GPS help

Discussion in 'Geocaching' started by JEB, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. JEB

    JEB Scout

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    I sure wished there was someone in my area that could help figure out my GPS and how to use it. I need hands on instruction for most technical learning but that comes with my older age I guess. I keep checking the two local colleges for classes but always come up empty. I would love to get into geocaching for the exercise if nothing else.

    any thoughts on where to look for help. I have two gps units. Wife bought me one and someone gave me one.
     
  2. kelpie13

    kelpie13 Tracker

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    I know its probably not in your backyard but there are 3 REI stores in Michigan that probably run a 1 day GPS/Orienteering class. They will also sit down with you and go over your GPS with you. Really good folks.
     
  3. JEB

    JEB Scout

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    Thanks for the tip but the three stores are 180 miles away. All on the east side of the state.
     
  4. Stone

    Stone Supporter, Twirler of Embers

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    Check your local sporting goods store. Here REI as well as Sportsman's Warehouse had the classes.
     
  5. AncientNCO

    AncientNCO Tracker

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    There is a local geocaching club in the North Eastern Illinois area called "GONIL" (geocachers of north eastern Illinois). you can see if there's a local club in your area or log on to http://www.gonil.org/ . This organization has members from surrounding states and host a great forum. I'm sure you could link up with someone near by and get some help with your questions.

    What GPS units do you have? GPS's are notorious for providing the most useless instructions. There tell you everything the unit will do but not practical application. Wish I was closer, I enjoy helping with these matters.
     
  6. Bonekrakker

    Bonekrakker Supporter Supporter

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    Which models do you have? More than likely someone here has experience with them and can help you out with some of the bigger points to get you started.
     
  7. JEB

    JEB Scout

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    NCO (me to by the way) the GPS' that I have are a brand new but older model still in the box, Garmin etrex Vista HCx and a used Magellan explorist 200. The Magellan looks like it may be a bit easier to use.

    I will check out the web site you posted.

    Stone: We have a backpacking specialty store here in town that sells high end back packing gear and GPS's. I asked about a class and they said, "Not in the near future"
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  8. JAY

    JAY Scout

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    I bought a garmin, and am the same as you as far as usage. they have a great bunch of people to help you out if you call them, I still don't know much more then the basics though. I also found a download manual for it and printed it out
     
  9. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Your GPS should have some kind of a user's guide. I would start by reading thru that, and then just poking around with the buttons and menus and seeing what it all does. You can't hurt it by doing that. Just start fooling with it. The basic things you want to be able to do are to make it show you where you are on a map, and then allow you to zoom in and out and move around on a map of the surrounding countryside. Then you can start making waypoints and finding your way back to them. Then you can learn how to put a waypoint into it (like for a geocache) from your computer and then go find it. Take it a step at a time.

    One thing you absolutely must have is the topo map of the area you are interested in, loaded in your GPS. I doubt if your GPS has anything in it, other than some crude scale road maps. But you can buy, for $100 or so, a chip containing all the topo maps for the state of Michigan. Once that's in, you are ready to start using it.

    I would almost say, tho, that your best bet is to make a trip to a place with an REI and have them sell you the topo map chip, help you put it in, and then show you some basics of how to use it. Or you may find quite a bit of expertise at a local sporting goods store. Most serious hunters and anybody who goes out on those big lakes around there, probably have, and uses a GPS. The people at the store may be able to point you to somebody local who knows about GPS and is willing to share his knowledge with you. But once you get some maps in it, and learn the basics, the best teacher will be yourself.
     
  10. Mazer

    Mazer Supporter Supporter

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    Which GPS Units do you own. The best I can offer is to get a Geocaching Account (free) and hook up with someone in your area who is into Geocaching....I checked the website and put your Location Information into the system, there are over 100 Geocaches in your area (this means techies and nerds). Hope this helps, good luck *PS - Some GPS Units are much easier to use than others are. I love my Garmin - Magellans not so much
     
  11. doulos

    doulos Guide

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    I picked up a DVD that takes you step by step through each function. Produced by Bennett Media. Google your GPS's name + DVD.
     
  12. Stone

    Stone Supporter, Twirler of Embers

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    I had a hard time learning the GPS.

    I took it waterfowling with me, put the boat in the water and set a way point. Motored to where I wanted to hunt, hunted all day, and consulted the gps for the easy trip back to the boat ramp. Despite all my care, it told me I averaged 62 miles an hour. Period. No waypoints.

    So, next I let a coworker use it on an elk hunt with the condition that he show me how to use it when he got back...I'm a visual learner with techie stuff, too. Well, my coworker--who specialized in GIS computer stuff at work--came back from his week long elk hunt and I asked him how it went with the gps. He said he couldn't figure out how to turn it on.

    I gave it to my son...it was a Garmin.
     
  13. Jfd2

    Jfd2 Scout

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    The garmin vista is a most excellent unit. Get topo and download your immediate area. Walk around with it and see what it shows you. There is a lot of settings you can change but always set north up. You can see pipelines, electric easements, unimproved roads, springs , seeps. You backtrack shows on the screen all the time unless you turn it off.
     
  14. DocSavage

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    Try to find and contact a few surveyors in your area. You should be able to find one that will help you out. I myself have taught more than a few how to use them. Although we surveyors generally use high end, very precise units, a lot of use also have the smaller handhelds for various reasons. Give a couple of them a shout. I'm sure there'll be one that will give you a hand.

    Doc
     
  15. MiddleWolf

    MiddleWolf Guide

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    I'll wager that YouTube has a ton of videos that can help, and you can replay - stop- or backup as needed. I've done that for a couple of items pertaining to hobbies and the repair of my wife's jewelry.
     
  16. wiiawiwb

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  17. wiiawiwb

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