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Please talk to me about paperless caching...


FaithCacher22

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I feel like a total dummy...

 

I know I need a pda...I looked above at the FAQ, only the wiki link worked and I felt overwhelmed by all the info.

 

I use a garmin etrex legend, I think it's H? It's the blue one. I do not have the cords so I have to hand enter each cache, if that matters. I also use an apple macbook. And I do not have a smart phone.

 

If I were to get a pda...what should I get? I'd be looking to get something used, or on the cheaper end (as much as possible...), and am willing to save up to get one if I have to (I am going to start saving up for a new gps with cords too! This one by one thing is too much).

 

I know I'll have to become a PM for PQs, and then do I HAVE to have GSAK? or no? And then I'll need another type of software, too...am I right? So much to know... :)

 

Thanks for any help!!

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You do not need GSAK or any other software, but you do need to be a PM.

 

Rather than a PDA, you might want to consider upgrading to a unit that supports paperless caching. Many newer units from all the leading manufacturers do so. Another, less rugged, alternative is a smartphone.

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For years I have used Palm M500's and Sony Clie' Peg J25's ....both work great and use Palm Desktop.

I use GSAK to create files and Plucker to load them on the PDA's. I've bought a bunch of these on Ebay......prices vary but are not expensive.

 

Re GSAK its a great program that will auto load caches to your gps as well as create files for your pda....for a one time $30 you can't beat it.

 

I know its more expensive but if you don't have a unit for driving a Nuvi works great........the 500 is made for geocaching. It can give you voice instructions to drive to a cache ( or anywhere else) and it also has all the cache pages and paperless info. GSAK will load your PQ's right to the 500. It does cost $250 but all maps are preloaded and you're ready to go....its waterproff and has a replaceable battery so you can walk around with it ( although you already have a unit to walk to the cache.)

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I have a Garmin Colorado 400t and can't think of a better unit for geocaching. Using PQs (you will have to shell out the $30 a year for these) I can load 2000 geocaches in, oh about 2 minutes. A major upgrade over my bushnell where I had to hand enter coordinates too. With the Colorado (or the Oregon and Dakota series) you can click on the cache you want to find and it gives the same description, hint and logged visits as if you were looking at the website. I chose the Colorado because I don't really trust myself of my girlfriend with a touchscreen like the Oregon and Dakotas, we tend to rock climb up steep cliffs and end up dropping the thing on its face a lot, which the Colorado has took like a champ. They also have an automotive mode, which can be used in the car like a Nuvi, although they don't come with as many points of interest. If you need something for paperless caching and are willing to put up some cash for it, these GPSr's are as good as you're gonna get.

Edited by SKBeatdown
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I'm not against getting a higher end gps that will do it all, and may end up saving for one, but it will be awhile. I'm thinking about getting the new magellan explorist gc when I have the cash (not sure if this one does paperless also?)...but I'd really like to go paperless now, it can be a pain to carry papers with me, it's very windy out here. So that's why I'm looking for something used and cheap for now...but, I may be getting an iphone or some other smart phone this summer at some point, so maybe I'll hold out a little longer until I decide on a phone, and then if I still need a PDA I can get one, or maybe have enough cash saved by then to get a new gps.

 

Oh I do already have a gps for the car, though it's not able to put in coordinates into it, at least as far as I can find (and I've read the manual looking for that specifically and searched the menus)...it's a mio move, I got it for christmas. Wasn't the kind I wanted, but it works fine for what I need it for (besides geocaching, LOL).

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With PDAs, smartphones, and removable car GPSr's like the Nuvi, you have to worry about battery life, which isn't a problem if you are doing all urbans and have a charger in the car. The GPS receiver in these zaps the batteries as the equipment wasn't specifically made for mobile GPS use. A normal GPS, as you know, will last for hours, if not days on two AAs, so they are great for hiking to those regular or large caches not on the main road. I just looked on Amazon, and saw that a Garmin Colorado 400i was going for $209 right now. Although this one is loaded with detailed maps of inland lakes, it still has the same geocaching features as the other models, and you can upgrade maps later if need be. I don't imagine too many decent PDAs that go for much cheaper than that, and especially not an iphone! It all depends on the type of cacher you are though.

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I just ordered the Magellan GC, it's about 177$ on Amazon. It is Made JUST for Geocaching. It supports Full Paperless Geocaching. Basically all you need to do, it hook it to your computer and once you are a PM on GC.com you can upload your PQs to the unit. Then ALL of the needed information is right on the unit. Once you find a Cache, you can input field notes right on the device and then when you hook it to your computer, it will upload the notes to GC.com. I was also told that GC.com now allows you to drag and drop caches directly from the website to the Magellan GC using the "Send to GPS" feature.

 

I suggest you go to Youtube and check out some of the Magellan GC videos. There are a couple of good Unboxing and tutorials there.

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Thanks for the tips so far. I was wanting to get the explorist GC, but was looking at it on amazon and it only mentioned needing Windows and a PC, can you use it on a MAC does anyone know??

 

I think I have decided to just save up for a nicer gps that does paperless (found we had a pda, though I can't find any info and it needs batteries :ph34r:). I have about $100 saved, so hopefully in a couple months I can get a new one. Now, it's a debate between getting the explorist GC (IF It works on a mac), and another one. I'd like to spend as little as possible (mostly only for the fact that I'll be able to get it sooner), but I also figure I might as well get a good one that won't need replacement anytime soon.

 

One thing...can you mark them when you find the caches so you know you found it already? and add notes? when you do paperless. Looking at the colorado 400t, anything else that would be good??

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Okay, these are ones I'm now considering:

 

Magellan eXplorist GC

Garmin Colorado 400t

Delorme Earthmate PN-30/PN-40 (what's the difference?)

 

It looks like the first 2 you can DL PQs directly to the unit, and I know are both paperless...what about the PNs?? Which would you get and why?

 

I appreciate all the help!

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