Geocaching is our favorite hobby and is great fun for the whole family! We started geocaching a year ago after a friend introduced it to us. Geocaching involves finding hidden caches using GPS coordinates posted to the Geocacing.com website. Inside the caches is a log and usually something to trade. Geocacing.com provides a utility where you can click a check box and download selected geocaches to a Geocaching specific .loc file. Usually this file is used by a Geocaching provided program that allows you to download the waypoints to your GPS unit if you have the necessary cords and software (which we don’t of course) but if provides all the necessary information about the location of the cache. If you look at the file you will notice that it is an XML formatted file which means it is very easy to transfer the file between different programs.

To Download Geocache Waypoints from .loc file to Microsoft Streets & Trips 2004:
1) Go to Geocaching.com and click the check box(es) next to all the caches you wish to upload to Streets & Trips.
2) Click on Download Waypoints
3) When prompted save the file somewhere you will be able to find again 😉
4) Browse to where that file is located and open it with Microsoft Excel
— To do this select “Open With” or if prompted select “Choose from program list”
— Select Microsoft Excel
5) Now that you have the file open delete the first row (Select from the File Menu: Edit – Delete)
6) Save this file as a .xls Excel file
7) Open up Microsoft Streets & Trips
8) Click on Data from the File Menu and Select “Import Data Wizard”
9) Now you are going to set up the import with the correct columns
10) You want to Set the Latitude (Column Header = /waypoint/coord/@lat) and Longitude (Column Header = /waypoint/coord/@lon) columns to the correct ones
11) I also set the GC#### (Column Name = /waypoint/name/@id) as Name and the Cache Name (Column Header = /waypoint/name) as Name2 so they will appear on the Streets & Trips Thumbtack
12) Set all of the other columns as
13) Click Finish and thats it now you have all your Geocaches marked on Streets & Trips as named thumbtacks on your map

Note: My wife really considers this Geo-Cheating but sometimes it is nice to get an idea of your surrounding caches and find a way to those really hard to find ones. Just make sure you keep your caching maps hidden if your Geocaching partner(s) feel the same way.

Keep on Caching!
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