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Everything posted by Lasagna

  1. Well now that's a bit backwards ... but thinking about it ... that would work. Just individually load all the LOC's into a GPSr initially empty of waypoints and then use Mapsource to upload the waypoints back into the system.
  2. Well said ... I frequently cache in a group, so besides the strange looks we sometimes get crawling on playground equipment, people generally take us for harmless. When searching alone, I always have my GC Hat, a handy "About Geocaching" brochure, and in the case of "nervous mommies" or other "muggles", I'll sometimes introduce myself before starting the search so they know what I'm doing. On a recent hunt, I introduced myself to an older gentleman watching over some kids and we ended up spending the next hour chatting about all sorts of things ... and then ... he actually spent a few minutes helping me look for the cache. Worst case, if you're not doing anything wrong, there is nothing to worry about. If confronted, simply explain what you're doing (many police now know about geocaching) and show that the container, writeup, etc. I've been questioned a couple of times and never had a problem -- although it is a bit disconcerting when you're first approached. At the end of the day, if the nervous mommy is still nervous, tell her you'll come back later or wait until their done playing before you begin your search. I've also had searches where it's taken me two or three trips to the location before I found it able to be searched.
  3. Only you, the original author, or one of the reviewers at GC can remove it. If it contained particular bad language or some other offensive material, then GC may have flagged it (or had it pointed out to them) and removed it. If you didn't delete it and the above was no the case, then it's likely the original author had second thoughts about their posting and deleted it.
  4. No problem ... seems Pennsylvania in the US has many cities named after UK locations (I'm from Lancaster which is near York and Reading). Although, I have also been to Reading and London in the UK. Anyhow ... might I suggest caches: Bugs Bottom (GCM3BJ) ThamesPathSonning (GCGKVT) The Burghfield TB Hotel / Happy Meal Toy Graveyard (GCN7WZ) Not sure of their proximity to you, but all look reasonably easy to surmise their location from a satellite photo and have logs or hints that pretty much tell you about where and what you're looking for. Two of them even have "travel bugs", which you may enjoy retrieving, reading their mission, and then moving on to another cache after you log their tag number on GC.
  5. Just be sure if posting coordinates, you indicate what they were for so others who are reading your log know what you meant (parking, final location coord update, beautiful view, etc.). And ... if posting a picture of a view, etc. I would suggest attaching the waypoint to that picture instead of the main log.
  6. The process is a bit clunky, but I found the following works ... Open Mapsource and import your first loc file. Save the file as a GDB file. Open the next loc file. Choose Edit->Select All, then Edit->Copy Open the original GDB file Choose Edit->Paste Save the GDB (which now has both sets of LOC files).
  7. First, I would suggest you start with an easier cache. Look for caches in your immediate area that have a 1 or 1.5 difficulty and terrain rating. These will be much easier to find when you're first getting started. Also, start with a "traditional" cache, not a multi. A "traditional" will just be the set of coordinates that guide you to the actual cache location. Save the other more complicated ones for when you have more experience -- and in the case of a multi -- have a GPSr of your own that you can use to put in the new coordinates. Also try to find a cache which is listed as a "regular" size container or if necessary at least a "small". Some "micro" category caches can keep you looking for a very long time. Your profile says you are from "Reading" (is that Reading, PA?). If you tell us at least the state, perhaps some others can suggest some good "getting started" caches in the area. Note: Google Earth and other satellite programs are good for getting an idea of where a cache might be hidden, but they can be off 30ft or more, so take this into account. As for batteries, that depends on the unit. Since you're just starting out, I would suggest an inexpensive basic unit like Garmin eTrex (Yellow) or even a Geko. The Magellan Explorist 100 is also a good inexpensive unit. You can find these online or pick one up at a local sporting goods or electronics store for under $100 (I saw one recently in the Sunday paper at a local store for $80). All of these units will be sufficient to get you started and are usually within "birthday present" price ranges. All of the ones listed above use the standard AA batteries (Alkaline) like you buy at just about any store. As for a few other suggestions ... Try to find someone in your area who is already a geocacher that you know (many families often cache together, so it possible one of your friends is a geocacher or one of their parents are). If you can find someone, see if you can arrange (with your parents permission) to go along the next time they go caching. This is the best way to learn ... cache with someone who has done it before. Another approach would be to look for a local cache in your area known as an "event" cache (this is a special type of cache category so you can search for it). Here you can meet other cachers in the area and ask lots of questions. Many events also include caching activities as part of their gathering. Take a parent and go visit one of these events and meet some people and get your questions answered. Good luck and have fun learning.
  8. As others have said, it would seem to really boil down to a matter of preference. I'm a "Garmin" person myself (actually the Vista C), but know others who are diehard Magellan fans. Having one of each is not a bad idea either ... but who can afford that!?! One observation however that I will make is that you should check carefully any device which has a manfacturer supplied rechargable battery ... these do wear out and then you'll need to replace it. If it's just a generic battery, then no problem. If however it's a custom battery supplied by the manufacturer, then you're faced with paying to replace it at some potentially inflated price. Now, I don't know if that's the case with the Magellan, but it is some food for thought. Perhaps others who own such a unit can clarify. In the case of the Garmin, I prefer to buy rechargable NiMH batteries for my Garmin and then just keep a supply handy in my caching bag. These are relatively inexpensive and you can shop around for a good price since there are many suppliers. A charger won't cost you more than $20 and you can quickly swap batteries when necessary on those long days caching without needing to return the unit for a recharge.
  9. Think I've got you all beat ... I place a cache on my way to work at approximately 9:30am ... upon getting to work I submit the writeup with the coordinates I had taken at approximately 9:45am. I do a quick check of the coordinates against Google Earth and notice that they are pointing somehow to the wrong side of the building, so I review the cache again and see that I transposed a digit. Go to edit the cache details to update the coordinates (9:48am) and I can't! Reason: It's just been published! So, quick note to update coordinates in order and that's fixed a minute or so later. So ... cache placed 9:30, cache report filed 9:45, cache publish 9:48. This new reviewer in our area sure is on top of things! GCV4V4 As for logging, I had literally just walked in the door from dropping some scouts off after a weekend camping trip when a new cache email arrives for a cache that was less than 0.25 mile from my house. I immediately hopped back in the car, drove down to the cache, and found it a few minutes later. Time of announcement to time of find ... less than 5 minutes. I don't know exactly when the cache was published however (since there is a lag in the email sometimes on the "new" published emails), so this could or could not be a record depending on how you look at it. (GCRCNJ)
  10. I keep a variety of "cache repair" items in my 4x4, so for minor issues where I have a suitable replacement container handy, I'll often make the repair for the owner (even if it's not an identical container -- the only time this doesn't work is when the container itself is part of the camo). I'll also replace internal cache items like plastic bags keeping log books dry, etc. when it seems the current one has seen better days. In the end however, if the cache is trashed and not replaceable (or securely re-hidable albeit maybe now inside a plastic bag, etc.), I'll pick it up and immediately notify the owner (and set the "needs maintenance" flag) so that the issue can be addressed. Most owners would rather have the pieces of their muggled cache (and most importantly the log book) back than to have it blowing around the woods or getting wet in the rain. At least, I know I would.
  11. You can always add a new log sheet so that others can continue to log, but if the old one won't fit, your only options are either to not replace it -or- to take it with you and return it to the owner (you should only do this if you're local to the cache and know the owner or have some way for certain of getting it to them). In the former case, you should likely trip the "needs maintenance" flag when making your log on GC so the owner knows to go fix the cache. Some owners want the old log sheet, while others don't much care.
  12. Lasagna

    Locked Caches

    Seen lots of variations on this theme ... one of my local favorites is: Big Bad Wolf (GCJPA3) You of course need to find the three little pigs first. There's also twists on this which use a puzzle cache theme. Another local favorite being: Llama Corner: Revisted (GCKC11)
  13. If you want to generate PDF, I use a free software package called CutePDF Writer (www.cutepdf.com). This creates a virtual "printer" on your PC that you can print to which prompts you for the name of a file create and then outputs your "print" as a PDF file.
  14. GSAK gives you a lot of flexibility with waypoints names. Have a look at Special Tags (click here) which allow you to customize waypoint names in many ways. Also GSAK can do the same with the "Comment Field" for waypoints in your 76C ( I own one too) which can hold 30 characters. Yes ... definitely check out the special tags feature in GSAK. I use this to tune my waypoint names and description info that is downloaded into my GPS. For instance, I've changed the waypoint length to 10 (which is what the Garmin max is, not 8) and use the following settings: Waypoint name: %smart Max characters: 10 Waypoint description: %drop2 %con1%typ1%dif1a%ter1a %last4 %by This gives me a 10 character smart name for the waypoint (usually enough to equate to the real cache title without needing to consult my PDA). The description field on the waypoint then contains the last four digits of the waypoint GC code from GC.com, a four character string representing the container type, cache type, difficulty, and terrain, the last four logs (nice to known if people have been having trouble finding it), and if space permits the person who hid it (you get to know the hide styles of local cachers after a while). For example, my cache: Stop and Smell the Chocolate (GCRDVY) gets sent to my PDA as "StopandSme" and has a decription of "RDVY MTA1 FFFF Lasagna" RDVY = GCRDVY MTA1 = Micro, Traditional, 1.5 difficulty, 1 terrain FFFF = Last four logs were "found it" Lasagna = Me
  15. Your other option is to find a local cacher who would be willing to perform the maintenance for you and make arrangements in advance to insure it's care an feeding are covered.
  16. Never heard of it. I'm not aware of any geocachers who use it. I'd advise sticking with the big 3, Garmin, Magellan or Lowrance. The Raymarine seems to be more of a marine oriented unit. Don't miss the fact that you need the City Select or City Navigator software to get turn by turn directions (auto-routing) with the Vista series. Legend won't do auto-routing. I think the software is included with the 60C(S) but an add-on option for the eTrex. I use a Vista C for exactly the type of stuff you mention and there's even a nice car kit for dashboard mounting available as an option.
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