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shawnmuench11

How to go paperless

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Hey everyone, I'm new to geocaching.. and I'm tired of making little notecards with the coordinates on them and putting numbers on a map.

 

What is the preferred method of going paperless? I will soon have a Garmin eTrek gps, which I know can display caches, but I'm worried about driving to the actual spot.

Do I just continue printing out the map and use the GPS for the actual cache?

I wonder if I could use an iPad and save the map on there.. use that for my driving instructions and then my GPS for the rest..

 

It would be nice if I could just have all the info (maps, waypoints, cache info) downloaded and viewable without the internet.

 

Any tips?

 

Thanks!

Shawn

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The first question is, which Etrex are you getting? Some of the new ones (the 20 and 30 I think, not sure about the 10) will support paperless Geocaching. If you are a Premium member, you can generate a Pocket Query which will create a GPX file that in turn can be downloaded to your GPS. This will give you all the cache info including description, hints, and recent logs right there on the unit.

 

Now as far as driving directions, some handheld units support routable maps which can do driving directions. I'm not sure about the etrex line, my Oregon 550 is capable of it but I never use it. I would do like you suggested and use the iPad for driving then switch to the Garmin once you're on foot.

 

To be honest, I rarely have a need or desire for turn by turn driving directions to the cache location. I'll usually just zoom out to see where I am relative to the next cache, make a mental note of which roads and which lefts and rights I need to make to get there, and just switch to Compass mode to let me know when I'm getting close. It works for me.

Edited by Chief301

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It's this one:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-eTrex-Venture-GPS-Receiver/dp/B000PDR230/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337198301&sr=8-2

 

I think it supports loading waypoints into it for cache locations.. but I'm not so concerned about that. I'm fine with plugging in coordinates.

 

What I want to go smoother is driving close to the cache. I don't want to spend a half hour making little notecards with numbers that correspond to the maps I print out.

I suppose I can load the caches onto the GPS for the area I plan to visit... use a map to drive up to any random one and it will be on the GPS ready to go.

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The Venture HC is not capable of being truly "paperless". It will load the basic cache info, but I do not believe that it will upload field notes which you could edit to a full log.

 

Driving to the cache is something that you are going to have to do no matter what. I do not believe this unit will provide turn-by-turn directions.

You will see the cache on screen (once close enough) and can use it to navigate near the cache. The Venture HC only has base maps though, it will probably not show side streets. This works whether the coordinates are loaded by hand or computer hook-up.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee

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The Venture HC will hold maps and depending on which ones you load they possibly will show streets and roads. All you have to do then is figure out how to navigate them.

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I used Gsak and when I exported the waypoints from there, it used the real cache names, which is helpful!

I also tried out putting info on my Kindle with it.

 

So now.. I think my method will be to print out maps.. label each cache with a number and make a list with numbers corresponding with names. Then the names are on my kindle and gps and easy to get info for each cache. If I plan on driving through a particular area, I can just pocket query it and stick it on my kindle. Then I also only need a list of caches that corresponds to my driving map.

 

I think it's faster than my old paper way.

Anyone else use kindle?

 

Edit: I also just learned how to put Open Street Maps on my GPS... that is nifty! Especially in areas that aren't too complicated and are easy to navigate.

Edited by shawnmuench11

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I used Gsak and when I exported the waypoints from there, it used the real cache names, which is helpful!

I also tried out putting info on my Kindle with it.

 

So now.. I think my method will be to print out maps.. label each cache with a number and make a list with numbers corresponding with names. Then the names are on my kindle and gps and easy to get info for each cache. If I plan on driving through a particular area, I can just pocket query it and stick it on my kindle. Then I also only need a list of caches that corresponds to my driving map.

 

I think it's faster than my old paper way.

Anyone else use kindle?

 

Edit: I also just learned how to put Open Street Maps on my GPS... that is nifty! Especially in areas that aren't too complicated and are easy to navigate.

 

I think you're asking two questions here: how to navigate to a cache and how to go paperless.

 

I own a Venture HC too. As it appears you discovered you can load maps into the unit, both street and topo, but unless you can fly like a crow you can't use to navigate from home to the cache site.

 

Until recently I've just used printed Google maps to drive to the cache site but recently forked out for a second hand Nuvi for car navigation.

 

As for the cache's description etc, and going paperless, around my home town I'll just make do with prinouts. If I'm away on holiday I have an old HP iPaq PDA which will run CacheSense and I'll load a PQ for my holiday trip on that. The hazard here is if you or I drop our Venture in a creek it will survive but not the iPaq/Kindle.

 

You've discovered GSAK, what you might not have found is you can get it to load the Hint into the "Note" section of the Venture's record of waypoint/cache. The note section is limited to (from memory) 30 characters so a long hint will get truncated. (On the Venture a cache is really just a waypoint with a treasure chest icon).

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I was able to get the street maps onto the gps. Some fiddling with the map got it to enough detail to navigate with.

 

So today I was driving around with just my gps and my Kindle and it worked great! After I found a cache, the gps automatically told me the next closest one and I could wing it or check the gps map for driving. I could also easily search my kindle for the complete cache info. It worked great! Much better than I expected.

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I was able to get the street maps onto the gps. Some fiddling with the map got it to enough detail to navigate with.

 

So today I was driving around with just my gps and my Kindle and it worked great! After I found a cache, the gps automatically told me the next closest one and I could wing it or check the gps map for driving. I could also easily search my kindle for the complete cache info. It worked great! Much better than I expected.

What are you using on the Kindle? I thought Kindles only read books.

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My kindle can go online, and it's a lame older kindle. I'm guessing the kindle fire is much nicer for viewing online data...

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I download the gpx files to the kindle using Gsak. I downloaded and used a macro for Gsak that creates an ebook that works on the kindle. All the online info in on the kindle with little links just like the internet, but offline.

This video first explains using a kindle with 3g and then using gsak for offline:

 

 

It has been working well in conjunction with some maps on my GPS and a general knowledge of my area.

Sometimes the kindle freezes but that was only today.

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Does anyone know of a method for using an offline map for iPad? It would be incredible to have a map that works just like the geocaching site and be able to click on a location and have it go to the cache data. Is there a way to do this?

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