Thursday, 30 June 2011

Holiday Geocaching

Do you go geocaching on your holiday? Or do you go on holiday and find some geocaches? What's the difference? Let me explain...

You can create a pocket query with all caches in your holiday region. When arrived, you can visit all the places described in the tour guide book and take a look at your GPSr every now and then to check if there is a cache on the left or right side of the road. If you spent your holiday like this, then you go on holiday and find some caches.

I have just returned form my multi city trip holiday to Munich, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. We went geocaching on our holiday. This is how we did it:

1. Put the tour guide book in your backpack and leave it there (you only need it to find a good restaurant).
2. Go to the website and click 'Hide and Seek a cache'.
3. Enter the address where you are going on holiday and a radius, eg. Budapest, 1 mile and click go.
4. Click on the blue favorites ribbon to get the cache with the most favorites points on top.
5. Now you see that 'Gellert Hill' is the place to go in Budapest. Also download at least the other first 9 caches to you GPSr. This is the to do list for your holiday. That is what I call geocaching on holiday.

If you do the same for Vienna you will see that the 'Old Wiener Spaziergang' city tours by Lachwurzn are quite popular. Why do we geocachers need a tour guide book? Have an even better holiday this summer!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Which Garmin for geocaching?

On may 18th the new Garmin GPSr model Montana was released. Last week also the new Etrex series was announced. Together with the already existing GPSMAP62, Oregon and Dakota series, there are already 5 options for a geocaching GPSr within the Garmin brand only. All models have the high sensitive receiver, support custom maps (except Etrex 10) and support paperless geocaching which makes them all perfect geocaching devices. Which one is most suitable for geocaching?

The Etrex model is the cheapest and most basic model and comes in 3 versions, the 10, 20 and 30. The 10 does not support maps, which comes in handy when geocaching so this one is not the best for geocaching. The 20 & 30 models support the maps where the 30 also has a built in electronic compass and a barometric altimeter.

Compared to the Etrex, the GPSMAP62 has some more buttons to push which makes operating the GPSr more easy. The difference between the GPSMAP62 and GPSMAP62s is exactly the same as the difference between the Etrex 20 and 30.

The Dakota series has a totally different user interface, a touchscreen. Difference between the 10 and 20 version is again the built in electronic compass and a barometric altimeter.

The Oregon is similar to the Dakota 20 but has a wider touchscreen interface. Nice feature of the Oregon is that it supports Wherigo, which none of the other models do. The top range version also has a camera.

Top of the range model is the Montana. This model has an even wider touchscreen compared to the Oregon and can be used in both landscape and portrait mode. The Montana also supports spoken routing directions, so you can use it in your car. Nice, but I would prefer a field GPSr which communicates with the built in GPS in my car, so I can sent the parking waypoint to my car GPS, instead of a GPS that I can use in and outside the car. Camera is included in the top range version of the Montana.

My personal top 5:
1. Still the Oregon. It is the only one which can do everthing, including Wherigo.
2. Etrex 20. Cheap and can do almost everything. To be honest, I have never used the electronic compass on my Oregon.
3. GPSMAP62. If you do not like the touchscreen of the Oregon and you want easy buttons to push, the GPSMAP62 is perfect for you.
4. Dakota. If you want a touchscreen, buy the Oregon.
5. Montana. Large, heavy, expensive and still does not have all the functionality I would like to have.