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Paperless Caching How?


Land Snoopers
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Yes you can save cache pages on your laptop. I've done this for a couple of hunts now and it works out alright. The only downfall is that it takes more time.

 

In order to save the page, just open the cache page that you want to save and then click on FILE>SAVE AS and then select your save options. You get to save the whole cache page and you get to look at it just like you do when you're sitting at home. The downfall is that you have to save every page that you are planning on visiting.

 

Getting a Pocket Query and using a Pocket PC is TONS easier and quicker, but if you don't have the PPC or are not a Premium Member then that is the only way to go.

 

Now if you are a Premium Member and don't have a PPC then there is a much eaiser way to go about doing this. You can run your PQ and get all your results and then use GSAK and export as an HTML file. This will be much easier to navigate opposed to saving all of the pages and plus it will take you a WHOLE lot less time!

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I too am working on the paperless cache. We are premium members and have purchased GSAK. What we don't have is a PDA. I would like to bite the bullet and buy one that is WIFI capable so when we are out unexpectedly, or in a different location I can connect and download new caches. Palms seem to be the favorite, but since there is some concern if they will be conitnued to be produced and supported by their comapny, I am looking at something like a Dell Axim that uses Windows Mobile 5.0. I know with the Palm you can use Cachemate. What are the programs out there that support Windows? I don't want to buy the PDA and not be able to cache with it. Any suggestions?

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Smiths,

 

BackCountry Navigator works on Pocket PCs. There are others.

 

I use it with the Axim X50V.

 

I have a relative and few others that are using it with Axim X51V, which uses Windows Mobile 5.0.

 

Clarification on WIFI: WIFI, also known as 802.11b, does not allow you to access the internet anywhere, and definitely not in the field. It is a short range network like I have in my house with a wireless router, or at so called "hot spots" at public places.

 

For access anywhere, I believe you would need a cell service and card, or a Pocket PC Phone Edition with service.

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For true access anywhere, (or anywhere there is cell phone service) you can use a WAP enable phone on the WAP site or a web enabled phone. I use the Palm Treo 650, which allows me access either site if I have a cell phone connection.

 

Back to the OP, lots of cachers download cache files to thier laptops. If you are a premium member, you can get detailed .gpx files sent to you with up to 500 caches each, several times a week.

 

I would recommend Geocaching Swiss Army Knife on your computer to filter, slice and dice through the cache info. You can display the caches on most mapping software, including MapSource, Google Earth, USAPhotomaps, National Geograpic Topo!, MicroSoft Streets and Trips, etc.

 

Lots of map software will allow you to hook up your GPS receiver and show you where you are on the laptop screen. Several of these products require a serial connection (not USB) to talk to your GPSr. You cannot generally load maps from the laptop onto your GPSr except maps produced by the GPSr manufacturer.

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Thanks for both of the repsonses. I already own GSAK and have been using it for quit a while so that is one of the suggestions that is already taken care of. I really am not looking for an out in field connection- just a hotspot such as a Starbucks, or Panera, someplace to refuel and possibly reload data. I have checked out the backpacking counrty link. I guess it now time to try to decide on a PDA. I have read most of the reviews out there on Axim, and IPAQ and am leaning to the Dell. Thanks again for the repsonses.

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Now I'm all set up with my PDA. Its a Garmin IQue M5. It is in the pocket PC format. After I got that configured we are OK But now the GPX files???? I'm using Pocket Queries to generate GPX files in bulk. I set one up and

preview it to get the files and I can only get .loc files. Is there a way

to force a search download of GPX files instantly? Are ther other ways to obtain GPX

files other than directly off a cache page or by schedualed Pocket

queries?

Thank you

Brad of Land Snoopers

Edited by Land Snoopers
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You need to be sure to use a program like GSAK that will put the files in the GPX format. GSAK is a free program, but has some of the annoying load screens until you register it. After using GSAK for a while you will see that it is worth the money and pay to get the screens removed.

 

I just take the PQ from my email and save it to a folder. Open up GSAK and then load that PQ into GSAK. After it is updated I then hit another button that sends the GPX file to a folder that is synced to my PPC. That zips the file right to the PPC and then I open the file there.

 

Quick, easy and painless!

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Thanks for both of the repsonses. I already own GSAK and have been using it for quit a while so that is one of the suggestions that is already taken care of.After I got that configured we are OK But now the GPX files???? I'm using Pocket Queries to generate GPX files in bulk. I set one up and

preview it to get the files and I can only get .loc files. Is there a way

to force a search download of GPX files instantly? Are ther other ways to obtain GPX

files other than directly off a cache page or by schedualed Pocket

You need to be sure to use a program like GSAK that will put the files in the GPX format. GSAK is a free program, but has some of the annoying load screens until you register it. After using GSAK for a while you will see that it is worth the money and pay to get the screens removed.

 

I just take the PQ from my email and save it to a folder. Open up GSAK and then load that PQ into GSAK. After it is updated I then hit another button that sends the GPX file to a folder that is synced to my PPC. That zips the file right to the PPC and then I open the file there.

 

Quick, easy and painless!

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I must be missing something. I download the .loc files (pocket query) and use Easy GPS to download/upload to/from my GPS. Then I take my GPS with all of the waypoints in it's tiny little memory, hang it around my neck and off I go. When I am near a cache, I locate nearest waypoint. What is the Palm Pilot and the Laptop for?

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With an inexpensive Palm like my Palm M500, you can have all the information from the cache pages, without having to print out the information -- hence the term "paperless."

 

I have the cache description, the Hint, several Past Logs, and a page where I can log my experience at the cache (time of hunt, what I traded, Travel Bugs, etc.) in Cachemate on the Palm.

 

I use GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) to put the waypoints in my Garmin Vista C, and using the Smart Name feature, I know what the name of the cache is, what the size and type of the container is, and what the terrain and difficulty is by looking at the waypoint name, but usually I also need to look at the cache description in the Palm.

 

The laptop is handy if you are traveling and need to load additional waypoints. Pocket Queries can deliver 500 waypoints, but if you are traveling from San Diego to Albuquerque, you will have the results of several PQs and need to update the data in your GPSr as you travel.

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Thanks everyone for the help I have it all down. I'm a charter member, and that means I’ve been doing this for a few years. Paperless caching is SO COOL! :huh:<_< Who says you can't teach old dog new tricks? The hardest part is finding the compatible software to be configured with new equipment because it’s so new some versions haven’t been modified yet. Older PDA's have little problem with this because the software has been around. I have GSAK on my Laptop and GPX view and GPX sonar on the PDA. You need similar programs one on your computer and the reader on the PDA. I have two on my PDA , you really need one. When I travel I have my lap top mounted on a desk platform with a GSM ( Cingular cellular) internet connection and I can download caches as we go all the way up the road to Rapid City SD and back. I hardly do any manual input any more (right when I was getting good at it too). I like the idea of saving paper and ink as well as not having a printer with me and to not have to wait for a print out. This really makes me wonder what the heck took me so long to do this. The PDA I have is cool too. It’s a Garmin Ique M5. It's just a small computer with a GPS built in but it's not really good for finding caches because it only gets as close as 120 feet. It can be used to get you close on the road then the Hand held GPS takes me from there. So as I'm driving I have my lap top GPS my PDA GPS, and my handheld GPS all with different displays. Pretty cool or sick huh?!!!

Now the .GPX files I still am looking for some refined tricks to force an instant download. You can get single .GPX files directly off cache pages one at a time. You can schedule Pocket queries once a day. You can create a new Pocket query and get it back reasonably soon but not always. If you preview them you get .loc files and that doesn't generate cache pages through. Any one with any special tricks for faster GPX files wit would be appreciated.

Anyway I'm very happy with all this and it greatly feeds my compulsive behavior in a positive manner having all my gismos lined up. I take my hat and tip it to the Grounds Peak folks and the software developers that make this possible. All who request a small well deserved donation! Oh yea "IMPORTANT SAFTEY FACT", I don't let them (my electronic gismos) take my attention off my driving responsibilities!!!

Happy caching!

:D Land Snoopers

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how can i see the complete gpx file on my computer? like past posts, etc. i dont have a pda yet, but i want to see what you can view in a gpx file. Also, how can you download many gpx files at one time, versus one at a time?

Edited by otterbob
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how can i see the complete gpx file on my computer? like past posts, etc. i dont have a pda yet, but i want to see what you can view in a gpx file. Also, how can you download many gpx files at one time, versus one at a time?

You can check off several at a time in your pocket queries the GPX file format or get them one at a time directly off the cache page to view them down load software available from Geocaching.com under the recorces tab.

Happy caching!

Land Snoopers

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Hello, Im new to geocaching but use a Garmin IQ5 also. I found it very accurate as long as you dont need the arrow to point towards the right directon. If you turn the map off and open QueGPS it has the LAT/LON coordinates and last time I used mine it said accuracy 4.92 ft. I need to configure it so I can veiw the data from the pages. Right now I enter the coords in mapsource on my desktop then transfer them as waypoints to the garmin. I looked at the free software on the site but it doesnt list my unit. Gonna try to decipher this forum and see if I can figure it out. Thought I could just save the pages for offline veiwing but it seems to only save the last one veiwed.

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With the PDA or laptop, you can upload the entire description, hints, recent logs, etc., etc., where you can only upload the waypoint and perhaps a little extra info into the GPS.

 

I just started paperless caching myself, with a cheap old Palm I bought on eBay in conjunction with GSAK and Cachemate. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to upload a couple thousand caches into the Palm and have all of the information handy all the time! It's great to be able to have the full descriptions with me all the time... If I see a cache coming up that I had pre-loaded into the GPS, I can look up all of its details, with suggested parking and whatever other helpful information might be in the description. I won't be going back to printing all this stuff out any time soon!

 

I must be missing something. I download the .loc files (pocket query) and use Easy GPS to download/upload to/from my GPS. Then I take my GPS with all of the waypoints in it's tiny little memory, hang it around my neck and off I go. When I am near a cache, I locate nearest waypoint. What is the Palm Pilot and the Laptop for?

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I just went paperless today. Got a used Palm IIIxe on E-Bay for $25.00, got GSAK and Cachemate tthis evening and set everything up. I even did 2 PQ's and had results within 5 minutes after submitting them. When I unzipped the files, they had Swiss flags on them and went right to GSAK. The only problem I ran into was that the Palm has taken over com1, so I had to hook the GPSr to com2. I had been just switching cables in the past.

I think I saved a few trees from becoming paper, but my woodworking tools still need to be fed!

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I use a program called Beeline. It can read the full gpx file in it. That is something that lacked in other programs. Some of the othe programs had great graphics and other features. But without being able to handle the full gpx info you might as well just use the loc files with them. Since I paid for a premium membership to get those gpx files I plan on using them. Some use separate programs with their pdas, one for gps readings and another for the extra info included in the gpx. Beeline is very accurate and includes all the info in one program. It's nice to be on site looking for the cache and have all the info right there at my fingertips, including the hint and decryption without switching programs. I still use gsak to organize my files on my laptop sometimes before I head out.

 

Most of the accuracy comes from the chipset in you gps unit. Mine has a sirf star III chipset. It is very accurate and gets great reception.

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Is beeline Palm OS or Windows mobile? I'm trying to get a handle on GSAK and doing pretty good, also using Cachemate and CacheNav. CM is great but I don't like Cnav at all and it is a pain switching between the to apps. I've tried to export the GSAK files to CotoGPS with no luck yet. If there is a program that can handle the gpx and do the nav on my TREO it would be great.

 

edit: D'Oh. I just went to the beeline site and saw that it's only Pocket PC. Looks like an awesome program though. Pleeeeaaaasseee tell me there's something similar for Palm OS.

Edited by MossMansClan
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OK, I'll add another question (probably a stupid question):

I've run a pocket query. I have my GPX file (I know what to do with that). I also have an e-book .PRC file. Is there a way to open this on my PC?

 

What I'd like to do is easily print several cache descriptions without having to open each one on my search results.

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Another way is to .pdf the document. You can do this by printing the document and then selecting Acrobat PDF writer as the option (you must have Adobe Acrobat - not the reader). Save the file after the .pdf document is created. You will also be able to use this document on both a laptop or PDA.

 

Good luck

 

Okiebug

Edited by okiebug
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Sorry Palm, but you're now working out for me. The on/off switch keeps breaking and I've never found good map software for my Tungsten E. Sunlight drowned out the screen. :lol: On the other hand I used GSAK with Plucker and have been very happy with the results of that team of software. :o

 

I'm ready to try out a Pocket PC unit and ordered the Axim X51v. What software should I be gathering together to make this unit work as a mean geocache machine? Thanks in advance for any hints or help.

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