Geocaching

GC1.) What does the Colorado's paperless geocaching mode do for me?
GC2.) How do I download geocaches into my Colorado?
GC3.) Can I use GSAK to download geocaches to my Colorado?
GC4.) How many geocaches can I load onto my Colorado?
GC5.) Can the Colorado load geocaches from multiple gpx files? Is there a limit?
GC6.) Does the Colorado have a gpx file size limit?
GC7.) How do I mark a Geocache as "found" or "did not find"?
GC8.) What if I mark a cache "found" by mistake? Is there a way to correct this?
GC9.) Can I delete Geocaches?
GC10.) Can I modify a Geocache?
GC11.) Now that I've found some caches how do I use fieldnotes to log my caches?
GC12.) Can I enter text on my Colorado as part of the log entry and have that text show up as part of my fieldnotes?
GC13.) Does the Colorado timestamp my finds? Can I get the timestamp to show up in my logs when I use fieldnotes?
GC14.) How are child waypoints handled?
GC15.) Can I load geocaches into the Colorado as POI's instead of Geocaches? How do I do it?
GC16.) Can I load geocaches into the Colorado as Waypoint's instead of Geocaches? How do I do it?
GC17.) Are Terracaching's gpx files supported?
GC18.) Can I customize the look of the geocache page?
Default view
Compass View (press Down once)
Map View (press Down twice)
GC19.) Can I autoroute to a Geocache?
GC20.) How come I can't get my fieldnotes to upload properly to geocaching.com (and I use GSAK)?
GC21.) I've deleted the gpx files on my Colorado containing my geocaches but they still show up in the Geocache List. Why?
GC22.) After I've entered a fieldnote for a geocache how to go back and edit or view the fieldnote?
GC23.) Why do the geocache descriptions on the Colorado contain garbled html characters?



General information and issues with waypoints, POIs and geocache handling can be found on the Waypoints page.

GC1.) What does the Colorado's paperless geocaching mode do for me?


Geocaching mode in the Colorado allows you to download a gpx file such as a Groundspeak pocket query (aka PQ) containing geocaches onto the Colorado. Information including the geocache name, GCID, coordinates, type, difficulty, terrain, owner, description, trackables, logs and hint are available to read on the on the Colorado.

In addition you can mark caches as found, not found or in need of maintenance while in the field. Once you return to your PC you can upload your find data (i.e. the caches, dates and type of log) to Groundspeak using the Field Note support which streamlines the process of logging your finds.

The Colorado maintains two lists of caches, the Unfound List and the Found List. Caches that get loaded into the Colorado from a gpx file are put into the appropriate list depending on their found status. The Unfound cache list is the default list you will see when selecting Shortcuts->Geocaches. Once a cache is marked as found it is removed from this list and put on the Found List. The Found List is visible by selecting Shortcuts->Geocaches->Options->Show Found.

GC2.) How do I download geocaches into my Colorado?


There are three ways to download geocaches directly from geocaching.com. You need to be a premium member to use 2) and 3) below. Non-premium members can use option 1) but get only limited information downloaded to the Colorado.

Connect your Colorado to your computer and do one of the following:

  1. Goto the cache page you would like to download to your Colorado and select the "Send to GPS" button. Select the Colorado as the device and click Write. This only allows you to download one cache at a time to your Colorado. You will need to have Communicator installed in order for this to work.
  2. Goto the cache page and click the "GPX eXchange file" button and select "download file" in your browser. Once the gpx file is downloaded to your computer copy it to [drive]:\Garmin\GPX . This only allows you to download one cache at a time.
  3. Create and run a Pocket Query. Once you receive the pocket query, unzip the file and copy both gpx files to [drive]:\Garmin\GPX. Geocaches will show up as geocaches and child waypoints will show up as waypoints on the Colorado. This works for up to 500 geocaches (the limit of the pocket query).

After completing one of the three steps above, disconnect, power on the Colorado and the caches will be visible in Shortcuts->Geocaches.

GC3.) Can I use GSAK to download geocaches to my Colorado?


Yes. Gpx files exported from GSAK work just the same as Groundspeak's PQ gpx files. There is also a very useful Colorado Export GSAK macro that will automatically locate the Colorado and create the GPX file in the proper location in the device. It includes a form to allow the user to control which caches are exported.

Note that versions of GSAK prior to 7.5 do not support direct transfer with the Colorado. Version 7.5 of GSAK added native support for USB mass storage devices like the Colorado so that the GPS>Send Waypoints and GPS>Receive Waypoints function will work if you have properly configured the GPS device.

GC4.) How many geocaches can I load onto my Colorado?


The Colorado supports up to a maximum of 2000 geocaches (in addition to the 1000 waypoint limit). The Colorado also supports a maximum of 200 gpx files. If you exceed either the 2000 geocache limit or the 200 file limit the Colorado will warn you.

GC5.) Can the Colorado load geocaches from multiple gpx files? Is there a limit?


Yes, but there is a limit of 200 gpx files in version 2.54 forward. Prior to that (2.51) it was 127 files. If the gpx files are overlapping (i.e. contain the same cache) then only one instance of the cache will show up on the Colorado.

Note: If you use "Send to GPS" every time you click "Send to GPS" this downloads one gpx file to the Colorado. Over time these files can accumulate and result in caches not being loaded if you exceed the 200 file limit. You should periodically delete gpx files in [drive]:\Garmin\GPX that are no longer needed and/or use Pocket Queries as described above.

GC6.) Does the Colorado have a gpx file size limit?


Testing on newer releases indicates that there is not a size limit, but in early releases (i.e. 2.5 or before) if the total size of all gpx files exceeded 8MB-10MB the Colorado would fail to display some or all geocaches. Typically, if you use PQs you will not exceed 10MB because PQs only contain 5 logs per cache keeping the file sizes smaller. However, if you use GSAK and do not limit the number of logs to 5 you can get very large gpx files even if you stay under the 2000 cache limit.

GC7.) How do I mark a Geocache as "found" or "did not find"?


When you have a geocache selected goto Options->Log Attempt. You can mark the cache as "found" or "did not find". In either case the symbol of the cache will change to an open treasure chest. If you mark a cache as "found" it will be moved from the Unfound List to the Found List.

GC8.) What if I mark a cache "found" by mistake? Is there a way to correct this?


Yes. Goto Shortcuts->Geocaches->Options->Show Found->[select geocache]->Options->Log Attempt->Unattempted. This will put the cache back on the Unfound List.

GC9.) Can I delete Geocaches?


No. You cannot delete geocaches on the Colorado. The only way to remove geocaches from the Colorado is to connect the unit to your PC and either delete the gpx files containing the geocache(s) or download new gpx files that don't contain the caches (i.e. found caches) that you want removed.

Note: There has been significant debate over whether this is a feature or a bug. Personally I feel like this is a feature and should be left as is for two reasons 1) it makes management of geocaches easier since the only source of geocaches is gpx files and 2) you can't inadvertently modify or delete a geocache in the field.

GC10.) Can I modify a Geocache?


No. You cannot modify a Geocache on the Colorado. If you are doing a multi-cache, for example, and want to enter the coordinates for the next stage you'll need to mark a waypoint. You cannot navigate to this waypoint in geocaching mode.

GC11.) Now that I've found some caches how do I use fieldnotes to log my caches?


Connect your Colorado to your PC and navigate to this link http://www.geocaching.com/my/uploadfieldnotes.aspx . The instructions on this page will tell you how to upload your fieldnote file in order to streamline the process of logging your found caches. Fieldnotes automate the process of logging caches you have found by bringing you directly to the log page for each found cache. The log date and log type are pre-selected based on the note you made in the field.

Fieldnotes are saved on the Colorado in a file called [drive]:\Garmin\geocaching_visits.txt . This file contains all of your fieldnotes; one line per cache and each line contains the GCID of the cache, date and timestamp of your attempt, the type of fieldnote (e.g. found, did not find, needs maintenance, unattempted) and an optional text comment. As part of the process of logging your cache you will be uploading this file to groundspeak to automate the process of logging your caches. This file will grow as you log caches and it is recommended that you purge this file once you have uploaded the notes to groundspeak. There is no known file size limit, but several users have seen issues going past 1000 fieldnotes.

Currently there are several issues with the way Groundspeak handles fieldnotes. Most of these issues revolve around problems with how logs are dated based on timestamps in the fieldnotes. The issues are documented in this thread.

GC12.) Can I enter text on my Colorado as part of the log entry and have that text show up as part of my fieldnotes?


Yes. The Colorado geocache logging interface was enhanced in 2.54 to allow the user to add text logs to the field note. After you "Log Attempt" on a geocache you will be asked if you would like to "Add Comment" for that field note.

GC13.) Does the Colorado timestamp my finds? Can I get the timestamp to show up in my logs when I use fieldnotes?


Yes, the file that is uploaded from the Colorado called geocache_visits.txt has a complete date and timestamp for when you marked the cache. There is a Colorado FieldNotes Import GSAK macro which converts the timestamp data so that the timestamp will show up in your GSAK logs. There currently isn't a way to automatically get the timestamp into your log at geocaching.com.

Macro/script to copy the timestamp over into the log field and regenerate the fieldnote file?

GC14.) How are child waypoints handled?


Any waypoints in a gpx file are loaded as Waypoints on the CO, including child waypoints. Child waypoints have no special association with the parent Geocache on the CO other than the part of the GCID which is embedded in the name of the child waypoint and geocache.

GC15.) Can I load geocaches into the Colorado as POI's instead of Geocaches? How do I do it?


Yes. See this FAQ for instructions on how to create custom POI databases containing geocaches.

GC16.) Can I load geocaches into the Colorado as Waypoint's instead of Geocaches? How do I do it?


Yes. The easiest way to do this is to load the gpx file of geocaches into Mapsource and download them to the Colorado as waypoints. This can also be done with GSAK using this macro .

GC17.) Are Terracaching's gpx files supported?


By default the CO will load terracaches from TC gpx files as Waypoints not Geocaches.

If you would like to have terrrcaches on your Colorado as Geocaches you can import the TC gpx file into GSAK, run this macro on the database which contains your terracaches, and export a gpx file from GSAK to the Colorado.

Detailed Notes: The CO uses the "id" field in the gpx file to index geocaches. It expects this field to be a unique integer id. By default all Terracaches get exported from GSAK with id=1 so only one terracache will show up on the Colorado if you export without running the above macro. The macro above will give each terracache in your database a unique integer id which should not overlap with the Groundspeak id space.

GC18.) Can I customize the look of the geocache page?


Yes. When you select a geocache you can change the look of the main geocache page and function of the Enter button but you are only given three pre-configured options: default view, compass view and map view. Once you've selected a geocache use the Up/Down buttons on the Rock'n Roller to select which view you like the best and optionally hit Enter to see more view specific details.

The default view will always be visible when you select a cache, the setting is not sticky.

Default view


Main page: Cache summary, bearing arrow, distance and time to cache
Enter: Cache description

143.JPG
Default View
149.JPG
Default View - Enter

Compass View (press Down once)


Main page: Cache name and type, bearing arrow w/compass, distance and time to cache
Enter: Full compass view

158.JPG
Compass View
165.JPG
Compass View - Enter

Map View (press Down twice)


Main page: Cache name and type, bearing arrow, distance and time to cache
Enter: Full map view

173.JPG
Map View
186.JPG
Map View - Enter

GC19.) Can I autoroute to a Geocache?


Yes. First make sure you have autorouting maps like City Navigator installed and selected and that you have the Guidance Method under Routing set to On Road. Normally switching to the Automotive profile will accomplish the later.

Then select Shortcuts->Where To?->Geocache->[geocache name]->Options->Go To Location. This will exit geocaching mode and put you into the standard waypoint/POI goto mode which will autoroute to the geocache.

GC20.) How come I can't get my fieldnotes to upload properly to geocaching.com (and I use GSAK)?


When you export your geocaches in GSAK (Ctrl-G) make sure that the "Waypoint Name" field is set to %code. Setting this to anything else will break the fieldnote function.

GC21.) I've deleted the gpx files on my Colorado that contain my geocaches but they are still showing up in the Geocache List. Why?


See this FAQ.

GC22.) After I've entered a fieldnote for a geocache how to go back and edit or view the fieldnote?


You cannot view or edit previously entered fieldnotes on the Colorado. The only way to view this information is connect to your computer and read the [CO drive]:\Garmin\geocaching_visits.txt file with a text editor.

GC23.) Why do the geocache descriptions on the Colorado contain garbled html characters?


If you download caches to your Colorado using SendToGPS (Garmin Communicator) some caches which have a lot of html tables and formatting in their descriptions do not display well on the Oregon. Downloading and copying the GPX file directly to the unit or using a Pocket Query avoids the issue.