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Everything posted by qlenfg

  1. Don't know if this is a decent price, but it looks like they are cheaper $50 than what a brief search showed other discount places are asking. Might be worth snagging one now that most of the bugs are worked out.
  2. Its www.cyclegadgets.com They make a u-bolt / ball mount for handlebars that has held up on my motorcycle for thousands of miles -- should fit just fine on the bicycle handlebars. Just need to find a mount and arm for the Nuvi and you are good to go.
  3. Along the same path as the Campmor / REI employee experience: After the umpteenth cheap Wal-Mart tent gave up the ghost after a good Texas wind and rain storm, I decided to buy a real tent. Went to the local overpriced camping / hiking store and told them what I was looking for. Found a great tent, but wasn't sure if I wanted to pay that much for it. Sales dude pulled a brand new tent out of the box, showed my how to set it up, and how sturdy it was. Bought it with no questions asked. Its endured quite a few monsoon rains and high winds that have flooded or snapped poles on cheap tents, not to mention cold weather and drunken motorcycle rallies.
  4. Feh. I can be sweating, wearing shorts and sunbathing one day (70 F), then throwing snowballs the next (25 F). But then again, most of our state is not equipped for snow and ice, so we get to play hooky and watch northerners try to drive on icy roads.
  5. Most modern laptops have a switching power supply capable of working on 110 VAC (US) or 220 / 240 VAC (Non-US). The plug that goes into the wall is different, so you will need an adapter. You can get an overpriced set of adapters here in the US or wait until you get there and just buy the one you need. I assume wireless networking or network jacks are pretty commonplace now, but if not, and you plan to use the modem in your laptop, be aware their phone jacks are different as well. When I was there in '96, there was no adapter available. The salesman at the local electronics shop in Bristol was shocked that I would hack up a phone cord and make my own.
  6. Yeah, kinda like the fake soiled underwear they sell for hiding valuables. If I saw either one I would not pick them up.
  7. Ditto on the Maha charger, Powerex batteries and Thomas Distributing. I've had my share of the cheapy chargers, and I was replacing supposedly defective rechargeable batteries at a pretty high rate. Got a new digital camera and bought the Maha charger and some of the low-discharge rate batteries -- worked great. Just for grins, I put one of the old sets of store-brand batteries in the charger and reconditioned them -- they worked just fine, even though the old cheapy charger wouldn't charge them. Sometimes when the store-brand batteries in the wife's police scanner won't charge in the unit, I pop them out and recondition them in the Maha charger. They work fine for quite a while after that. Later, when I got a new GPS, I bought four pair of the Powerex 2700 mAh batteries -- I regularly get 10-12 hours battery life on my Colorado with them. Look on Thomas' site for a bundle deal with the charger, batteries, battery case and charger case.
  8. Nikon Coolpix L18. 8 megapixel, $110 on Amazon. And the panorama feature is really cool. As for AA rechargeables self-discharging, you can get the low-discharge units if you want to give up some mAh. Doubtful AA NiMh are gonna discharge any significant amount in two weeks though.
  9. Garmin Colorado 300 and pocket queries. Unless the CO is very long-winded, you get the full description, plus hints and the last five log entries. The only thing you don't get is any photos or images, which may or may not be helpful.
  10. Are you really gonna shoot that many photos in 16 days? How much of the trip is hiking, and how much taking pictures? Get a point-n-shoot that runs off two AA's and get one of those solar chargers to set up on top of your pack. Learn how to conserve batteries: Find a digital that has an optical viewfinder or a small LCD viewfinder rather than using the large LCD on the back. Don't use the zoom feature a lot. Find a camera with a manual lens cover. Set the auto shut-off for a short time period. Make sure the continuous auto focus is turned off. Don't use the flash. Another route is to get the 2700 mAH rechargeable batteries and carry a few extras. Unless you lug a bunch of memory cards or have low-megapixel camera, its unlikely you will shoot enough photos to run through that many sets of batteries.
  11. I also have the R.A.M. mount for the Colorado and the factory car power cord with the 90-degree connector. You do have to unplug the cord to get it in and out of the cradle -- I don't think it would be any easier to remove it from the mount with a standard straight USB cable. As stated before, its rather hard to get the cable plugged in while the unit is mounted on the dash or windshield. I always have to loosen the mount and swivel the GPS down so I can see what I'm doing. No big deal, just an extra step. For caching, I just run it on batteries as I'm in and out of the car quite a bit and I don't want to take the chance of damaging the USB connector. For long trips I use the power cord so I can run the backlight full time. I get all my R.A.M. mounts from cyclegadets.com. They have most items in stock, they usually ship within a day, and the shipping costs are reasonable. I've bought probably $300 worth of mounts from them and never had an issue.
  12. We stumbled across a pair of boxer shorts hung in a bush on the way to one cache. Snapped a crappy photo with the camera phone, but I can't seem to locate it right now.
  13. "Get the newest maps for your nüvi or zūmo Get the newest maps available and navigate with confidence with our nüMaps Guarantee. Simply register your new Garmin nüvi or zūmo at http://my.garmin.com within 60 days of first using your device and you'll be able to see if a free map update is available. Anyone who first used their new Garmin nüvi or zūmo on August 17th or later will be eligible for a free map update if one exists within 60 days of the unit's first use. With our nüMaps Guarantee, you'll be up-to-date when you hit the road." If what I'm reading is correct, it appears to be program to sell new old stock with out-of-date maps -- its not free map updates for the life of the unit. You buy a Nuvi or Zumo, register it within 60 days of when you first turn it on, and if an updated map is available or comes out during that period of time, you get a free update.
  14. We had a cache here that was a micro container (which I can't describe further without giving the cache away) that was suspended by a hook from the inside of the cap on a round metal fence post. Within a few finds it was dropped down the fence post and later retrieved. If I recall correctly, after the last drop it was archived. It was a great cache, but the nature of the hide spelled its ultimate demise. Others I have seen used containers not designed for outdoor use or made of materials which degrade over time when exposed to sunlight. Can't fault the finder for damaging the container if it was already broken or crumbling to pieces. Bottom line is, when you put out a cache, think about what may happen if someone drops it while retrieving it or if they can't figure out how to properly open the container. If possible, mention in the description to be careful when grabbing it or include a hint on how to open it. Might even consider a tether or secondary attachment so that it gets placed back where it belongs.
  15. Since the recent updates to the Colorado, I haven't run into any real issues other than the 'spell' search problem when looking up a certain cache. I did notice it sometimes takes it a minute to catch up to the location north and south wise when caching, but this could be a satellite / terrain issue as another brand of GPS we were using at the same time experienced a similar problem. Overall I think they've fixed most of the issues and I love the interface and the paperless caching. I've found probably 135-140 caches with the Colorado in the same time frame I found 25-35 caches with a plain vanilla GPS. Not to mention the wife can actually find caches with it, which was hopeless when she had to hand-enter the coordinates and had us thousands of miles off more than once.
  16. Its a real adventure going to Cabela's. Lots of dead, stuffed animals all over the store, an aquarium, and lots of goodies. However, the one north of Fort Worth has become like Six Flags for poor people. Families that don't have two nickels to rub together wander aimlessly around the store, get in your way and let their kids run amok, knocking things off the shelf, trashing displays and shooting those stupid pop-guns constantly. A really big turn-off for me. Like going to Wal-Mart in the bad part of town. Now that you can't take your dog in the store with you, I'll use up my gift certificates online.
  17. I'm not much into hiking and backpacking other than related to geocaching, so I can't really say I know alot about topo maps. However, I do have an older Garmin topo loaded on my Colorado, and more than once its been off enough to put me on the wrong side of the creek or river. In any case, it at least shows me the elevations and generally what to expect on the trail and its better than the base map or CNNA NT when you are off-road.
  18. Ditto on Campmor. They seem to have better prices and their catalog, while primitive, has lots of stuff in it. We've got both Cabela's and REI within an hour's drive of here, but unless I absolutely need something they have that Campmor doesn't, I'd rather do mail order. Whichever you choose, check the bargains. Apparently the fancy clothes and stuff change colors and styles every year and respectable rich folks won't buy last year's models, so they go on sale so the rest of us can pay what they are really worth.
  19. Not quite a caching accident, but it could have been: Me and a friend were on a motorcycle camp-out down in south central TX and decided to go look for one of the places Billy The Kid is supposedly buried. Got the info from the museum, plugged it into the GPS, and headed out to the cemetery. As we're looking at the headstones, I step into a gopher hole and stumble. In the process of running forward and not trying to fall, my boot slips partially off my foot, so when I take the next step, I manage to bend my knee in some weird manner, which puts me on the ground. There is this strange tingling in my leg, and I can't stand up on my own. I call by buddy over, and between him and a nearby headstone, I manage to stand up. Since we're 20+ mikes from the campground, and the nearest towns have no hospital, I carefully hobble over my bike and manage to get on it. Somehow I manage to ride back to town with one foot dangling off the bike without killing myself, and with the help of a couple more friends I manage to get off the bike without dropping it or falling down. Friend who is a physical therapist doesn't see any obvious break and advises some rest and ice packs. Ice and a few beers did no good. Had to call the wife and make arrangements to get a ride home and store the bike locally for a while. Finally got to a hospital about four hours later, and X-rays showed no break either. Got a splint, crutches and some pain pills. Called my family doctor -- he was going to set up a referral for a specialist. In the mean time, he suggested I get an MRI. The MRI showed I had knocked a corner off the knee joint on my lower leg bone. Specialist confirmed it, said there was no way to help it with a cast or splint Spent 8 weeks in bed or on crutches -- not allowed to put any pressure on the leg. Finally got the OK to start trying to walk, which took another couple of months before I was able to get around without feeling like I was going to fall. All is well now and the knee I banged up is pretty much pain-free. Its actually better than the undamaged knee. Got rid of the slip-on boots and switched to something that would stay on my foot.
  20. Using the Geocaching website is free. If you want extra features, such as pocket queries, you can become a premium member. Cache owners have the option of making their caches available only to premium members. Personally, I think the 'premium' caches are kind of silly, but in our area there are probably thousands of regular caches to find, so its really a non-issue for me. Your mileage may vary.
  21. The hard part is remembering to clear the tracks and trip computer before each run, so you can get an accurate distance and track recording. Well, and remembering to set a waypoint for your starting position, so you can find your way back to the car...
  22. Different resellers. Keep in mind Amazon sells stuff directly, but they also let people set up their own 'stores' within the Amazon web site. Sometimes the prices are better, sometimes not. Usually inflated shipping costs offset any savings. If it looks way to good to be true, there is probably a catch -- like its a refurb, etc... Most of their product listings contain the manufacturer's SKU or part # -- make sure they are the same for both items.
  23. Check your state laws as to what constitutes a legal or illegal knife. Some ban a wide variety of knives for one stupid reason or another. In some cases there are exclusions for a particular type of knife if its widely known to be used in the sport or event you are engaged in -- i.e. a fillet knife taken on a fishing trip that exceeds the length of knife you can legally carry otherwise.
  24. Lots of rats, rabbits, coyotes, a few snakes and a few birds of prey. Scariest was a big buzzard roosting in a tree right off a walking trail on the path to the cache. On the way back to the walking trail I heard this really loud hissing and saw movement about 10-15 feet above me in a large tree. Kinda jumped back until I figured out it was harmless. Apparently, the tree had a fork in the trunk and one side had broken off. As that part of the tree rotted, a large depression was formed, making an ideal nesting spot for the buzzard. He or she was simply guarding the nest.
  25. Enchanted Rock and Big Bend are also supposed to be decent and a bit more hardcore than some of the state parks. If you do some Googling you can see what trails they have and how difficult they are.
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