Making a Pocket Query

Depending on the GPS equipment you have, you may need to understand <i>the how</i> of making a pocket query. With a pocket query you can get current information about geocaches in a specific geographical area when you are heading out on the hunt for geocaches at that location.

There are a host of GPS units available, and while many are ideal for geocaching, quite a few are oriented to those using the GPS for travelling or hiking. As such, their manuals and websites, at least so far as we’ve been able to see, don’t provide much information about making a pocket query for geocaching.

We remedy that here. Here is how you go about making a pocket query for geocaching.

Making a Pocket Query

For purposes of example, let’s say that today we want to find geocaches in  Watertown New York, and then, maybe afterwards, pop in to the Salmon Run Mall when we’re done geocaching! No, Salmon Run Mall has nothing to do with geocaching, it’s just a nice mall in upstate New York. 🙂

In order to find the most current list of geocaches in Watertown NY, we will make a pocket query to identify the caches we want to chase, and then get that information into our GPS device.

As you read down this page, you will find a step by step method of us making a pocket query. At the end of the insructions, there will be a link to a .pdf of the whole process that you can download and print off (if you wish) to have the instructions handy right beside you as you work on making your first pocket query.

First we sign in to our Premium Account at geocaching.com, and we will see a page similar to that shown below.

Making a geocaching pocket query

Then we click on the link outlined in red – “Create a new query”.

This brings us to a page on geocaching.com that has a number of fields to fill in, shown in this next image. We have broken the page up into chunks, working from the top to the bottom, to make it easier to understand what the information is that the page needs us to enter.

The first field asks for a name for this pocket query, and the day you wish to run it. We input the name we wish to use for this pocket query , and in the image you can see we have already entered Watertown NY.

When you are making a pocket query, use whatever name you wish to identify it by. It makes sense to use a name that identifies the geographical area you wish to search on your next geocaching outing, as you will end up eventually with a number of pocket queries and you’ll wantto be able to tell them apart.

Making a pocket query for geocaching

And, we have already checked the “Sat” button as it is Saturday today, and we want to have the results today, as opposed to selecting a different day of the week to run and receive the pocket query on. For example, if you were planning to do a geocache hunt on an upcoming day, and you absolutely had to have the latest geocaches before you headed out, it would make some sense to run the query the day of or the day before you plan on geocache hunting. You can pre-select that day in this box and have the query run every week for that day, or you can  select run the query just the once on the day selected, and then the system deletes the day choice for that query and won’t run it again unless you request the system do so.

Of course,  if you wanted to regularly update your pocket query, and then your hand-held GPS, you need only to uncheck the dot inside “Uncheck the day of the week after the query runs” and then, every week on the same day, you will get an updated pocket query with these same specifications which you can then upload to your hand held GPS upon your receipt.

Now it is time to input the number of caches you wish returned for this pocket query and also to select the type of caches we want to find.

Geocaching pocket queryWe have entered 100 as the number of geocaches we want found in this pocket query. You can enter any number you wish, though if you enter over 500, there may be some issues with the resulting file size being too large. We tend to keep each pocket query cache numbers well under 500 as it makes a smaller file for the system to handle. The larger the file the more memory your GPS will need to handle the larger file. Also, we have never been able to search and find anywhere near 100 geocaches in one day (We know, some folks have done so, yet we haven’t) but if we ran out of geocaches to find we would just run another pocket query centered on a slightly different area.

As shown in the photo above, we then get to select what type of cache this query will return. We tend to stick with traditional caches early on, then we might go back and change this to the more unusual caches on another query. You can select any or all, whatever you wish, whatever your preference.

Making a pocket query instructions continue here.

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