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Car GPS for geocaching
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andrewmcc
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Joined: 29 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:44 am    Post subject: Car GPS for geocaching Reply with quote

I have had more people coming into my classes with car gps units and I am totally ignorant about using them.
How can you use them for geocaching, if possible, can you load coordinates by hand or even down load?
Any other tips would be helpful.
Thanks
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speedysk1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Car GPS for geocaching Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
I have had more people coming into my classes with car gps units and I am totally ignorant about using them.
How can you use them for geocaching, if possible, can you load coordinates by hand or even down load?
Any other tips would be helpful.
Thanks


Before I got my 60CSx, I was using a road unit, the garmin Quest. I think the key to whether it will work is if you can enter coords directly and if it has an off-road feature. I could use the quest to auto-routing, then switch it to off-road and I'd get an arrow.

Another option, is if you can see the coords somewhere on the unit, look at the coords as you are walking and adjust accordingly to match where the cache is. This is a harder way of doing it, but I know it can be done.

Many of the new garmin nuvi's have a geocaching mode, so I think you'll see this more and more going forward.
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andrewmcc
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Car GPS for geocaching Reply with quote

speedysk1 wrote:

Many of the new garmin nuvi's have a geocaching mode, so I think you'll see this more and more going forward.


Is that with the high end models?
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GeoPierce
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a nuvi 200 and if I bring it along I usually autoroute with my 60Cx and glance at the nuvi if I need to.
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andrewmcc
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeoPierce wrote:
I have a nuvi 200 and if I bring it along I usually autoroute with my 60Cx and glance at the nuvi if I need to.


Can it be used to find a cache?
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Pear Head
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've loaded caches on my wife's Nuvi (I think it's a 205W), but I haven't actually used it outside of the vehicle (I have used it to autoroute to a cache area though).

I loaded the caches on an external SD card. I don't recall now if I used Garmin's POI loader or if there was some other way it was done - it was a number of months ago. You can also enter coordinates manually on the touch screen, although this is just as tedious as it is on any handheld unit like the 60s or 76s.

I'm on an email list for a different caching group (Oklahoma) where a number of people talk about using them with success.

Personally I believe they are made to route a vehicle, not find a cache. Handheld units are made to find a cache (and I suppose other things too, none of which come to mind though. Smile) Each unit has it's intended purpose, although each can be used for the other purpose as well...
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GeoPierce
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
GeoPierce wrote:
I have a nuvi 200 and if I bring it along I usually autoroute with my 60Cx and glance at the nuvi if I need to.


Can it be used to find a cache?

Sorry, I realized after posting I missed the intent of your original post. You can enter coordinates manually but I'm not sure about downloading from the computer. It does have an offroad feature but the one time I used it while walking I kept bumping the touch screen and couldn't put it in my pocket without turning it off because of the touch screen.
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Pear Head
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeoPierce wrote:
It does have an offroad feature but the one time I used it while walking I kept bumping the touch screen and couldn't put it in my pocket without turning it off because of the touch screen.


On ours you can lock it I believe using the on/off switch.
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speedysk1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Car GPS for geocaching Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
speedysk1 wrote:

Many of the new garmin nuvi's have a geocaching mode, so I think you'll see this more and more going forward.


Is that with the high end models?


I'm not sure which ones, but since Garmin has a relationship with GS, I think more will come with it in the future.

To make this work effectively, there are a few things the road unit must do.

1. You must be able to see the coords. (My wife's street pilot doesn't for example)
2. You must be able to go off-road with it. By that I mean, it must allow you to route to something without taking a road to get there. This doesn't mean it must be rugged and water-proof, but that's a plus. My Quest was waterproof. If you see me on my scooter, the Quest that I have mounted to it is the one I started with.
3. You must be able to enter coordinates in some manner. Ideally, on the fly, but if that's not the case than with MapSource or POI loader. Sorry other gps users, I don't know how you do it on those units.

So, is it possible, yes. Can car units be used for caching, probably depending on the unit. If you are not very tecnically inclined, this option will be the most difficult to do, unless your gps does have a geocaching profile setting.

Lastly if someone opts to use a road unit for caching, make sure they realize if they break their road unit, which generally is not designed for outdoor usage, they also just broke their road unit. That's the main reason I got a 60. Like the Nuvis, the antenna on my Quest flips out. I'd fallen enough times with it, I was concerned I'd break the antenna clean off. Also water/moisture can also be an issue.

Andrew, I'd be happy to field questions on how I've used my car unit.
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Jam3s
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have laptop stand in my car for other reasons, so I have been using the Delorme Earthmate LT-40 in my car. I think that it works very well to map out a lot of caches on a route. I like that you can also see the large topos to verify for example how far off the highway they are.

To add that to a laptop it was only $50 from Best Buy which comes with the Street Alas topos. Off the website you can use a PQ or LOC file. From there I have created routes and such like that.

I would recommend that. Works well with a UMPC.
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andrewmcc
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jam3s wrote:
I have laptop stand in my car for other reasons, so I have been using the Delorme Earthmate LT-40 in my car. I think that it works very well to map out a lot of caches on a route. I like that you can also see the large topos to verify for example how far off the highway they are.

To add that to a laptop it was only $50 from Best Buy which comes with the Street Alas topos. Off the website you can use a PQ or LOC file. From there I have created routes and such like that.

I would recommend that. Works well with a UMPC.


Laptops in the woods Smile
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Jam3s
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I only use the laptop if I am going for certain caches that I have to navigate to. I have used it on trips when I have no clue where I am. I was reading on a site and they recommend using a laptop or actual maps for geocaching just for the topos but since I already had the laptop stand, the laptop and the GPS, why buy a map? lol

Once I get out of the car I will use the Oregon or 60CS.

I have to admit that I have used the laptop to go after a cache when I know that it isnt far from the car (like a skirtlifter).
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Grey Wolf and Wild Rice
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ar6h59yYA
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andrewmcc
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grey Wolf and Wild Rice wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ar6h59yYA


Was that jam3? Wink Smile
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zuma!
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Joined: 10 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: Car GPS for geocaching Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
I have had more people coming into my classes with car gps units and I am totally ignorant about using them.
How can you use them for geocaching, if possible, can you load coordinates by hand or even down load?
Any other tips would be helpful.
Thanks


I have a nuvi 350, and yes it is possible, but not easy to cache with it.

I typically use the nuvi to get me to the cache area, and then the handheld gpsr to get me to the cache. You can install a macro onto GSAK that allows you to load all the caches in your PQ directly onto the nuvi. Like with the Colorado/Oregon series the entire cache page is on the Nuvi so you can look at the description/logs/hints/dates found from the Nuvi (hopefully not while driving, but it is possible.)

On occasion I have experimented with trying to cache with the Nuvi. On the plus side, it gets better reception under heavy tree cover than my old Legend, probably equal to the Garmin 60 series. On the negative side, it has no arrow, so if you are expecting an arrow forget it. However, it does give you a map showing where you are in relationship to the cache and it is possible to navigate that way. It will also show you the coords to your current position, so you can navigate that way.

So yes, it is possible, but not easy to cache with a Nuvi. One important consideration is that the Nuvi is not weather resistant like hand held gpsr units, so if you did it often in the rain, it would likely bust.

zuma
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