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AlohaBill2000

Downloading maps into my Garmin Oregon 450t

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I am new to Geocaching and I would like to collaborate with other members in my area but I do not know who to contact. I live in Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744.

 

1. According to my research: using way point averaging with your GPS device, it is possible to find caches more efficiently.

 

2. Another useful topic I want to learn about is: how to download maps for hiking trails from various sources.

 

These are examples of the many questions I have, in order to get more enjoyment out of this sport. Can anyone out there help me in general?

 

Thank you very much.

 

Bill Johnston

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I am new to Geocaching and I would like to collaborate with other members in my area but I do not know who to contact. I live in Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744.

 

1. According to my research: using way point averaging with your GPS device, it is possible to find caches more efficiently.

 

2. Another useful topic I want to learn about is: how to download maps for hiking trails from various sources.

 

These are examples of the many questions I have, in order to get more enjoyment out of this sport. Can anyone out there help me in general?

 

Thank you very much.

 

Bill Johnston

 

Welcome to the hobby!

 

The 450 should get you to the cache location. I have only used waypoint averaging when obtaining coordinates to place a cache.

Finding the actual cache is more of a thing you will gain with experience. niraD has a great post for new cachers, with details on cache types and sizes, and recommended searches for new cachers. I will try to find a link for you.

 

I recently started using a 450 myself. I am still looking for an inexpensive (free) map source and how to install, so I can't help much with No. 2.

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niraD's post with LOTS of good information for new cachers here.

A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10ft). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, so you may find the container 5-6m (16-20ft) from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Where would you hide something? Do you notice anything unusual? Is anything too new, too old, too organized (e.g., UPS: an Unnatural Pile of Sticks/Stones), too symmetrical, not quite the right color or shape, etc.? Don’t look only on the ground; the cache may be knee-level, waist-level, eye-level, or overhead. How might the container be secured in place? With magnets? With a hook? With string? With fishing line? With something else? Does anything move when you touch it? (Be careful when touching things though.)

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak. Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums.

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I am new to Geocaching and I would like to collaborate with other members in my area but I do not know who to contact. I live in Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744.

 

Welcome to geocaching. I know there are active geocachers in Hawaii; I see their posts on tumblr. One way to meet people is to go to an "event cache" near you. Newbies are welcome. I don't know of an active geocaching organization in Hawai'i, but you could try the West and Southwest forum here.

 

1. According to my research: using way point averaging with your GPS device, it is possible to find caches more efficiently.

 

No, sorry, you must have misunderstood something. Waypoint averaging can help you get the most accurate reading of coordinates possible with your unit, but it does not help you get closer to a specific spot. Even under ideal conditions, your GPS has a margin of error, give or take 10 feet. And so does the hider's GPS, unless she is a professional surveyor.

 

2. Another useful topic I want to learn about is: how to download maps for hiking trails from various sources.

 

The Oregon 450t takes a MicroSD card. Garmin says 4GB, but it is hard to find cards that small anymore, and the Oregon works fine with memory cards that have more capacity than that. File size of individual maps may be limited.

 

Two sources of free maps for Garmins are GPSFileDepot and OpenStreetMap.nl. Garmin will be happy to sell you maps too, but you mentioned "trails from various sources."

 

Here is some dense technical reading about maps from the unofficial Garmin Oregon wiki. Highlights are:

  • You can have multiple maps
  • Garmin has some standard default maps, the wiki names them
  • Map names end with .img
  • Maps should be loaded in the Garmin directory on your device or card

 

So if you downloaded a map and it was called gmapsupp.img, the standard name for a supplemental map, you can change the name to HITopo.img or whatever is appropriate, and create another supplemental map. If you are putting the maps on a MicroSD card, you will have to create a directory called Garmin on the card.

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