Geocaching help please

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 16:53
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I have a few newbie queries and need a little help please.
With 2 upcoming trips, thought I'd try to get setup to find some caches where we're going. I am a little confused about how to research/download the cache locations for where I'm going. The Geocaching website is confusing and hard to use. I can't find a Map to zoom around to find what I want. I found a zone section, so want to know if I can download all caches in that zone in one batch, or do I have to pick separate ones, and do I have to have the app first to do this? If not, what other options.

I have just changed phones (to Android) and note the Geocaching Android app has very poor reviews (and it costs $9.99)... so is there another option?


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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 17:00

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 17:00
hi Michelle
get hold of Dave Jones
dave@davejones.com.au
he,s a geocaching nut .an a good mate
cheers mechpete
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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:53

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:53
Hi Pete. I suspect one of the geocaches Michelle will be looking for was placed by Dave Jones when we were at the "village". Robin knows where it is, somewhere up the southern end of the old hospital if my memory serves me correctly. Cheers, leigh
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Follow Up By: Penchy - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 15:20

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 15:20
I wouldn't be putting other peoples personal contact details on a public forum. But that's just me.
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Reply By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 19:02

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 19:02
Hello Michelle

No expert but on my Android phone I have GeoBeagle and also C:geo. I cant comment on which is better or worse as rarely use them (tend to use "proper" GPS). I am not 100% sure but I think with both you need to be a (premium?) member of geocaching.com so you can enter user name and get downloads when out and about - both have function to download caches in your current vicinity..obviously requires phone reception/data download.

There are different levels of membership at geocaching.com and again I don't know if free membership gives you enough privileges to get comprehensive cache listing....I suppose you will have to try and see (unless some here can help).

ON my PC I use GSAK which is basically a cache management program..it also has connectivity to geocaching.com (requires paid membership for full functions) and you can enter in coords and get download of closest caches - handy (then upload to GPS) . I am not sure if you can transfer these to phone and then access but maybe you can? You can export in many formats. (GSAK is made by WA guy!!)

You may wish to sign onto the Geocaching Australia Forum . If you ask your question there you may (will) get a better answer.

Hope this heads you in the right direction.

Cheers
Greg

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Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 19:26

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 19:26
Michelle we are keen cachers and think its a great way to discover new places. I have to recommend that for a small outlay, you can't beat actually buying a GPS. They are really reasonable in price now and give you everything. You'll be able to download everything from web in batches etc and search by areas where you know you are going. Plus you then know that you are covered for areas where there is no phone reception. Also one thing to check is that you are using the geocache site and not the .au version, which in our opinion was rubbish.
Once you use the geocache site you can search via name/postcode and name area. Any questions or need for demo, please get in touch. I live local.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:07

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:07
Ahah! I knew there was something odd about the two sites. The au one keeps referring back to the .com one for listings anyway. Confusing!

I just might need to take you up on that offer - give me a few more days to get my head around some of this. Will MM you. thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 06:59

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 06:59
An MM from MM. Perfect.lol
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Reply By: Member - DesertDWLR - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 19:26

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 19:26
Hi Michelle,
Personally I have found it too hard using a phone for geocaching and prefer to use GSAK geocache program on the computer and transfer geocache information to my Garmin Gps.
You need to be a premium member of geocache.com to download more than one cache at a time, as a premium member you can also do area searches and search along a route you intend to travel with the ability to set set distace away from that route. You are also able to download the caches as GPX file which gives you a lot more information such as notes and hints.
Before I became a premium member I use to download the caches one at a time, put them into GSAK then copy paste the additional information, slow and painful. Now it is just a matter of using Geocaching.com.access in GSAK set a centre point and radius from there and GSAK downloads all caches automatically.
I can then 'Send Waypoints' to my Gps from within GSAK, its an easy matter then to search for nearby caches from within the Gps. It is possible to record the find on the Gps, transfer that info into GSAK and upload to geocache.com.
Hope that was of some help

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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:05

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:05
OK, so sounds like I'm being a numpty by wanting to do this without using a GPS, however I was expecting that an App might call the phone's inbuilt GPS and therefore would still work without phone service?? I think we still have an old handheld Garmin lying about but was hoping to bypass using it - but it sounds like you've all been down this path and are telling me its a dead end.

It's a shame I need to jump into buy premium membership (how much ?) without knowing if its really going to be something we'll use much. We never have much spare time on a trip to go off on wild goose chases, but just thought it might be a bit of a spur of the moment thing if I can know ahead of time there is something near a lunch spot, camp etc - give the kids something to do for a while etc.

Some really detailed responses here so I'll have to followup your advice too - thanks everyone.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:19

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:19
Hello Again

If you email me direct I can send you a download (GPX format) of the caches in the areas you are visiting (provide coords or rough enough locations)...under the assumption you can use one of those free apps on your phone to access a GPX file you should be good to try out (I will try over next couple of days and see). I can also lend you a Garmin 62S if plan "A" fails.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:29

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:29
PS: Keep in mind that geocache locations are just waypoints..so you can just load them into any other gps mapping program (e.g. OziExplorer)..you just wont have extra details such as hints and logs by previous finders available. You can however print these out if you plan ahead.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:55

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:55
Thanks Greg that's very generous of you. Will email you tomorrow. I would indeed prefer to just download the box points then load them in my Ozi so when travelling we can be flexible & take opportunities when they arise. I am surprised at how difficult it appears at first to extract the data - I couldn't find any explanations to say I had to join to get the downloads butcfair enough.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:59

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:59
Sorry for the weird words - I blame my phone! Box = GPX
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 14:43

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 14:43
Thanks Greg for your very generous offers to help me. I have sent you an email with the details you require but I also just wanted to put it out there/here that we will be doing this without a GPS. Talking to David again about it, he is convinced the GPS inbuilt into the phone and an app is all we need so I shan't be needing to take up your very generous offer of borrowing the GPS at this point but thank you.

We will have a test play with this method in the July school holidays when we're up in Ningaloo, but if gets too frustrating (as the more experienced geocachers here are telling me), I might need to go to Plan B when we head out into the Great Victoria Desert on our Maralinga Mystery Tour in August.

Anyone interested in knowing how well it goes (or not) will just have to wait for my trip blogs ;)
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Reply By: SCUBADOO - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:34

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 20:34
I prefer to use a dedicated GPS but you can certainly use a GPS enabled android device for Geocaching.

c.geo can download many hundreds (thousands) of nearby of Geocaches without being a premium member.

Tested working perfectly here on my $80 android phone and acer 10.1" tablet with phone disabled (airplane mode) and 800+ offline downloaded geocaches.

I do not have premium membership at geocachingdotcom.

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 16:16

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 16:16
Hi Scubadoo,
I have now got c:geo app on my phone. All working great except I can't seem to get the download button (send2cgeo) appearing on the cache pages to access the GPX files on Geocaching.com as it should. I thought it was because I was not a PM. Is that how you're downloading the caches? I must be doing something wrong :(
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 10:29

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 10:29
After emailing cgeo support they confirm they have a bug in the systemso iit's not me being a dill after all!!
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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:24

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:24
Hi Michelle,

For zoomable map:

Go to geocaching.com.au

Click on caches tab, then view all.

Click the dropdown menu - select Australia, and then Western Australia?

Click on the Googlemaps link. Ignore the Z teardrops, they are Trig Points. The geocaches are the T teardrops.

Hope that helps.
Cheers
Alan

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 16:45

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 16:45
OK Greg I get to the point where I see the teardrops on the Googlemaps but they are all Z's. No T's anywhere to be seen and I can't find any filters?? Any ideas?
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 16:46

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 16:46
Oops, sorry Alan, I don't know why I wrote Greg.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 18:38

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 18:38
Hi Michelle,

I'm not sure what's going on. There is no filters on the Googlemaps page however there are "pre-filters" on the cache page.

This is how the top of my cache page looks like (as unregistered user not logged in)



The output on the Googlemaps page can be manipulated by clicking on the "type" header, however I didn't touch this.

Cheers
Alan

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 23:41

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2013 at 23:41
Thanks Al but it's the map view itself where I only see z's. I do see the list view ok but when I follow your earlier instructions & click the Googlemaps link you mentioned I should see T's. Think this game is just all too hard for me :(
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Reply By: Jos - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:47

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 21:47
I love geocaching and it's a great way to break up a long road trip.

I've tried the android apps and not been overly impressed. I've also found that my phone struggles sometimes to get a good GPS signal out bush. It also quickly drains the battery - so if we're out walking for the day without the ability to charge the phone, this system doesn't work.

A proper GPS works brilliantly, but expensive if you're not doing this a lot.

From experience, I've found that if you're looking for caches not much off a road, you can put the GPS co-ordinates into your car GPS if you have one eg. Tom Tom. Works better than the phone.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 22:17

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 22:17
Hmmm ok I hear you. Thanks I do appreciate the feedback.
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Reply By: KennyBWilson - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 00:03

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 00:03
i dont think your mobile will work if you dont have phone coverage.
you could print out a map to where the caches are hidden

but a cheap handheld gpsr will always work anywhere
AnswerID: 513355

Reply By: Member - nick b - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 13:25

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 13:25
Hi Michelle : My suggestion is to research the area / place you want to go on windows PC log in ,down load cache location direct to gps but not app, you will get a lot of info there inc email up dates etc aswel the cache locations with a good map to work with , I find this a good way to go , then go back to your androids app to find the cache your looking for .I don't think i could say that one was better than the other to actually find the cache , more to do with your ability . but as other have said a proper GPS maybe a better way to go ?
re ... Geocaching website is confusing and hard to use ... agree but like anything the more you use it the better it becomes . good luck .
Cheers Nick b
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Reply By: Cruznoz - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 21:58

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 21:58
Hi Michelle,

I've been Geocaching for about 6 years. For the first 5 years I used my GPSR to find all my caches and it worked fine. About a year ago I got a new Andriod phone and thought I would try it out for caching. I down loaded the free C:GEO app and since then I havn't used any thing else. C:GEO on my phone does every thing my GPSR ever did. The only draw back is, as someone else mentioned, battery life. If you plan on going on an 8 hour hike, picking up a dozen caches on the way, then you will probably run out of battery. However, I have mine plugged into the ute as we drive and stop at the odd cache as we go past, or even park and go for a 5 km walk to get to one and have no battery problems with this usage.

When in mobile coverage, C:GEO uses Google maps and with the push of a button, it will show you all the caches around you. When you select a cache , the app will tell you how far away it is and in what direction. You can even use Google Navagator via the App to guide you to the cache. Easy as. Once you have found the cache, you can also log your find throught the App.

When you are out of mobile coverage, you can't use Google maps, but you can down load a free offline map (the App tells you where to get it) and this can be used instead. This map can also be used instead of Google maps if you wish.

To get the most out of the App, it's best to be a Premium member ($30 yr I think). As a Premium member you can down load "Pocket queries" of different areas or routes that you are going to visit and store all the caches in those areas on your phone. Once you get the hang of it, this process is no harder then loading a track file and a few way points into Oziexplorer.
After using my phone and C:GEO for about a year I wouldn't go back to a GPSR.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 513424

Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:02

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:02
I forgot to mention that as far as acuracy goes, my phone is as good as any GPSR I've used
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:11

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:11
yay!! I knew someone would surely be doing it this way & could confirm the best process & apps. Thankyou thankyou thankyou!
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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:34

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 at 22:34
You're welcome Michelle. Enjoy Geocaching. If you get down to Denmark (WA), have a look at "Roymercs" mechanical puzzle caches. They will blow you away
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 01:10

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 at 01:10
Hello

My Samsung SII is fine as a GPS but the screen I have found is almost unreadable in bright light so a "proper" GPS is better for the GPS bit where screen readability is a factor. As suggested battery life is also a bit sus on your average phone (especially if someone chooses to ring you :) and I prefer the old fashion button or two to speed things up (e.g saving waypoints..maybe not a problem if you are just geocaching).

GPS units are useless for making phone calls so the phone wins in that department...but

A good GPS for geocaching is pretty cheap. I suppose Smartphones at this point in time are good for many GPS based activities/people and I use mine occasionally but I wont be dumping my GPS units in the recycle bin just yet.

Cheers
Greg
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