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eTrex 20 User Question

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Before I start I'll just point out something that I've found out with downloading the Pocket Queries in case someone else has the issue.


I have around 7 Pocket Queries setup on the site and these all run over two days. Initially they ran and installed correctly until one day I downloaded them all and copied them all at once to the GPSr. To my surprise when I went to use it the next day there were on Geocaches showing at all. To work around this I've found that if I downloaded and copy each one at a time, start up the unit so it processes the file, reconnect and do the next, repeating this process until all are complete. I now have several thousand caches stored on the GPS mostly covering Cumbria and across a wide band from Carlisle to Newcastle and it all works well installing them this way.


Just thought that might be of interest to someone,


Anyway the point of my post was to ask a question on the GPSr to see if something is possible.


What I would like to do is create a route or something similar so that I can work with the steps below. Not sure if all this will be possible so any help most appreciated.


  • Create Route / Track on PC linking up a selection of caches to visit. An example may be to create a long list of drive by caches so that I can go to them all without wasting time finding each one on the GPSr.
  • Download route to GPSr ready for use.
  • On the day follow the route to each cache
  • When the cache is found (or the dreaded DNF) mark as found on the GPSr and then go to the next one.

I would like to try and use the GPSr totally paperless and have that predefined route in place so that I can navigate and find each cache before heading on to the next one without having to remember which one I wanted to visit next.


Hope what I'm after is clear, I guess something similar must be possible even if it means flipping between settings etc a bit on the go.


Thanks in advance for any help.





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Well that's exactly what I do. Download Garmin's free program Basecamp from here http://www.garmin.com/en-GB/shop/downloads/basecamp


and if you need them there are some training videos here http://www8.garmin.com/learningcenter/training/basecamp/

although they are slightly behind the layout of the most recent Basecamp version.


Connect your Etrex to your PC and run Basecamp, it will then read any maps you have loaded on your Etrex and show you any caches you have loaded etc etc.


I load my PQs into Basecamp, and then send the route I've plotted plus the caches I want to get prior to heading out. Any problems come back :)

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I use GSAK to manage my PQ's. Move all your PQ results to one database and you can transfer them all at one time. So far I've Moved a total 1800 caches from 6 different PQ's to my eTrex 20 without any issues. This weekend I used Basecamp and made a 17 cache route and followed it just as you plan with no issues.

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Thanks for the quick replies, however I think I need to add some more information to get some more details.


I already have BaseCamp which I use on my work PC and the laptop at home. All devices also have the latest TalkyToaster UK maps so I'm down to footpath level.

I'll have a look into GSAK to manage all the PQ's though so thanks for that.


Here is what I currently do......


  • View the website for where I want to go and have a plan in my head.
  • On the day / trip I will navigate to the cache in one of the following ways

  1. Browse the Map section for the cache, click on it and Go
  2. Find the cache in the Geocaches section and click Go

  • I will then flip between Map and Compass to get to GZ
  • Whilst on route or at GZ I will often click on Geocaches and view the Hint or Logs to help find it.
  • When I find or DNF I then select the Gepocaches again and select Log It to mark it off.
  • I will then repeat the processes above to navigate to the next cache

Now what I would like to do is cut out a lot of what I do above.

However I would like the GPSr on a Route to


  • Go to the selected cache until I tell it to move on.
  • Be able to view the Cache Logs and Hints easily
  • Log it on the GPSr before it moves to the next cache on the route

Now I'm not sure if all that can easily be done, but I also suspect that I may have to have specific settings set on the GPSr Setup / Routing for anything like that to work properly.




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Well you can do all of that, but you asked initially about routes. You can load the route and caches to your GPS, and then navigate around the route. However as you get closer to a cache you need to do a where to and select the cache if you then want your Etrex to navigate to it, view logs, hint etc and make an entry that you can then download. Once you've entered the cache as found and any notes you then have to do a Where to and select the route again until you get nearer to the next cache, then select the cache again etc etc.

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That's cleared a lot up.


Hopefully one last question which will relate to the settings on the GPSr.


A route is created in a straight line from A to B to C


How do changing settings on the route (on the GPSr settings/route) alter how it acts?

i.e. is there a set of settings that forces the GPSr to always go to A then B & C or always head to the next nearest point on the route and continue or maybe start at a certain point on the route?


Just thinking of different scenarios.


For example on a Zig Zag walk (Z shape walk) the starting point 1 could be closer to point 3 than it is to 2. If starting the route the GPPSr could see that you are past point 1 and point 3 is closer than point 2, therefore head to point 3.


Sorry for so many questions but I'm trying to work out the detailed little changes in the settings on how they work.



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If you set a straight line route A to B to C that's the route you will see on the map, but it's not like a car GPS. You don't get a voice shouting 'turn left' etc. If you see that it's quicker first to go to C then it won't matter, but your Etrex won't make that decision for you, as it's not a mind reader and you could not want to do that :)

Edited by sussamb
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