Soon after I started geocaching, I purchased a Garmin eTrex Legend so that I could have a GPSr of my own. I had used one before and it seemed easy to use. Plus, the price was more affordable at the time considering the options it had. But, even a year and a half later, I’m still learning new things about it. Today, I learned how to project a waypoint, a feature I hadn’t really thought about as an option in the past even though I could have used it.
Earlier this evening, I had planned to grab a bite to eat and was online checking out some places to go. I came across one business that seemed to have some good reviews and decided to go there. On a whim, I looked to see if any caches were nearby and noticed one within walking distance of my destination. It was Find Waldo.
An unknown cache, my first thought was it had something to do with the children’s book series “Where’s Waldo?”. I ended up being wrong and it was merely a play on the name of this particular suburb of Kansas City. The cache description said that I had to go to the posted coordinates and then walk a certain distance in a particular direction, based on True North. I’ve had to do those kinds of caches before, and thanks to a well developed inner compass (thanks to Boy Scouts as a kid), I didn’t think it would be much of a problem. As I went through the motions of reloading my GPSr with local caches again, I took a look at past logs and found several mentions of projecting a waypoint. Once the waypoints were loaded, I grabbed my PDA and hit the road.
When I made it to my destination, I found a spot to park near the starting coordinates. Double checking the information in my PDA, I walked over to the starting coordinates and sat at a bench about twenty feet from where I zeroed out. I then backed out to my main menu and pulled up the cache again. Now, on the eTrex Legend, you select the waypoint you want and it pulls up an information screen with basic info about the waypoint selected. Then, you can select to see a map of it or “Goto” it, which pulls up a screen with a compass, or even change some information if you want. This screen looks like this:
Each screen has two small buttons in the corner, the one that looks like a page with text and the one that looks like an “X”. The X allows you to exit out of this screen, though on some other screens, it will give a few more options. The other button, depending on what screen you are on, provides options for that screen. For this particular screen, it will pull up a menu similar to this:
Now, normally, this will also have the option to “Reposition Here” and “Delete Waypoint”, and it doesn’t have the option “Save As Waypoint”. At this point, you would select “Project Waypoint” and it will pull up a screen that looks almost identical to the Waypoint Information screen you see above.
On this new screen, you are given the option to enter in a new distance and bearing. I entered in the information provided for the cache, and when I selected “Goto”, it brought up the normal compass and it pointed in the direction I was hoping for. Walking in that direction, I found the cache about 20 feet away from where the GPSr zeroed out, which would be accurate since that was about how far away from the starting coordinates I was.
I suspect that with many other GPSr models, you can find this option if you look. Check your manuals if you need to. It is a valuable option when you find those caches that require you to walk a certain distance at a set bearing. I know I’ve run into those on several occasions. Plus, it’s always nice to weed out those options that you didn’t know you could perform with your GPSr.
So while I gained a cache, I gained some knowledge as well. In two days, I’ll be attending a geocaching picnic, so I’ll try to report back afterwords about the event.