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How do YOU bring your hints along?


gypsy2012
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I've been out all of twice, and each time I spent a bunch of time up front printing the pages for each cache we were planning to hit ahead of time, with descriptions and hints. Then I ended up tracking all around with a stack of print outs and a pen and a gps... is that how everyone else does it or am I missing a much slicker way to do this?

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Paperless caching.

 

I use my premium membership to run a Pocket Query.

Load the PQ into Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.

Load from GSAK to my GPS - with hints in the comment field.

Load the PQ file into my Dell Axim PDA - shows full descriptions, hints and 5 logs.

Take GPS and Axim.....

 

Go have fun!!!

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Welcome to the Forums! :D

 

Many people become Premium Members so they can get the information for 500 or more caches from pocket queries. Then, with all that data, they need an excellent program like GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife). With an inexpensive PDA, like a Palm M500 ($30 on eBay), you can Export the information from GSAK for Cachemate on the Palm.

 

It works very efficiently, and very fast, once you get past the fairly-steep learning curve of GSAK. :D

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Until you can get a PDA or something to go paperless, you can cut down on the amount of paper. Just cut and paste the details you want from the cache page onto notepad, (if you have windows you should have notepad).

 

If you copy the cache name, coordinates, GCXXX, and maybe the cache size, description, and the hint. You will find you can get several caches on one piece of paper, and your not hauling around a lot of extra info. you don't need.

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All my waypoints are matched by a customized Point of Interest on my memory card (I have a Venture Cx - all the Garmin handheld 'x' GPS' have removable memory and support POIs.) If I need help finding a cache, I first go there. With customized POIs, each waypoint name holds up to 44 characters and the description holds 88. I use GSAK to create the gpx file then load up the file into the memory card with Garmin's POI Loader. And if I still can't find the cache, I pull out my PDA. And if that don't work, I call in a lifeline :o .

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I've been out all of twice, and each time I spent a bunch of time up front printing the pages for each cache we were planning to hit ahead of time, with descriptions and hints. Then I ended up tracking all around with a stack of print outs and a pen and a gps... is that how everyone else does it or am I missing a much slicker way to do this?

 

thats exactly how I do it. Only I've gotten to where I have all my pages in a 3 ring binder to keep them from getting mixed up. I also like to bring batteries, flashlight (for night), and my iPod

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I click on the link for printing without logs. I cut and copy onto a word document. I then use Documents to Go to transfer to my Treo 700p (no internet, as I am not paying $45 a month to Verizon for that useless feature).

Cant you just put cachemate on your Treo? It is only $8 and worth every last cent! Technically you do not even need to buy it. You will just be limited to 10 caches at a time though.

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I've been out all of twice, and each time I spent a bunch of time up front printing the pages for each cache we were planning to hit ahead of time, with descriptions and hints. Then I ended up tracking all around with a stack of print outs and a pen and a gps... is that how everyone else does it or am I missing a much slicker way to do this?

 

How many caches do you usually plan on going for per outing?

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Until you can get a PDA or something to go paperless, you can cut down on the amount of paper. Just cut and paste the details you want from the cache page onto notepad, (if you have windows you should have notepad).

 

If you copy the cache name, coordinates, GCXXX, and maybe the cache size, description, and the hint. You will find you can get several caches on one piece of paper, and your not hauling around a lot of extra info. you don't need.

Also as you can "cut and Past" to a bookmark list, this method will give you 1 or 2 pages of all the info you need for a hunt. You are a premium member. just one of the perks....Happy caching.

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I'm not upgraded.

 

I do what you do usually when I have some time..... I don't print out the entire cache page anymore since that's a load of ink and paper. Sometimes I'll just download a boat load of waypoints into the GPS and go 'blind' with no info on the listing.

 

Sometimes I handwrite the info and other times I copy and past the cache name and waypoint into Notepad or Word. Then I open the cache listing in a new window, read through the listing real quick to see if anything pops out... maybe make a note of the cache container, decrypt the hint and copy and past that incase I need it. Read a few of the logs.... if people seemed like they had trouble with the cache, I might read all the logs and copy and paste the ones that give me more information.

 

I like to have paper (I'm a tangible person). It's nice to jot notes on or to write down what I took and left in the cache or if the cache needs maitenence. Then it's easy to come home and log my finds and notes.

Edited by AlmondEyes
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Here's another way: I have a magellan eXplorist 500. I put caches i want to find on a bookmark list, PQ the list, extract files, drag the wayoint file to geocache manager, upload to the maggie. Without using GSAK or a pda, I've got all the information I need. Only drawback is, you only get so many characters for the hint, so if the hints starts out "Park at the end of the road behind the old dam then look to your..." well, it's not going to be any help!

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I am also low-tech and use the print out with hint decrypted and last 10 logs on a clipboard. The clipboard helps to create the illusion that you do something official to muggels. (There were a discussion on this technique by a fellow geocacher.) :signalviolin:

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I've got Cachemate on a total of three Palms - my wife's T/C, my good T/X, and an ancient M515 that I don't worry about taking into the field with me. You can have the program on up to five units for the original eight bucks. What a deal! The number of caches on the Palm (loaded though GSAK) far outstrips the number on the GPS at any given time.

Handy stuff, and ultimately cheaper than printing out reams of pages and wasting gallons of not very cheap ink.

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Timely thread - I'm trying to figure out if I can use my old Sony Clie with Palm OS 4.1

 

I'm not a premium member (yet) - debating whether I can make this work before I plumb for the membership.

 

I downloaded Cachemate and installed it on my Clie, that worked. I have the Palm desktop on my computer at work, and on my laptop but I can't get it to download on my desktop at home - but I'm trying to work around that.

 

Can somebody explain to me how the Swiss Army Knife program works to convert the stuff downloaded via premium membership, to cachemate?

 

I'm not a complete techno-peasant - but I'm not super-savvy either...

 

Jenn

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to this point what we have done is have a 5x7 spiral notebook, and on a page write down at least the basics needed with the GC....... hints, or basic driving directions and then leave room to write notes about the cache once found (or not!). As with the clipboard idea, we have found the notebook looks 'official' and you can lay the gps on it and does not look so 'weird'. and with the notebook we can look back on caches not found and helps when you go looking again. But... after reading many posts about PDA's i have purchased a Palm m125 (ebay) and going to give the 'techie' way a try & use the palm for other things.

<_<

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Can somebody explain to me how the Swiss Army Knife program works to convert the stuff downloaded via premium membership, to cachemate?

 

In GSAK, you can export to a file that you can then import into cachemate. There are two different options for exporting, one for Pocket PC and one for Palm.

 

Once you've exported, you copy that file to your PDA, then open cachemate and import the file.

 

I get my original file into GSAK by doing a pocket query as part of the premium membership. I'm not sure how you'd get the information into GSAK without that.

 

I haven't done it enough to be an expert, but have gotten it to work a few times now. <_<

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One advantage to using GSAK, even if you arent paperless, is that in GSAK you can print all the relevant cache info with minimum extra garbage taking up paper realestate.

 

Just last week I went caching with some non-tech Grays (Grays=old, retired farts <_< ) so they wanted "paper"....By stretching margins in the GSAK print preview, I got 29 caches to print on 10 pages, that were double sided, so 29 cache printouts on 5 sheets of paper. :laughing:

 

Plus, I used GSAK to do a filter for nearest caches within 10 miles of one specific cache we had selected to start with, to very quickly come up with that list of 29 caches.

 

GSAK is very useful, whether you have gone paperless or not.

Edited by Blue_stone
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I've had no trouble downloading the caches to my Magellan 210, but the hints don't show up, nor any of the descriptive text, just the coordinates. Most of the time that's fine, but sometimes I want more.

 

I have a 3-prong folder I use to store all those printouts, and if needed I take it on a hunt. When we find it we get to write FOUND! in big bold letters. :( The kids enjoy it. The folder also makes a good spiderweb whacker in the woods. :laughing:

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We've just gone paperless. We don't use GSAK--we PQ the caches we want to do on an outing, then load the PQ into CacheMate for our Palm Z22. We also load the PQ into Google Earth to see aerials of the sites. We screen shot the aerials and use Splash Photo to transfer the screen shots to the Palm.

 

It works pretty well--only negative is that the Palm can't be read in bright sunlight, so we have to find some sort of shade to read in the field.

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If you have a cell phone capable of logging on to the internet, you can also go to "wap.geocaching.com" and see the complte description, logs, and hints. You'll need the GC number or coordinates near the cache to search for it, though.

 

Ooohhh. that's exactly what I needed! :( I hate printing out the pages because I'm too lazy, and I like to just hit a cache when I'm in the area. I have them all dloaded to the GPSr with no hints. Now, I can use my phone if I need to to get the description and hint if needed...as well as log the find... Thanks for the info!

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I use a Magellan Explorist 400. It came with a simple program for my computer that lets me type in important geocache information and then do a quick file transfer to the GPS memory card via a USB cable. This is less slick than many of the other methods mentioned here, but slicker than having a bunch of paper printouts. I am really happy with this method! ;)

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If you have a cell phone capable of logging on to the internet, you can also go to "wap.geocaching.com" and see the complte description, logs, and hints. You'll need the GC number or coordinates near the cache to search for it, though.

 

Hey! I may have finally found a good use for the Internet service on the cell phone Canoe Mich pays for every month!

 

OK...I was able to get the the mobile site, log on and find caches with a zip code. Was able to look at a couple of them, navigate to find the hints and cache descriptions and recent logs.

 

However, everytime I tried entering a set of coordinates, the system didn't like them--it kept saying it was an invalid value. I tried entering them nine ways to Sunday...with the directional letter (N, W, etc) before the numbers, with a space between the degrees and the rest of the number (like 42 16.304 and 083 41.464)...I was working with an actual set of coordinates that I had on a printout from one of our recent outings.

 

Yes, I had the radio button selected for find by coordinates.

Yes, the phone was connected to the Internet (I'd just done a lookup with my zip code and got a whole list of caches).

 

I'm thinking it might be nice to be able to see where you were located with your GPS and enter those coordinates to see if there was anything nearby to look for. It'd be a clunky way of doing it, but might be a good fall back if you were out on the road and w/o the laptop and/or an Internet connection for the computer.

 

How, exactly, should the coordinates be entered...I see where to enter them...I just don't know exactly what keystrokes to enter.

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We recently bought a Palm and are now very happy creating web pages for it by running Groundspeak Pocket Queries through GPX Spinner. We then upload the he resulting web page(s) to the Palm using Plucker.

 

We used to get out of the house to go caching an hour late waiting for an ancient inkjet printer to print our "targets" but now in only takes a few minutes to upload the pocket queries to the GPSr and the Palm, and we have enough on hand to last for our next few trips.

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If you have a cell phone capable of logging on to the internet, you can also go to "wap.geocaching.com" and see the complte description, logs, and hints. You'll need the GC number or coordinates near the cache to search for it, though.

 

Hey! I may have finally found a good use for the Internet service on the cell phone Canoe Mich pays for every month!

 

OK...I was able to get the the mobile site, log on and find caches with a zip code. Was able to look at a couple of them, navigate to find the hints and cache descriptions and recent logs.

 

However, everytime I tried entering a set of coordinates, the system didn't like them--it kept saying it was an invalid value. I tried entering them nine ways to Sunday...with the directional letter (N, W, etc) before the numbers, with a space between the degrees and the rest of the number (like 42 16.304 and 083 41.464)...I was working with an actual set of coordinates that I had on a printout from one of our recent outings.

 

Yes, I had the radio button selected for find by coordinates.

Yes, the phone was connected to the Internet (I'd just done a lookup with my zip code and got a whole list of caches).

 

I'm thinking it might be nice to be able to see where you were located with your GPS and enter those coordinates to see if there was anything nearby to look for. It'd be a clunky way of doing it, but might be a good fall back if you were out on the road and w/o the laptop and/or an Internet connection for the computer.

 

How, exactly, should the coordinates be entered...I see where to enter them...I just don't know exactly what keystrokes to enter.

 

Picked up a travel bug today and managed to check that out with it's number via the cell phone as well.

 

But I'm still stumped as to finding a cache by coordinates with the phone :D

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My girlfriend and I just keep a surveying field book, and write down the cooridinates, driving/parking info, cache size any notes and then the hint encrypted. Then if we need the hint I just work out the ROT13 encryption. The field book is superior to just a note book because it is hard bound, and the paper is 50% cotton so that it holds up better to rain or crap getting on it.

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Slightly different approach: We don't use GSAK. Instead, we download descriptions log, etc., of the caches we want to hunt on a particular outing onto our Palm Z22 using a Pocket Query, which we load onto the Palm with CacheMate. If aerial Photos are helpful, we grab them from Google Earth and load them onto the PDA using Splash Photo. Finally, we load the PQ waypoints into our GPSr using ExpertGPS (Easy GPS does this just as well, and it's free).

 

After we get home, we log our results and clear the Palm and the GPSr, until the next outing.

 

Speaking of which, if I'm going to get a couple of caches in before dinner, I've got to run...

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What program are you using on the Dell PDA? I use Cachemate on my Palm and I Export the information for it from GSAK.

 

How are you putting the waypoints on your GPSr? You can put a lot of information in the waypoint on the GPSr as well as part of the hint in the Comments section if you use GSAK.

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Paperless caching.

 

I use my premium membership to run a Pocket Query.

Load the PQ into Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.

Load from GSAK to my GPS - with hints in the comment field.

Load the PQ file into my Dell Axim PDA - shows full descriptions, hints and 5 logs.

Take GPS and Axim.....

 

Go have fun!!!

 

Agree... I have not done the full PQ's yet. But this seems like the way to go for me as well.

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i still need help i cannot get my hints onto my dell pda through gsak or not any advice would be helpful :blink:

i have cachemate on my pda and gsak on my pc but when i load them into cachemate from gsak i can only view the hints online not when i disconnect from my pc i would like to try reading them through mobipocket but i can't fathom that out either

thanks for your response :laughing:

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What program are you using on the Dell PDA? I use Cachemate on my Palm and I Export the information for it from GSAK.

 

How are you putting the waypoints on your GPSr? You can put a lot of information in the waypoint on the GPSr as well as part of the hint in the Comments section if you use GSAK.

 

also where do you read the hints is it in cachemate ? sorry if i seem a bit thick i am still quite new to this

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