Geocaching Newbie Needs Help

Discussion in 'GPS / Geocaching & Mapping Applications' started by Woblesmom, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Woblesmom

    Woblesmom Member

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    So, my DH gave me a Garmin Vista HCx for Christmas so we can start geocaching. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Big Smile"> The GPS has expandible memory and I've a micro disc ready for use. I can establish a waypoint following the instructions, but the sales guy says I must purchase additional Garmin software to map anything or use the GPS for geocaching. I'm confused cause everyone seems to be using MapQuest, etc. for mapping. If you do this, what good's the GPS? <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_confused.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Confused"> I've read everything I can find through geocaching.com to learn how to use my GPS, but I'm a bit lost (ironic given I have the GPS, no?<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_lol.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Laugh Out Loud">).

    Can anyone help me get up and running?
     
  2. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    I am assuming that you need specific Garmin software if you want to use the GPS for vehicle turn by turn navigation. This extra software gives you detailed city streets, hotel locations, restaurants, gas stations, airports, etc.

    Alex & Mary Burnett
    J D (Boxer Pup)
    2000 Aerolite Cub F21
    2006 F-150 XLT
    "If alcohol is a crutch, then Jack Daniels is a wheelchair!"
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  3. mostlyok

    mostlyok We're Mostly OK!

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    Relaxed Alex is pretty much on target. But if you are geocaching, then the GPS will work just fine. If you are a member at http://www.geocaching.com/ then you have access to maps to help you locate a geocache. The most important part is to use the Lat and Long information to get close (10 ft?) to the cache using the GPS.
    We just found our first cache, and I think we have a new hobby.

    Heidi & Paul <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_camping.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Camping"> are MostlyOK http://community.webshots.com/user/mostlyok
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> '94 Starcraft Space Flyer
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_jeep.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Jeep"> '05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
    If its got zippers and Velcro it's got to be fun!
     
  4. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe New Member

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    Have you checked over at the gc.com forums? You will definately be able to find the info. However, if you do go over there, be warned that the people using the forums aren't as nice as the folks around here. There are many over there that resent the newbies starting to play their games.

    I have a Magellan, but I'm pretty sure that you can geocache just fine with that GPSr. You may not be able to plan a road trip using the geocaches as way points without the Garmin software. The software products tend to be road mapping software.

    F_M

    Nights camping in 2007: 19
    2006: 14
    2006 Nissan Armada & 2006 Fleetwood Bayside
    My camping pics
    <font color=blue>Mid-Atlantic Campers - <i>Camp tnereffiD</i></font id=blue>
     
  5. Bummer72

    Bummer72 Lancaster, PA

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    You should still be able to get an arrow toward your geocache waypoint, but without the mapping software, you won't have a trackline overlaid on a picture/map, that's all. I've found all my gc's by just following the arrow on my GPSr screen. It's a fun time, Enjoy!!!

    Doug Rice, Lancaster PA <img src=../Images/flags/us.gif border=0 align=middle alt="United States"><img src=../Images/flags/us-coastguard.jpg border=0 align=middle alt="US Coast Guard"> <> DW Heather, M.Div. <> DS Andrew <> DS Benjamin
     
  6. phipps

    phipps Member

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    I have a Vista C and I use it for geocaching without the Garmin maps. I have ordered the map software, but for traveling rather than geocaching. I use the geocaching mode on my Vista for geo caching.

    I've asked several questions on the gc.com forums and the replies have all been pleasant.

    Gary N8WSQ

    Charlotte DW
    Gary Lee DS
    Kortney DD

    1997 GMC Sierra
    1997 Camplite 2218

    www.geocaching.com
     
  7. phipps

    phipps Member

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    Duplicate post......sorry

    Edited by - phipps on February 07 2008 17:57:41
     
  8. scpopupcamper

    scpopupcamper New Member

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    I use my etrex legend...and It even has some major highways on it....you'lll be fine...I'm martyray59 @ geocaching.com

    99 GMC Yukon or
    98 Cheyenne
    chased by an '04 Hemlock
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  9. Woblesmom

    Woblesmom Member

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    Thanks everyone. Based on replies, I think it may be best to spend on the software. Why have all the GPS functionality if we're not going to take advantage of it, right? Uugh! so expensive!
     
  10. phipps

    phipps Member

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    The software doesn't really give you any more functionality as far as geocaching is concerned. It simply gives you more detailed road maps. I can easily navigate to a cache without the detailed maps using my Vista C. The arrow tells you which direction the cache is in and you just meander around until you get there.

    Gary N8WSQ

    Charlotte DW
    Gary Lee DS
    Kortney DD

    1997 GMC Sierra
    1997 Camplite 2218

    www.geocaching.com
     
  11. litehiker

    litehiker New Member

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    Listen to phipps, he is correct. The salesman was trying to sell you something you don't need. To find a 'cache, just get the coords from GC.com and load them into your GPSr. I have a lowly Magellan Explorist 300, an old, basic GPSr. It doesn't even have a USB cable, so no way of adding anything-software or memory. I have to manually enter coords, but once I do, I put it on map screen and follow the arrow. When I get within a mile of the cache, I switch to the compass screen and follow the arrow. Your unit has way more advanced features than mine, so in my opinion you don't need to buy a thing, except a premium membership to the geocaching website so you can run pocket queries(PQs) and load your GPSr with lots of 'caches and go for it! Spend some time reading the forums over on the geocaching site, everything you need to know is there. I hope you get it all sorted out, it is a great way to get out and explore.

    Just got nu2me 1987 Palomino CXL<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    '00 Toyota Tacoma<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
    learning as I go, this site HELPS ALOT
    countdown to 1st trip of '08 is ON<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Happy Camper">
     
  12. Woblesmom

    Woblesmom Member

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    Thank you so much. I've still a good bit to learn, but I feel better now. At least my naivete is not so unusual as it sounds like some of you actually had similar questions in the beginning. We're gonna throw caution to the wind and just get out there and give it a shot this weekend. Put this new equipment to work! The thrill of the hunt will keep us going til we figure out our GPS!!! Again, thanks for replies. Very helpful!

    Mauricio <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Happy Camper">, Tamara <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Big Smile">,
    and our furry children Woble and Patella
    '82 Coleman Redwood 5 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
    "You never know where you're gonna be 'til you get there."
     
  13. phipps

    phipps Member

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    You'll love it!! My son and I are impatiently waiting for the weather to cooperate up here so we can get out again.

    Gary N8WSQ

    Charlotte DW
    Gary Lee DS
    Kortney DD

    1997 GMC Sierra
    1997 Camplite 2218

    www.geocaching.com
     

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