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gear02

Getting back to Geocaching - Paperless

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Hi all! I'm getting back into Geocaching but one of my big things is to make it easy for me to find caches with technology. I love the idea of paperless as I would love to be outside and search for caches near me without having to preplan too much. I also like to read the cache details in the field as well.

 

I have an Oregon 400t but unfortunately to do paperless on that thing you need to upload the caches ahead of time. But reading the cache details on that thing was a pain in the a**, especially going back and forth between details and the mapping.

 

I'm thinking that some iPad apps would work great for me, but I don't have the 4G ipad - just the wifi. That also leads to the problem of getting GPS to find the darned thing. So here's what I'm thinking of what I'd do in the field:

 

1. Use my iPad along with a Mifi to find the caches around me using the Geocaching app or Geo Bucket

2. Type in the coordinates into my Oregon 400t. The downside is typing the coordinates.

 

Or:

1. Get an old 3G or 4G iPad and use that. The downside is it's hard to not be too obvious when in Muggle territory.

 

Any other ideas? I'm open to buying new hardware if needed.

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With any GPS you're going to have to download the caches ahead of time. They don't make one with data connectivity. However, with some of the newer Geocaching friendly paperless units and a Pocket Query, you could make it just about that effortless once you're out in the field.

 

Once I got the hang of it, it now takes me about 5 minutes to run a Pocket Query and download it to my Oregon 550. Relatively painless.

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Use the I-phone to read the details, etc., enter the coords into a real handheld GPSr, and find the cache.

If you use pocket queries, you wouldn't even have to enter the coords, unless it's a new one, published after the PQ.

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I have an Oregon 400t but unfortunately to do paperless on that thing you need to upload the caches ahead of time. But reading the cache details on that thing was a pain in the a**, especially going back and forth between details and the mapping.

 

I've been using the 400t to cache for a few years now, and I've gotten pretty used to switching back and forth. When I got started caching, I was in Germany, so I needed the lead time to translate cache descriptions. I've gotten used to having to plan ahead. Only time I use the Android app is if I am doing spur of the moment caching, and then I use the Oregon for the actual hunting due to my phone's inaccuracy. I did just upgrade to a newer phone, so I haven't tested its GPS accuracy, but I doubt it's as good as the 400t.

 

I'd see if you can borrow someone's iPad and test out its accuracy. I have a feeling you may be disappointed compared to your Oregon, but your mileage may vary.

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Hi all! I'm getting back into Geocaching but one of my big things is to make it easy for me to find caches with technology. I love the idea of paperless as I would love to be outside and search for caches near me without having to preplan too much. I also like to read the cache details in the field as well.

 

I have an Oregon 400t but unfortunately to do paperless on that thing you need to upload the caches ahead of time. But reading the cache details on that thing was a pain in the a**, especially going back and forth between details and the mapping.

 

I'm thinking that some iPad apps would work great for me, but I don't have the 4G ipad - just the wifi. That also leads to the problem of getting GPS to find the darned thing. So here's what I'm thinking of what I'd do in the field:

 

1. Use my iPad along with a Mifi to find the caches around me using the Geocaching app or Geo Bucket

2. Type in the coordinates into my Oregon 400t. The downside is typing the coordinates.

 

Or:

1. Get an old 3G or 4G iPad and use that. The downside is it's hard to not be too obvious when in Muggle territory.

 

Any other ideas? I'm open to buying new hardware if needed.

 

Why in the world would you type in the coordinates on your GPS? Get a pocket query. Try out GSAK. You don't need to get fancy with it. Just drop the zipped file you get from the pocket query into GSAK and send it to your GPS.

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Why in the world would you type in the coordinates on your GPS? Get a pocket query. Try out GSAK. You don't need to get fancy with it. Just drop the zipped file you get from the pocket query into GSAK and send it to your GPS.

 

Because he's in the field and searching for new/other caches around his current location.

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I find the versatility of having two devices a great thing. Dedicated GPSr for it's accuracy and a smartphone for online search and higher readability of descriptions, hints and logs. And the ease of logging or entering field notes in the field. Can't beat the ability to call up a Google satellite view on the phone when the GPS points me across a marsh or creek.

 

I almost never just 'head out and wander' when I plan on geocaching. Planning ahead includes not only taking some caching supplies and tools, it involves searching the area online first for caches, parking, etc. Then a PQ or manually sending a group of GPX files to both the GPSr and the phone, and off we go.

 

But yes, if the phone app picks up a new cache while I'm in the field that I want to go after, I'll try the phone GPS to get me close. If I have trouble finding it, I'll plug the coords into the Garmin and narrow the search. Now if there was a way to send from the phone to the Garmin via Bluetooth or something, that would be awesome!

Edited by JohnCNA

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I have a Garmin GPSMAP 62s and a Motorola Droid smartphone. They both use microSD cards, so one trick I've done on the road (quick, before we get too into the boonies and I loose signal) is to take the SD card out of my GPS and pop it in my phone, then run and download a PQ for the area, copy the file to the SD card, then plug the card back into my GPS. My phone will work as a GPS, but it's only A-GPS so it only works where there is signal. With this little trick, I just have to get to a patch of signal for about 10 minutes in order to grab caches to plug into my GPS.

 

Happy (paperless) caching!

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I have a GPSMAP 62sc and an iPhone 4. I find the iPhone app invaluable for on the fly cache lookups, posting logs in the field, etc. I use the official app, which is very good. However note that the WiFi iPad does not have a GPS, so a WiFi iPad isn't going to do the trick. Unless you add on a GPS module. That could work.

Edited by crunc

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I have a Garmin GPSMAP 62s and a Motorola Droid smartphone. They both use microSD cards, so one trick I've done on the road (quick, before we get too into the boonies and I loose signal) is to take the SD card out of my GPS and pop it in my phone, then run and download a PQ for the area, copy the file to the SD card, then plug the card back into my GPS. My phone will work as a GPS, but it's only A-GPS so it only works where there is signal. With this little trick, I just have to get to a patch of signal for about 10 minutes in order to grab caches to plug into my GPS.

 

Happy (paperless) caching!

 

Nice trick. I'll file the serial numbers off of that one and keep it.

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