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So what do you use?


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Hiya people.

 

Just gone over the 100 find milestone (small I know compared to some but good for us!) and wondering what UK cachers actually use to find their caches in the way of hardware and software?

 

We have settled on the following:

 

My Blackberry Bold - using Geocache Navigator which is handy for 'caching anywhere' as long as I get network coverage. I also use CacheSense which I use along our Garmin which is great as it holds all cache info where I fail to get network coverage.

 

GPS - read a few reviews and settled for the Garmin eTrex Legend HCx GPS, complete with TalkyToaster's fantastic maps onboard. We usually give the GPS to our daughter Lucy and wait for the beep to tell us we are near GZ - the GPS is actually called "Beep the GPS"!

 

Software: I didn't get on with GSAK - but found EasyGPS is ok as it talks to the Garmin despite having no map built in. I have a file of local caches conjured up on the site each Sunday and update as and when required. Also do the same for holiday destinations so I can put them into the Garmin while away.

 

Overall, this all works for us - I guess people do things their own ways - and we are as good as paperless - even trail lists go into the memopad on my BlackBerry now.

 

The only other hardware we have is our 'geo-bag' which is always packed and ready for the off. What that contains could have it's own post on here I guess.

 

Anyone using anything different or have any suggestions to try?

 

Take care.

 

Leigh, Hanleycachers.

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Satmap Active 10 with OS full UK 50K mapcard, and as backup an Oregon 450 (came with OS UK 50K maps) for the chirps, Wherigo and when the satmap is in the shop for maintenance.

 

The Satmap acts as my in-car navigation aid ie I map read myself!

 

Software wise

- use the SatSync software which I'm hating at the moment for being sooooo slooooow, to upload cache descriptions.

- GSAK for marshalling the gpx files

- back of my hand for noting the letter/number combinations associated with multis/puzzles.

 

voila paperless caching.

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:D Hmmm you'll find this is massively subjective, and everyone seems to like / dislike different things!!

 

I have an Oregon 450 with Discoverer maps, which are great, and I really love the Oregon, but still getting to grips with it.

I still have my Colorado 300, which also has the maps on. I still (secretly) prefer the Colorado, but don't tell anyone!! The OH uses that for now!

We do still have a Legend in our possession, but it rarely gets out of the cupboard!

 

I use GSAK, but I'm a numpty at things like Macros, so I tend to just use it to do PQ's and filter for the days caching I'm doing rather than keeping huge databases of caches!

 

Still couldn't cache plan without Memory Map, and use it religiously - especially when planning caches along a route.

 

I also use Tom Tom to get to parking etc, can't NOT use it when the POI are SO easy to do!

 

I bet someone will come along shortly and give a whole different picture!

Edited by HazelS
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For urban cache and grabs, I use my HTC Desire Z with official app. Being able to check recent logs, only looking at the hint when I need to, and finding caches on the fly - it's superb, and the GPS is generally more accurate than my garmin, and much much faster.

 

For a long walk, I use paper and my old yellow etrex. I hope to stop having to use it once the official app stops insisting on a data connection to show me a pocket query. Waiting for a GPRS or no signal means the phone is active all of the time, and the battery dies very quickly. If I could get a bearing and distance instantly, I would be able to keep the phone in my pocket and would manage a day's caching with it easily. The etrex is frustrating, but currently a necessity.

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I have 2500+ finds and use a Garmin Etrex Vista HCx with the TalkyToaster maps. I also take along a map (either a real one or one printed from MemoryMap) with the planned route. And I always have a single sheet of paper which has the cache hints and any notes on (I’ve either written these down or copied/pasted them into a Word document and printed that). I’m not aiming for paperless, because in the field I find it’s invaluable to have pen & paper, to work out multi/puzzle formulas, make short notes about the find itself, or copy down trackable numbers.

 

One day I will upgrade my GPSr, probably to an Oregon. I envy Oregons for the ability to read the last 5 cache logs in the field. But they do use a lot of battery power.

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My first 150 caches were found using my TomTom sat nav that I use for the car. Fun, but annoying as it didn't do off road walking type directions and I had to manually match up the lat and long coordinates by walking around, which was very time consuming. The last 50 caches I have done using my new Garmin GPSMAP 62s, which is cracking. I wish I had bought one much earlier!

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Still couldn't cache plan without Memory Map, and use it religiously - especially when planning caches along a route.

 

 

Have you considered using Basecamp as an alternative to Memory Map for planning caches along a route eg public footpath?

 

I have the Garmin 62s with Full OS Discoverer 50k UK maps and use BaseCamp on the PC..

 

1) Get the gpx files from GC.com

2) Put the gpx files onto GPS.

3) Connect up the 62s to BaseCamp - and make sure you select the OS maps from the 62s ( top left )

4) Now you can see the OS map and caches ( plus child waypoints ) on the Basecamp screen - you are set for planning.

5) Choose the area you want to go and create a 'route' along footpaths etc. noting the caches along the route. Make sure that you create waypoint markers at turns along a new footpath etc. and add caches to the route along the way. When you approach a turn or a cache, the GPS beeps to remind you ( yes even in the latest 2.93 beta, I found out recently - doesnt beep with a single cache/waypoint ).

6) I have 'next waypoint' as a data field on the compass page, so I can see if my next 'waypoint' is a cache. If it is, then I stop the route and find the cache and select go for that. This means I can view/log the cache, which you cannot do from the route follow.

7) Once cache found and logged in, I switch back to the route and continue to follow it to the next turn / waypoint / cache, and repeat the above again.

8) Once back at home, I can analyse the track recorded in Basecamp and remove any stray points that are not relevant, view elevation plot etc.

 

PS - if you dont have the 50k Discoverer maps, you can use Mobile Atlas Creator to generate some 25k maps of the area you are visiting - FOR FREE.

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I mostly only have time to do a couple here and there, so haven't seen the need to use any software for planning caches yet.

 

I use mostly old tech, for my first 170ish finds I used mostly a Garmin GPS38. When it died I picked up a slightly newer, but still old, Garmin emap with 128MB chip, metro street maps covering the south west part of the country loaded on it, the data cable and a home made cycle mount for £40. That does me fine. I have a flat text file on my K800i phone which I store any other info I need about caches I plan to look for, that can't be stored on the emap. Also take google earth jpg snap shots of the area occasionally and have them stored on the phone too.

 

Don't really have any suggestions for you to try, looks you're way more advanced than me already :lol:

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I feed PQs into GSAK, so I have a constantly up-to-date database of caches and logs; GSAK cumulates the logs (you only get 5 with a PQ). I then run a search from GSAK to create a GPX file of caches within 130 km that I haven't found, and the last 25 logs. The GPX file produced is processed by a program I wrote that makes CSV files for MM, POI files for Tomtom, and html files for cache pages. That gets fed into Memory Map on a PC, using colour coded flags for type of cache.

 

I use the PC for planning the day out.

 

The POI files are uploaded into a Mio 550, and that then acts as my satnav. It's also used as a backup in case my main walking device (the Loox) fails when I arrive, so I haven't made a two hour drive for nothing. I also carry the backup on very long routes.

 

The memory map files, and html pages, are fed into a Fujitsu Loox, which has 640 by 480 resolution and replacable batteries. That also has a 16 gb memory card to store OS maps 1:25000 and 1:50000. I prefer the 25000, they show much more detail, including which side of a hedge the path is. That gives me 18000 caches within 130 km of home, and hints, and logs. The GPS is a Pilot, which claims an 11 hour run time, and actually is longer than that, I don't know how much, because I've never run it out of power.

 

I also carry a Nokia Expressmusic 5800 smartphone, in case I need to access google or geocaching.com while I'm in the field. I have an indirect filter running on the pages, so that instead of the usual 1mb load, it's only about 30kb, so *very* much faster.

 

I carry a pencil, a biro, a gel pen, a write-on-wet pen and a felt tip. And a small notebook, because whe you write something on paper, you don't have to worry about losing it when the computer crashes. The felt tip is for correcting mis-spelled notices. I usually print out an OS map of the area I'm walking round. I can make notes on that, and, if all the electronics fails, I still have a map and compass.

 

I think that the edge that humans have, is the use of tools, so I like to use the sharpest edge I can find.

 

My caching bag is an Aladdin's cave of interesting and useful stuff. Torches is a whole additional subject, so are sticks, and coats, and boots.

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I use a Garmin 60CSx which is usually mounted on my handlebars. Then I convert pocket queries into individual HTML files and store them on my smartphone. That gives me the cache page, the hint, the most recent 5 logs etc (as at the date of the pocket query), all with no need for a data connection.

 

I keep toying with the idea of upgrading the CSx to a 62s or 62st but at present rather struggle to justify the extra cost of it.

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Same as Hazel - I have an Oregon 550 with Discoverer maps. The Colorado is now consigned to the cupboard with the Mio and GPS60!

 

GSAK is a must - use it to export caches into the Oregon and Memory Map. MM is invaluable for cache planning and Lord Elph's lovely icons make it easier to spot what is what. I would never change from MM as I just love it so much and we can plan all our GPS related stuff on there, not just caching trips. So any hiking or biking trips also get uploaded as routes etc...

 

The phone's always there in case of emergencies - the official Groundspeak app is probably my favourite - but it's not as good as the oregon so it's not used much really.

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- use the SatSync software which I'm hating at the moment for being sooooo slooooow, to upload cache descriptions.

 

Change Satsync's preferences to not download pictures/spoiler pictures, the speed difference is substantial (but of course, you lose the pictures..)

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i use a garmin Dacota 10 i still havnt figured out how to get maps on it but i like it the way it is i tried using the GPS on my nokia 5230 phone but got confused so i just use the garmin and follow the arrow :huh: :huh: :D :D :D :D :huh:

The Dakota 10 has the facility to use Custom Maps, connect the unit to the PC and then have a look and see if you can find a Folder on the Dakota called 'Custom Maps'.

You can then use a free program called Mobile Atlas Creator to create custom OS maps (1:25000 scale) although you are limited in size it is easy to compile a library of maps and load them as and when you need them.

 

We use a Oregon 300 with Discover maps and also custom 1:25000 maps, also have a Medion PDA with 1:25000 maps on it as a back up. The Galaxy phone is always there as a back up, especially now that I have found a way of using OS maps on it as well.

Edited by DrDick&Vick
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IPAQ RX5900 series PDA here running 1:25K Memory Map utilising Lordelph icons linked to Cachemate, unlimited offline cache info via GSAK cacheppc macro so no reliance on data from a cellular network , output to GSAK and GC.com field notes using the Cachemate Colorado Plugin, full day caching battery life too! GPS chip as good as a Garmin and often out performs Oregon/Colorado

 

Etrex does not get a look in!

 

So good i have 2!

Edited by G7HRP
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- use the SatSync software which I'm hating at the moment for being sooooo slooooow, to upload cache descriptions.

 

Change Satsync's preferences to not download pictures/spoiler pictures, the speed difference is substantial (but of course, you lose the pictures..)

 

Already done! I think there was a problem with the SD card itself. Reformatted it and put the OS maps and licence files back and the upload speed was dramatically improved last night.

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Garmin Geko 201. So far survived being dropped in a fresh cowpat (mmm, squelchy), being dropped down a crag, being dropped in the toilet (while switched on, and then had the pee rinsed off under the tap), being avalanched, being repeatedly sat on, thrown around, and drenched by more rain in more soggy parts of the UK than I really want to think about . . . and spending large periods of time shoved down my bra. I am coming to the conclusion that the thing is unkillable.

 

And yes, it's basic. But for what I do with it, it does the job.

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I used to use my blackberry curve with Blackstar, which was pretty decent. I lately traded that in for a Dell Streak. The gps in this unit is not very good and im going to have to dig out my old bluetooth unit for a better signal.

 

For me crimbo though I got a Dakota 10, for the pricely sum of £100, brand new. I love this unit and at that price did not warrant the extra £100 for an sd card slot. TBH though, the effort of putting the micro card in an adapter, plugging into computer, trying to pick the little bugger out etc. is annoying and using the USB cable is very very easy.

 

In regards to custom maps on the Dakota, there are pre-built ones readily available for download.

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My trusty old eTrex Legend, and the official iPhone app are all I need. I like to be paperless, and my PDA died a couple or 6 years ago... so now I use the app. It can save caches I'm interested in an maps for when i'm out of mobile range. Often I've just gone for the nearest cache time after time and gone on a mystery tour... not been logging for a while though. Maybe now I'm back in the logging game I'll pay and get PQs back!

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