Using a GPS for Geocaching

There are some tricks to using a GPS for geocaching, depending on what make and model of hand held GPS you have.

One model is the Geomate Jr and we write about that geocaching GPS on this site. To briefly recap the information there, one of the things we like about the Geomate Jr. Is then you turn it on, and it automatically finds many of the caches within a few miles of wherever you are. Nothing else is necessary for you to do to go geocaching.

Drawbacks of the Geomate Jr GPS

Drawbacks of this model of GPS is that it will not find all of the geocaches where you are.  It will only find the basic hides, which, in itself, may be just what you are looking for.

Further, the geocache files on the Geomate Jr will only be as current as the last time you downloaded the geocache files to it.  It  cannot update the files automatically.

The Geomate Jr doesn’t provide any clues or notes about a specific geocache. You may spend time chasing a geocache, searching for quite some time, not find it, then check on line when back home, to find that the cache you spent so much time looking for had been disabled or destroyed and wasn’t even there any more.

So, when using your GPS for geocaching, you may want a more sophisticated model to address some of these concerns. We write about some of the more capable models, and yes, they are more expensive, on this site.

Getting geocache information into your hand held GPS

When we acquired our Garmin Dakota 20, purchased specifically for geocaching, we found that the manual really didn’t provide an meaningful details about how to get caches from whatever source there was into our hand held GPS.

We learned that when we went to and found a cache, you could instruct the system to download that one, but that seeming tedious. There had to be a better way. There was. It was creating a pocket query.

The link below takes you to the page that details what a pocket query is, where do you get them, how do you specify what information you want, and how to get it from the source to your hand held GPS device.

In order to accomplish this, your hand held GPS device must be one that is connectable to your computer with a USB (should have come with the device when you acquired it), and your computer must have internet access.

When acquiring your GPS device, you want to ensure that it is configured for paperless geocaching. If it is, it will most likely have the USB cord to connect to your internet capable computer.

So, what’s a pocket query? Here is where you find out!


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