GSAK – Geocaching Swiss Army Knife is a (quoted straight from their website) “all in one Geocaching and waypoint management tool. Major features include: Multiple databases, sending/receiving waypoints to GPSr, Google maps, conversion to many mapping formats, PDA output (including CacheMate support), HTML output, extensive searching, macro support, backup and restore, distance/direction from other waypoints (including caches, locations, post codes) and much more. GSAK only runs on Windows operating systems (2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7)”. You can download the latest version from their website at GSAK.net.
SO what does GSAK do – quite a lot but I guess the best way to explain some of the things is to tell you how Nana & I use it.
1) You can have multiple databases. We have several, one for OUR FINDS, one for OUR HIDES, one for caches we need to find in the peninsula hides we haven’t found yet and another for the southside caches yet to be found, and then others as we plan trips – for example the trip to Pennsylvania we just took had its own database. Having these separate databases lets you keep things organized and GSAK can be customized as you like.
2) We also use it to generate the stats for our Geocaching.com profile page. This report can be customized with as little or as many different charts as you like. Take a look at our profile page and check out all the different information available.
3) Let’s say you want to go geocaching in the Kempsville area. You can run a query and download it directly into GSAK. Let’s say you ran a query for the 25 caches around Kempsville that you hadn’t already found. Once that query is in GSAK – you can tell from one screen the difficulty and terrain of all 25 caches, you can tell which have not been found (or as we use – tell which caches haven’t been found in the last year (if applicale), what the last date each was found, the distance from Kempsville, the types of caches and all sorts of information. Then you can edit that list to delete certain caches you don’t want to go find, add others, etc. Once you have your list as you like it – you can then output it directly to your GPS and even to Excel for a print out of your list (Nana & I use a list most of the time so we can take notes on each cache even though our GPS devices allow paperless caching). You even have a macro available that will tell you the optimum route for getting to these caches!
4) Once you return home, you connect your GPS to GSAK and it can import your finds and then it has the ability for you to enter Notes for each cache and your logs. Say you found 20 and DNF’d 1 from your list. GSAK allows you to edit all your logs and then with one click it will upload all your logs (finds and DNFs). Along with the logs you can also dip your trackables, drop them and even pick up trackables that are in each cache – all from one place and then upload everything with one click!
5) We also keep a separate database for Puzzle caches that we haven’t found yet. As we work out the solution, we enter the coordinates in the notes section and then download that cache information directly into our GPS unit.
There are lots of other nice bells and whistles – too many to go into here!
the current GSAK class I have scheduled for this Sunday is full – but if you are interested – let me know and I will schedule another real soon!
As always – STAY SAFE & Keep Caching!
SNAP – Suffolk Nana & Papa