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Everything posted by rtreit

  1. I would do it by: 1. create pocket query and/or filter in GSAK to get the list of specific caches you want to have on the map 2. save as GPX file 3. open GPX file in Google Earth rtreit
  2. Off-topic, but how do you get those neat directional arrows on the track log? rtreit
  3. I feel like this is stating the obvious, but a GPS receiver will probably make a big difference when it comes to actually finding the cache. Unless it's completely out in the open with only a few obvious hiding places, I think you'll find getting to ground-zero with the GPS receiver and then knowing that the cache is within a 30' radius or so can make a huge difference in terms of narrowing down the possibilities. Not that you can't find caches without a GPS receiver, but it will make it quite a bit more difficult, especially if you're new and not sure what to look for. Take this cache that I found recently, and which had very good coordinates. Here it is with the coordinates plugged into Google Earth: The actual cache location is about 50 feet from where Google Earth shows it to be (the gray cross-hairs). The red circle shows an approximate 50 foot radius from the location as shown by Google Earth. It could take an hour or more, even in this small park, to thoroughly search for a small cache container within that radius. Having a GPSr pointing you in the right direction, letting you know if you're getting closer or further away, etc. can make all the difference in helping to hone in on the right place to look.
  4. Surely the Geocaching.com database will be updated at some point though?
  5. I've had great results with my 60CSx in tree cover, but I haven't used other units (besides a Nuvi which is terrible in the woods), so don't have much experience to compare it with.
  6. Go ahead and give geocaching a try with the Tom Tom. I started with my Nuvi and it was fine to try out the sport with. After almost dropping it in a stream and wincing as it tumbled off a log I had perched it on, not to mention having some real issues with the signal in the woods, I went ahead and got a handheld. But you'll know if/when you want to move to a handheld. In the meantime, go have fun finding some caches!
  7. KC7AVA here. I'm located in Monroe, WA. Ham gear is still packed from our last move but hoping to put an antenna up this summer and get back on the air. Maybe I'll even find some time to get my general class license finally! 73
  8. You can sign up for notifications of new caches in your area and do searches for new caches, but you'll need to upgrade to a premium membership first. The membership is well worth the cost in my book.
  9. One of my first caches when I was still trying to learn how to work the GPS. Recent logs said stuff like "Nice, easy find. TFTC" and "Walked right up to it" but I was forty minutes into hunting in the rain, scratched up by blackberries, and shivering. Being so excited at my first shot at an FTF and then coming up completely empty on a micro in the woods while getting my work clothes filthy from crawling around on my knees reaching under stumps. Maybe not frustrating so much as dispiriting at the time. Trying to keep my kids' enthusiasm up after 45 minutes of fruitless hunting but being too vain to pack it in ("just five more minutes, then we'll call off the hunt." <five minute later> "let me just check over here, ok?"). Nobody to blame but myself, and I'm slowly learning my lesson. Not taking the time to read/print the cache description before heading out to try and find the cache: in other words, not knowing if it's a micro or a regular, not having the hint to fall back on, etc. Since then have learned how to get a bunch of this info onto my handheld, but definitely was causing myself unneeded frustration for awhile. All-in-all though the frustrations seem like all part of the learning experience and fun. Makes the "clean" finds that much sweeter. rtreit
  10. I posted on this topic over in the Getting Started forum recently, but just found this thread. Trying to figure out what if anything I should do differently next time. In my case, I found a cache a couple days ago (February 8th) that had a TB in it that was not listed in the cache. When I looked up the TB online, it was released in August and last grabbed in Louisiana on November 1st. Nothing since then, except that I found it in a cache here in Washington state. So the TB has been incognito for three months, which seems like a long time to me. I checked the current holder's activity and they created their account and grabbed the bug on the same day, but did not log the cache that they grabbed the TB from. In fact their account has no activity besides the 1 TB grab at all: no caches logged, last online November 1 (day the account was created and the TB grabbed), etc. Interestingly enough, the only log for the cache on November 1 was from someone who mentioned they got to see a TB they had once had before. So what I did was grab the bug from the current holder who grabbed it back in November, dip it in and out of the cache I had found it in (as suggested over in the Getting Started forum when I asked). Since then I've learned that the more proper thing to do appears to be to e-mail the owner and give them more time to log the cache/TB drop. So I guess what might do next time is e-mail the current holder and wait a week before grabbing the bug. But...what I don't like about that is that it does not reflect reality: I have the bug in my possession, so I'd like to reflect that. Some reasons why I think e-mailing the holder doesn't make sense: 1. They did not log the cache they retrieved the TB from three months ago. 2. They did not sign the log at the cache where I found the TB. The last signature on the paper log at the cache where I found the TB was from back in November, and not by the current holder of the TB. So if they dropped off the bug while on vacation and were planning to log it soon, they should have signed the paper log. If I had seen that the current holder had signed the paper log in the cache but not yet logged it online, that would be one thing. But that's not the case here. 3. No activity on the account since it was created and grabbed the TB on November 1. 4. The TB has been MIA for three months. No notes posted to the effect of "taking on vacation and will drop shortly" within a few weeks of finding it, etc. And I'm sure the TB owner would like to see this bug resurrected and know what's going on with it. Delaying that for a week or more seems a bit unfair in this case. So based on that I think I maybe did the right thing. But then, I'm a newbie still and willing to take my lumps if this was egregious behavior. What do you all think? rtreit
  11. That should work: take a number of separate readings at the cache location and then average them to get a more accurate result. Some GPS receivers have a feature that you can turn on for this but should be simple to do it manually: Lat Lon Reading1 49.303992 -122.106256 Reading2 49.303938 -122.105891 Reading3 49.303804 -122.106526 Reading4 49.303683 -122.106195 Reading5 49.304399 -122.106294 Average 49.303963 -122.106232 I'm not sure what a reasonable time to wait between readings would be (maybe a minute?) or whether it helps to approach the cache location from several directions or just leave the GPSr at the location. Maybe others have more experience with this and can chime in. rtreit
  12. Thanks for the info and advice Roddy. I did check the cacher who had possession's profile, and the whole thing seemed a bit mysterious: joined on 11/1/08, last visit 11/1/08, 0 caches found, 0 forum posts. Grabbed the bug on 11/1/08. So it's been 3 months since they took possession. I have to say, it seems to me that if you find a bug it would make sense to grab it, since that reflects that it's really in your possession now. Maybe I'll post this question in the TB forum; probably will be a good discussion! Thanks again. rtreit
  13. Alright, I dropped it and retrieved it and all is squared away. Thanks for the help!
  14. I looked briefly on the Travel Bug forum but didn't see the answer to this, but I'm sure it's a newbie question. I found a TB this afternoon in a cache, but it turns out it was not in the cache's inventory online. In fact, it was last logged in November as being in Louisiana (I found it here in Washington state). I grabbed it and it's in my inventory now. My question is: should I virtually drop it in the cache where I found it and then retrieve it so that this cache lives in its history or just move it to a new cache and log it once it's there? What's the standard practice here? Thanks, rtreit
  15. Yeah, there's a setting for that. It's now displaying the coords in N 32º 12.3456' W 94º 78.9810' format. Storage is not an issue (4 GB flash memory), neither is battery life. What's wrong with using decimal?
  16. I'll second this sentiment. I usually go with my 8 and 10 year old girls. The first few caches we did, when I spotted the cache I triumphantly hauled it out with a shout. The kids were of course excited regardless, but nowadays when I spot the cache I'll often casually say something like "Hey Lauren, why don't you take that pile of stumps over there and I'll check over here" and then wait for the shrieks of delight. It's so much more fun and the kids' excitement is easily triple what it was when I was the one who "found" the cache.
  17. You might check out this post: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...=211461&hl= About halfway down are some long instructions on how to get the additional cache info onto the 60CSx. As StarBrand said, it's not really comprable to true paperless caching but at least you can get the hints and cache description, plus you can get more info (such as recent logs) if you don't mind additional pages per cache.
  18. Something I learned the hard way recently: when you change batteries in the 60CSX, you'll need to recalibrate the compass. I had read that but forgot about it and was very confused after I first changed the batteries.
  19. Here it is: http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx You'll see it as an option under Premium Features on your /my page (click your user name in the upper right corner when logged in to get there or browse to http://www.geocaching.com/my/). I used it a couple days ago for a trip I took with my wife and it was fantastic. So much fun to be driving along and seeing the caches pop up on the GPSr. I loaded two GPX files into my GPSr: the caches along our route, and then a pocket query based off the coordinates where we were going to be staying that had a much wider range. So the route had all the caches that were within a mile of the road we were traveling on, but when we got to the town we were staying in, I had everything I was interested in within a five mile radius. It was great!
  20. I'm still a complete greenhorn with only 17 finds, but I can already see that I was doing some pretty boneheaded searching at first (digging holes in the ground for example). I am still coming up empty fairly often (logged a DNF this morning on a micro), but with each find I think I'm learning a bit more how to think like the hider. I figure when I get a couple hundred finds under my belt I'll start developing that famed "geosense." It's definitely pretty humbling to read someone say "saw something that didn't look quite right and made the easy find" on caches that I spent an hour looking for and came up empty! Cheers, rtreit
  21. We have seven in our family, although so far the prime geocaching contingent is myself and our two older daugthers (8 and 10 respectively). Last weekend we did get the whole family out for a beautiful hike to a cache in the sunshine up an old logging road. So far we've been using my account, which does seem to make things easier. It wouldn't surprise me however if down the road the older kids decide they want their own account. But for now having to only sign one entry per log is nice.
  22. Could you list the steps that you use to do this? This sounds like it would work very well for me. I hope I'm not asking too much. Here's the method I used. It's really straightforward once you get everything you need installed. Sorry if these instructions are a bit verbose, but I figured it's better to err on the side of too much detail rather than not enough. I wouldn't use these instructions as a replacement for the great info in some of the other forum posts or on the GSAK site however. There's a ton of great info to be had. Step 1: Install Garmin POI loader 1. Install Garmin POI Loader from here. Step 2: Install GSAK and necessary macro: 1. Install GSAK 2. Fire it up. 3. Download the 60CSxPOI macro for GSAK to your computer and save it in some folder. Download link is here. 4. In GSAK, click Macro, then click Run/Manage. 5. On the Run Macro page, click Install. 6. Browse to the 60CSxPOI.gsk file you downloaded in step 3 and click Install. 7. Close the Run Macro window for now. 8. Click GPS and then click Setup 9. From the GPS brand drop-down, select Garmin 10. From the GPS Model drop-down, select GPSMAP 60CSx 11. Click OK Step 3: Get the list of caches you want into GSAK 1. Run a pocket query for the caches you're interested in. 2. Once you get the results in e-mail, save the .gpx file that was sent to a folder on your computer. 3. In GSAK, click File and then click Load GPX/LOC/ZIP... 4. Browse to the .gpx file you saved in step 2 and click OK 5. On the Load Summary page, click OK Step 4: Send the waypoints to your 60CSx 1. Connect your 60CSx to the computer with the USB cable and turn it on 2. In GSAK, click GPS, then click Send Waypoints 3. On the Send Waypoints to GPS page, click Send The caches are now on your 60CSx as waypoints that will show up on the map as geocache symbols. On the 60CSx click Find > Geocache and you should see the list. Step 5: Send custom POIs to your 60CSX 1. In GSAK, click Macro, then click Run/Manage. 2. On the Run Macro screen, select 60CSxPOI.gsk and click Run 3. Click Advanced Options and change the Folder to write POI files location to the folder you want the results to be sent to. 4. Click Return 5. For now, leave the rest of the defaults checked and click Continue 6. Start up Garmin POI Loader 7. Click Next 8. Select Garmin Device and click Next 9. Make sure that after a few seconds the Device drop-down shows GPSMapx60CSX and click Next 10. Select Install new custom POI's onto your device and click Next 11. Click Browse and browse to the location of the ouput from running the GSAK macro (the location selected in step 3). Click OK and then click Next 12. Click Finish after the POIs are sent to your device. The caches are now on your 60CSx as custom POIs that will include cache details such as the decrypted hint, difficulty, short description, etc. On the 60CSx click Find > Custom Points of Interest and you should see the list. You'll typically see multiple listings for each cache, so you may need to read several screens to get the info you want. But it's great to be able to just have the 60CSx on you and still be able to get the hints. It's not true paperless caching I guess, but it comes pretty close. For the last step, you can have GSAK run POI Loader for you in silent mode, but I haven't tried that out yet. Even using the manual steps above (once you're setup with the macro) only takes a couple minutes. And presumably this is something you'll only need to do when heading out to a new area or to refresh the cache list every few weeks. Having tried it out, I agree with some of the other posters who suggested that having the caches as both waypoints and custom POIs is the way to go. When hunting the cache I use the waypoint (Find > Geocache on the unit) and then I fall back on the Custom POI if I need the hint or description. I don't typically import the logs but I can see where that could be really useful. Most of my DNFs have turned into finds after reading through the cache logs on my laptop back in the car or when I get home. Hope this helps. rtreit
  23. Thanks everyone for the advice! rtreit
  24. Thanks. I don't have MapSource - do you only get it if you buy maps from Garmin? I just have the basemaps that came with my Nuvi and 60CSX. I did get it working just now using EasyGPS. Very gartifying to see the route overlaid! Now I can share today's misadventure with my friends. The perils of not taking the cache description on a cache up a logging road. I let my Nuvi get me close and assumed the gate that I came upon was the one I remember being mentioned in the cache description. Oops. I kept waiting for the road to switch back towards the cache! Map Well, a valuable lesson learned at any rate. And we had a nice hike through the woods. Just not to a cache. rtreit
  25. Anyone have any recommendations for getting track data into Google Earth? I know you can buy Google Earth Plus for $20 and do it that way, but looking for a free option until my budget recovers from splurging on a 60CSX. I read that there are free tools available and starting to do some research but thought I'd throw this out there to the old hands to see if anyone has some tried-and-true tools/techniques. Thanks! rtreit
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