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Deleting waypoints/caches from Garmin Dakota 20

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I have a Garmin Dakota 20 and would like to delete waypoints/caches out of it. Most of the ones are PQ's that I have done as routes and I no longer need them in the GPS. Can I delete them out? If so how? I do not mind if I have to delete them all out and then upload the ones I want back into it.

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Moderators --

 

This is undoubtedly the most frequently re-asked question we see here. It occurs weekly, if not more often, and covers every Garmin handheld since the Colorado. Any chance of a sticky that answers it and points users to the Oregon Wiki that answers this and many more questions of this nature?

 

To the OP: This link is well worth your time for a reading session. It covers a lot of things that Garmin didn't put into their skimpy electronic manual: http://garminoregon.wikispaces.com/Geocaching

 

While it's written to the Oregon, almost all of it applies to your Dakota and other recent devices that connect to a computer as an external drive.

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Plug the unit into your PC. Navigate to the GPX folder on the unit. All the PQs and waypoints are stored there.

 

When I plug my dakota20 into my PC, I can't navigate to anything. Screen shows the connection to my computer, but I can do nothing else. I want to delete my found caches. I am really disappointed that I can't easily do this.

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When I plug my dakota20 into my PC, I can't navigate to anything. Screen shows the connection to my computer, but I can do nothing else. I want to delete my found caches. I am really disappointed that I can't easily do this.

Something seriously amiss with that. The Dakota doesn't have some of the 'other' modes when you connect. So your PC does NOT see your Dakota as an external drive (looks like a thumb drive with the Garmin name on it)?

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Screen shows the connection to my computer...

Hang on a sec. Can you elaborate on what you mean by 'screen shows'? What screen?

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Plug the unit into your PC. Navigate to the GPX folder on the unit. All the PQs and waypoints are stored there.

 

When I plug my dakota20 into my PC, I can't navigate to anything. Screen shows the connection to my computer, but I can do nothing else. I want to delete my found caches. I am really disappointed that I can't easily do this.

You go to the folder on your PC not from the unit. Go into My Computer. There you will see a drive labeled Garmin. Double click that, open the Garmin folder, then open the GPX folder.

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When I plug my dakota20 into my PC, I can't navigate to anything. Screen shows the connection to my computer, but I can do nothing else. I want to delete my found caches. I am really disappointed that I can't easily do this.

Something seriously amiss with that. The Dakota doesn't have some of the 'other' modes when you connect. So your PC does NOT see your Dakota as an external drive (looks like a thumb drive with the Garmin name on it)?

 

By screen I mean the face of my dakota20 where info is shown. I have no problem with it out in the field geocaching, but when I plug it into my computer with the USB cord, a computer tower shows on the screen to indicate it is connected, but I can't do anything or see anything else. When I download caches to it, the same tower monitor is there. When I unplug it from the tower, I turn it on and check for the successful download which are always there.

Edited by hide'nhunt

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You cannot delete geocaches loaded as geocaches from the GPS. You must connect the GPS to a computer then use the computer to find the GPX files of the geocaches and delete them. The “tower” on the GPS display simply indicates that the GPS is connected to your computer. The simplest way to manage geocaches is to run a Pocket Query (PQ) with the caches you want. Then you just delete the old PQ out of the GPX folder and paste the new PQ in the GPX folder.

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When I plug my dakota20 into my PC, I can't navigate to anything. Screen shows the connection to my computer, but I can do nothing else. I want to delete my found caches. I am really disappointed that I can't easily do this.

Something seriously amiss with that. The Dakota doesn't have some of the 'other' modes when you connect. So your PC does NOT see your Dakota as an external drive (looks like a thumb drive with the Garmin name on it)?

 

By screen I mean the face of my dakota20 where info is shown. I have no problem with it out in the field geocaching, but when I plug it into my computer with the USB cord, a computer tower shows on the screen to indicate it is connected, but I can't do anything or see anything else. When I download caches to it, the same tower monitor is there. When I unplug it from the tower, I turn it on and check for the successful download which are always there.

Ah - OK. That question.

 

I swear I'm going to keep posting this same long explanation every time until the moderators create a sticky. We're now averaging more than once a week!

 

To the OP - in addition to the info below, please visit http://garminoregon.....com/Geocaching - you'll find some really good reading there that explains this and a lot more.

 

 

Caches are loaded to the unit by placing one or more gpx files into the Garmin/GPX folder of the unit. A gpx file may contain information one or more than one cache. The total number of gpx files is limited to 200, and the permitted total number of caches represented in the 'one or more' gpx files varies with the unit model. A unit might handle 2000 or 5000 caches. Filenames can be whatever you prefer so long as they retain the *.gpx suffix.

 

When a gpx file is loaded to the Garmin/GPX directory, it is 'discovered' by the unit as new if there is any hint of difference between this gpx file and what was in that folder during the last power up of the unit. So much as a tick of difference in the time stamp causes the unit to recognize this as a new file. What happens when a 'new' file is found? We'll get back to that in a moment.

 

There are three 'databases' of cache information held in the unit.

  • #1 is the gpx file that is the original source for cache information. Note that at NO time does the unit modify the gpx file. It is retained AS LOADED by the user.
  • #2 is an internal table of caches that you CANNOT see - it is not part of the unit's visible file system, and you will not find it by connecting the unit to a computer.
  • #3 is a text file (geocache_visits.txt) that is created when a cache is logged (found, not found, etc.). All cache logs are appended to that file until it is deleted by the user. It is into the lines of this text file that any 'field notes' are also appended.

Taking the simplest of models, we'll work with a single gpx cache file created from a Pocket Query. When the gpx file (#1) is moved to the Garmin/GPX directory and the unit is booted, this new gpx file is discovered by the unit. ALL previous knowledge of found/not-found caches is at this time deleted from the internal table (#2, above). The unit now recreates its internal #2 table with slots for each of the caches found in the gpx file, and each slot retains certain current information about the cache, including its found/not-found state, even through power down/up cycles.

 

[Note: In the event that more than one gpx file is loaded, and data for any cache is found in more than one of the loaded gpx files, the design intent seems to have been that the most recent data (from whichever file) should be used. In practice, it seems to work that way most of the time, but not all of the time. ONLY ONE internal slot (#2) is created for a cache even if it is found in more than one loaded gpx file].

 

Go into the field. Look for a cache. Log the cache as found.

 

  • As stated previously, the gpx file (#1) is NOT touched.
  • The slot for this cache in the unit's internal table (#2) has the 'found' bit set. You'll see it as found on the map, and "Show Found" is the only way to bring it up in the cache list again.
  • A record is appended to the geocache_visits.txt (#3) file for this log.

Things continue as described above as caches are found (or not) and logged. The gpx file is untouched, the internal table keeps getting updated with found/not-found information, and the geocache_visits.txt log file keeps getting bigger.

 

Items to know...

First - There is NO mechanism for deleting individual caches from the control panel of the unit. This same bloody question gets asked at least once a week in these forums, is politely answered by someone, is already well defined in the old Oregon Wiki, and frankly, isn't that hard to find in these threads if people would read them. You cannot delete a found cache from the unit's control panel. You cannot delete an unfound cache from the unit's control panel.

Second - There is NO mechanism for reading or editing your geocache_visits.txt field notes from the control panel of the unit after you complete the entry. This question comes up fairly frequently as well.

 

If you forgot to add a field note or need to add additional field note information to a cache you've already logged as found, you can select "Geocaches" / "Show Found", select the cache that you have already found, and create another log (even an "unattempted" log) for it and add more field note information. That WILL create a duplicate log for this cache, and you need to pay attention to that if you are using the gc.com field notes feature so that you don't accidentally double log the cache, but at least it's a way to get more information recorded rather than relying upon memory. If you logged the cache as "Not Found", you can simply repeat the "Not Found" and add more field note data. Again, you need to manage the fact that there will now be two Not Found entries in the field notes.

 

If you log as found by accident, using "Show Found", reselect the cache. "Log Attempt" again, but this time, log it as "Did Not Find". This will do two things. First, it will place it BACK into the list of unfound caches again such that you will see it when looking at the list of unfound caches. It will also cause the map icon to revert to the 'unfound' icon. There is a 3rd effect that you'll have to remember -- the geocache_visits.txt file will now contain TWO logs for this cache. The first will be a "found" log, and the second the "didn't find" log. You will need to manage this manually by deleting the unnecessary log if you upload your field notes to gc.com.

 

Managing geocache_visits.txt:

 

Right. Done caching for now. Go home, hook up, and upload the field notes (geocache_visits.txt) file. Manage any duplicates you may have found it necessary to create, or that were created by accident. Uploading this file does not delete it from your unit. gc.com recalls the last time you uploaded notes, and attempts to avoid acceptance of logs that have already been uploaded. So while you may be sending the entire geocache_visits.txt file, only those entries that post-date the date shown on the gc.com field notes page will actually be accepted (unless you change that date for some reason). So while it may appear to purge that file after each uploading session, it does NOT. This file will just continue getting larger and larger with each geocaching expedition, one log line being appended to it for every cache you log on the face of your unit. The only way to prevent this file from growing endlessly is to hook it up to your PC, navigate to the Garmin directory, and delete it.

 

Managing found/not-found states and gpx files:

 

The only way to remove caches from your unit (either found or unfound) is to send a new gpx file to the unit. The idea that BaseCamp can delete individual caches is VERY misleading. A text editor could do the same job. In both cases, it's the fact that the gpx file on the unit has been modified directly by an application or a new file has been loaded in place of the old file (could be read from the unit, modified and sent back to the unit, or could be a new file entirely) that causes the unit to re-read and parse all gpx file info in the GPX directory and rebuild its internal (#2) table. BaseCamp does NOT and CANNOT modify the internal (#2) table of the GPS. It can only modify and move gpx files to/from the unit.

 

The presence of a new gpx file (#1) causes the unit to reevaluate the gpx files for changes and reload the internal table (#2) for those caches found in modified gpx file(s). Therefore, the way to 'remove' found caches from the unit is to supply it with a gpx file that does not any longer contain those found caches. During the reevaluation, the unit will 'forget' anything it already knew about caches that do not appear in any gpx file, and no longer seeing your found cache in a gpx, doesn't even know that they exist.

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@ecanderson: In order to get a sticky thread from the mods, you first need to create a new thread with that information :) Doesn't mean they will actually make it sticky, and if they don't (or until they do) you can then just post a link to that thread instead of making the same post over and over again.

 

But I'm not sure it answers the poster's question. They seem to be confused about what they're supposed to see when the Dakota is connected. Obviously it connects up fine because the cache downloads work, so I think what they're missing is the fact that they need to look for a new storage drive.

 

@hide'nhunt: You need to look under "My Computer", where you see your regular hard drive, your CD drive and things like that. With the Dakota connected, you'll see a new drive appearing there, it should be named "GARMIN". Lots of files on there, and if you go deeper into "Garmin" and then "GPX", you'll see all the caches you've downloaded. Those are the GPX files and that's what you need to manipulate.

 

Also, please don't just unplug the Dakota when you're done, use the "safely remove hardware" mechanism instead. Not sure if you do that already, but your wording above sounds like you don't.

Edited by dfx

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But I'm not sure it answers the poster's question. They seem to be confused about what they're supposed to see when the Dakota is connected. Obviously it connects up fine because the cache downloads work, so I think what they're missing is the fact that they need to look for a new storage drive.

 

I thought I had addressed that issue much earlier with this comment (reiterated below), assuming as you did that the OP did not realize what to look for. Then that 'screen' issue got me wondering, like you, if we were talking apples and oranges:

 

Something seriously amiss with that. The Dakota doesn't have some of the 'other' modes when you connect. So your PC does NOT see your Dakota as an external drive (looks like a thumb drive with the Garmin name on it)?

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Yeah I know that, but I interpret their comments as simply not knowing where to look. You know how Windows likes to show you a pop-up when you put in a USB drive, asking you what you want to do (with the choices depending on what's on there)? Some people actually do depend on that and wouldn't know where to look for the drive itself elsewhere. Maybe connecting up the Dakota doesn't produce such a pop-up or whatever (autorun.inf can suppress it I think). Just guessing here.

Edited by dfx

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Maybe connecting up the Dakota doesn't produce such a pop-up or whatever (autorun.inf can suppress it I think). Just guessing here.

Yeah - it's in the same vein as autorun.inf action, but it's called "Autoplay". Whether it appears depends upon the device properties and the content of the device. The properties of a Dakota or Oregon (communicated as part of the initial USB dialog) won't set that off. Neither would the content on a normally populated Oregon or Dakota. If a person was using it as a 'thumb drive' and storing a few audio or video files or similar, that would cause Windows to take an interest, but people rarely seem to do that on a Dakota! Otherwise, that feature would never be invoked for one of these units. As I think about it, one exception might be the Oregon 550 where JPEG files could be stored due to use of the camera feature. Not an issue for a Dakota.

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When I plug my dakota20 into my PC, I can't navigate to anything. Screen shows the connection to my computer, but I can do nothing else. I want to delete my found caches. I am really disappointed that I can't easily do this.

Something seriously amiss with that. The Dakota doesn't have some of the 'other' modes when you connect. So your PC does NOT see your Dakota as an external drive (looks like a thumb drive with the Garmin name on it)?

 

By screen I mean the face of my dakota20 where info is shown. I have no problem with it out in the field geocaching, but when I plug it into my computer with the USB cord, a computer tower shows on the screen to indicate it is connected, but I can't do anything or see anything else. When I download caches to it, the same tower monitor is there. When I unplug it from the tower, I turn it on and check for the successful download which are always there.

Ah - OK. That question.

 

I swear I'm going to keep posting this same long explanation every time until the moderators create a sticky. We're now averaging more than once a week!

 

To the OP - in addition to the info below, please visit http://garminoregon.....com/Geocaching - you'll find some really good reading there that explains this and a lot more.

 

 

Caches are loaded to the unit by placing one or more gpx files into the Garmin/GPX folder of the unit. A gpx file may contain information one or more than one cache. The total number of gpx files is limited to 200, and the permitted total number of caches represented in the 'one or more' gpx files varies with the unit model. A unit might handle 2000 or 5000 caches. Filenames can be whatever you prefer so long as they retain the *.gpx suffix.

 

When a gpx file is loaded to the Garmin/GPX directory, it is 'discovered' by the unit as new if there is any hint of difference between this gpx file and what was in that folder during the last power up of the unit. So much as a tick of difference in the time stamp causes the unit to recognize this as a new file. What happens when a 'new' file is found? We'll get back to that in a moment.

 

There are three 'databases' of cache information held in the unit.

  • #1 is the gpx file that is the original source for cache information. Note that at NO time does the unit modify the gpx file. It is retained AS LOADED by the user.
  • #2 is an internal table of caches that you CANNOT see - it is not part of the unit's visible file system, and you will not find it by connecting the unit to a computer.
  • #3 is a text file (geocache_visits.txt) that is created when a cache is logged (found, not found, etc.). All cache logs are appended to that file until it is deleted by the user. It is into the lines of this text file that any 'field notes' are also appended.

Taking the simplest of models, we'll work with a single gpx cache file created from a Pocket Query. When the gpx file (#1) is moved to the Garmin/GPX directory and the unit is booted, this new gpx file is discovered by the unit. ALL previous knowledge of found/not-found caches is at this time deleted from the internal table (#2, above). The unit now recreates its internal #2 table with slots for each of the caches found in the gpx file, and each slot retains certain current information about the cache, including its found/not-found state, even through power down/up cycles.

 

[Note: In the event that more than one gpx file is loaded, and data for any cache is found in more than one of the loaded gpx files, the design intent seems to have been that the most recent data (from whichever file) should be used. In practice, it seems to work that way most of the time, but not all of the time. ONLY ONE internal slot (#2) is created for a cache even if it is found in more than one loaded gpx file].

 

Go into the field. Look for a cache. Log the cache as found.

 

  • As stated previously, the gpx file (#1) is NOT touched.
  • The slot for this cache in the unit's internal table (#2) has the 'found' bit set. You'll see it as found on the map, and "Show Found" is the only way to bring it up in the cache list again.
  • A record is appended to the geocache_visits.txt (#3) file for this log.

Things continue as described above as caches are found (or not) and logged. The gpx file is untouched, the internal table keeps getting updated with found/not-found information, and the geocache_visits.txt log file keeps getting bigger.

 

Items to know...

First - There is NO mechanism for deleting individual caches from the control panel of the unit. This same bloody question gets asked at least once a week in these forums, is politely answered by someone, is already well defined in the old Oregon Wiki, and frankly, isn't that hard to find in these threads if people would read them. You cannot delete a found cache from the unit's control panel. You cannot delete an unfound cache from the unit's control panel.

Second - There is NO mechanism for reading or editing your geocache_visits.txt field notes from the control panel of the unit after you complete the entry. This question comes up fairly frequently as well.

 

If you forgot to add a field note or need to add additional field note information to a cache you've already logged as found, you can select "Geocaches" / "Show Found", select the cache that you have already found, and create another log (even an "unattempted" log) for it and add more field note information. That WILL create a duplicate log for this cache, and you need to pay attention to that if you are using the gc.com field notes feature so that you don't accidentally double log the cache, but at least it's a way to get more information recorded rather than relying upon memory. If you logged the cache as "Not Found", you can simply repeat the "Not Found" and add more field note data. Again, you need to manage the fact that there will now be two Not Found entries in the field notes.

 

If you log as found by accident, using "Show Found", reselect the cache. "Log Attempt" again, but this time, log it as "Did Not Find". This will do two things. First, it will place it BACK into the list of unfound caches again such that you will see it when looking at the list of unfound caches. It will also cause the map icon to revert to the 'unfound' icon. There is a 3rd effect that you'll have to remember -- the geocache_visits.txt file will now contain TWO logs for this cache. The first will be a "found" log, and the second the "didn't find" log. You will need to manage this manually by deleting the unnecessary log if you upload your field notes to gc.com.

 

Managing geocache_visits.txt:

 

Right. Done caching for now. Go home, hook up, and upload the field notes (geocache_visits.txt) file. Manage any duplicates you may have found it necessary to create, or that were created by accident. Uploading this file does not delete it from your unit. gc.com recalls the last time you uploaded notes, and attempts to avoid acceptance of logs that have already been uploaded. So while you may be sending the entire geocache_visits.txt file, only those entries that post-date the date shown on the gc.com field notes page will actually be accepted (unless you change that date for some reason). So while it may appear to purge that file after each uploading session, it does NOT. This file will just continue getting larger and larger with each geocaching expedition, one log line being appended to it for every cache you log on the face of your unit. The only way to prevent this file from growing endlessly is to hook it up to your PC, navigate to the Garmin directory, and delete it.

 

Managing found/not-found states and gpx files:

 

The only way to remove caches from your unit (either found or unfound) is to send a new gpx file to the unit. The idea that BaseCamp can delete individual caches is VERY misleading. A text editor could do the same job. In both cases, it's the fact that the gpx file on the unit has been modified directly by an application or a new file has been loaded in place of the old file (could be read from the unit, modified and sent back to the unit, or could be a new file entirely) that causes the unit to re-read and parse all gpx file info in the GPX directory and rebuild its internal (#2) table. BaseCamp does NOT and CANNOT modify the internal (#2) table of the GPS. It can only modify and move gpx files to/from the unit.

 

The presence of a new gpx file (#1) causes the unit to reevaluate the gpx files for changes and reload the internal table (#2) for those caches found in modified gpx file(s). Therefore, the way to 'remove' found caches from the unit is to supply it with a gpx file that does not any longer contain those found caches. During the reevaluation, the unit will 'forget' anything it already knew about caches that do not appear in any gpx file, and no longer seeing your found cache in a gpx, doesn't even know that they exist.

 

Thanks for the help. II am not a computer geek, but know enough to help others at times. I am 73 years old and love geocaching!! I just bought the Dakota for about $300.00, Thinking this would be sufficient. Out in the field it works wonderful! I have all that mastered! EXCEPT: how to delete the caches once found. I am not up on all the terminology which can "throw" one at times. I use Easygps which worked well for me with my Garmin for the car....But EasyGPS asked me for the name of my GPS and I could not find Dakota20 in the Garmin listings...so I thought "now what do I do?". I know I can resolve this with help from you guys! I printed out your message above...so will work on it sometime today. Hopefully, I won't have to come back for help, BUT WILL if I need it! Have a great weekend!

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I have a Dakota 20.

I have no problem deleting gps caches, waypoints or tracks with the computer but the found messages that I put for the geocaches still remains on the gps.

Will this eventually disappear or is there a way to delete this information.

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On 11/1/2019 at 10:18 AM, JD & Ladybug said:

I have a Dakota 20.

I have no problem deleting gps caches, waypoints or tracks with the computer but the found messages that I put for the geocaches still remains on the gps.

Will this eventually disappear or is there a way to delete this information.

 

Delete the geocache_visits.txt and geocache_logs.xml files from the Garmin directory on your GPSr.

 

See GPSrChive > How To... > Geocaching for additional information.

 

 

Edited by Atlas Cached
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This I have done, but the the found messages still remain on the gps even after I have turned it off  and on again. On the garmin Oregan the messages do disappear after I have deleted the geocaches.

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Am suspecting there's a basic miscommunication here. 

First - Ladybug - you cannot review your 'comments' that you enter on your Dakota 20 ON the device.  They can't be displayed.  They can only be viewed with a text editor or similar in the files mentioned above.  So we can't really be talking about "found messages" in the normal sense.

Perhaps you are instead asking how to remove found caches from the list of caches on the device?  That only happens when you upload a new *.gpx file to your device that doesn't include those found caches.

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