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Paperless Geocaching?


pedron
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i have a basic Garmin E*Trex, the yellow unit. I am planning on upgrading, most likely to a Legend, in a few months. I saw someone refer to 'paperless geocaching' and I am wondering what this is. Does this mean you can download waypoints AND the info from geocaching.com? (like descriptions and hints). Or does it just mean you get the waypoint? I don't usually need the descriptions, but it would be a nice thing to have sometimes, depending upon the cache. Thanks for any replies.....

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Yes, this is exactly what it means. In short, paperless 'caching generally requires your GPSr and a PDA (Palm, PcketPC). The waypoint information is downloaded to the GPSr in the normal manner, and a seperate application is used to load the 'cache page data onto the PDA.

 

Ideally you should be a premium member so that you can downlaod .gpx files rather than .loc files. The .gpx have a great deal more information, including logs and hints.

 

Cachemate is a very poplular (and IMHO the best) application. It allows you convert your .gpx file to a .pdb file, and have all the 'cache info on your palm.

 

GSAK is a freeware application which will allow you to convert your .gpx files for Palm use as well. Go here for the GC.com list of software associated with 'caching. Paperless and otherwise.

 

You can also use Spinner/Plucker (Google them) to allow you to store the pages on your PDA, but I found that to be slow and memory intensive. If your tastes run to Pocket PC, I am sure that others can help you out there. Good luck, and enjoy!

 

Edited for content

Edited by tirediron
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For info about spinner/plucker see the Sans Paper page at GU. Many people, including myself, use the spinner/plucker combo.

 

btw- you do realize you can download the waypoints to the etrex you have now right? You'll need a cable, and have to pull them one page at a time in .loc unless your a premium member though.

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I'm relatively new to caching myself and a premium member. What is the difference between downloading .gpx files vs. .loc files? I use an etrex vista, and there is no screen for hints or descriptions. So, is there any advantage to downloading one type over the other?

 

Thanks.

30/90

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I'm relatively new to caching myself and a premium member. What is the difference between downloading .gpx files vs. .loc files? I use an etrex vista, and there is no screen for hints or descriptions. So, is there any advantage to downloading one type over the other?

 

Thanks.

30/90

The .loc files only contain the most basic information (coords, waypoint id) the .gpx files include the cache description, and the last couple logs (5 i think).

 

The .gpx files are especially handy for people with PDAs, or who take laptop computers with them in their vehicles, then they have all the info from the cache page, to decide what cache to do, or get an extra hint....

 

If you just need the waypoint info, the .loc file will give you what you need, in a much smaller file size than the .gpx

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.loc is generally what you download to put into your GPSr, it just basically includes the coordinates and the name of the cache.

 

.gpx is what you download to put on your PDA, it has cache name, description, hints, previous logs, and just about anything else you'd expect on a cache page.

 

Edit: I guess IV Warrior beat me to the answer...

Edited by TeamK-9
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Thanks, Warrior. Sounds like you have to be using another device (PDA or Laptop) to derive any further benefit from downloading .gpx. Otherwise, for just the gps'r, the .loc files are fine. Right?

 

30/90

Not to steal your thunder Warrior...

 

But yes.. the .loc are fine if your just using a GPS

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How do you get .gpx downloads from Geocaching,

I only see loc as a choice??? B)

First, you have to be a premium member to get gpx files. Since you are one, you should be able to. Just go down to the "In the format" line near the bottom of the pocket query edit screen and select gpx instead of loc. You can download individual gpx files from the cache page also. (If you aren't seeing the gpx option, make sure you are logged on).

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