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Everything posted by Jeep4two

  1. This was exactly what I was going to say. I would print out the cache page as a handout for the students and let them manually enter the coordinates to see how that part works (a good learning and teaching moment to talk about lat. and lon. and what they mean). Awesome idea by the way. This is how I got into the game in 2001. After a TV news story, my boss suggested we investigate (as technology professionals) and then we developed a series of lesson plans that taught the technology and environmental aspects of the game using our local 'outdoor classroom' and some temporary caches. It was a blast, and while I was out of the game for a number of years (work, school, financial obligations) I always remembered the fun and came back to the game this past year. Have fun!
  2. One of the reasons I like to read the logs, and that I like to log discrepancies when I find them. If it's much larger than a 35mm film can then it's a small. (Ok - some of you have never seen one outside of caching, but back in the day our 'memory cards' for our cameras came in these, and they were disposable - apparently someone has stockpiled them and is making millions of dollars in the Geocaching container business) For me that means vitamin bottles, peanut butter jars, peach jars (plastic of course) and even all the way up to 1.5 or 2 quart lock and locks. While finding a film can instead of a peanut butter jar is a minor annoyance at times, nothing is worse than planning a travel bug drop for a regular and showing up to find a vitamin bottle with a 1/2 opening that wouldn't even accept the TB tag much less the traveler. Alas - part of the game that I've come to accept and don't sweat too much.
  3. Now that's good stuff - I needed a good laugh.....
  4. Really - a better name? You should know better. Apple's marketing department is made up of a group of one letter copy writers. At least Asus used 3 e's when naming their Eee PC However - you can't argue with their success. People continue to plop down around $1500 for their laptop, toss in the unbelievable success of the iPod, iPhone and probably billions in sales for i(insert accessory name here) products by Apple and 3rd party manufacturers and you have a tidy little nest egg. I do look forward to see this new piece of technology although with some of the already glaring errors in support (no Flash player support to mention one) I don't see it replacing my netbook anytime soon. I guess it could be a nice little accessory for travel (maybe even caching)...
  5. I found a nice army surplus store (near Fort Knox, KY Ironically). I paid $4.00 for 7.62mm cans, and $6.00 for 50cal. cans. As prices go, that's the best I could find in my region (Louisville, Ky area). As others have said, ordering online is cost prohibitive as shipping costs tend to ruin the $3.00 ammo can deal you just found. On the other hand - if you are planning on placing a lot of caches you can go online and buy bulk. For whatever reason, the military doesn't do much recycling of ammo cans. They go to surplus auctions (online these days). You can get a lot of hundreds of ammo cans for not much more than a dollar or two each. But who needs four hundred 7.62mm ammo cans, and a divorce?
  6. "Interfering with the duties"..... Hmm - lets see. Regardless of the reason of the call to the police (by the witness) there was in fact a call. The cacher can only assume that (based on the guidelines for placement and approval of a cache) that the cache was placed with permission. Given those basic facts, the police were responding to the concerns of a a citizen. They checked things out, determined that there was nothing fishy, and should have gone on about their way and checked off the 'learned something new today' item on their to-do list. There was no interference with their duties. In fact the actions of the cacher simply crossed paths with their duties and became a part of them that day. Nothing more. As other posters have mentioned, listing on the cache page who gave permission for the placement of the cache when on private property would have been most helpful and really should be a requirement. It's simple enough to jot down a name, then list the phone number for the property owner when typing up the listing - and it makes the job of the reviewer that much easier. Of course giving the climate of our society today, I find myself more and more reluctant to do caches that are in locations where I can foresee potential problems such as this one. I hope I never have to fact this situation personally, but I also keep Geocaching info cards in my cache bag with the hopes that they will help avoid such misunderstandings.
  7. Grab some pathtags, toss one to suspected cachers. If they are cachers, they'll love it and strike up a conversation. If they aren't, you can hope they'll go to the Pathtags website (it's on the tag) and then learn about caching. Next time you see them, maybe they'll toss you a tag.
  8. I'm not terribly fond of 'urban' caches that put me in plain view when searching for a cache. When I do attempt these kinds of caches I like to stand off of the location by 30 or 40 feet and start to think like the hider before I start 'poking' around. I also keep saying I'm going to keep a clipboard with a legal pad on it in the cachemobile so I can pull it out to take 'fake notes' while poking around to help defer suspicion. It's human nature to assume that a guy (or gal) with a clipboard that takes a quick peek in a bush, then writes a few notes on their clipboard is just 'doing their job' and gets ignored. (unfortunately the same tactics are used by criminals in the process of committing crimes in broad daylight). Of course I never remember the clip board. A hard hat and a shirt with a "Geospatial Inspection Services" logo compliment the clipboard well I understand
  9. I bought a Garmin 400t last year (sorry - I like Garmin) and it came with Topo's with farily recent street maping (non-routable). I also had a Mapsource North America (circa 2005) with street maps that was routable on the PC and could easily be 'converted' to be routable on my unit. So far I have found that this provides me with adequate routable mapping on my handheld when out caching even though the maps are a little dated. I can fill in the gaps by using the non routable views of the more recent topos, and open source routable maps. It's worked for me - I'm cheap or I would have bought an updated routable product. For Garmin there are free options out there for other topos and other specialty maps so I've used some of those as well, and also dabbled in making some trail maps from state provided ESRI shape files (thanks to some help from wonderful members of this forum on conversion techniques and tutorials on using software I am excited about some of the developing subscription products for the Garmin units - probably similar to what is already available for your unit.
  10. At the time I bought I weighed more heavily toward the 300 due to price. However I came across a price on a 400t that made it nearly the same cost as the 400t. That said - I've been happy with the unit in all aspects. Garmin has been proactive with trying to resolve problems and has relased new software/firmware frequently and added features over the course of those updates. The 400t and 300 are very similar outside of the basemap - as you know the 400t includes the Topos. Of course there are plenty of 24K topos available for free out there (gpsfiledepot) so if you can grab a 300 for less than a 400t then it seems to be a no brainer. The 3 axis compass would be an improvement on the 400t's 2 axis, but I suspect the 450 when it is released will remain on the upper end of the price spectrum possibly making it an illogical choice. I'd save the money and go for the 400t or even a 300 if you can save some money. In the end you are probably going to want some routable maps for your handheld to assist in getting from location to location so save your money for a nice big microSD card and some routable street maps.
  11. One of the reasons I considered the Oregon (very similar to the Colorado) 300 and 400t was the electronic compass. That said - my Oregon has proven pretty good when calibrated. In reading the forums it seems that most Colorado users and Oregon users that calibrate each time they go out (or change batteries) seem to be fairly happy. Calibration is a must - and it doesn't require spinning like a tea cup in a circle and looking like you are having a seizure. I just hold the unit level and slowly rotate it in a full circle in my hand. I've had good results. I do stay on top of the firmware updates as well. I'm always either running the latest official (that's proven reliable) or beta (that is also been tested and seems to be reliable). Old firmware/software can easily be the source of problems since Garmin has been pretty active in addressing issues lately. Good luck,
  12. I bought a Ram Mount for my Oregon 400t before I was lucky enough (well, the wife was lucky enough) to win a 255wt in a drawing. I wish I had the same mount (with the 'Garmin Ball') but I like the Ram Mount as well. The only gripe I have with the Ram is the length of the arm from the suction base to the mount itself is a bit long resulting in a little more than desirable vibration when driving. Not a problem in a car really - but in the rougher ride of my Jeep it can be a little annoying. It is however very very adjustable. Glad to hear of the low cost option at REI - I may give it a look and eBay the Ram...
  13. Just log back in to the account and buy a new membership. Forgot your password? Use the forgot password link. Don't have the e-mail address? Try contacting the lackeys and see if they may be able to help (contact@geocaching.com) Congrats and best of luck.
  14. What he said. . . I love finding an ammo can no matter where really. That said like most here I've really never found one in a location I didn't enjoy. After you find a few it really doesn't matter whether it's sitting on top of a tree stump uncovered, or tucked in the crotch of a downed tree with a pile of sticks covering it. They are both easy to find once you get there. It's the journey...
  15. I have a 255W as well. I use it primarily as an in car navigation unit (as intended) but also use GSAK and the Nuvi Macro to load caches to it. I like to see caches when driving and know when one is close by in case I want to hop out and go get one real quick. I do have a handheld as well (Oregon 400t) and use that when I do decide to make a quick pickup. That said, even with my Oregon in hand I sometimes still have trouble finding a cache. Your Nuvi will work fine for caching but it will always be a little harder once you start to get close since the unit lacks a 'pointer' to help guide you once you get close (you can only zoom in on the map so far you know). If you are really wanting to get into caching a handheld will go a long way in helping reduce GPSr frustration. Nice Garmin unit can be had off eBay used (or here in the Garage Sale forum) for less than a hundred bucks. You could also consider the little yellow Geomate Jr. as a starter unit (around $69 plus the update kit at an additional $25). Many casual cachers like the Geomate Jr. as it provides a simple but accurate handheld solution. It would work well if you use the Nuvi 255W to load your caches using GSAK and the Nuvi macro since you would have full descriptions, last 5 logs and hints on the Nuvi. Best of luck, welcome to the obsession, and don't get discouraged. Nothings better than going back to that cache that you just couldn't find the 2nd time and striking gold.
  16. If you want a PQ to generate immediately (right now) just select today as the run date on the PQ page. It should run fairly quickly. This can vary from a few minutes, to a few hours depending on the traffic on the servers.
  17. Thanks for that little note. I use my Nuvi 255WT as my navigation GPSr in the car and it's nice to have caches loaded but I've been hesitant to load to many for fear of hitting limits. No fear now
  18. If you already own a cable and have all you need to do the update - go for it. 3.9 is more stable but I don't recall there being any real feature enhancements or improvements regarding accuracy/reception. Before 3.9 I had occasional shutdowns, never had any after 3.9. I still use my Legend as a backup unit. Not sure it it would be worth buying a cable however...
  19. I have an Oregon 400t and never had any problem with the unit transferring files after loading Windows 7 on my netbook. I have my interface set to 'spanner' mode - although that's primarily because I use a non-Garmin car charger. Shouldn't make a difference in your situation. I would recommend checking the drivers and verifying that the unit is properly recognized. I'm assuming you can access the device as a Mass Storage device and see the contents of the unit?
  20. These unlock codes are similar to single use activation codes used by Microsoft and other companies (although probably more difficult to get Garmin to reset or allow reuse of codes than Microsoft). Once they are used/activated to a unit they are no longer usable. A used copy of the software without a 'new' unlock code is virtually worthless, even if he did delete the maps from his old unit. It would be nice if Garmin provided a way to relock products and thus make the key good again. Technically very feasible, however not within the marketing model in use at Garmin.
  21. Did you ask your reviewer if removing the last line would allow the approval of your cache? That line is the only one that seems to be supporting any kind of agenda to me. I would think a cache in honor or - or maybe in celebration of your cousins new turn in life might be allowable because to me it doesn't support a cause of any type, but rather is honoring or celebrating an individual. That to me would be no different than honoring someone that passed away, graduated from high school, got married. . . yadda yadda.
  22. I have to agree. If you need a container about that size, spring a buck for a match container. I've seen those small beach safes and wonder how they might hold up with a coat of camo paint. I have two ready to go out, just need the time to place them. They have rubber seals so they should hold out the water well, if the seals hold up. They come in rectangular shapes (about large enough to hold a deck of cards) and a smaller round shape (around the same size as a medium prescription bottle). evil bay has them available in small lots, and I think some of the cheesy import mail order companies sell them as well.
  23. I keep regular pen, pencil and one of those tiny Sharpie markers in my cache bag. That covers me for virtually any condition. I also have small 'replacement' sheets for those really wet logs where nothing works. I've also used a lighter to burn the tip of a small twig and signed one log that I'd hike a 1/2 mile back to didn't have my cache bag or pencil. Sooted tip wrote just fine but use caution in fire prone areas.
  24. I've cached with both a Colorado 300 and the Oregon 400t. While the Oregon is a little bigger than the Dakota model I still feel confident in its durability. A screen protector is a must for any of the touch screen models (invisible shield is what I chose). I didn't like the wheel on the Colorado and in the end sacrificed a little reception in trade for the usability of the Oregon. Even in heavy tree cover the Oregon performs well. I would imagine the Dakota is similar in a lot of ways.
  25. Thanks for this tip! That little icon's been there all along hasn't it? The more we use the more we discover and the easier it is to do the thing we enjoy. Appreciate your tip. Hey - it's Indiana Jill! Enjoyed meeting you at the 2009 Indiana Fall Picnic! Hope all's well with you! I love using Google Earth to view my GPX files, I believe you can just drop the GPX file right into Google Earth. I think you can open the GPX pocket query in Mapsource as well if you happen to have a Garmin.
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