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How to Geocache with a Tomtom one


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So I know this is my first forum post, but I had tried to find this information when I had just started with a tomtom one and there was very little beyond "Sell it and get a new GPS" minus a few positive posts. I have been finding and hiding caches for about 3 months now, the whole time with a tomtom one and I think we have gotten it down, so I wanted to make this guide for others who may be in the same situation we were when we started. I will lead this with a disclaimer... Caching with a tomtom is not as easy as it is with a handheld designed for offroad, but it can be done and quickly once you learn how.

 

1. First of all, plug your tomtom into your computer and get all the updates you can. The most important being the QuickGPS fix, which should help update your position as quickly as possible. Update your maps if needed as well.

 

2. Get to know your tomtom. The most important features are going to be how to enter the GPS Coords (Navigate to -> Latitude and Longitude) and how to accurately pull up exactly where you are by GPS. There are two easy ways of doing this. One is to go to "Help me" and then "Where am I". This will show your location on the map and the GPS coords underneath. We found that this is the slower way of doing this. The best way to pull up the coords (which update as you walk) is to click the bottom left button (where the signal strength is) and on the new screen, click on the right button (where you can see the number of satellites). This will pull up your GPS coords and they do update as you move.

 

- These do not update as fast as say a garmin handheld, but if you do the updates, they do pretty well. Occasionally you may have to stop and let it catch up, so to speak.

 

3. Pull up your first cache, whether it be walking distance or you need to drive to it. Enter the coords (how I said above) and use the basic road function to get you close. Remember, the finish line symbol is only a very rough estimate. When you get to a point where you are close, pull up the coords and follow it there. This takes some practice and I recommend you have a compass. Remember the numbers increase as you go north and west. So they decrease as you go South or East. Take a look at the coords and where you are supposed to be going and you should be able to move in the right direction pretty quickly. Once you start moving and you are getting close, slow down your walking or even stop walking and let the gps catch up. It (being a road GPS) assumes your continued speed and keeps the coords going for a few seconds after you stop, so the first few times, be prepared to walk back a little because tomtom took you past the coords a bit.

 

4. I would suggest trying this with a cache you know and have been to or placed to get a feel for it. When going after a new one, write down the information, including the coords and a clue so you know you are looking in the right spot when your coords say you are there. As far as I have been able to tell, uploading a gpx file (or similar) is fairly useless for tomtom. I copy the information onto a word document and either print it out or put that document onto my phone to look at.

 

This is not the easiest GPSr to use for caching by a long shot, but it is not only doable but fun once you get the hang of it. If you are looking for a simple put in and go straight to the spot, get a handheld. This requires a bit of thinking to get exactly there, but we have had the FTF in a FTF competition using this system, so it not only works, but works efficiently. Make sure you update your tomtom at least weekly, if not more often and have patience with it! I promise that if you give it some time, you will pick it up in a hurry.

 

If anyone would like to add anything to this brief guide, please post after or shoot me a PM.

 

Because yo need a little more understanding about how GPS actually works, give this site a try. It's for divers, but it explains GPS fairly well... http://www.divespots.com/scuba/storyID-40/viewStory.blogs

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, concerns or whatnot concerning your tomtom or this post!

 

John

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I've had pretty good luck so far using a TomTom. Once I got accustomed to how to pull up my current GPS position (I've been using the "Browse Map" function for this), it's not too difficult. My only gripe is I wish the zoom was higher on the browse map screen.

 

I know it's not as good as a non-car-type GPS for use in the woods, but it gets me close enough. Plus, I use it every day at work when running service calls all over the place.

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Ive heard that exact same thing from people too. For me, I got the GPS as a gift a few months before I had even heard of geocaching. I decided to try it out and it worked but at a lot of trial and error until I developed the system that I had up above. At some point, mayube I will buy a handheld, but in my financial realm right now, the tomtom is what I have and it works great for us.

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After trying a few more caches today using the TomTom and getting frustrated by the low resolution (10 yards is the best I could narrow coordinates down to), my girlfriend (AlteredHope) downloaded the app for her IPhone 3G. We found caches a lot easier with her IPhone and could download the caches directly to it from the website.

 

I doubt I'll be bothering with trying to use the TomTom anymore for actual cache hunting. It will be relegated to just getting use close, if even that.

 

I love it for driving, but it just doesn't work very well for actual searching.

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Thanks a million for your post! We're brand new to geocaching and not ready to invest in a handheld yet. I've been fumbling trying to figure out 'how to' use our TomTom one and this really helped.

 

We looked for our first caches today and our success rate was 1 out of 5 :) I didn't know how to get into the coordinate mode (we just used the map), and that may have been part of the problem. Also, we weren't sure how hard and how far away to look. We're looking forward to trying your instructions and seeing if we can find a few more from our list.

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So I know this is my first forum post, but I had tried to find this information when I had just started with a tomtom one and there was very little beyond "Sell it and get a new GPS" minus a few positive posts. I have been finding and hiding caches for about 3 months now, the whole time with a tomtom one and I think we have gotten it down, so I wanted to make this guide for others who may be in the same situation we were when we started. I will lead this with a disclaimer... Caching with a tomtom is not as easy as it is with a handheld designed for offroad, but it can be done and quickly once you learn how.

 

1. First of all, plug your tomtom into your computer and get all the updates you can. The most important being the QuickGPS fix, which should help update your position as quickly as possible. Update your maps if needed as well.

 

2. Get to know your tomtom. The most important features are going to be how to enter the GPS Coords (Navigate to -> Latitude and Longitude) and how to accurately pull up exactly where you are by GPS. There are two easy ways of doing this. One is to go to "Help me" and then "Where am I". This will show your location on the map and the GPS coords underneath. We found that this is the slower way of doing this. The best way to pull up the coords (which update as you walk) is to click the bottom left button (where the signal strength is) and on the new screen, click on the right button (where you can see the number of satellites). This will pull up your GPS coords and they do update as you move.

 

- These do not update as fast as say a garmin handheld, but if you do the updates, they do pretty well. Occasionally you may have to stop and let it catch up, so to speak.

 

3. Pull up your first cache, whether it be walking distance or you need to drive to it. Enter the coords (how I said above) and use the basic road function to get you close. Remember, the finish line symbol is only a very rough estimate. When you get to a point where you are close, pull up the coords and follow it there. This takes some practice and I recommend you have a compass. Remember the numbers increase as you go north and west. So they decrease as you go South or East. Take a look at the coords and where you are supposed to be going and you should be able to move in the right direction pretty quickly. Once you start moving and you are getting close, slow down your walking or even stop walking and let the gps catch up. It (being a road GPS) assumes your continued speed and keeps the coords going for a few seconds after you stop, so the first few times, be prepared to walk back a little because tomtom took you past the coords a bit.

 

4. I would suggest trying this with a cache you know and have been to or placed to get a feel for it. When going after a new one, write down the information, including the coords and a clue so you know you are looking in the right spot when your coords say you are there. As far as I have been able to tell, uploading a gpx file (or similar) is fairly useless for tomtom. I copy the information onto a word document and either print it out or put that document onto my phone to look at.

 

This is not the easiest GPSr to use for caching by a long shot, but it is not only doable but fun once you get the hang of it. If you are looking for a simple put in and go straight to the spot, get a handheld. This requires a bit of thinking to get exactly there, but we have had the FTF in a FTF competition using this system, so it not only works, but works efficiently. Make sure you update your tomtom at least weekly, if not more often and have patience with it! I promise that if you give it some time, you will pick it up in a hurry.

 

If anyone would like to add anything to this brief guide, please post after or shoot me a PM.

 

Because yo need a little more understanding about how GPS actually works, give this site a try. It's for divers, but it explains GPS fairly well... http://www.divespots.com/scuba/storyID-40/viewStory.blogs

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, concerns or whatnot concerning your tomtom or this post!

 

John

I have been usnig my tomtom one for a month and have got the hang of it quite well. I have been in touch with tomtom online and they have said that if we can get a few hundred people e-mailing them wanting a directional arrow for off road and a distance to goal point they will add the features to on-line updates. Please could anyone who is reading this send them an e-mail so that we can have it sorted out for us with tomtoms

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