Jump to content

How do you keep your GPS organized?


E3Chief
Followers 1

Recommended Posts

I started geocaching back in 2001. Back then, the sport was pretty new and there were only a few caches in the whole state. I hit up all of the local ones then and then got busy with other stuff. I took it back up recently with my 9 year old son. Anyways, I downloaded all of the caches to my GPS that are within 15 miles of my house and there are over 600 of them! WOW! This sport has really taken off! What we've been doing is driving around looking at the map on my GPSMAP 76S and every time we're near a cache, we drive over and hit it up. I'm just looking at the map. I'll use my pointer to click on the cache and then GOTO. After we're done, I have to do the stop navigating thing and what not and figure out where we're going next. I'm just curious what you guys do to stay organized? I'm planning to upgrade to the 60CSX soon and take my laptop with me too. What is the method to your madness when you're out to hit 10 or 15 caches? Do you keep hundreds of them loaded or do you just pick the ones you want to go to? I like to keep my options open and drop in at a cache unexpectedly if one is nearby.

Link to comment

Before you head out on your next "caching adventure," if you have maps on your computer, you could look at the caches in the area you are going to be driving through to see where the caches are and which roads are the best to travel. The Geocache that is the "Next Nearest" on your GPSr is often not the best one to head towards next . . . :D

 

Google Earth is also a great tool to use. In one area, where there is a tangle of hiking trails and several caches, we took a couple of printouts from GE so we could see which trails were best.

 

Becoming a Premium Member so you can get Pocket Queries is very helpful when you live in a "Cache-rich" area. To sort, slice, and dice all the data from the several PQs it takes to cover my area, I use GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) on my PC. I already had a PDA when I started caching, so I was able to go "paperless" easily after downloading and installing Cachemate.

 

Edit to fix link . . .

Edited by Miragee
Link to comment

I'd suggest that you upgrade to a premium membership. Then you can take advantage of pocket queries. My "standard" pocket query consists of the nearest 300 caches that I haven't found, don't own, and that are active. I take the file that is sent to me and drop it into GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) which lets me organize it any way I want. I then send it directly from GSAK into my 76CSx. You can decide for yourself what info to send. Some folks are boggled by all the choices GSAK has but, if you look at the help, it's really pretty simple to set up the basic features that control what info is sent to your unit. You will probably want to at least send the size, difficulty, terrain, smart name (a shortened version of the actual cache name rather than the GCxxxxx designation), and perhaps the hint or whatever else your unit has space enough to display.

 

Welcome back.

Link to comment

I think most folks today take one of two approaches: Some simply download they want to hunt to their PCs, then transfer the coordinates to their GPSr's. They either print out the cache descriptions, or download them to a PDA using a program like CacheMate. Others download all caches for an area, like you did, but load them into a geocaching database program like GSAK. That allows them to browse and search caches without being connected to the Web. They pick caches to hunt from GSAK, then download coordinates to their GPSr's from GSAK.

 

We do a little of both. For local caching, we simply download the dozen or so caches we want to hunt on a particular day. For road trips, we download caches in the area we are going to, using geocaching.com's pocket query feature. Then we load the pocket query into GSAK and take the laptop with us.

Edited by imajeep
Link to comment

I run PQs and them use GSAK to modify the cache name to let me know the type, size and terrain rating just by looking at the name: %typ1%con1%drop2 %ter1

 

 

I also add the cache name with the spaces/special characters removed and the hint to the cache description: %Shortname=10 %hint

 

 

I typically load my GSAK output to Mapsource so I can view them on the map and trim off the caches I won't need. That way I can load 990 caches into my GPS and leave 10 free spots for marking waypoints. I don't use the Palm much anymore.

Link to comment

I started geocaching back in 2001. Back then, the sport was pretty new and there were only a few caches in the whole state. I hit up all of the local ones then and then got busy with other stuff. I took it back up recently with my 9 year old son. Anyways, I downloaded all of the caches to my GPS that are within 15 miles of my house and there are over 600 of them! WOW! This sport has really taken off! What we've been doing is driving around looking at the map on my GPSMAP 76S and every time we're near a cache, we drive over and hit it up. I'm just looking at the map. I'll use my pointer to click on the cache and then GOTO. After we're done, I have to do the stop navigating thing and what not and figure out where we're going next. I'm just curious what you guys do to stay organized? I'm planning to upgrade to the 60CSX soon and take my laptop with me too. What is the method to your madness when you're out to hit 10 or 15 caches? Do you keep hundreds of them loaded or do you just pick the ones you want to go to? I like to keep my options open and drop in at a cache unexpectedly if one is nearby.

That's one of the things I like about the Lowrance iFinder series. Some people bad mouth it because you don't load waypoints with a cable, but the way it works I find it to be an advantage. I download caches in groups for different areas I cache in, be it city state or whatever, and copy each group to the SD card. Whatever area I'm in that day I load just that group and I don't have 100 other waypoints cluttering up the GPS. When I'm done in that area I delete the caches I've found and save the waypoints back to the card under the same file name then have the GPS delete all of the waypoints in the GPS, and the nice thing is I don't lose the ones I delete because they are still on the card. When I move to a different area I load the caches for that area. At any given time I have probably 10 or 12 different files on the card.

Link to comment

My 60CSX holds 1,000 waypoints plus many more as POIs. I run 5 PQs every week. One for the 500 closest to my house then a PQ of 100 caches each from outlying areas to the west, east and south. This covers pretty much the entire northern half of my state (NJ). I load these all as regular waypoints. Then I run a PQ for all of the caches I own and load those as POIs. Same for the caches that I've found.

 

I do the latter two so I can find my own caches for maint visits and also so I don't place caches too near my existing caches or ones I've found.

 

Then all these caches go into Cachemate.

 

Every 2 weeks or so, I delete everything and load in fresh data.

Link to comment

The 1000 cache dilemma!

 

When I went to Utah on vacation, I didn't know exactly where my one week of geocaching was going to take me. Utah is a BIG state, and there were thousands of caches throughout the areas I was likely to drive. But, my GPSr could only store 1000 caches. What to do?

 

Here is what I did:

 

I first decided what type of caches I was most interested in finding. For me, they were regular size, single stage, lower difficulty. I then set up a couple PQs (because of the 500 cache PQ limit) to load about 1000 caches of this type.

 

I sent these to my GPSr.

 

Now, Although I wouldn't go out of my way to find smaller caches, if there was one in the immediate area anyway maybe I'd head for it after finding a larger cache.

 

So, I ran more PQs to download ALL of the caches in central and southern Utah. These I downloaded to my PDA.

 

So, once I found a larger easier cache, I could search for ALL nearby caches and see if one peaked my interest.

 

This gave me the greatest flexibility under the circumstances.

Link to comment

... I'm just curious what you guys do to stay organized? I'm planning to upgrade to the 60CSX soon and take my laptop with me too. What is the method to your madness when you're out to hit 10 or 15 caches? Do you keep hundreds of them loaded or do you just pick the ones you want to go to? I like to keep my options open and drop in at a cache unexpectedly if one is nearby.

I do not carry a laptop, but a palm PDA with me. I have some pocket queries (Groundspeak premium member feature) for caches I have not found in areas which I often am at and import that data into GSAK on my PC. From there I usually do 2 exports, one in HTML for the PDA (with the GC-code appended by a unique short name and 1 letter codes for difficulty, terrain, container and type) which I convert for Palm using Plucker and then copy to the memory card of my PDA. The other export is in GPX with a max-14-letter-name of GC code and unique short name, putting the 4 fields mentioned above in the description. These I upload (together with other points) to my GPSr as PoI (point of interest). (The PoI loader for Garmin can be downloaded from the Garmin website.) This way I can carry several hundred, even more than 1000 cache descriptions and their waypoints with me.

So when I am somewhere and have some time left for geocaching, I use the GPSr to find my nearest PoI to locate a cache. Then I look up its description on the PDA. From then on I use the "nearest caches" links in the description most of the time to find further caches nearby.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 1
×
×
  • Create New...