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Everything posted by Jeep4two

  1. Most likely the Camo and the old blue Legend have the same basic reciever. You will want an H designated unit if you go with a Garmin line (or any other unit that states "High Sensitivity" in the specifications). The older Camo and Legend in the eTrex line are fine as backups or winter units (maybe even urban caching) but if you ever plan on being in difficult conditions (under tree cover, lots of tall buildings, down in a steep sided valley or ravine) then a High Sensitivity unit is a must. As others have posted - there refurbished units out there that get pricing very low on some of the newer units and most likely come with the same 1 year warranty in many cases.
  2. Bummer on the unit going dead on you. Hate you had a bad Garmin experience. Since you already own Metroguide NA you could consider staying with Garmin and going with an Oregon 200 (or 300). They provide a nice touch screen interface that's easy to use in the car. You can also use your Metroguide maps as routable maps by doing a quick conversion using a free program called Metrowizzz making them device routable (I'm using this solution on my Oregon 400t for routing). I love my Oregon but also understand having a bad taste on a Garmin. I wish I had some recommendations for bringing your Venture back to life. There are lots of other handhelds out there that could probably do the same. Maybe someone with some knowledge on the PN-20 will show up and let you know if it would fit your bill.
  3. I am little confused. You say If this is the case you were in the wrong place. You had the right position north/south (Latitude) but the wrong position east/west (Longitude). If you aren't at the exact coordinates you aren't likely to find anything. When using your navigation arrow the pointer will guide you to the exact point that you entered in (or transfered to) your GPSr. A few things to keep in mind. Geocaches use the WGS84 datum. If you are using a different datum on your GPSr you will have errors unless you first convert the coordinates (don't ask me how - someone else may know - but it's easier to just change your GPSr datum to WGS84). You may want to post in your regional forum if you want to get some guidance. Also check to see if there are any upcoming event caches that you can attend. They usually fall on weekends so you might even catch one in your area this weekend. Also you say: This is somewhat true, however keep in mind that the coordinates for traditional caches are supposed to be where the cache is hidden - as exact as possible. You will need to expand your search area to 30 - 50 foot radius to account for positional error (accuracy) of the hiders GPSr and your GPSr. However caches should'nt be hundreds of feet away from the coordinates - and typically should be found within 10-20 feet or so (this has been my experience anyway).
  4. Have you double checked to be sure your new listing is marked as active? (see post #3)
  5. I think you are referring to Waymarking.com. This is just another location based activity where someone provides you with the coordinates for an interesting location. Could be history based, nature, shopping - any number of categories (the site is organized by categories). I believe you can do custom searches (like pocket queries) on Waymarking, but I think the results are in a lite version of the GPX and I'm not totally sure what all information is included in the GPX file. The Pocket Query itself it a Geocache specific tool for permium members to get Geocache information based on your search criteria and won't return Waymarking results. Waymarking is really like a 'Virtual' geocache (which aren't allowed on Geocaching.com any more) and can be a great way to see interesting places.
  6. I should elaborate on 'depending on your GPSr'. You should have all the caches for the area where you are planning your hide loaded to your GPSr either via a Pocket Query and resultant GPX file, or by adding waypoints. This of course can be difficult to do if you didn't plan on placement before hand. I identified my hiding area almost a month before I actually placed my two caches and put a lot of thought into it. I also had to verify permissions with the land manager to meet the parks guidelines which took me a while since I tried to get my hide out over a holiday weekend.
  7. Depending on your GPSr you could just go to your prospective hide location and then use your GPSr to locate the closest Geocache. I use my Oregon to do this when doing my hides. I only have two hides, but wanted them both on this one particular trail. When I decided on the general area, I identified my favorite hide site, then marked a waypoint and kept my navigation on it while I hiked on around the trail and identified another spot that met the .10 mile 'rule of thumb'. I was actually only about 540 or 550 feet I think - so I was pretty close the 528 foot (.1 mile) requirement - it worked out.
  8. Well said... But consider this - and I'm at least partly serious here - the Bomb Squad and other LEO's involved in this type of situation are most likely having a blast (hehe). I mean seriously. They have trained for these types of situations. They are professionals. . . and I would imagine that much like the weather guy (or gal) that gets all worked up over that super cell crossing the viewing area (that's very unlikely to do any real damage), the LEO's are most likely glad to have something to do. I know, I know, there are exceptions where a busy department in a busy area could be pulled away from a more important task - so I'm not legitimizing LPC's or other hides that aren't properly marked - I'm just sayin'... Blowing stuff up is fun - and I doubt it matters if it's a plastic tub of trinkets or a legitimate pipe bomb. I'll add that I've done 1 parking lot cache, one multi-cache that started in a parking lot and turned out only had a 2nd stage in the same parking lot. And I've done one LPC. I don't need to do any more of any of these types of caches again - nothing exciting about them for me. I'll leave them for those that enjoy finding them, investigating them or blowing them up.
  9. And if you want routing maps, remember that you can't view the topo maps while routing and that you'll need to set the unit up properly in order to view the map you want to see. I loaded CN and a topo map expecting to be able to route AND view topos at the same time (this can be done with the PN-40), NOPE! In order to view the topos, you'll either need to disable CN when not using OR figure out how to set the profiles up so the maps are displayed when wanted...or so I'm told this can be done! This is easy enough to be done. The Oregon allows you to specify which maps are being used for each profile. For example, my geocaching profile uses a combination of the preloaded Topo 2008, and several overlay maps that I've made for trails and other things. Automotive profile loads my Metroguide NA maps that I converted to routable using Metrowizzz. Switching is just two presses on the screen 1) Change Profile 2) Automotive or Geocaching. When you switch from Geocaching and have the next closest selected as your Goto point it will auto-calcuate the route and off you go. If you want to have Topo maps overlaying your CityNavigator (or other routable map) then there are freeware utilities out there that can reprocess the USGS topos making them 'transparent' (no background - just the elevation lines) and then overlay them onto another map. I haven't done this but don't see that it would be too difficult after converting some trail maps. Of course to answer the OP's direct question - yes, the Oregon is a paperless capable unit. Keep in mind that you get the last 5 logs, full description, hint but don't get the images if any are part of the description.
  10. Interesting situation... It almost sounds like they viewed you as an intruder for some reason. That's a red flag to me. Public lands often get used for many things that, well. . . they shouldn't be used for. I'm not sure what's going on there but something seems very out of the ordinary and I somehow doubt it's the 'stale trash'. I can't think of a valid reason that things would be so difficult to figure out. If the state is selling permits for land usage to private lessees it would stand to reason that adequate records of land allocation would be at hand to accommodate the sale of new permits to potential 'buyers' (I mean overview maps, references, boundries, etc). Being unable to help or being difficult could just be the norm for these folks to discourage the non-buying public from visiting the area, or something else... I would be unlikely to pursue it since if they don't want you and other cachers there your hide will be unlikely to last long before mysteriously going lost. . . I could be wrong - I have little information and didn't have the benefit of reading their body language and seeing things as they played out. I hope I'm wrong. As a taxpayer who supports these types of public lands I both respect the desire to protect them, but also feel that when activities by the public pose no harm they should be welcomed. Showcasing what an area has to offer (even if it is a fairly narrow group like Geocachers - comparatively) is important in building knowledge, respect and appreciation for our environment and surroundings that will ultimately foster a better place for us all. I know - my view may be somewhat idealistic and even unrealistic in some ways but I try to look at the positive.
  11. Almanac data not being sufficient comes to mind as JBnW mentioned - but your guess of multipath fade, distortion in a metropolitan area could also be the culprit. Just a thought - since the state of California is paying their state employees with I.O.U.'s it could also be possible that they are Jamming GPS signals to prevent Californians from finding their way out...
  12. I carry at a minimum a cell phone with a camera which will do in a pinch (purely for snapshots or earthcaches). Usually I have my shoulder bag and a 6MP point and shoot Canon that does a great job with the exception of macros and of course a fairly bland bokeh. When interested in caching and getting quality photos I carry my Canon Digital Rebel with a few lenses in my Lowepro waist pack. So - long story short - Oregon 400t. I like the idea of the all in one but I'm carrying my swag bag 90% of the time so having the point and shot along side will yield me much better photos and it's easy enough to match the Exif time stamp on the camera with the GPS track log if I really need a firm waypoint to go with a picture. I'll add that I haven't see the quality of photos that come from the 550 but doubt that they can touch even a modest $100 6MP point and shoot.
  13. I can just see it now. Phone propped on a near by rock with mirror 1 balanced on a twig shoved in the ground to reflect the face of the GPS app on the phone back to you perfectly aligned to the 2nd mirror in your hand. *Bam!* you got your shot! In all seriousness however - I think a shot of you at the proper location will get you your smiley. If you feel you need to you can include the elevation in an e-mail to the CO after you log as additional proof you were there, but I doubt that most CO's would give you any grief.
  14. This brings up an interesting idea. Maybe there are some Federal Stimulus dollars available to help fund a new U.S. Department of Geo-Tourism. Then we can have a Geo-Czar (I guess that would have to be Jeremy) and Geo-Summits where we can bring all the Geo-Tourism countries together and unite. I think a few Billion $$'s would take care of getting me started. **heads off to call congressman**
  15. Wife loves it - We are Jeep4Two after all. Her geo-senses are much sharper than mine and we both really enjoy getting out, hiking and the activity. I however have to take point on the woodland trails, clear out the spider webs with my face, point out slippery spots, snakes, critters, and the like. Ahh - fun fun. . .
  16. I'm with most responders here - seems that creativity and knowledge of guidelines will go a long way, versus actual caching experience. Of course who's to say this person hasn't been caching with a friend for some time without an account - but that is just speculative. My real concern is the use of a food container for the cache. I doubt that the survivability of this cache container in the wild will be very long. Not only is it flimsy and not water tight (water will wick around the lid seal) the residual odor will surely draw some random critter that has some dry toast in need of some margarine - and he's gonna be pissed when he finds swag instead of margarine.
  17. The sunlight readability is fine. Many will point out that it could be better - which I agree, it would be nice if it was as bright and easy to read in direct sunlight as it is indoors, but I don't want to change batteries every 20 minutes or lug around a car battery. I've been very happy with my Oregon and the readability. I would imagine that the Oregon screen will be about the same on the durability front. The texture is a matte finish that your finger glides easily over for scrolling the screen but a build up of dust, dirt and the like would of course cause a problem over time. As a result I ended up putting a Zagg Invisible Shield. I've been very pleased with it's ability to protect the screen and even feel that it boosts the contrast and slightly improves screen readability outdoors. Keep in mind that screen protectors are usually shiny (at least semi shiny or glossy) so you will increase reflectivity of the screen surface. I'm also very happy with the Invisible Shield's performance so far. Love my Oregon - every aspect of it...
  18. It's not a bug, its a feature. The eTrex units are designed to be used in the left hand. The point is to use the GPS in the your non dominant hand and leave the right hand free for taking notes, holding your walking stick, swatting flies or scratching your nose. In practice it seems most righties use the unit in their right hand - I know I do - but that's not what Garmin had in mind. Very interesting note Briansnat - I had never made this observation because. . . well I'm left handed person that has adapted somewhat to a right handed world. In other words activities that required dexterity fall to my left hand but many others fall to my right as a matter of conformity. Hiking for example has my GPSr in my left hand where while my hiking stick is in the right. Never thought of this when using my old eTrex Legend. . . and seems somewhat irrelevant now that I have an Oregon. To the OP: Get these units in your hands to demo them (a caching event is a great time to play with various technologies, or your local outdoors retailer). See what you like the best. If you had to pick the Hcx or 60Csx, I'd go with the 60Csx because of it's reputation as a rock solid accuracy monster. Truly paperless? Maybe in some ways but not like an Oregon or PN-20 (30, etc...). I'll be another to highly recommend the PQ's as a way to enhance your caching experience. I used the trial that came when I registered my Oregon (and also another 30 days on my Legend) before ponying up the $30 for my membership. While I don't use PQ's every day, it makes very quick work of getting ready for a day of caching. A few weeks ago I needed to have a current list before going out for a few quick grabs before an event. Less than 5 minutes later I had my two regional queries in my inbox, caches loaded to my Oregon 400t and was on my way. I hit all the attempted finds within normal error (less than 10 feet or so) and had have yet to have accuracy issues that would hinder a hunt. In addition I've hidden my first two caches with positive feedback from all but one finder. The caches are located in challenging conditions (very heavy tree cover, low lying with one side of the horizon blocked by high hills). I guess it goes without saying I love my Oregon. It was very intuitive right out of the box. I'd save the money by going with the Oregon 300 today, but at the time I purchased the 400t was really close to the price of the 300.
  19. Forgot to mention - while attending caching events we are 10-15 (Convoy or Escort)
  20. Also - depending on your locality and standards in use Geocachers can be known as the following over the police radio waves: 10-60 (Suspicious Person) 10-14 (Suspicious Person) 10-64 (Mental Patient) 10-85 (Stroke Patient) Usually after a DNF 10-63 (Asthma Attack) after a 5 terrain And - if you are looking really suspicous while hunting that playground cache, you might even be: 10-29 (Check for wanted) or heaven forbid go Signal 41 (to Jail)
  21. My first cache enlightened me on this topic quite a bit. First I'll say I understand your eagerness. . . I had to work hard to curb my enthusiasm during the wait for review and publishing too. My first cache was recently placed in a state park with established guidelines and rule for caches that I followed (I got them from the reviewer's profile actually, and also discussed with a ranger). What you have to remember is that when you are hiding in a new area (or even are a new hider) that you have to allow time for the reviewer to verify that you have the proper permissions. I even forwarded the e-mail I got from our park manager along to the reviewer and posted a reviewer note on the cache page. However the reviewer had the same difficulty catching the manager that I did by phone or even e-mail. Remember anyone can craft a bogus e-mail so sometimes just reviewing the cache page is only part of the review process. Sometimes getting in touch with the land owner/manager is necessary too. On the up side - my next cache was published with a few hours of when I submitted it. Hidden in the same park with an e-mail given indicating it was still OK to place caches - and it was live with an FTF landing on it just after daybreak (area close at night). I truly apprecate what the reviewers do. They ensure that hides are within the guidelines and that the integrity of the hobby is in tact, land managers and property owners are happy and we all have lots of new caches to find.
  22. Interestingly I haven't happend upon too many golf balls lately with the exception of this cache: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...2d-c8aeb4d5dbbd Found several on the way in to the cache. Funny thing was they were range balls and we were no where near the range (but near a water hazard) which just goes to show that many golfers grab range balls to play on the water hazard holes. . . .
  23. Homo sapieus locus lingua (yeah - I broke the Latin language)
  24. I suspect it's probably stored in an encrypted file on the device and I've not seen anywhere on my Nuvi 255w that indicates the date of first satellite lock. Most likely a hidden file in the onboard memory, or even in another memory location. I would imagine the following would suffice in the event you get in a disagreement when your 60 days (or 1 year warranty) expires. Keep your receipt and register your device on my.garmin.com the day you buy it. Got it as a gift? Register it on the day you open it up, and ask the giver to hold on to the receipt for a few months or put it in a sealed envelope and give it to you in case you need it for warranty claim or proof of purchase.
  25. I agree with the 'Revisit' a good TB cache idea... I use this tactic from time to time. If I have a trackable that I want to get 'on the road' there is a cache within 10 miles of my house that's well hidden off of a park and ride by the Interstate. I'll drop them there and post a 'note' to log the drop. There's a nice ammo can in a park where I have a few 1.5 quart small caches that I'll put larger ones, and have already used my new small hides as a place to drop one bug. Revisits are nice - sometimes you see things that you overlooked the first time since you can focus more on your surroundings and its fun to see the new stuff in the cache container too. Of course don't log 'found it' more than once
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