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Help I am not totally paperless


wellchuffed
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Hi

 

I am from the UK and have been geocaching now for about three months. I have purchased a Garmin eTrex Venture CX to help my wife and myself to pursue our new pastime.

 

Everything is going fine and I am downloading Geocache details to my GPS without a problem. However, I still have to print off the actual clues/notes given with each cache because these details are only partially downloaded onto my GPs. I am not talking about the log entries.

 

To get all the details without having to print them do I meed to upgrade my GPS, need to become a full subscribed member of Groundspeak etc etc

 

Hope you can help 'Wellchuffed'

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I use a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. Not sure what difference there is between mine and yours if there is any. If yours is like mine, you definately can't get all the cache info on the GPS.

 

You don't have to be a premium member to go paperless I don't think. You should be able to do it without being a premium member. However, if you're going to do paperless caching, being able to make pocket queries makes a huge difference and you have to be a premium member to do pocket queries.

 

There's a few options for doing paperless caching:

 

- There are GPS's that do support paperless caching so upgrading your GPS is one option.

- Another option is to use a PDA. I've never done this so I'm not totally sure how it works, but I know that it does.

- You could do it with an iPhone.

- Or you could use an internet connected phone.

- I cache paperless using my 120GB iPod Classic. I make a PQ, put it in GSAK and then use a GSAK macro to convert cache info (logs included) to the "notes" section on my iPod. I've been caching with my Venture HC and my iPod for 2 and a half years and it has been a good system.

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I use a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. Not sure what difference there is between mine and yours if there is any. If yours is like mine, you definately can't get all the cache info on the GPS.

 

You don't have to be a premium member to go paperless I don't think. You should be able to do it without being a premium member. However, if you're going to do paperless caching, being able to make pocket queries makes a huge difference and you have to be a premium member to do pocket queries.

 

There's a few options for doing paperless caching:

 

- There are GPS's that do support paperless caching so upgrading your GPS is one option.

- Another option is to use a PDA. I've never done this so I'm not totally sure how it works, but I know that it does.

- You could do it with an iPhone.

- Or you could use an internet connected phone.

- I cache paperless using my 120GB iPod Classic. I make a PQ, put it in GSAK and then use a GSAK macro to convert cache info (logs included) to the "notes" section on my iPod. I've been caching with my Venture HC and my iPod for 2 and a half years and it has been a good system.

 

Thanks for your reply 'simpjkee' and for your comments. i do not think there is much difference between our GPS systems except that mine has a SD card facility, I think I am right!!!

 

Becoming a premium member is an option I must consider and I will have to become more conversant with 'pocket queries' and what that facility offers. Upgrading my GPS at the present is not an option I am afraid. My son uses an internet connected mobile phone with a GPS facility and I must admit I am impressed with the Geocaching information he is able to download, However once again it is not an option I am able to take because of the cost.

 

I thankyou for your help

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I use GSAK (geocaching swiss army knife) software..cost $25, Cachemate..$8 and a palm Treo 700p palm OS phone (Treo 650, 700p, 755 all work well) and am a premium member. any palm PDA will work. do a search on google for GSAK and Cachemate to find the links. Pick up a used palm PDA, or palm OS phone from Ebay, I would recomemnd one that has an expansion card slot but it's not required. you can get them very cheap..you don't need to use the phone as a phone...

Cachemate will give you all of the data about the cache, hints logs and allow you to log you finds. I went paperless august 09 and it's great to have all that info at hand, and makes caching more fun.

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Thanks for your reply 'simpjkee' and for your comments. i do not think there is much difference between our GPS systems except that mine has a SD card facility, I think I am right!!!

 

The chief difference is that yours has the SD card and Simpjkee's has a high sensitivity receiver and yours doesn't.

 

I'm not sure if the Venture CX supports POIs like the newer eTrex units. If it does you can use GSAK and the Garmin POI loader to get the hint on the unit. There are a number of threads here that explain how to do that.

 

That or get yourself an inexpensive PDA (you can find used Palm devices on Ebay for $30) and you can load the entire cache page and hints to it using an application such as Cachemate. Or you can use the iPod as described by Simpjkee.

 

Either way you would need to be a premium member so you can take advantage of GPX files.

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Thanks for your reply 'simpjkee' and for your comments. i do not think there is much difference between our GPS systems except that mine has a SD card facility, I think I am right!!!

 

The chief difference is that yours has the SD card and Simpjkee's has a high sensitivity receiver and yours doesn't.

 

I'm not sure if the Venture CX supports POIs like the newer eTrex units. If it does you can use GSAK and the Garmin POI loader to get the hint on the unit. There are a number of threads here that explain how to do that.

 

That or get yourself an inexpensive PDA (you can find used Palm devices on Ebay for $30) and you can load the entire cache page and hints to it using an application such as Cachemate. Or you can use the iPod as described by Simpjkee.

 

Either way you would need to be a premium member so you can take advantage of GPX files.

 

Thanks to both Carlos1787 and briansnat

 

You have both given me lots of options to consider, I will decide which of them is most suitable. My wife and I are both retired and regrettably cost is a determining factor.

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I bought a cheap PDA on Ebay that I don't need, I found my old charger and cable for my other PDA so I have an extra. I could try to get it setup for paperless caching and work something out with you if you are interested?

 

I'll send you a PM and we can email about it if you are interested.

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I bought a cheap PDA on Ebay that I don't need, I found my old charger and cable for my other PDA so I have an extra. I could try to get it setup for paperless caching and work something out with you if you are interested?

 

I'll send you a PM and we can email about it if you are interested.

 

I really appreciate your help. However i should imagine our locations would make such a transaction a bit too expensive. Many thanks again.

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I agree with what was said. I would add one thing. If you have a smartphone and a data package (Blackberry, iPhone, etc) you can access the GC.com web site on the run. I did this for years. Another option is to use GSAK (which I highly recommend) and purchase a netpad. You will find the net pad a bit slow with GSAK but nothing that will effect your fun. I also did that for about a year before buying my Oregon 450t which allows me to load the cache pages right on the gps.

 

The difference between the Venture Cx and Venture HC is the Cx has an SD card and the HC has a more sensitive GPS chip in it. There may be some interface differences but essentially that's the main differences.

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I used Kijiji I found a Palm IIIxe which I had one hell of a time getting to work on 64bit Windows 7 for $20. I actually like that one because it has a hard cover and is quite simple.

 

Although I am a kijiji junkie and found a Dell Axim X3 for $20 3 days later. So now the GF has the Palm and I am using the color Axim.. she's mad cause I have bejewelled on mine and she doesn't have any games... Anyone know where to find games for a IIIxe Palm? haha I have not even looked yet... :lol:

 

Anyways yea... I know I've done the paper thing a couple times and well it sucked.. If you are using paper.. Try to print doublesided if possible.. And well although I am finding the PDA a pain as well in a lot of ways

 

It takes a little getting used to I think and it's a bit of a pain.. but I know the GF gets more anxious water for me to type out a note on the pda about the cache and thinks it's just a pointless waste of time and waste of money on them..

 

But then again only times she has geocached is with me. First time was with a buddy who had a gps and I brought my laptop and a AC Inverter in the car and we stole wireless signal from whereever we could find it.

 

Next time was with me and I had picked one single specfic cache that was alone out route I wanted to hit up

 

and lately has been with me with the pda which she doesn't understand

 

So in otherwords she has never been paper caching.. funny thing is though when we get to a cache she won't truly look for it and gets kinda grumpy if I won't immediatly tell her if it's a micro or small or large cache and read the blurb on it etc.

 

I think one day I may just claim my pda batteries died and take her to a couple gps coords blindly to find a cache and maybe claim the pda has bigger problems (cold solder?) that I need to repair and print out info for lik 10 caches on paper and make her carry it all and deal with it.

 

Point is..

 

If you've cache with paper before, You will appreciate a $10-$50 dollar PDA even if you have no idea what your doing with it still..

 

Bill

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What a great response i have received to my original post, thank you.. I have tried to reply to your individual messages but alas I have become overwhelmed. I am now going to review the PDA's that are available on Ebay and possibly make a purchase. . At this time I am unsure which PDA would be most suitable a Palm or a Pocket PC, I believe the Palm PDA is cheaper. I also do a lot of reading and would possibly like to be able to keep on my PDA a list of the books i have read which would be handy when visiting book shops etc. So you will understand I have some investigating to do.

 

Once again many thanks for your advice.

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At this time I am unsure which PDA would be most suitable a Palm or a Pocket PC, I believe the Palm PDA is cheaper. I also do a lot of reading and would possibly like to be able to keep on my PDA a list of the books i have read which would be handy when visiting book shops etc. So you will understand I have some investigating to do.

 

I would suggest also looking at some older used "smartphones", as many of them have a full keyboard. I find a keyboard easier to log my finds with. You can find many older phone have either the Palm operating system or Windows.

Edited by Carlos1787
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What a great response i have received to my original post, thank you.. I have tried to reply to your individual messages but alas I have become overwhelmed. I am now going to review the PDA's that are available on Ebay and possibly make a purchase. . At this time I am unsure which PDA would be most suitable a Palm or a Pocket PC, I believe the Palm PDA is cheaper. I also do a lot of reading and would possibly like to be able to keep on my PDA a list of the books i have read which would be handy when visiting book shops etc. So you will understand I have some investigating to do.

 

Once again many thanks for your advice.

 

Look for a device with a minimum of about 8 megs of memory.

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hello fellow Brit :)

 

I just have a little notepad where I write down what is actually needed for that cache - you don't usually need the whole long sheet - most times all I'll write is the cache ID (GC3D4F or whatever), its name, and something like "CO recommends parking in Black Street" or "logs indicate this is a clever hide". One sentence and I'm done. I'll sometimes write down the unencrypted hint too, although I do prefer not to use those if I can.

 

Between my tiny notebook and my GPS, I'm happy.

 

I don't think I could be fussed copying everything over to my ipod or a PDA when I can just scribble a line in my lil' book....

 

(*edited to add - the only time I print out the whole sheet is if it's a puzzle cache or there is otherwise lots of info that I need to take into the field with me - but that's rare*)

Edited by The Chaos Crew
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Hi again

 

Found comments from Carlos 1787 and Briansnat very interesting and informative. I am prepared to consider the Smartphone option but I would be pleased to get some advice on the make and model that would be most suitable. I would not want to use the phone facility.

 

The reply from 'The Chaos Crew' I admit was different and it did bring me back to reality concerning what equipment I do really require. However, this being a new pastime for both myself and my wife means we are prepared to invest a limited amount of money to make it that more enjoyable. My wife and I were into Letterboxing in a big way many years ago and spent such a long time writing out clues etc by hand that maybe we would like to spoil ourselves a bit this time around.

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SORRY MESSAGE REPEAT

 

Hi again

 

Found comments from Carlos 1787 and Briansnat very interesting and informative. I am prepared to consider the Smartphone option but I would be pleased to get some advice on the make and model that would be most suitable. I would not want to use the phone facility.

 

The reply from 'The Chaos Crew' I admit was different and it did bring me back to reality concerning what equipment I do really require. However, this being a new pastime for both myself and my wife means we are prepared to invest a limited amount of money to make it that more enjoyable. My wife and I were into Letterboxing in a big way many years ago and spent such a long time writing out clues etc by hand that maybe we would like to spoil ourselves a bit this time around.

Edited by wellchuffed
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Hi All

 

Just to bring you all up to date if you are interested.

 

I am waiting for a Palm Tungsten T5 PDA to arrive from Ebay. After reading all the advice you have given I have decided to go for the PDA option

 

I am now trying to establish what next step I have to take with regard to downloading Caches etc from Geocaching.com. I believe the first step is to become a subscription member of Geocaching.com and then use a program like GSAK or Gachmate to assist me in the downloading.

 

I would be grateful if anyone would advice me if what i am doing is correct and also which downloading assistant is the best ie GSAK etc

 

Thanks for all your help

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