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Nuvi 3xx Series. Beginners guide to TRUE paperless caching.


pilotsnipes
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The tutorial/macro that was originally here has now been moved.

 

Due to the fast changing nature of this project, it was easier to set up a new

website to keep everything up-to-date and provide an easy location for the user

to find everything they need in one location.

 

Please visit the website linked below to continue.

 

If you do have any further questions, please ask them in the support thread

which can be found

By Clicking HERE

 

http://pilotsnipes.googlepages.com

 

Enjoy the hunt

 

Pilotsnipes

 

[ Edited by mod per author's request ]

Edited by robertlipe
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pilotsnipes, you are AWESOME. I'm paperless with my Vista HCx and Palm anyway, but this is just TOO cool to not play around with. I'm going to try it now with my Nuvi 360!

 

Thanks for putting the time in to figure this out.

 

Cache On!

 

JohnTee

Edited by JohnTee
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Thanks guys.

 

The Nuvi 660 has a much wider screen and I have not been able to test it yet.

 

It WILL be able to do paperless caching, but I don't know which of my macros is the best to use (with edits) the one for the 7xx series or the 3xx series.

 

If I can get my hands on one I will definitely post the results.

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I've had 3 nüvi's (350, 360 and 660) and they are awesome for street navigation, very intuitive.

 

Thanks pilotsnipes for figuring out a method to make them more useful for offroad usage (ie geocaching).

 

I just want to point out however that they 'are' designed for on road use for the most part (and finding your way from the department store to your vehicle), therefore they are not the least bit water resistant or nearly as durable as a handheld series Garmin. They also like to lock on the road, so definitely use the coordinates screen after you park.

 

Enjoy - just be extra careful :laughing:

 

PS

Here's a little how-to for making the nüvi (3xx, 6xx) function with the antenna down :laughing:

http://www.gpsreview.net/forums/viewtopic....ght=antenna+mod

Edited by XopherN71
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Tech Hillbilly-

 

"I just want to point out however that they 'are' designed for on road use for the most part (and finding your way from the department store to your vehicle), therefore they are not the least bit water resistant or nearly as durable as a handheld series Garmin."

 

 

Need not worry. I have a Garmin Vista HCx for out of the vehicle use. However, 2005 On Star nor AT&T TeleNav with Moto SLVR L5 were turn by turn voice command capable of accepting coordinates and getting me to the cache parking spot. It was becoming dangerous to attempt following an arrow on handheld to get me from cache to cahe. This was my number one reason for ordering the Garmin Nuvi 660 this week. Icing on the cake would be to go paperless.

 

 

Therefore, I await pilotsnipes' response but am appreciative of Tech Hillbilly's words of caution.

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This "Kinda" works on the 660. You find the results in "Where to?"-"Extras"-"Custom POI's" folder. The screen formatting is different than that shown for the 300 series of Nuviis. I took some screen shots but I don't know how to post them on the forum.

Edited by RogFel
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Hi guys,

 

I don't have much time this morning, but if someone with a 660 can do the following I'll be able to edit my macro a bit easier and try to get you a 660 version.

 

1) Try using the instructions for this 3xx tutorial. When you go to your custom POIs and select a cache, IT WILL be all out of format on the screen, ignore that.

 

Try to find a cache that has a long a description as possible, does the 660 show the entire thing or does it cut out after xxx number of characters? You will know if it shows the whole thing because you will see hints AND logs at the bottom. No hints/logs = cut off characters.

 

If you can post any screen shots that will help greatly.

 

2) If the above shows ALL the characters, then take at look at the "separator" lines (the --------- between the cache details) how many of those "--" do you need to go from one side of the screen to the other?

 

3) If the 3xx series doesn't look like it producing good data, try the 7xx series tutorial

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=190140

 

4) Does the 660 show a coloured information cache when you select a POI ? (this would be good because it means the 660 can parse html and make prettier caches)

 

5) Does it cut of any characters like above?

 

As also, screen shots are the best help here.

 

Upload them to photobucket.com, then insert them here using the tag:

 

[img=http://linto.photobucketimage.com/123.jpg]

Edited by pilotsnipes
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OK this is good news, please see the 7xx thread for some more info.

 

The bottom line is going to probably be:

 

1) Do you want pretty html colours with less characters available to display the cache information. or

2) No pretty colours, but the space to show ALL the information for EVERY cache including it's hints and logs.

 

Poll?

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Ok guys then this is going to be MUCH easier than I hoped!!

 

Go back to the GSAK export screen,

 

GSAK_ScreenShot2.gif

 

And change the Cache description line from this:

 

360export.gif

 

to:

 


%Name by %By,  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- %typ=3/%con=3/%last4/Tb:%bug, (D:%Dif/T:%Ter) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pl:%datepl, LF:%datelf ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- %lat=M, %lon=M. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- %macro="nuvi3DandH"

 

THAT IS ALL ONE LINE ABOVE DO NOT TRY AND SPLIT IT.

 

Now open up the macro file (c:\program files\gsak\macros\nuvi3dandh.gsk) in something like notepad.

 

Find this line:

$hints = " ****************************** Hint: " + $d_hints + " ****************************** "

 

Change to:

$hints = " ******************************************************************** Hint: " + $d_hints + " ******************************************************************** "

 

Find this line:

$logs = $logs + " ___________________________ " + $d_ltype + " by " + $d_lby + " " + DateFormat($d_ldate) + " - " + $d_ltext 

 

Change to:

$logs = $logs + " __________________________________________________________ " + $d_ltype + " by " + $d_lby + " " + DateFormat($d_ldate) + " - " + $d_ltext 

 

I think you can see that if I've counted the extra dashes/stars incorrectly it's a simple fix to get the right number.

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My TourGuide.gpx file generated fine. The custom export attempt resulted in the following DOS window message. I tried it three times. Same result. Thanks for your good work.

 

c:\gsak>GPSBabel.exe -N -i gpx -f "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,desc

r,category="Geocaches",alerts=1,units=m, -F "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpi"

GPX: Cannot open file 'c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx'!

 

c:\gsak>Pause

Press any key to continue . . .

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Why don't you try out both methods (7xx and 3xx) and see which one works better for you? You won't damage anything by adding a few POIs

 

It should be the 7xx series tutorial, but remember to reduce the characters to approx 2500, as unofficially/unconfirmed, that's what another user has reported as being the limit.

 

Please report back though!

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FOUND SOLUTION to MY STUPIDITY: I need to look under Custom POI, not Favourites. Sorry for the confusion.

 

I must be doing something stupid as it didn't work for me.

 

I was using v6 of GSAK for so many years, but this thread motivated me to pay $15 and upgrade it to v7.2.1.40. I have 370 and I used the original macro in this thread and followed the steps. Except that I set a filter to select all the caches within 10miles from my office and then set a flag to all the caches found by this filter. Then, I created the .gpx file exactly with the name given in this thread (TourGuide Geo.gpx with a space in the name). Then, in the 2nd step, created the .gpi file without any errors. The .gpx file is 1723KB and the .gpi file is 875KB for 116 caches. I copied ONLY the .gpi file to Nuvi's main memory under the POI folder.

 

Before copying the file, I had deleted ALL the POIs in my Nuvi. But, I don't find any items under "Favourite" at all even after copying the .gpi. What am I doing wrong?

 

Edit: The caches and waypoints are showing up now. I don't know why it didn't show up earlier. However, there are no descriptions at all. I will post some screenshots now.

 

This is how cache details look:

Cache.jpg

 

This is how a waypoint details look:

Waypoint.jpg

 

This is how my Favourites List looks:

CacheList.jpg

Edited by california-jones
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pilotsnipes,

 

I can't see the caches on the map in normal resolutions (say 800ft or 0.2mile) unless I go thru the Custom List and after selecting the cache and then choosing the "Map" option. I can see them only when I zoom in to 200ft scale. I remember reading about this limitation with Nuvi-6xx and 3xx series (don't know if that have changed that in the newer series).

 

My understanding is that you choose the route of .gpi (custom POI) Vs the regular POIs as the regular POIs get displayed in all resolutions, but cannot take large amount of text in the description field. Is that the reason why you took this method?

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Nope,

 

On the Nuvi 3xx, if you use POI loader the only thing to get transferred to the Nuvi along with the co-ords etc (in the gpx file) is the description field.

 

The description field is limited to around 250 characters on the Nuvi 3xx. Useless.

 

However the "Contact" field (from the GPX file), which should only be used for a simple one line email address etc, actually has practically NO limits to the number of characters placed in there.

 

Whilst it "should NOT", the nuvi 3xx actually can read as many characters as you can throw in there! POILoader, however does not upload this information, so we were caught.

 

Then Clyde (GSAK), managed to show me how to use his program (with GPSBabel in the background) to produce a custom GPI file WITH all the details in the contact field intact.

 

Hence we are were we are today. Abusing the fact that the Nuvi can read approx 20,000 characters, but from somewhere it should not have been!

 

Nuvis 2xx, 6xx and 7xx are different.

Edited by pilotsnipes
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Dumb question?? If I drop a new gpi file in the POI folder, will it completely replace the original gpi file? If so, how do I combine caches from two or three different queries? I want several hundred in there from different parts of my state. Thanks again for what you've done, pilotsnipes. This is absolutely great!!!

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Nope,

 

On the Nuvi 3xx, if you use POI loader the only thing to get transferred to the Nuvi along with the co-ords etc (in the gpx file) is the description field.

 

The description field is limited to around 250 characters on the Nuvi 3xx. Useless.

 

However the "Contact" field (from the GPX file), which should only be used for a simple one line email address etc, actually has practically NO limits to the number of characters placed in there.

 

Whilst it "should NOT", the nuvi 3xx actually can read as many characters as you can throw in there! POILoader, however does not upload this information, so we were caught.

 

Then Clyde (GSAK), managed to show me how to use his program (with GPSBabel in the background) to produce a custom GPI file WITH all the details in the contact field intact.

 

Hence we are were we are today. Abusing the fact that the Nuvi can read approx 20,000 characters, but from somewhere it should not have been!

 

Nuvis 2xx, 6xx and 7xx are different.

 

First I should thank you for this awesome effort. I like it very much. I own a 60csx, 400t and Nuvi-370, but I like convergence and if I can carry only one GPSr with me on some of the trips, that makes life simpler.

 

I don't use POI Loader at all. I use Mapsource to load the .gdb file that GSAK generates containing all the caches I have filtered using GSAK and then send it to the GPSr. That process allows me to send the icon for the caches to Nuvi. In this process, the caches appear as "waypoints" and so they are listed under "Favourites" and hence visible on the map directly. I wonder if I take the .gpx file created by the first step by the macro and then load it in Mapsource! Will that make the caches appear on the map.

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I copied the .gpx file to the gpx folder and the .gpi folder to the POI folder. Voila!

 

Now, I can see the caches on the map and they are available under "Favourites", but without any description info. Whereas, the same is listed under "Custom POI" with all the details that pilotsnipes provided. Further, I created two such gpx and gpi files (one for one area and the other for another area) and copied them and I can see all of them together.

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You can only have around (i think) 500 favourites, so for me this avenue is useless as I have almost 3000 caches surrounding the places I travel.

 

Having an icon for the cache is very simple, I left out the instructions in the tutorial because it was extra stuff that wasn't needed at the time. If you want it, place the bmp in the gsak main directory and use this line for the custom export.

 

Putting the caches into the favourites menu is a bad idea. In my opinion.

 

(Having as many gpi files as you want is very easy and practical, just don't replicate waypoints and all will be well.)

 

GPSBabel.exe -N -i gpx -f "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,descr,category="Geocaches",bitmap="Traditional.bmp",alerts=1,units=m, -F "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpi"

 

There's the icon for you! It will show up in the map display if you move the icon to the right place.

 

:)

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You can only have around (i think) 500 favourites, so for me this avenue is useless as I have almost 3000 caches surrounding the places I travel.

 

Having an icon for the cache is very simple, I left out the instructions in the tutorial because it was extra stuff that wasn't needed at the time. If you want it, place the bmp in the gsak main directory and use this line for the custom export.

 

Putting the caches into the favourites menu is a bad idea. In my opinion.

 

(Having as many gpi files as you want is very easy and practical, just don't replicate waypoints and all will be well.)

 

GPSBabel.exe -N -i gpx -f "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,descr,category="Geocaches",bitmap="Traditional.bmp",alerts=1,units=m, -F "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpi"

 

There's the icon for you! It will show up in the map display if you move the icon to the right place.

 

:)

 

I tried your method, but that didn't work for me. With your approach, I can get any icon appear for the caches, but they will show up only at a scale of 200ft or below as POI don't appear on a higher scale view of the map. So, while driving around, I cannot take an off the cuff decision to hunt for a cache when I see it appear on the map. On other GPSrs, you will always see the cache icons on the map. In Nuvi, since we have the 500 waypoints limitation and also since you cannot put in long text field of info, you are forced to use the POI (limited only by the size of free memory in Nuvi or SD card). What I am asking for is most like not possible. It is liking eating your cake and having it as well. :)

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This is a firmware limitation of the GPS unit. Several units (most of the nuvi line, I believe) will only show the Custom POIs on the map screen when zoomed to 300 (or even 200 feet) or closer. There's no way currently for users to change this. Garmin would have to modify the firmware.

 

On the Zumo series, for example, the Custom POIs show up on the screen when zoomed to 0.3 miles or closer.

 

You could set up Proximity Alerts (maybe 5000 feet or so) for your Custom POIs and then you might get alerted for those that are near to the road on which you are traveling even if you can't see them yet on the map screen.

Edited by Motorcycle_Mama
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.....So, while driving around, I cannot take an off the cuff decision to hunt for a cache when I see it appear on the map.

...

It is liking eating your cake and having it as well. :)

 

You could set up Proximity Alerts (maybe 5000 feet or so) for your Custom POIs and then you might get alerted for those that are near to the road on which you are traveling even if you can't see them yet on the map screen.

 

 

:)

 

I'm surprised why no-one has questioned why I named the GPX/GPI file "TourGuide Geo" yet!

 

Within a few weeks/days or so, GPSbabel will be updated to allow proximity alerts to be created when we are creating the GPI file.

 

When this happens you'll be able to drive around and when ever ANY geocache is within your defined range, you'll get a little ding! You'll not even need to look at the map page!!

 

I never told anyone about this yet because it isn't perfected, but shortly it will be! When it is, you'll have almost nothing extra to do because I've included most of the steps already above! :D

 

Just keep checking back!

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My TourGuide.gpx file generated fine. The custom export attempt resulted in the following DOS window message. I tried it three times. Same result. Thanks for your good work.

 

c:\gsak>GPSBabel.exe -N -i gpx -f "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,desc

r,category="Geocaches",alerts=1,units=m, -F "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpi"

GPX: Cannot open file 'c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx'!

 

c:\gsak>Pause

Press any key to continue . . .

 

Im having this same problem tried copying again with no luck any suggestions :grin:

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The line of code depends on where you have installed GSAK and where you have placed the GPX file.

 

So I'll assume the following.

1) GSAk is in C:\program files\GSAK

2) The "TourGuide Geo.gpx" is in c:\temp

3) You have spelt the filename correctly in point 2.

 

Then this will work.

GPSBabel.exe -N -i gpx -f "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpx" -o garmin_gpi,descr,category="Geocaches",alerts=1,units=m, -F "c:\temp\TourGuide Geo.gpi"

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I noticed something else today that everyone else may have taken for granted, but not me. If you click "Where to? -> My Locations -> Custom POI's" the caches are sorted by proximity, so only the 5 closest show up on the top screen. This even works when navigating to a location. You will continue to get voice prompts so you won't get lost in unfamiliar areas, but you can see the bearing and distance to the 5 closest caches to you. As you travel new caches will pop up along your route. Not as good as points on a map to me, but still pretty cool.

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Glad you found it useful BBadMonkey.

 

If you like being able to see the caches close to you as you drive (I do this too) you'll be very excited when I can get the new version of GPSBable working so that it will alert you whenever you are within say 1000metres (or whatever you would like) of a cache whilst driving with a prompt!!

 

Hopefully we'll get this option soon.

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New Version of Macro to add new feature.

 

Just updated the macro so that you are now alerted if a cache has been marked as "Temp Unavailable" or "Archived".

 

This should hopefully stop you wasting your time on a cache that is no longer there.

 

The alert will be shown just underneath the cache attributes, and before the description begins.

 

 

Obtaining the new Macro

 

To be more organised in distributing the macro, I have set up a new hosting location that only contains the latest version of the macro.

 

If you download from this new location, you are GUARANTEED the most up-to-date version. Just download the new file and replace the old one in the MACRO directory under GSAK.

 

Any problems or feed back please let me know.

 

Nuvi3DandH Macro - Latest Version

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Pilot Snipes

 

This is great!!!

 

Works perfectly on my Nuvi260.

 

Have one question and it may be a simple one.

 

Is there a way that when I hit the "map" function for a particular custom POI, all the other caches will show on the map with a cache symbol?

 

Large Noggin

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Pilot Snipes

 

This is great!!!

 

Works perfectly on my Nuvi260.

 

Have one question and it may be a simple one.

 

Is there a way that when I hit the "map" function for a particular custom POI, all the other caches will show on the map with a cache symbol?

 

Large Noggin

 

No problems Large Noggin!

 

I just want to check with you, you've posted this in the Nuvi 3xx tutorial thread, and not the Nuvi 2xx/6xx/7xx Thread

 

Are you sure you're using the correct macro for you caches?

 

If, by mistake you've been using the 3xx Macro for your Nuvi 260, and it's been working, can you give some more details about how you've found the whole process for you?

 

Ie. Do any caches make the 260 switch off?

Does the page format show properly (I don't think it will if you're using the 3xx macro).

Do you get all the logs or does the machine cut off any characters etc etc.

 

Thanks.

 

As for your second question, - no I'm afraid not, you can view caches on the map screen only if you are zoomed into, I think, about 800ft downwards scale only.

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Pilot Snipes

 

This is great!!!

 

Works perfectly on my Nuvi260.

 

Have one question and it may be a simple one.

 

Is there a way that when I hit the "map" function for a particular custom POI, all the other caches will show on the map with a cache symbol?

 

Large Noggin

 

No problems Large Noggin!

 

I just want to check with you, you've posted this in the Nuvi 3xx tutorial thread, and not the Nuvi 2xx/6xx/7xx Thread

 

Are you sure you're using the correct macro for you caches?

 

If, by mistake you've been using the 3xx Macro for your Nuvi 260, and it's been working, can you give some more details about how you've found the whole process for you?

 

Ie. Do any caches make the 260 switch off?

Does the page format show properly (I don't think it will if you're using the 3xx macro).

Do you get all the logs or does the machine cut off any characters etc etc.

 

Thanks.

 

As for your second question, - no I'm afraid not, you can view caches on the map screen only if you are zoomed into, I think, about 800ft downwards scale only.

 

 

PilotSnipes

 

Thanks for the quick reply. I did accidentally post in the wrong thread....sorry all.

 

I will post a replay to your questions along with some observations in the Nuvi 2xx,6xx,7xx thread.

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Loading over 1000 caches into 350 went perfectly. Tried loading into my Vista HCx and I got caches in my Waypoints folder, caches in my Geocache folder and caches in a newly created Custom POI folder. There's also Airport waypoints in the Waypoints folder. I don't understand why. Is there a method to get them into the geocache folder with a little helpful info along with them such as the hint, coords, type of cache, difficulty, etc.

 

Thanks in advance. Just fascinated with all of this and trying to learn.

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Tried loading into my Vista HCx and I got caches in my Waypoints folder, caches in my Geocache folder and caches in a newly created Custom POI folder. There's also Airport waypoints in the Waypoints folder. I don't understand why. Is there a method to get them into the geocache folder with a little helpful info along with them such as the hint, coords, type of cache, difficulty, etc.

 

Thanks in advance. Just fascinated with all of this and trying to learn.

 

I have NO idea about the Vista HCX (unless someone wants to give me one :D ) My guess is that the Nuvi 2xx/6xx/7xx tutorial would be better though for it as it is a much newer unit than the 3xx series!

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First let me thank you for showing me how to make so much more of my Nüvi 310. :D

 

As I've been using the device for caching for quite some time now, I just wanted to tell you that I'm using a different approach for those 'last meters'.

All it needs is to tell the Nüvi that we're going off road from now on. This can be accomplished like this:

From the main screen use the wrench, then choose 'Navigation':

 

1.jpg --> 2.jpg

 

Set 'Route Preference' to 'Off Road' and 'Vehicle' to 'Pedestrian'. After this the Nüvi will navigate according to your actual position and will not try to keep you 'on the road':

 

3.jpg --> 4.jpg

 

In connection with the blue ring showing the GPS' accuracy I prefer this to the method of using the coordinates directly. But as always, it is everyone to his taste.

Edited by madherb
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Hey MadHerb, I just used that same method to hunt for a cache that I've tried to find a couple of times with my Rino. The Nuvi took me within a meter on the first try. The Rino would drift all around under some fairly thick tree cover, but the Nuvi never wavered. I guess its time to upgrade the Rino as the Nuvi seems a bit delicate to carry into the woods.

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