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Cheap Paperless Caching


valeek
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I've been caching for a few months now and am interested in paperless caching. I've been looking around at different ways of doing this. I can't go out and buy a smartphone or new GPS with the paperless option. There's several threads showing what is used, but I would like recommendations of the cheapest way to go. Which PDA, software, etc.

 

Thanks so much.

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I've been caching for a few months now and am interested in paperless caching. I've been looking around at different ways of doing this. I can't go out and buy a smartphone or new GPS with the paperless option. There's several threads showing what is used, but I would like recommendations of the cheapest way to go. Which PDA, software, etc.

 

Thanks so much.

 

I would think you can get a PDA for under $100. GSAK and Cachemate work great with a PDA.

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I would think you can get a PDA for under $100. GSAK and Cachemate work great with a PDA.

I'd think you can get GSAK, Cachemate and an old Palm for significantly under $100 total. I'm using an old Palm Vx. Not as sexy as an Oregon or DeLorme PN-40, certainly, but being able to call up cache details, hints and old logs at the cache site sometimes made the difference between a smiley and a DNF.

 

I have a whole bunch of unfound caches on my Nuvi using the Nuvi macro for GSAK as well. Something to consider if you already have a Nuvi.

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I've been caching for a few months now and am interested in paperless caching. I've been looking around at different ways of doing this. I can't go out and buy a smartphone or new GPS with the paperless option. There's several threads showing what is used, but I would like recommendations of the cheapest way to go. Which PDA, software, etc.

 

Thanks so much.

 

M500 on ebay $25-30

GSAK $25

Cachemate $10

 

Cheaper than a smartphone or PN-40/CO/OR

 

Jim

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If you have an ipod, the cache listings can be transferred to it. Otherwise any cheap functional pda will work. If you have a phone with a data plan you can just look up the listing ahead of time and keep it loaded on the phones browser.

 

Or you can do what I did and borrowed a PDA my brother hadn't used in years.

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I've been caching for a few months now and am interested in paperless caching. I've been looking around at different ways of doing this. I can't go out and buy a smartphone or new GPS with the paperless option. There's several threads showing what is used, but I would like recommendations of the cheapest way to go. Which PDA, software, etc.

 

Thanks so much.

 

You could buy the cheapest Garmin Nüvi that you can find, new or used. Excellent for storing geocaching info when used with GSAK and a good macro. And you'll get car navigation as a bonus.

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I've been caching for a few months now and am interested in paperless caching. I've been looking around at different ways of doing this. I can't go out and buy a smartphone or new GPS with the paperless option. There's several threads showing what is used, but I would like recommendations of the cheapest way to go. Which PDA, software, etc.

 

Thanks so much.

 

You could buy the cheapest Garmin Nüvi that you can find, new or used. Excellent for storing geocaching info when used with GSAK and a good macro. And you'll get car navigation as a bonus.

 

and a lousy trail gps with limited battery life.

 

Jim

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If you go the PDA route all you need to do is buy the PDA. Just about any Palm will do, color ones like the M515 have the better screens.

Then download your PQ`s and use GPX2HTML (free). Install Plucker (free), both desktop and the palm program. If you have to stitch together PQ`s use Watcher (free) to do so. About the hardest thing I remember doing is setting up the Plucker channel (channels as the case may be) and getting my home coords in the right format for the Reflocation file used by gpx2html. Will be glad to help.

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You could buy the cheapest Garmin Nüvi that you can find, new or used. Excellent for storing geocaching info when used with GSAK and a good macro. And you'll get car navigation as a bonus.
and a lousy trail gps with limited battery life.

 

Well, the primary goal here was to store the cache information, right? Using the Advanced Nuvi macro and SpoilerSync does that very well. Even when using the pilotsnipes macro and not getting spoiler pics the Nüvi is a very good alternative to getting a PDA just for storing cache description. And the most basic model (Garmin Nüvi 205) does this very well and is not very expensive.

 

If used just as a replacement for printed cache description then just turn it off on longer hikes and the limited battery life should not be an issue.

 

I also said that you'd get car navigation as a bonus. I assume the thread starter allready has a trail GPS or the original question would look quite a bit different. However, compared with other car navigation units the Nüvi is actually not as bad as one might think when it comes to offroad usage.

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You could buy the cheapest Garmin Nüvi that you can find, new or used. Excellent for storing geocaching info when used with GSAK and a good macro. And you'll get car navigation as a bonus.
and a lousy trail gps with limited battery life.

 

Well, the primary goal here was to store the cache information, right? ..........

 

You know, I often dream of venturing into a "paperless" realm. For me that means not having to print out short little "cheater" maps that help me find the only squiggly little road that goes to a particular cache, or determine the best route to hit several in an area. This may not mean anything to someone who parks at the trail head and then hikes for 6 to 8 hours (which I also love to do), but on those park and grab firehouse race days it is nice to have some satellite assistance to get you around the concrete jungle.

As far as cache info, I preview caches online and only download the ones which are appropriate for my next outing. Not having cache descriptions or hints in the field does not impede me in any way. IF there are essential details in the cache listing, such as combinations or special instructions, I write them down on the back of the corresponding "map" page that I now print out.

 

I have used turn by turn nav systems in rental cars and they can make a trip so sweet. No need to worry about this little road dead ending into a gravel pit or "Mondo's Laundry and Delicatessen".

 

I would l-o-v-e to have a single unit that would allow very detailed (and highly filtered) cache downloads, offer turn by turn directions to the general cache site and then switch to 'off-road' mode for up close and personal seeking. After bleeding for the cache I just hit a button to log a find, enter a note and then move on! Coolness!

That being said, I really don't need a single unit that cost a lot or does only a half-decent job towards each function. Like a CD/Record/DVD/VHS/MP3/Tuner/Amp/Espresso combo stack. Great, it's all there... but do they all work as they really should? Maybe, it could just be a measure of performance against pricing and convenience. It may be just perfect for someone with only sq.ft. of space and $200. That's what a free market is all about.

A street smart dash mounted GPS probably does it's very best work while sitting on the dash. A light weight, durable and energy efficient handheld just begs to be taken on long treks. I wouldn't mind that too much. The dash unit would come in mighty handy on road trips that have zip to do with geocaching (not that there are any...really <_< ).

Delorme definitely has my attention with their efforts, but the Nuvi capabilities look pretty tasty too! What a great time to be into geocaching!!! :(

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I use my cell phone for paperless caching. I have it with me all the time so I don't have to bring any extra equipment to go out. I use Smart-GPX and Spoilersync to get all information to my phone. This method of paperless caching is free (unless you want to sponsor the authors of course).

 

Smart-GPX can be downloaded at www.smartcaching.de and works with Nokia 6630, 6680/6681/6682, N70/N72, N90, N71, N73, N80, N91, N93, Nokia 5800, Sony Ericsson P990i, M600i, W960i, Motorola MOTORIZR Z8, Z10, Nokia Communicator 9500, 9300/9300i.

 

If your cell phone is one of the above, the choice is easy <_<

 

Regards, The Strat

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You may not need anything.

 

What GPS are you using now?

 

If you use a Garmin Etrex HC model, or one with a data cards, an "x" series, then you can use the 60CSxPOI macro to download web pages into these GPS units. It's not too pretty but the end result is just as effective. I started using the macro just a week ago, but it has already been worth the effort to set up.

 

But, first you need to become a premium member to create PQs, and download GSAK.

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I started geocaching with a simple Etrex Vista. When i read about paperless caching i first tried using my HP PDA with cachemate in combinaton wiht GSAK. Then i bought a Garmin ZUmo to be used on my bike and in my car. Only to discover you can cache excellently with the zumo when its populated with thousands of caches, including all descriptions and hints.

 

Of course the ZUmo won't hold it for 8 hours, but i usually dont do those long tracks (in the netherlands here) but when i set the contrast way low it sure will be my best mate for more than 4 hours! I always take the eTrex with me to as a backup and to be able to do in the field waypoint pojections.

 

And the added bonus: route-navigation to the start point

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I started geocaching with a simple Etrex Vista. When i read about paperless caching i first tried using my HP PDA with cachemate in combinaton wiht GSAK. Then i bought a Garmin ZUmo to be used on my bike and in my car. Only to discover you can cache excellently with the zumo when its populated with thousands of caches, including all descriptions and hints.

 

Are you using one of the Nüvi macros to load it with cache descriptions?

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I started geocaching with a simple Etrex Vista. When i read about paperless caching i first tried using my HP PDA with cachemate in combinaton wiht GSAK. Then i bought a Garmin ZUmo to be used on my bike and in my car. Only to discover you can cache excellently with the zumo when its populated with thousands of caches, including all descriptions and hints.

 

Are you using one of the Nüvi macros to load it with cache descriptions?

 

Yes, jjreds macro (http://jjreds01.googlepages.com/download) works perfectly with the zumo

Edited by Schatjes van Schouten
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Then i bought a Garmin ZUmo to be used on my bike and in my car. Only to discover you can cache excellently with the zumo when its populated with thousands of caches, including all descriptions and hints.
Are you using one of the Nüvi macros to load it with cache descriptions?
Yes, jjreds macro (http://jjreds01.googlepages.com/download) works perfectly with the zumo

 

Sorry for being a bit offtopic here but does the Zumo use the same vehicle format as the Nüvi? Caching with the Nüvi using the map screen can be a bit frustrating as all the vehicles covers to much (in my opinion) of the map and none of them have clear centerpoint.

 

I've solved this by making my own custom vehicle which can be found here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=213782 If the Zumo suffers from the same lack of geocachingfriendly vehicles then you may want to give it a try. Asfaik no one has tried it on a Zumo yet but it has been succesfully used on several Nüvi models.

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Then i bought a Garmin ZUmo to be used on my bike and in my car. Only to discover you can cache excellently with the zumo when its populated with thousands of caches, including all descriptions and hints.
Are you using one of the Nüvi macros to load it with cache descriptions?
Yes, jjreds macro (http://jjreds01.googlepages.com/download) works perfectly with the zumo

 

Sorry for being a bit offtopic here but does the Zumo use the same vehicle format as the Nüvi? Caching with the Nüvi using the map screen can be a bit frustrating as all the vehicles covers to much (in my opinion) of the map and none of them have clear centerpoint.

 

I've solved this by making my own custom vehicle which can be found here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=213782 If the Zumo suffers from the same lack of geocachingfriendly vehicles then you may want to give it a try. Asfaik no one has tried it on a Zumo yet but it has been succesfully used on several Nüvi models.

 

The zumo has the possibility (like the nuvi i expect) to change the vehicle symbol. There are lots of them available on the net. I'm using a small blue circle with a triangle inside. But even when i used the default big blue triangle i still could find the caches, because the accuracy of the gps-fix (typically 3-6meters off) can never pinpoint you exactly to the intended position. There will always be some human-effort involved in finding a cache :-)

 

Look at http://garminzumo.wikispaces.com for more info

Edited by Schatjes van Schouten
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If you have an ipod, the cache listings can be transferred to it. Otherwise any cheap functional pda will work. If you have a phone with a data plan you can just look up the listing ahead of time and keep it loaded on the phones browser.

 

Or you can do what I did and borrowed a PDA my brother hadn't used in years.

 

I am also interested in "paperless". I have both an very old Palm PDA and an iPod. How do I load the information to these??? As for the information I want to load-I only need the Cache description and the hints.

any ideas???? Geojws (John)

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I am also interested in "paperless". I have both an very old Palm PDA and an iPod. How do I load the information to these??? As for the information I want to load-I only need the Cache description and the hints.

There are a few ways to accomplish this. One way is:

 

1. Upgrade to premium account

2. Run pocket query, download GPX

3. Load into GSAK

 

Then, depending on whether you're using the Palm or iPod, you either:

 

4. Install Cachemate on Palm

5. Export from GSAK to Cachemate

6. Hotsync Palm

 

or

 

4. Run GSAK macro for iPod

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My "newest" geocaching toy=

 

1) my cell phone--just happens to be an ATT 8525 that I have had for 2 years now. By definition of "cell phone contract": Free

 

2) Bluetooth GPS from Semsons.com--weekly special AMOD ABG-108 +free windshield mount:$23.99 including shipping

 

3) TurboGPS--Freeware program that pretty much does it all:$0

 

4) GPS Babel and GSAK--Free, unless you want to buy the newest, latest, greatest version of GSAK. (If you use it and like it, buy it! Creativity ain't free!)

 

Now, if I could just find someone that would show me how to calibrate digital maps from free map sites.....

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