If I want to go paperless, what exactly do I need to do this? Include everything--particular type of GPS unit, other hardware, what to download etc.
Right now, I am printing out each cache that I would like to do and punching each set of coordinates in each time. It seems like a lot of folks visit an area and go to every cache while they are there, which can be 10 at times. Do these people print out each and every one of those ahead of time or they must download those into their GPS ahead of time?
Thanks for any information!
Save your pennies and buy a Garmin Colorado 400t. With the GSAK program, $25 for life, you can download 2000 caches into the unit in less then five seconds. And, here's the important part, besides steering you to the cache, all the info you've been printing up for each cache will be right on the screen for you. Includes the last five logs and the HINT! The 400 will cost a little over $500 but if you buy a Palm to help you go paperless you'll probably spend a couple hundred on that and those things don't like moisture or cold temps. If you're thinking you already have a GPS and don't need another, well think again because sooner or later you'll enjoy the security of having 2 units working for you. We have a Vista that we mostly use with NT Navigator which is the on-road program Nuvi's use to get you to the cache area. Good luck and happy caching! If you buy the Colorado, there are plenty of folks on this site that will help you learn the basics.
Dubord mentioned a "high end" operation, but how much YOU want to spend really is the important factor.
You need a PDA, which can be as cheap as $20 on eBay. Most people have CacheMate software ($8) on their PDA, and GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife - $25) on their computer.
Here's a description of GSAK: "GSAK is the all in one Geocaching and waypoint management tool. Major features include: Multiple databases, sending/receiving waypoints to GPSr, Google maps, conversion to many mapping formats, PDA output (including CacheMate support), HTML output, extensive searching, macro support, backup and restore, distance/direction from other waypoints (including caches, locations, post codes) and much more. GSAK only runs on Windows operating systems (98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista)"
And a description of CacheMate: CacheMate™ is a database for tracking GPS cache hunts. You can store information about caches or benchmarks, decode hints, and transfer data between CacheMate and the MemoPad application.
Paperless is the ONLY way to go! LOL!
Going paperless can be a wonderful experience, and also a little frustrating in the beginning. First you have to be a premium memeber of geocaching.com. Then you can make and receive PQ's, ( pocket queries ). This is the information necessary to start your paperless caching journey. You will also need one of the many downloadable software titles to manage your PQ's. I like many others use GSAK. Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.(gask.com) this will also allow you to download the waypoints directly into your GPS'r, with the appropriate cable, thus eliminating the manual entries. From here you will need to purchase a PDA. I have had the Zire 21 for a couple of years now and for an introductory unit it works just fine. So far your total investment should be......Premium Member 30.00 yearly, GSAK 30.00 membership, and around 100.00 for the PDA. Oh and I forgot, Cachemate. The software your PDA will need to run the information. I think I paid 8.00 for that. So far that's 168.00. If you need some of the other functions a PDA can give you, that might justify your spending the money.
While the Colorado is a good unit and nice to have all of the info at your fingertips, the cost is sometimes just too much. If you really like caching, then paperless is the way to go. Hope this helps and I'm sure others will also help out here. Search the web for the best prices on a PDA.
I agree. Paperless is the only way to go. You guys did a great job discribing two very good systems. I would mention that GSAK is for the computer end of this and cachemate is for the palm.
Originally Posted by WhereRWe?
OK, here's my question then. I just started paperless caching. I really haven't gotten to use my new PDA yet (looooooong story :mad:), a Palm Pilot Z22. I know how to enter the caching info into the PDA and my Garmin eTrex H, but then I'm still writing out on paper the caches that I want to go to and how to get from one cache to another (street directions and such). Am I missing the point?
If you are a premium member then you can go to google maps on the cache page and you will have all the caches in that area that you would like to cache in. With additional maps like City Navigator on your GPS you should be able to route to the cache directly.
Another way to justify the expense of the PDA is to look at how much you would spend on replacing your printer cartridges from all the ink you use printing off the pages. In New Brunswick, it costs me over $70 to replace my cartridges. I just bought a refurb Palm Z31 off ebay for $50 including shipping and hope to start paperless caching as soon as I can get everything up and running.
If you haven't got Cachemate on your PDA by all means get it and download it to the PDA. Also are you using Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK) If not get it.
Then you can do a Pocket Query on Geocaching.com and have it sent to your email address as a zip file. You start GSAK and open the downloaded cache file. It puts them in a spreadsheet form. Do a search to select the caches you want to send to the GPS and PDA. GSAK can write the files for both. Plug the cable to the GPS in and send the cache info to the GPS. Then send the same info to a file using the cachemate function. It writes a file that will load to your PDA the next time you synchronize it.
I think brdad has a complete writeup on how to do it someplace in the forum.
One hint: Once you've downloaded your PQ, place it onto your desktop and "drag and drop" the file onto the GSAK icon. It will automatically be loaded into GSAK. :D:D
Originally Posted by Sabby