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Paperless Caching
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1Queenand4Jokers



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 270
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Mar 10, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

We've been paperless caching now for about a month and are enjoying it. We download the GPX files in Pocket Queries and open them with GSAK (a free download with a one time US $20.00 registration fee if you like it). We sort the caches in GSAK and save them both as html pages and also in Streets and Trips format. We've found moving the html pages onto our Pocket PC Ipaq 2210 very useful. We print out the travelling directions from Streets and Trips (the not paperless part of our caching). We have not found Pocket Streets very useful since we cover a lot of territory.  Question 1: How do other cachers organize their travels? We are trying various things in order to prepare for our month long caching trip to the Maritimes in summer. Do some of you still print them out for long trips? Question 2: What is the best way to keep track of what you put in caches etc? We've put notes onto our Ipaq when we arrive back in the car.  



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pink_panther



Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Mar 11, 2005 12:06 am    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

I always print out the cache sheets because I keep a binder with all the papers in it. I have different sections for travel bugs and caches I find and don't find. I keep the pages explaining the cache, the log I write for them and the picture I take at each one. I print all of this out and sort it in order I find them. This way, I will be able to go back and remember each cache I visit.



I also print out any caches I am interested in eventually finding and I categorize them in sections. For example I have a section for caches that are close by home, at the Forks, down-town, Assiniboine Park, other parks and by the airport. This way when I feel like caching, I can decide which area to go to and be ready to go!



I usually remember what I put in the cache and what I exchange it for, but if I do more then one in an outing I write it down.



 



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Gumpy



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Mar 12, 2005 5:36 am    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

I have gone on a couple of trips and have done Geocaching along the way.  I like to cache on the road the same way I like to cache at home, without a clue where I am going, or what it is all about.  I just save the waypoints that are close along my route.  I save the name of the cache; it's rating and its size.  Everything from details to hint I leave out.  I do have the tendency to have more DNF's but I don't have a palm unit yet, and I don't like printing off all those pages.  As for tracking the items?  If I am trading then I will write it all down in my cache book (which I no longer maintain) but most of the time it will be just a TNLN log.  Can't confuse that.  Going out east eh?  Got room in the car for me?



-- Edited by Gumpy at 23:38, 2005-03-11

-- Edited by Gumpy at 23:39, 2005-03-11

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Peter and Gloria



Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 255
Location: N50 00.___ W96 57.___

PostPosted: Mar 12, 2005 6:12 am    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

We don't have a palm, so we still use paper. I use GPX downloads & GSAK to keep track of available caches. Before going caching, I just print off the html pages of the caches that we plan to try.



We use Magellan Sports Trak Map, so I have all the mapping I need in the GPS. 



To keep track of trades, after logging the trades in the cache log, we take a picture of our log entry. This is very helpful on multi cache days.



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1Queenand4Jokers



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 270
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Mar 21, 2005 6:59 pm    Post subject: RE: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote



quote:










Originally posted by: Peter and Gloria
"We don't have a palm, so we still use paper. I use GPX downloads & GSAK to keep track of available caches. Before going caching, I just print off the html pages of the caches that we plan to try.



We use Magellan Sports Trak Map, so I have all the mapping I need in the GPS.  To keep track of trades, after logging the trades in the cache log, we take a picture of our log entry. This is very helpful on multi cache days. "








Do you use the html pages from Gsak or online at Geocaching.com? I wish I could print the PDA size html to put in a little notebook...Anybody have any ideas about this? 



The photos of logs is a great idea which we will gratefully adopt for our long caching trips.



-- Edited by 1queenand4jokers at 13:01, 2005-03-21

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Peter and Gloria



Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 255
Location: N50 00.___ W96 57.___

PostPosted: Mar 23, 2005 9:46 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

We use the HTML from GSAK. Even if you display some of the previous logs, you can get more caches on fewer pages.



Have you tried the "eBook" files with the Pocket Query?



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MHz



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 285
Location: Morris

PostPosted: Jun 07, 2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

I hope to have a geocaching/ham radio dedicated PDA before the year is out so I can go paperless locally. For now, I keep a print out of each cache in Southern Manitoba that I have not found yet as I never know when I might be in a given area.



When Gord from Morris and I went to Vegas, I did download all the web pages into his PDA (over 300). My GPS has routing so I loaded the street level maps of vegas and the surrounding areas. Worked well because it routed us to more places then just to geocaches but then Vegas is a pretty easy town for vistors to drive in unlike Winnipeg.



I also downloaded over 300 non-virtual, non-event caches for the Vegas area into our GPS's. We had lots of choice! What I then did was print out a vegas area map from Garmin Mapsource with all the caches on the map. This was the only paper we took with us. Before we set out geocaching, I sat down and looked at the map and decided based on the cache placements and where we wanted to go that day, where we would find the most caches for our time. It made it very easy to figure out.



For our drive to Calgary, I did individual searches to find the most promising caches along our route and printed them as there weren't that many. I left the Calgary area for my brother THz to suggest where we would go.



There are obviously many ways to plan a geocaching adventure on top of a given holiday adventure.



MHz

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winnipegk5



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 49
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Mar 01, 2006 2:02 am    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

I have been paperless since mid summer 05. I use GSAK and export both to Cache Mate on my Palm Tungsten  and to Mapsource on my laptop. I also always have my Palm with me when searching for caches it's great to have the past 5 logs in the palm of your hand.



It's also nice to not have to worry about ending up in an area that has caches to search for but that you forgot to print them out before you left home.



I thing cachmate is great and GSAK is also excellent, the more you use it the more powerful it becomes. I have data bases built for about 40 areas now. If I plan to go to an area that I haven't been for awhile I just run a new pocket query and update GSAK.



If you have questions just PM me.



 



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AgentMB
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PostPosted: May 15, 2006 4:38 am    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

We just recently started geocaching, but we just download waypoints to our GPSr and try to remember their general area and then we just follow the compass on our GPSr



I guess we're going it totally paperless, but I'm pretty sure we're also going about it the long, hard, unorganized way

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TASKForce3



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 23
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Nov 09, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

Well, I only got my GPSr about 10 days ago, so I'm still pretty green at this. However, being a techie, I had to find a way to go paperless so here is what I have so far and it appears to be working reasonably well.

I am using GSAK to view and manage caches. For managing local caches, I have setup a pocket query on Geocaching.com which sends me a weekly listing of all of the local caches and I plan on dumping that into GSAK every week as it includes all of my finds as well as the ones I have not found. This query is configured to also pull down the mobipocket version of all of the caches so that I can view/search them on my ebook reader on my Windows Mobile phone (UTStarcom PPC6700).

From GSAK, I push all of the waypoints to my GPSr (Garmin Venture cx with 1 GB memory card) so that my GPSr will always be up to date for caches on a weekly basis. I also pull the gpx file into GPXSonar which is a Windows Mobile application that runs on my phone. With it, I can set my center point and it will sort caches by proximity. I can also view/sort them in multiple ways. As I find each cache, I can enter a field note that is tied to that cache so that it is easy to remember what I took/left for when I log it at the web site. Clicking on a cache name brings up the page of information about the cache including the last five logs so it basically gives me everything that I get in that ebook file mentioned above. I may forego the ebook method as the only benefit it gives is the ability to read the descriptions like a book...marginally useful.

Is anyone aware of any freeware products out there that do the kinds of things that GSAK does? If nothing else comes close, then I'll buy it, but I'd hate to purchase it only to find that something else works just as well and is free.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give to a newbie.

P.S.
My daughters and I are releasing our first travel bugs tonight...woohoo!

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TurdleEggs



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 687
Location: Ste Genevieve

PostPosted: Nov 09, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

It sounds like you've got it all figured out TASKForce3.



I used ClayJar's watcher for a while (it's free) but now I've switched to GSAK and happily pay the fee.



GSAK filters are quite a bit more flexible and powerful, but one of the features I really like is the ability to reformat the cache names and build custom description fields for info sent to the GPSr. I use smart names and custom icons. Also the ability to import a folder of GPXs and automatically merge them is quite handy. One hotkey-stroke and all the files get loaded.

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dutch53
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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2006 6:19 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

We have been paperless for about a year now and feel it it is the only way to go.  We use GSAK to maintain out data bases and think that it is well worth the money.  Clyde updates regularly and his forum is great for even more ideas.  Our PDA is Palm M105 and we have been Spinner and Plucker http://www.plkr.org/to get the caches on the Palm, but we have just discovered Cachemate www.smittyware.com/palm/cachematewhich will work with GSAK and save a couple steps.  With no paper, it makes the hunt much more fun.

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Peter and Gloria



Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 255
Location: N50 00.___ W96 57.___

PostPosted: Nov 10, 2006 7:50 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

Our last post on this topic was in March. That seems so long ago. We have been paperless for quite a while using GSAK, Cachemate and a Tungten E2 Palm.



Our Garmin GPSMap76C allows 10 characters for the waypoint name, so we export waypoints from GSAK using "%typ1%con1%dif1%ter1 %Name" , so have the cache type, the container size, the difficulty, the terrain as well as 5 letters of the cache name. On most Traditional caches we don't read the description; we just search. If we have trouble finding the cache, then we have all the info we need in the Palm - full description, previous logs and hint.



Once a week I get Pocket Queries from GC.com and after adding the PQ data to GSAK, I update my GPS and Palm. When we used paper,  I think I sometimes spent more playing with paper than searching.



Paperless is the only way to go



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TASKForce3



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 23
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Nov 10, 2006 10:04 pm    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

Maybe its because I'm just starting out and I'm dumping so many (450 which leaves me 50 spots to add user defined waypoints) caches into my GPSr, but I have gone with sticking to the 6 character GCxxxx names when I dump the waypoints to my GPSr even though it supports 14 characters. I find it easier to navigate the GPSr menus to find specific caches using the shorter names.

I tried concatenating the SMART name after the GCxxxx but found the long names cluttered up my screen too much with minimal additional utility so I went back to just the short names. Maybe once I start finding more caches, I'll only send waypoints for unfound ones only and it won't be so cluttered.

Sounds to me like GSAK is the way to go. The author obviously spent a lot of time and effort writing a tool that provides so much flexibility. I'll fire the man some money once my eval period expires.

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junglehair



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 374
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Nov 11, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: RE: Paperless Caching Reply with quote

One thing to keep in mind is that Cachemate is designed to run on the Palm OS.  For a pocket PC device, you're best option is to use GPXSonar.  Lots of people swear by GSAK, so for $20, you can't really go wrong.



I still use an outdated, but simpler method of GPX2HTML and Plucker to load caches on my Palm m515. 



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