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Hello to the community and GPS question


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Hello geocachers! I was introduced to geocaching last month and I am hooked. I am now thinking about trips for caching on the side :P . I got myself an etrex Venture HC. Any tips for use and is this a reliable unit? Does anyone know if I can do paperless with it? I have tried to just go "blind" with mixed results. See you on the trails :P

Edited by bluedragonfly
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Welcome to the Forums! :P


Since you are a Premium Member, you can get Pocket Queries. Then, if you use GSAK to send the waypoints to your GPSr, you can get part of the name of the cache, and even part of the hint using the codes in the "Smart Name" feature. This is the code I use for the Waypoint name on my Vista HCx:


%smart=9 %con1%typ1%dif1%ter1


The information included is part of the Name, the Size of the container, the Type of cache (Traditional, Multi, Virtual, Puzzle), the Difficulty and Terrain (based on a 10-point scale). To get part of the hint, I use this code in the Waypoint Description blank of the "Send To GPS" dialogue box:


%Name=10 %hint


The "Smart Names" can be very helpful, but for true "paperless" caching, you would need to get an inexpensive PDA like a Palm m500. I use Cachemate on my Palm and Export the data for it from GSAK.

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That unit cannot be used for 100% paperless caching as it is limited to how many charachters you can carry for each cache listing. Some of the above information is great for sort of "coding" a lot into a little space but the fact of the matter is that you need some kind of PDA to be fully paperless.


May I suggest a used PPC (for about $50 on ebay) and free GPXview for viewing the complete listing page in the field.

Edited by StarBrand
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You can get started without GSAK--just load a few caches onto your venture using GarMin MapSource (assuming you got Garmin US Topo 2008 to go with your Venture). or use EasyGPS to transfer waypoints--you can learn it in a few minutes. Once you've gotten the hang of things, GSAK will make a lot more sense.

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