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breckland

Using the Etrex 20x

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This may sound stupid, but as a beginner, can anyone tell me their personal procedure when searching for a geocache regarding what screen to be on etc. I have struggled through 4 so far but I'm sure I am going about it the hard way. This could be age related, of course! A step by step guide would be wonderful! - Geoff

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First thing to do is confirm you're using the "Geocaching" profile, as that makes things more straightforward for caching - is that the profile you're using?

Note this can be changed from the Profiles option on the main screen.

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The Garmin is a tool you can configure many ways, and my way might not suit you : it also would take an awful  lot of typing to explain everything here !

Here's a useful page about basic set up specific to the GPS, it's not  aimed at geocachers , but cyclists. however it should get you started, or here is another decent resource.

 

I set the garmin to behave as a usb device when plugged into the computer, and drag & drop gpx files of caches into  the GPX folder in the garmin.

 

My setup very briefly is to have the page sequence (the options are accessible from the setup screen) set to

Main menu - compass - geocaches - map - where to ?

That lets me cycle through the screens I want .  So, I select the cache I want from the  list on the 'geocaches' screen,  press the top right button to  go to the map screen,  press 'go' if it's the cache I want, then cycle through the screens with my thumb on that top right button again to get to the compass , and walk to the GZ.

 

On the compass screen I have set the data field display (by  pressing the bottom left button) to show GPS accuracy, battery status, sunset (nore important on short winter days !) and distance to next.

 

 

Edited by hal-an-tow
improved punctuation for clarity

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8 hours ago, breckland said:

This may sound stupid, but as a beginner, can anyone tell me their personal procedure when searching for a geocache regarding what screen to be on etc. I have struggled through 4 so far but I'm sure I am going about it the hard way. This could be age related, of course! A step by step guide would be wonderful! - Geoff

 

That greatly depends on where you cache and personal preferences. For example, I almost never hunt guard rails or caches right at road sides. Your process would be a lot different from mine if you prefer quick road side caches.

 

For my first cache, I used the “Map” only, and it took me an hour to find the Ammo Can. Eventually I realized the Compass is the screen I need at that point. Fortunately I was in a pretty open area in the woods at the time, so I could practice unseen :).  Now I switch between Map and Compass as needed, the two screens I use most.

 

MartyBartfast and hal-an-tow mention settings to try, and that's important, because it tends to be easy to accidentally set a GPS to be useless for Geocaching. I have a Garmin Oregon and the “Geocaching Profile” from the factory, was not convenient for me, so I changed a lot of it, based on features I tended to use most.

 

Here's basically my process:

I use a Garmin Nuvi to get to a centralized parking area of an unfamiliar place. One select cache is on the Nuvi to get me to the area, and a whole Pocket Query of caches in the park may be on the Oregon.  More recently, I use a combination of phone Map Apps and handheld GPS, especially if I'm in a place where the phone signal is good.

 

On the handheld GPS, I use the “Map” to see where caches are in relation to each other, and to see trails and other landmarks where possible.

 

Once I've decided on the trail and when hiking on the way, and maybe .15 miles from a cache, I switch to the Compass screen, and watch the distance count down. When the arrow is pointing directly to the side, off-trail, that's where I decide what to do next. Depending on distance and terrain, that's when I may leave the trail and go for the cache.  When it's at "30 feet" or as low as it seems to get, I'm looking for "hiding spots", rather than looking for a "0" distance.

 

Edited by kunarion
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I had an instant recognition moment for the origin of the O.P.s caching name  (education in geology isn't just handy for earthcaches) , and where they are in the east of England is largely very gently undulating farm land where I suspect the rights of way paths will be clearly marked (altho' as that's down to individual county councils the maintenanve of waymarks varies ) and most caches will be around villages or along those paths . Which reminds me to mention, if you've not coughed up the insane prices for OS maps, or the slightly insane ones for Garmin maps, have a look at the free ones available at talkytoaster

They are excellent renderings of open street map data, far superior to Garmin's effort , and regularly updated too.

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On ‎14‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 9:19 AM, MartyBartfast said:

First thing to do is confirm you're using the "Geocaching" profile, as that makes things more straightforward for caching - is that the profile you're using?

Note this can be changed from the Profiles option on the main screen.

Well that's a start thanks, the profile was shifting back to Recreational, so I moved Geocaching to the top of the list so if it reverts, it will only go to Geocaching.

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16 hours ago, hal-an-tow said:

I had an instant recognition moment for the origin of the O.P.s caching name  (education in geology isn't just handy for earthcaches) , and where they are in the east of England is largely very gently undulating farm land where I suspect the rights of way paths will be clearly marked (altho' as that's down to individual county councils the maintenanve of waymarks varies ) and most caches will be around villages or along those paths . Which reminds me to mention, if you've not coughed up the insane prices for OS maps, or the slightly insane ones for Garmin maps, have a look at the free ones available at talkytoaster

They are excellent renderings of open street map data, far superior to Garmin's effort , and regularly updated too.

Thanks, have got OS maps but will look at those

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12 minutes ago, breckland said:

Thanks, have got OS maps but will look at those

 

I also use TalkyToaster maps, they're great for the money [;)].
So my method is:

I stay on the map view almost all the time, within that view you can change the data fields, personally I have them set at "distance to next" and "ETA at next", and use that screen for most of my navigation. I have track higlighting enabled so I can see from the direction of the track I just came on which direction I'm moving on the screen, and the little pointer in the middle always points towards the target.

When I get closer I might change to the Compass view to home in on the GZ, on the compass screen I have the Geocaching dashboard.

Then when I found it (or not) go to the Geocaching screen and hit the log button,

then hit find next closest,

then back to the map screen, rinse and repeat.

 

Did you know you can also create your own profiles? While I recommended using the Geocaching profile, I actually use my own version which I have saved with all my personal preferences so it's slightly different to the out of the box one.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, MartyBartfast said:

 

I also use TalkyToaster maps, they're great for the money [;)].
So my method is:

I stay on the map view almost all the time, within that view you can change the data fields, personally I have them set at "distance to next" and "ETA at next", and use that screen for most of my navigation. I have track higlighting enabled so I can see from the direction of the track I just came on which direction I'm moving on the screen, and the little pointer in the middle always points towards the target.

When I get closer I might change to the Compass view to home in on the GZ, on the compass screen I have the Geocaching dashboard.

Then when I found it (or not) go to the Geocaching screen and hit the log button,

then hit find next closest,

then back to the map screen, rinse and repeat.

 

Did you know you can also create your own profiles? While I recommended using the Geocaching profile, I actually use my own version which I have saved with all my personal preferences so it's slightly different to the out of the box one.

 

 

 

All followed ok thanks but where do I find the "track highlighting option "? Would be interested to know how your profile differs from the standard one. I am now surprised that I actually found my 4 that I have found!

Edited by breckland
mistake

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1 hour ago, breckland said:

All followed ok thanks but where do I find the "track highlighting option "? Would be interested to know how your profile differs from the standard one. I am now surprised that I actually found my 4 that I have found! Oh - plus I don't get an arrow in middle of map screen.

 

20 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

That greatly depends on where you cache and personal preferences. For example, I almost never hunt guard rails or caches right at road sides. Your process would be a lot different from mine if you prefer quick road side caches.

 

For my first cache, I used the “Map” only, and it took me an hour to find the Ammo Can. Eventually I realized the Compass is the screen I need at that point. Fortunately I was in a pretty open area in the woods at the time, so I could practice unseen :).  Now I switch between Map and Compass as needed, the two screens I use most.

 

MartyBartfast and hal-an-tow mention settings to try, and that's important, because it tends to be easy to accidentally set a GPS to be useless for Geocaching. I have a Garmin Oregon and the “Geocaching Profile” from the factory, was not convenient for me, so I changed a lot of it, based on features I tended to use most.

 

Here's basically my process:

I use a Garmin Nuvi to get to a centralized parking area of an unfamiliar place. One select cache is on the Nuvi to get me to the area, and a whole Pocket Query of caches in the park may be on the Oregon.  More recently, I use a combination of phone Map Apps and handheld GPS, especially if I'm in a place where the phone signal is good.

 

On the handheld GPS, I use the “Map” to see where caches are in relation to each other, and to see trails and other landmarks where possible.

 

Once I've decided on the trail and when hiking on the way, and maybe .15 miles from a cache, I switch to the Compass screen, and watch the distance count down. When the arrow is pointing directly to the side, off-trail, that's where I decide what to do next. Depending on distance and terrain, that's when I may leave the trail and go for the cache.  When it's at "30 feet" or as low as it seems to get, I'm looking for "hiding spots", rather than looking for a "0" distance.

 

Many thanks, every suggestion is increasing my knowledge and confidence

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3 hours ago, breckland said:

All followed ok thanks but where do I find the "track highlighting option "? Would be interested to know how your profile differs from the standard one. I am now surprised that I actually found my 4 that I have found!

 

From the main screen choose Setup, then Tracks, set the top option for Track Log to "Record, Show on Map", then set  the bottom option for Color to something that is clearly  visible, but doesn't get used on regular maps - I use a bright blue/turquoise colour.

 

I really  don't remember  what I changed, but I changed the colour theme, and the pointer type in the compass screen, but none of it was really significant - just minor tweaks.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

 

From the main screen choose Setup, then Tracks, set the top option for Track Log to "Record, Show on Map", then set  the bottom option for Color to something that is clearly  visible, but doesn't get used on regular maps - I use a bright blue/turquoise colour.

 

 

 

That's a nice feature to have "on".  It's on by default on Garmin Oregon.  I've sometimes saved the Track (with the intent of making a trail map), or deleted it (to remove all the extra lines).  I once even tried to use it to "backtrack" after I dropped a camera.

 

"Profiles" can be copied as entire files and re-named, and can be saved as backups in case of problems later.  I have "Geocaching" and "Caching Car", both based on the original "Geocaching" Profile, but modified so the main screen has exactly what I need while hiking, or while driving.

 

The "Dashboard" can be different in most any screen.  The single field "Distance To Dest" is pretty cool on the Compass Screen, for a big easy-to-read distance to the selected cache or waypoint.  I usually have "small fields" with the four handiest fields for each screen.  I think the Etrex 20 has some of the same options.

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On ‎15‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 4:17 PM, MartyBartfast said:

 

From the main screen choose Setup, then Tracks, set the top option for Track Log to "Record, Show on Map", then set  the bottom option for Color to something that is clearly  visible, but doesn't get used on regular maps - I use a bright blue/turquoise colour.

 

I really  don't remember  what I changed, but I changed the colour theme, and the pointer type in the compass screen, but none of it was really significant - just minor tweaks.

 

 

Thanks again for your help, did 4 this morning which were previously dnf's, finally it has started to work, or I have!

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On ‎15‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 5:15 PM, kunarion said:

 

 

That's a nice feature to have "on".  It's on by default on Garmin Oregon.  I've sometimes saved the Track (with the intent of making a trail map), or deleted it (to remove all the extra lines).  I once even tried to use it to "backtrack" after I dropped a camera.

 

"Profiles" can be copied as entire files and re-named, and can be saved as backups in case of problems later.  I have "Geocaching" and "Caching Car", both based on the original "Geocaching" Profile, but modified so the main screen has exactly what I need while hiking, or while driving.

 

The "Dashboard" can be different in most any screen.  The single field "Distance To Dest" is pretty cool on the Compass Screen, for a big easy-to-read distance to the selected cache or waypoint.  I usually have "small fields" with the four handiest fields for each screen.  I think the Etrex 20 has some of the same options.

Thanks for the tips, I guess I might reappear on here from time to time

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On ‎14‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 5:45 PM, hal-an-tow said:

I had an instant recognition moment for the origin of the O.P.s caching name  (education in geology isn't just handy for earthcaches) , and where they are in the east of England is largely very gently undulating farm land where I suspect the rights of way paths will be clearly marked (altho' as that's down to individual county councils the maintenanve of waymarks varies ) and most caches will be around villages or along those paths . Which reminds me to mention, if you've not coughed up the insane prices for OS maps, or the slightly insane ones for Garmin maps, have a look at the free ones available at talkytoaster

They are excellent renderings of open street map data, far superior to Garmin's effort , and regularly updated too.

Thanks for your help, I am getting somewhere at last

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