Reached an important milestone

29 07 2010

One of the geocaching targets that I had set myself for 2010 was to reach the milestone of finding 2100 caches. So far this year I have been sucessful in finding nearly 400 caches and so I am really pleased to reach the 2000 milestone. In fact I was so pleased that I rang in to the podcacher podcast and reported it. Whether it will get on to their show or not I don’t know. Finding a further 100 caches before the end of the year should be feasible.

As far as the other targets are concerned I am not doing as well as I thought I would be. One target was to find caches on at least 20 days of the year where I had not found a cache earlier. In fact I have been successful in logging finds on all the dates in May, June and July! At the start of 2010 I didn’t have a single complete caching month. I have added one more (of the target of 10) D/T combinations that I was aiming for, but I still have to place some caches and find a couple of the really old ones.

Another piece of news is that I am now the proud and confused owner of a Garmin Oregon 450. It is so different from my old Garmin eTrex Legend Cx that I am on a steep learning curve and having to completely rethink how I will do my geocaching in the future.

Oregon 450 showing location of Gammalbron


My spontaneous thoughts after a full day of caching are:

On the positive side
It is much more sensitive and keeps a lock on satellites even indoors or under tree cover (the same can be said of the eTrex Legend HCx that I owned for for a very short period this month) See blog.
All the geocaching details are on the GPS so paperless caching is possible
Field notes could be sent directly to http://www.geocaching.com
Sits nicely in my hand
Can store loads of caches along with their descriptions, logs, hints and so-on (only criticism is that it will be difficult to keep the logs and status of a cache current on the unit but that is not the fault of the unit.

On the negative side
Editing the coordinates for a cache was impossible (could just be me not having found out how to do it)
It was not possible to download the geocaching waypoints from the unit to Mapsource (I like to keep a tracklog of the track I have followed and showing the caches I have visited en-route)
Too many keystrokes to change pages on the GPS
Too much use of graphics, but I guess that computing power is cheap these days. Who needs all those useless background jpgs?
The life of the battery is poorer than before (too many graphics?)
It’s clumsier and heavier than the Legend
No flat side so rolls around on the dashboard in my car

Will I get used to it? I’m sure I will but I will have to modify how I work with Pocket Queries, Field Notes and GSAK. More on the Oregon 450 will come as I get used to it.

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