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I would use my GPSr if I only had a clue!

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Okay. I have the desire to be a cacher. I have been reading and reading. I ordered a Garmin eTrex Venture HC. It arrived today. I have never used one (any kind) before. I may never use this one unless someone has mercy upon me and can help me figure out what to do with it. My current logic is if I toss it out the window, it doesn't matter. If I just keep staring stupidly at the manual that came with it, the result will be the same.


I had the impression I would be able to put batteries in it, turn it on, tell it where I live and where I want to end up and then just get in the car, scramble over a few mountains, ford a few rivers, hack my way through some thorns, get a pet tick, and happy happy, I would end up in at least the same county as my targeted cache.


The problem? My hubby got it to tell him where I live. (I already knew where I live). How do we tell it where we want to go to look for plastic toys and soggy paperwork? I am confused and all I have left is a tiny bit of my sense of humor and no patience at all.


I suspect I still know too little to even be able to ask an intelligent question, and I am not sure where to look for help except to post here so y'all can have a good laugh.


I will NOT be trying to hide anything any time soon, I promise!



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I know exactly how your feeling lol, its pretty overwhelming the first time.


What you need to do is find a cache that you want to after. On the cache listing you'll find a set of coordinates on the top.


The way I did it when I had my eTrex was print out that listing and right a number on the top. We'll say 001 is the number I choose. Now you'll go on the eTrex and create a new waypoint, name 001 and use the cache coordinates and then save it.


Then just set it to navigate to the waypoint and away you go!

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If I just keep staring stupidly at the manual that came with it, the result will be the same.


Barb - actually reading the manual, preferably for comprehension, would be a significant improvement over simply staring at it. :rolleyes:


Second, note that the manual that comes with the newer units is a little skimpy - but it still should be enough to get you started. The manual for the Legend C, a discontinued unit, is a lot more comprehensive. That older unit has the same functions as the unit that you bought. You can download a pdf file of that manual at:




Here are a few thoughts that might help you get started:


1. You have to press and hold the power button to turn the unit off/on. It takes a little while for the unit to actually turn on and then a bit longer for it to find the satellites. The first time you use it, it might take a half an hour to get a good lock on the satellites - turn it on and place it level in a spot where it the unit has an unobstructed view of the sky and leave it for a few minutes.


2. Familiarize yourself with the buttons - that is the basic way you have to communicate with the unit. The functions of these are briefly described in the manual. As you look at the unit, there are two buttons on the right side - the lower one is the power button(off/on or, if held briefly, turns on the backlight), the upper is the "page" button. (more on that one in a minute). On the left hand side of the unit, there are three buttons - the top two zoom in and out, used for changing scale on the map page. The lowest button is the menu key or, if held, will select the find page. On the face of the unit is a joystick - it functions like a mouse to move up/down, right/left and enter to perform various functions on the pages.


3. Familiarize yourself with the pages - there are several. The pages are all of the functions. Use the page button to scroll through the "main" pages. (you can add/remove pages and change the sequence of pages on the list of main pages - don't do that until you get familiar with the unit and have a sense how you want to use it and, if you do edit that list DO NOT remove the Menu page from the list). One of the main pages is the menu page. That page displays all of the pages that are not on the list of main pages. Navigate through that page with the joystick and select each page. Within each page, again use the joy stick to access the features and functions available on that page and press the menu button to access additional functions on that page.


4. It's just a piece of electronic equipment. Don't be intimidated by it

Edited by jmundinger
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After you do all the previous suggestions and are ready to go out the door, practice. Waypoint your front door then walk a couple blocks away. Then activate the waypoint representing you home and try to navigate back home.


Now remember this if nothing else - ALWAYS waypoint you car when you get out to find a cache. You are excited, you can smell the swag, you will forget what way you came in and get turned around. Activate your car then walk back to it.


ok before you go out. Clear all your tracks and walk from your home for a few blocks. DO NOT pull up the waypoint for your home. Pretend you forgot to waypoint your car and are in the woods. activate your backtrack feature. This will let you walk the "breadcrumb" trail back to your home.


After you are proficient with waypointing and backtracking go in search of a cache and the fun that comes with it.


Looking forward to reading your stories of adventure.

Edited by SgtSue
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Thanks also to jmundinger and sgt sue. Now that Robert is at work, I actually got to read part of the manual. It doesn't make any sense yet, but at least I don't have to push and shove to have a look.


I would say the manual is definitely skimpy. The technical writers must have assumed prior experience..."now where is the *any* key???"


We have a number of caches here that are less than a mile from my house. On trails I have experienced as a wandering muggle before. Hopefully, I won't get lost, but I'll make sure before I head to walmart to waypoint my car ;-) I get turned around more easily than most. Robert can go somewhere once and remember the way 20 years later.


I so appreciate the help from the more experienced folks! This is supposed to be a way for me to get out of the house, do some physical activity and catch a break. EEK! Are we there yet?



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Hey Barb, don't worry. Before you know it you'll be an expert.

I found my first cache only by the hint cause I sure as heck had no idea how to make the gps work. And I had the cache loaded!! The next one, I looked for an hour. Went back to the area a year later and walked right up to it. I had been nowhere close. Another one near my house, I was across a 6 lane road looking for it.


The thing that helped me the most was meeting other cachers. I bet there's a 10 year event in your neighborhood or fairly close this weekend. GO TO IT!! Tell people you are new and clueless and look helpless. We love teaching folks :blink:

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