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Basic paperless question


3isamagic#
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Ok, I have a basic GPS (or GPSr) and it doesn't do anything special...just coordinates.

 

Each time we want to go catching, we pull up the google map from Geocaching.com, pull up the windows of nearby caches (the ones without the smileys), hit the print with no logs link, print, yes print, yes I am sure. Then we staple the info page and map together, put them in a notebook with a general printed streetmap and off we go.

 

We use a lot of paper and ink

 

We get lost quite often.

 

When we arrive, we have to take the paper out into the field to search.

 

When we get back home, we cannot remember anything other than yes we found or no we didn't. We spend a lot of time trying to remember which one was the hide we loved and will talk about all week and which one was the one that was wet and rusted. Did we put the travel bug in this one??

 

Ok, so the time has come to upgrade...

 

Don't worry, I am not going to ask which gps unit is the best...seen enough of those threads already...

 

Here is what we have:

 

Garmin etrex

Verizon LG Dare

Tungsten E2

 

And we won a drawing for a free ITouch, but it hasn't come yet

 

So, I don't want to waste paper....

I don't want to go to each park with five devices hanging off me...

 

Paperless sounds great...but am I missing something?

 

I load in the pocket query, use my phone as a map to get me there, stick my phone in my pocket for emergencies, use my etrex to find the cache, use my pda to see the clues...

 

There has got to be an easier way....

 

Do you all really take this many electronic devices out into the rain and trek through the forest? I will have to get another job just to afford my cheap hobby.

 

thoughts?

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I load in the pocket query, use my phone as a map to get me there, stick my phone in my pocket for emergencies, use my etrex to find the cache, use my pda to see the clues...

 

There has got to be an easier way....

We have a car gps which we load with the caches and it does an OK job of getting us there.

 

We used to use a GPSr and a Palm. Now we just use an Oregon.

 

If you use a PDA with PQ it sounds ok. Do you load the caches in your GPSr first? That can be a deal breaker.

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Yep I have a Etrex too (Vista Cx) and a PDA (Palm Treo 650) and that combo does great :)

 

I download all nearby caches to the etrex AND to the Palm PDA then, off I go! The etrex shows me all the nearby caches and the Palm tells me all about them AND allows me to jot notes once I find one.

 

..umm.. if you print all the geocache pages why don't you bring a pen along and scribble your site notes onto those pages while at the cache site? Later when you get home you'll have your notes :)

 

Recently I upped the techno-ante by getting a bluetooth GPS receiver that can tell my Palm my coordiates. Yep another gadget :D but wow sooo handy!

Edited by NordicMan
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ok, what kind of crazy person wrote the instructions for my Garmin etrex H? I don't understand how to put in cache coordinates. I have read the manual three times. I think I enter them as waypoints but how??? anyone have this and willing to teach a newbie??

 

You mark a waypoint, then edit the coordinates (and name if you like) to match those of your destination.

So read the parts about marking a waypoint and editing a waypoit

 

Since you are a premium member you can download Garmin Communicator and load coordinates directly to your unit from the cache page. Or you can run pocket queries and load as many as 500 caches at a time to your unit using a 3rd party software like EasyGPS.

 

See if you can find a PC cable for your unit on Ebay. I've recently seen a USB cable for the eTrex/Geko for about $15. if you buy the stuff from Garmin it could cost you nearly as much as your unit.

Edited by briansnat
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ok, what kind of crazy person wrote the instructions for my Garmin etrex H? I don't understand how to put in cache coordinates. I have read the manual three times. I think I enter them as waypoints but how??? anyone have this and willing to teach a newbie??

 

I also got the Garmin etrex H recently. The first thing to do was to find the DIY page (this one here is quite good http://www.jens-seiler.de/etrex/datacable.html) and less than a 2 days later the cable was ready. It works great with Easy GPS. If your not so technicaly talented then ask a friend of yours who might be.

 

Greetz

Backo from Germany

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Don't let the paperless purists deter you from continuing to do what you do. It would be easier if you figure out how to load the caches onto the gps, but printing the pages is the way a lot of people start out until you get the hang of it.

 

I was exactly like you up until about 350 finds, then I received an iTouch as gift and that takes the place of the paper. I still bring my cell phone and digital camera.

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When we get back home, we cannot remember anything other than yes we found or no we didn't. We spend a lot of time trying to remember which one was the hide we loved and will talk about all week and which one was the one that was wet and rusted. Did we put the travel bug in this one??

 

 

Bring a digital voice recorder with you, it's a lot easier than pen and paper or using those pda's.

 

I don't want to go to each park with five devices hanging off me...

 

Real men have at least 5 devices, arrrr. :unsure:

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I am still fairly new and don't do paperless yet. Currently, I go caching w/ 3 devices and a handful of papers.

1. I have a TomTom that I use to get me to the cache...I have used GSAK to create POI's that I loaded into my TomTom. (I love this)

2. I have an eTrex Camo that I use to get me to GZ (I am planning on upgrading to a High Sensitivity gps soon)

3. I have just recently found that I can log my finds using my Blackberry. I have only done this 2x so far, but this is great. I can also look at the cache on the BB. I must say that navigating to the cache on the BB is a bit of a challenge w/o the GC#####, but again I am still new to the doing this on the BB.

While this may sound cumbersome, the TomTom is always in my car and the BB is always on my hip; so the only thing extra I am taking is the etrex. Although I think I will start carrying a notebook w/ the caches and their id's listed.

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If you are printing out the paper notes and taking them with you why not take an inkpen and spend like 30 seconds or so writing down your updates/notes on the find????

 

That would eliminate the confusion and the need for the PDA... I don't count the cellphone as a gadget need as I would have it on me for just about any other thing I'd do anyway, so its a given...

 

So all you'd really need is the GPS and a notepad with your print outs stuffed in it...

 

I guess I do a bit of Duplication of efforts too...

 

I use the Colorado 400 t with all the data pushed into it via the page, 1 click, done, can get a whole lot more simple.....

 

However, I have been printing out the pages too like you...

 

I put them on a clipboard and take a few Ink Pens to not only sign the cache's log, but write a few note on the pages I printed out...

 

I write, Date found (or Not Found), who found with, how hard/easy it was to find, breif desc of area found and any notes on if it was missing, conditions, etc... Then, when I get home I update the log on geocaching.com and put all the found ones in an old extra filecabnet I have under Geocaching - Found or the not found in the file in front of that called Geocaching - No Found...

 

The only reason I write on the paper is because I don't like the Jog wheel on the Colorado for enter a lot of text... A phone # or Cordinates maybe, but not much more...

 

I'm thinking we all get lost... Part of the fun, except when you eventually have to give up and mark it --Not Found--....

 

I say keep reading what others are doing and trying new things to look for ways to improve... Thats what I'm doing as I know the folks here have infinitly more skills and experience at this than I do...

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I won't elaborate since I think there are lots of threads on the Oregon and it's paperless abilities.

 

However - I'll say this. In the past I gathered up all the 'gear' to go caching and found it a real hassle to log late at night (or the next day) after caching and trying to remember everything, all the wasted paper, lost field notes, etc, etc..

 

I got my new Oregon last week - went caching all day Saturday and hit 15 of 18 attempted, logged all in the field on the Oregon, uploaded my finds when I got home, logged in 20 minutes after adding detail to my quick field notes and had extra time to play on the forums.

 

The Oregon (300 or 400 recommended) makes for a great all in one geocaching device. You can have up to 2000 caches loaded, easily navigate from cache to cache (on foot or using automotive mode and autorouting with routable maps loaded).

 

I'm continuing to be surprised by my new Oregon. I think may favorite thing is that I can target a zip code, pull a Pocket Query, load the GPX and hit the road. I'm ready to go with one device in a matter of a few minutes.

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