Paperless Caching with the Garmin Colorado

Paperless Caching with the
Garmin Colorado, Oregon or
Dakota GPS
Contents
Before you start ..................................................................................................................................... 1 Creating and downloading the Pocket Query........................................................................................ 1 Transfer the GPX file to the Garmin GPS ............................................................................................. 3 Finding Geocaches and Waypoints on the GPS ................................................................................... 4 Before you start
Pocket Queries produce a GPX file which contains all the cache information, the description, hints
and logs. It will also contain any attribute the cache owner has set but to get these you need to make
sure your profile is set to use GPX file version 1.0.1 and not just the default version 1.0.
Go to Your Profile (link on the left when you login) and then Your Account Details (near the top of the
page). The GPX file is set in the box at the bottom of that page.
Creating and downloading the Pocket Query
1. Go to Geocaching.com and create the pocket query: Your Profile – Build Pocket Queries. You
can have a maximum of 1000 caches with each query and may run 5 queries a day.
For more details on how to do PQ’s visit the Knowledge Books article.
2. Fill in the search criteria you want. For the ‘Center Point’ you can choose Home (if you’ve
entered home coordinates in your profile), a cache (by waypoint name) or coordinates which
you can get from Streetmap or Google Maps – click here to find out how.
3. Submit the query and you will get an email. If the PQ is 500 caches or less the PQ file is
emailed to you. If it is over 500 the email gives you a link to your profile where you can
download the PQ file. You can select whether to have it ‘zipped’ up to make the file smaller or
just have the GPX files sent. If it was emailed then save and unzip the file to a folder on your
PC. If it is on your profile then just save the file to a folder on your PC.
Your Profile – showing the PQ’s available to download to the PC
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Below is an email with the PQ file as an attachment which is then saved to the PC. The file is
named 3939116.zip
4. If the file was zipped you need to unzip it. Go to the .zip file, right click on it and in Winzip
select ‘Extract to here’. If the file was separate .gpx files they will be in the folder after saving
them from the email. If you don’t have Winzip there are free programs that can be used to
unzip the file.
5. This is the result.
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Transfer the GPX file to the Garmin GPS
Waypoints and Geocaches are held in the Garmin memory. When you connect the GPS to your PC
you can delete the currently stored Geocaches (GPX files) but you cannot delete the waypoints (child
waypoints like parking and cache stages). Before you connect your GPS to the PC if you want to
delete all the waypoints then go to the Main Menu>Setup>Reset>Delete All Waypoints. If you don’t
do this and then add a new PQ using the method below there may be more waypoints in the PQ than
your GPS can store because the current waypoint memory is nearly full. To check the waypoint
memory go to Main Menu>Setup>Reset>Delete All Waypoints and it shows the % memory used.
1. Now connect the Garmin GPS to your PC with the USB cable. It will switch on and the PC will
detect it. Go to Windows Explorer and navigate to the GPS device – in this example it is an
Oregon 550
2. It shows as Garmin Oregon with two folders, Garmin and Whereigo. In this example the PC
has assigned it as the F drive. The Oregon also has a memory card fitted which shows as
‘Removable Disk’ and has been assigned as the G drive. If you don’t have a memory card this
removable disk won’t show. Please note there may be slight differences with the
Oregon/Dakota but the main folders (Garmin) are the same.
3. Click on the  beside the Garmin folder of the Garmin Oregon (this is a + in Windows XP)
then the  sign beside the GPX folder that appears. There may be a ‘Current’ folder showing
within this GPX folder (see later).
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4. Now copy the two files you ‘unzipped’ earlier (3939116.gpx and 3939116-wpts.gpx) and paste
them into the Garmin/GPX folder on the Oregon.
5. When you switch on the GPS it will load any GPX file from this folder into memory and you will
see the caches listed as Geocaches in the menu. The Current folder is where the GPS stores
your current track information. If you no longer want to keep the GPX files in the GPS or want
to remove old ones and load new ones in then just navigate to this GPX folder and delete ALL
the files there including the Current folder. Then paste the new files in.
Finding Geocaches and Waypoints on the GPS
On the GPS you can then find a geocache and navigate to it. Please note that on the first screen
below the icons have been arranged to suit my Oregon. You can set up this Main Menu from the
settings. Also, on the 3rd screen when you view the list of geocaches you can have them displayed by
GC number or name. I’ve chosen the name. This is done in the settings menu.
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