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spottylover
WGA Friend



Joined: Jul 02, 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:31 am Reply with quote Back to top

I really want to get into this with my kids - it sounds so fun! I am wondering if it is possible to geocache with only a smartphone, and if you know of the best apps out there.
Thanks!
 
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WStemple
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-06-23
Posts: 508
Location: Out on the trails.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote Back to top

I do not have a smartphone, but rather a "dumb" phone. It is very possible to use your phone. I cache with several that use c:geo which runs on the Android phones. It is free, so that is also good.

There are a few things to be aware of with using your phone. It can be less accurate in areas where a GPS would not be. That is not always a bad thing as sometimes just getting to the general area is good enough for you to start searching. There have been times where I show that I am at GZ and my friends still show 20-30 feet to go. They have found a lot of caches with the phones though. When it comes to placing a cache, I strongly suggest not using the phone. I believe that one should use a GPS. There is always the margin of error for the cache owner and then also for the person hunting it. What ever can be done to lessen one or both will make the game more fun.

I hope that this helps answers your question(s) and welcome to this crazy game!!
 
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hack1of2
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-30
Posts: 1057
Location: Wauwatosa, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I've found HUNDREDS of caches with a smartphone. If you have an iPhone, I'd recommend the geocaching app from Groundspeak. Any other smartphone I'd recommend c:geo.

Accuracy is fine as long as you're not by tall buildings, in the woods, or by power lines. Even in those conditions you can still find the caches, it's just a bit more work because the phone app may be off a bit by 20 to 40 feet. Sometimes.

You may acturally find more caches by using a smartphone. With a geocaching app on a smartphone you can switch to a satellite view and see a photo of where it's located, such as the third tree from the street, or the cache lines up with the roofline of the nearby building, or at the end of a fence, etc.
 
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WStemple
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-06-23
Posts: 508
Location: Out on the trails.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:50 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The sat photo option is a definite plus. Many GPS units also have that option, but it is only as good as how accurate the placement is. Sadly, we have many cachers that do a poor job of getting good coords when they place the container. Not much we can do about that.

I use a Delorme PN-60 for my caching and I can load it with 1 meter color sat photos. They help more in urban settings.
 
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beccaday
WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary



Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3610
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:47 am Reply with quote Back to top

Welcome to the sport! I've also found hundreds of caches with my smartphone. I use the geocaching app from Groundspeak on my Droid but I have also had good luck with c:geo. But like WStemple said, smartphones are better for finding and you really shouldn't hide with them. Best of luck to you and if you have any more questions go ahead and post them in the WGA forums, people are usually pretty friendly around here. Smile

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Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or its Board of Directors. 
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