Paperless geocaching

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Paperless geocaching refers to the use of a Palm or Pocket PC in the field to access the information from the cache pages instead of using pages printed from the web site.

The most efficient way to proceed with Paperless caching is to first become a Premium Member of so you can set up Pocket Queries. Each Pocket Queries can deliver as many as 500 caches in .gpx format. PQs can be based on many different search criteria. Up to 20 PQs can be set up, although only five can be run each day. A membership for is only $3.00 per month or $30.00 per year.

Cachemate is a small program written for the Palm OS that is very useful. It can be downloaded from and registered for the nominal fee of $8.00. Once Cachemate is installed and the .pdb files from Cachemate Convert are imported, the information from the cache page, including the hint, is available on your Palm. There is also a "Log" page where you can report the length of time of the cache search, whether the cache was found or not, and what you took from the cache, what you left in, and information about any Travel Bugs you took or left. When you mark the cache as "Found," it is automatically moved to the "Found" folder in Cachemate. This is very handy for logging your finds on the website when you return from your caching adventure.

Another invaluable program for Paperless caching is GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) available from This is a database program that can be used to filter your .gpx files on all sorts of criteria. After a 21-day trial period, registration for GSAK is $20.00. GSAK can be used to Export files to the Palm, as well as to Mapsend or Mapsouce. It can also be used to send the waypoints to your GPSr.

Before using GSAK, I used about five other programs to do all the things it does.

Although there are free programs that do some of what both Cachemate and GSAK do, these two programs are highly recommended by many people who do Paperless caching.

If you take up Paperless caching, make sure you keep the information in your Palm or Pocket PC database updated. There is nothing quite so frustrating as looking fruitlessly for a cache that is in both your GPSr and your Palm and then finding out it went missing a few weeks earlier.

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