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Newbie Advice


alofns
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I started Geocaching several weeks ago and have been successful in finding a few around my home town. I managed to figure out how to download the waypoints onto my Garmin using EasyGPS and feel pretty comfortable with that aspect of it.

 

The GC pages seem to contain a lot more information (description, type of cache, hints etc). I've gotten into the habit of printing those pages out and carrying them with me to refer to and organize them into different areas. Aside from killing a bunch of trees, it seems to be a very unpractical way to go about this since there are days when I'd just like to go out for a hunt, and don't have the cache details for the places I am visiting.

 

I signed up as a Premium member thinking there would be some way to save all this information on my Palm or Garmin, however I haven't figured it out yet.

 

Do other people bother taking the cache pages, or do you just work from the waypoint downloads?

 

Thanks,

 

Alan

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I always read the logs before printing to see what has been happening with the cache. Then I make them "printer friendly - no logs". I then decrypt the hint and print. Most times they print on one page. Then I'm off and running. I want hubby to get a blackberry though, so we can put everything in there. I think there is a way you can print out smaller amounts of data (I"ve seen my husband do this), but I like the description the cache owner gives. Sometimes it has useful or just interesting info about the area. For me there is just something about a "hard copy". Guess I'm just a bit of a caveman that way. What ever you feel comfortable with is the right way!. Happy caching.

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I signed up as a Premium member thinking there would be some way to save all this information on my Palm or Garmin, however I haven't figured it out yet.

 

There is. One of the most popular ways to send cache page info to your PDA is Cachemate.

 

There is also a free method using apps called Spinner and Plucker that is detailed here.

 

Between the two I prefer Cachemate.

 

Additionally an app like GSAK can be used to manipulate your waypoint name to give you lots of information about the cache.

 

For instance if the waypoint name is GC12345, I can use GSAK to change that waypoint name to tell me the type, size, terrain and difficulty of the cache.

 

It will appear in my GPS like:

 

TR12345 12 (i.e type=traditional, size=regular, difficulty=1, terrain=2

 

or

 

PS12345 3B (i.e type=puzzle, size=small, difficulty=3, terrain=2.5

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<snip>

 

Do other people bother taking the cache pages, or do you just work from the waypoint downloads?

 

Thanks,

 

Alan

I already had a Palm M500 when I started caching and, although it was difficult for me to figure out at first, I downloaded and started using GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) to Export the information for Cachemate on my Palm.

 

Like briansnat mentions, with GSAK, you can use special codes to get the name of the cache, the Size and Type of container, as well as the Terrain and Difficulty, and even part of the hint (if you want) on your GPSr, if it has the capabilities, as my Vista C does.

 

On your Palm or Pocket PC, Cachemate will have the entire cache description, and the Previous five logs, which are sometimes very helpful for finding a tricky cache hide.

 

I made up a little tutorial that might help you get started. :D

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I have been caching for a couple months now and just started paperless caching....and until this past weekend I didn't like paperless...anyway that is a different story for a different post.

 

Before I started doing paperless, I did print cache lists, but I made my own word doc. I would cut and paste the title, coords, waypoint, description, and decrypted hints. It takes planning and a little time to do it. For most caches, I could put about 3 to 5 caches on a page. Much better than printing everything from the website. Another to copy is any user log you think may include a hint that you might need.

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yeah. i am cheap and haven't paid for premium membership yet so i use a FREE pdf printing software to print the cache pages to paper and to my laptop.

 

When i am planning a caching day, i take a binder full of papers and review the page before i leave the Jeep to go on the hunt.

 

If a am just out doing business and have time to drop by a cache, then usually i have my laptop with me. if i need it i can pull it up on the screen.

 

if it is real spontaneous, i just don't worry about it and go out. and that seems to work almost just as well.

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There's a lot of good reasons to go paperless and use GSAK.

 

Here are some more:

 

If you get a PDA with a color screen and good resolution, you'll be able to copy images to the PDA as well. Lets say you want to look for caches on Belle Isle, in the Detroit River. Click on the Google Maps option, display the map, and copy the page through GSAK with CTRL SHIFT F10. Then you can send the image to your PDA

 

323200782909.png

 

You can also switch to the satellite image and copy that too.

 

323200783947.png

 

Zoom in, and get a closer look ... and send that to your PDA too.

 

323200783852.png

 

The images on my PDA look EXACTLY like the screen shot. Except smaller of course. However, you can magnify the images on the PDA (2 magnification settings on mine) and scroll the screen. Really neat!

 

NOTE: I have a Palm ZIRE72. It has a color, high res screen and tons of memoery with built in camera. It was about $100 on ebay. You can get a lot cheaper model, but I really enjoy the color, the high res screen. And I don't own a digital camera. This camera is pretty basic, but fine for taking pictures at caches.

 

Happy Geocaching.

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Thanks everyone.

 

I downloaded GSAK and Cachemate for my Palm T|X and it worked fantastic. EXACTLY what I was hoping for. I see the Premium Membership fee will pay off pretty quickly since you can download a number (up to 500) of cache pages at once.

 

I really like the log features in Cachemate in addition to being able to sort and manage the GC pages using GSAK.

 

What I was paying for paper and ink will certainly offset the cost of buying both programs. A bargain.

 

Thanks again.

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