, it gets them by triangulating from the satellites, right? But what about when it's standing still? As I understand it, without an electronic compass, it can't. So, the compass on my Garmin 60 CSx will help me find a set of coordinates, at least when I'm standing still, by providing a north from which it it can 'plot' a bearing. I share your frustration about the two-axis compass--my only real complaint about the Garmin 60 CSx, other than the frequency with which I have to recalibrate the compass. But I've never had a problem with the unit trying to do two things at once. It gives me a perfectly good bearing and distance when I hold it horizontally. So, once I've got it level, I'm generally off to the races. Or, at least, the hunt.
  4. Unless there is a pretty compelling reason to bring people to the park, I'd disable it. Sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt, despite your warning.
  5. Well, you'd have to, wouldn't you. Otherwise they'd be out of business pretty quickly. Why would anyone give away free GPSr's? figure that in any 'free' deal, you are going to pay (one way or another) at least the wholesale cost of the 'free' item, plus the cost of advertising, plus overhead, plus about 20% on top of that, because the person running the promotion wants to make money. And that ends up being pretty much the retail cost of the 'free' item. TANSTAAFL
  6. There is a recent thread on the subject. It's a known bug--corrupted PQ/Rs aren't deletable. GS tech support is apparently aware of the problem, but doesn't have an immediate fix.
  7. You can cache without a mapping unit, but we find the maps to be very convenient. As you mentioned, maps make it easier to navigate to a cache site. And we often cache while hiking. A mapping unit makes it easier to lay out a route that includes the caches we want to hunt. And for hiking alone, a mapping unit is great, unless you already hike with a map and compass. A few months ago, we ended up getting dumped on a hike in Georgia with several other folks when the local who was to lead it had an emergency. The GPSr made it pretty easy to navigate over unfamiliar terrain with a minimum of fuss and bother.
  8. FWIW, we tend not to do multis, unless they are really good and get rave reviews from other cachers. We recently spent an entire day bushwacking a muti series--seven separate caches that yielded three smileys whan all were found (which we did). If we're going to do that much work, we'd like seven smileys. The best multi-series we have done was an abandoned bridge ruins series. There were three multis. Each was a micro on an abandoned bridge abutment, which led to an ammo box nearby with a log and a history of the bridge. The bonus led to an ammo box with copies of a CD-ROM that contained a digitized plat map of the county from 1880, showing all the bridges. A very well-thought-out multi series, and one of our favorites!
  9. From what I've learned here and from browsing the web, the civilian GPS system, even with high-sensitivity and WAAS, has a maximum accuracy of 15' - 20'. Sometimes, I'll find a cache spot-on to the posted coordinates. I consider that to be more luck than anything else, because most of the time, I'm within 20', and occasionally, I'm only within 40'. So, given two different GPSr's (the one used to place the cache, and mine, used to find it) with 20' accuracy, that makes sense. Statistically, it's the sort of distribution you'd expect to see. I originally had an eTrex Vista that regularly reported accuracy of 6'. But with that unit, under a clear sky, I usually got within 20' or so--just like with my 60 CSx, which rarely reports accuracy better than 15'. I figure the 60 CSx is simply more accurate in its reporting of...accuracy.
  10. Reading another post on the forum brought up an old question: If a GPS unit can get an altitude fix by triangulating from the satellites in 3D, then why would I want a GPS unit with a barometric altimeter? We use a Garmin 60 CSx, but I haven't paid too much attention to the barometric altimeter since I got it. Does the barometric altimeter add something to what the GPS receiver can do on its own? Thanks.
  11. I hope ExpertGPS doesn't get left behind! I use GPS for hiking, and ExpertGPS does a nice job of manipulating GPX files. The merge feature is going to come in very handy for merging cache GPXs into hiking routes that I create. And I use it a lot to clean up bread-crumb tracks that I create while hiking.
  12. Haven't used an eTrex 'H' myself, but from what I've read, sensitivity seems comparable. 60 CSx will have a dlight edge, due to antenna and ability to connect external amplified antenna. Other main advantage of 60 CSx for me is durability. I've dropped mine several times, with no ill effects. Vista HCx has the advantage of size--nicely pocketable. Some users think it has a brighter screen, and it is significantly less expensive. You could hardly go wrong either way. The best unit is the one that works best for you.
  13. Ohmygawd! And I thought I was done!
  14. Cool! Thanks! We're going to be in Grand Lake in September. We'll try to check it out.
  15. I swore that when we got our hundredth find, I wouldn't post one of those self-congratulatory notes celebrating the fact. So I won't. But I do want to put in a plug for one of the greatest caches we have ever hunted, Beverly. Corps of Discovery recommended it as an appripriate 100th, given that it is the second oldest active geocache on the planet. My log entry sums up my enthusiasm for this cache. This really is a classy cache. If you live in Chicagoland, or if you are ever in the area, this cache is well worth the drive out to Barrington. The next time we introduce someone to geocaching, we'll use this cache to do it.
  16. GPS does triangulation of satellite signals, so it measures distance 'as the crow flies'. As a previous poster noted, it doesn't take altitude into account, so one mile away and a half mile up would appear as 'one mile'.
  17. There was one like that near us. We emailed the CO, got no response. The CO hadn't logged on in a year, so we posted a 'Needs Archiving' log. The CO turned up after a couple of weeks. Turned out he'd been tied up and away from caching but wanted to continue the cache. He replaced it in the same spot, and it turned out to be a very nice little cache!
  18. Please add our vote for this feature.
  19. Thanks, Dan. I'm an ExpertGPS user. Will the new features show up on ExpertGPS as well? BTW, if you're looking for testing, I'm a pretty regular ExpertGPS user.
  20. Now, that's a Jeep! I admit to being a wuss--I drive a red Cherokee, which I'm getting ready to trade in for a four-door Wrangler Ulimited (moving from Chicago to Southern California). But when I was a kid, I used to drive a jeep exactly like yours all over the hunting preserve at Fort Knox, Kentucky. We'd occasionally stray onto the military reservation, and the MPs would take ten minutes admiring the Jeep before they ran us off.
  21. 16 feet is at the practical limit of GPS accuracy. No matter what the GPSr reports, you're not likely to get better than 15 - 20 feet. If you upgrade, I'd recommend a 'high sensitivity' receiver. SIRFstar III (a.k.a. SIRF III) used to be the only game in town. Garmin has added 'H' models to its eTrex line using a different high-sensitivity chipset, and these models are getting good reviews from users in these forums. I use a Garmin 60 CSx. It's more expensive than $200, particularly when the cost of maps is factored in. But it pulls in a strong signal from almost anywhere, it's pretty rugged (several drops and no damage), and I like its screen and controls. So, I'd recommend that. After all, your children can do without braces on their teeth for a couple more years!
  22. I don't have that problem on IE7 in XP or Vista.
  23. On some occasions, I pull caches to hunt by bookmarking those that look interesting, then running a pocket query on the bookmark list. That works, but it might be simpler if I could simply download the GPX file for each cache as I encounter it. The problem with that approach is that I end up with a bunch of GPXs to load into my GPSr and Palm Pilot, instead of the one GPX I get from a bookmark list pocket query. And that got me wondering: Is there any software that will consolidate a folder full of GPX files into one file? Thanks!
  24. I use a Garmin 60 CSx for hiking, and I make tracks with it all the time. You will get good results with the unit alone, but if your conditions are particularly challenging, you might use an external antenna. As the previous poster noted, Gillson makes good ones. But try without it first--you may not need it. Once you have recorded your tracks, you can either load them into a mapping product like Garmin's US Topo 2008. Garmin's PC software (MapSource) has a feature that will let you open your track in Google Earth. If you're running an Intel Mac, MapSource will run under Parallels or Boot Camp.
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