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Paperless? Don't get it.


takcache
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i'm obviously new to this so excuse my lack of understanding this. i have a garmin venture hc and have read that i won't be able to go paperless. i've been out geocaching once near my house and am 0/3. i found the locations, down to the LP but not the caches. anyways, i downloaded the geocaches to my garmin and didn't need to bring anything on paper. so am i not going paperless? i don't get what i would need on paper besides hints but i could enter that into the notes on my garmin. am i missing something? :P

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i downloaded the geocaches to my garmin and didn't need to bring anything on paper. so am i not going paperless?

If you can have the cache info available in your GPSr, that's “paperless” (usually it means that all the goodies are entered automatically for you, for a whole batch of loaded caches). But some cache pages have images, diagrams, puzzles, or forms to fill out, and some of us must write down the answers and notes -- some Puzzle Caches must be figured out in the field, so you can't always type the stuff you need into the GPSr in advance. And many caches are more easily located if you have a satellite view. My “paperless” GPSr won't do any of that (except that I have taken photos of satellite views using the built-in camera). So even "paperless" might really be "mostly paperless". :P

 

I often need the entire cache description, and sometimes the cache logs, to even figure out if the cache is still there. It's simple if you just check the page online, then go hunt. But if you're in an unfamiliar area, it's handy to pull up all the info on whatever the nearest cache is, "paperless", right on your GPSr.

Edited by kunarion
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alot of people without the paperless feature will print off the cach page with description and clues

 

until I upgraded I was printing a map of the area I was going and marking the caches in the area so I could navigate close

 

Now I have street level maps and paperless, paperless gives me description clues and the last few logs

which comes in handy if the cach has gone missing

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You can still pick up an old Palm Pilot PDA that will work perfectly for paperless caching. You can get used ones for like $20. You can use 3rd party software to load entire cache pages to the PDA so you can reference listings in the field. For example, I have some 3,000 caches in the database on my PDA. When I'm on one of my frequent road trips, I can load up to 1000 caches to my GPSr for the region I'm heading to (done via a quick GSAK filter and upload). As I'm traveling and see the GC boxes passing by on the screen, it is quick-n-easy to look at the cache listing for each cache using the PDA. Most of the time, I've never looked at the cache listing online and only look at the copy of the listing that is saved on my PDA when I'm actually within a mile or two of the cache site. Then I can make a split-second decision if the cache is worth my time to stop and hunt.

 

Semi-related to this concept, is the use of GSAK to hold and sort all the PQ information and export to Cachemate for the PDA. I used to use the export to HTML feature and view the listings via Plucker, but stability issues with running Plucker made me switch to the less powerful Cachemate program. It's far from perfect, but it does allow you to look at the text of a cache listing.

 

To put caches in my GPSr (Garmin 76CSx), I use GSAK to sort into a batch of less than 1000 in the area or along the route that I want. Then I export to a GPX file using the tags to cut off the "GC" at the beginning of the cache ID and replace it with a single digit code for the cache type and a single digit code for the size. The comment field is populated with the difficulty/terrain rating and as much of the cache name that will fit. I load that GPX file into Garmin's MapSource and give it a quick look over to be sure it covers the area I want. Any "extra" caches that are out of my range I can quickly delete from here. Then I load the file to the GPSr and we're ready to go.

 

Sounds like a lot, but the whole process takes just a few minutes once you have everything setup for it. And by having recent PQ loads into GSAK, I can resort and reload my GPSr on the fly and well outside of any internet connection areas by just firing up the laptop and using the saved "paperless" data.

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can the garmin map 60CSx do paperless

 

In a limited fashion using POIs and GSAK. POIs have an 80 (I think) character comment field. What some people do is load the caches twice, first as a regular geocache, then again as a POI. They then use GSAK to populate the comment field with hints and cache page info. If you use several POIs you can even more info beyond the 80 characters.

 

Sounds like a lot of work but once you set up the everything it only takes a few mouse clicks.

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can the garmin map 60CSx do paperless

 

In a limited fashion using POIs and GSAK. POIs have an 80 (I think) character comment field. What some people do is load the caches twice, first as a regular geocache, then again as a POI. They then use GSAK to populate the comment field with hints and cache page info. If you use several POIs you can even more info beyond the 80 characters.

 

Sounds like a lot of work but once you set up the everything it only takes a few mouse clicks.

 

Too much work. Get a Garmin Nuvi 255w for $125 or so and use GSAK and the NUVI macro to put the PQs into it. You also use the NUVI to navigate while you drive there. Then use the 60CSx for the final "kill".

I have used this system for a year now and have since added a DeLorme PN-40 to the stable for my wife to use. I still use the NUVI to get me there by cacher-mobile. But now I have two handhelds so my wife is a participant rather than an onlooker. The PN-40 has the paperless description and hints loaded into and is readable and easy for my wife to operate (sort of...). The 60CSx of course, is very accurate.

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