How to do GeoCaching With IPhone?

Written by Patrick in Activities
Image Credits: Pixabay.com

Have you like me, been wondering how you could do Geocaching via your iPhone, then you might be in luck. I have researched, to find out what you need to do geocaching on an iPhone, here is what I learned.

How To Do GeoCaching With an iPhone? To go geocaching on your iPhone you will need an app with a map, and the geocache locations. Pick an app that lets you download the map so that you can go Geocaching while offline. Otherwise, if you go for long off-trail hikes, then you might encounter problems with connections.

If I am not stating the obvious, I will just answer another question for you, if you are wondering about you can actually go Geocaching with an iPhone.

Can I use my iPhone as a GPS for geocaching? It is possible to go Geocaching with an iPhone. There is a handful of apps to choose from, and many people in the geocaching community actually prefer using an iPhone instead of a GPS

Read on as I will explain to you about the best app I tried, and other apps you can try if you do not like that one.

Have you ever gone Geocaching? 

Drop a comment below, we would like to hear what you love or hate about geocaching.

First Choice: The Best Geocaching App For IPhones

I have to tell you, I am a Geocaching newbie. I am brand new to this, but it is really a great way to get some air, I think, and I also think that it is a great way to entice children to go for a walk.

My oldest son really loves the outdoors and going for a long walk in the woods, for him it is like one big playground.

Here's the app I ended up using.

Geocaching Iphone AppImage Credits: Geocaching iPhone App on Itunes App Store

The official app you can download on Geocaching.com. I actually download a handful of apps to try out. Some did not work where I wanted to go, and some did not have any caches, but the Geocaching.com did the job.

One thing that really got me hooked, is that it shows on the homepage of geogaching.com how many caches are "Out there" in your city.

I have heard from others, that i guess your location wrong, but it is a nice trick to get into the mood for a hike...

Screenshots are from the iPhone App Store:

Be aware that I have not tried the premium version of this App. But I guess with about 4,8 ratings of more than 500 reviews, it must be good in the premium version as well.

Read on as I tackle some more subjects.

What is your favorite Geocaching App?

IPhone Vs. GPS Geocaching

I've tried gathering information about pros and cons about using your iPhone instead of using a GPS, so the following list.

Pros and Cons about using an iPhone versus Using a GPS for GEOcaching

Pros Cons
You can go with just your phone You are using power from your phone
You can get a power bank for iPhone iPhone is NOT shock & drop proof
Best with live data GPS is better with Offline data
Not as much battery life as most GPS You can go offline and do "smartphone"-detox
Less Accurate than some better GPS Will eat up your data plan if you don't have much data available
You Already own a Smartphone It just does not feel "the same" and the fun of it goes away for kids if you just go around staring at your phone.
Better designed and regularly updated Apps Hiding of caches that becomes a problem
You can go very casually for geocaching on the way home from school or work.
You need a signal to operate it well (some Apps can download the maps)

Sources:

  1. https://forums.geocaching.com/GC/index.php?/topic/342498-iphone-vs-gps/
  2. http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=334852
  3. & many more forums.

Sidenote: Many forums include information about other smartphones like the "Nexus" which have longer battery-lifetime and more accurate than the iPhone.

I think my conclusion for this post is, that if you are an enthusiast you need a real geocaching-GPS and, if you are a casual and just getting started, you will suffice with a newer iPhone.

I learned that the following GPS are some of the best ones.

  • Garmin Oregon Models.
  • Magellan eXplorist

Generally the two brands Garmin & Magellan is repeated on all websites.

  • See all the Garmin GPS on Amazon right here.
  • See all the Magellan GPS on Amazon right here.

Does Geocaching Cost Money?

It does, both directly and indirectly.

But it is with a twist, because you are actually able to do it for free, or at least very close to free.

But you will need some gear.

  1. A tracker: GPS or Smartphone with Geocaching App.
  2. A map with geocaches, like in the Geocaching App.
  3. Some GEO-swag, and maybe even a Trackable item.
  4. Hiking and walking gear, if you go for great distances.
  5. Optional: A paid subscription for the GEO-apps.

You can buy trinkets, interchangeable GEO-swag for as little as a few cents a piece. But you need to always trade to an item of equal value or higher value, as per the gentlemen's agreement of Geocaching.

How to do it for free (because you already own this stuff)

If you do have an iPhone or Smartphone already, you can go geocaching right now. Find something around your house, a small trinket of dollar-value, and now you have some geo-swag you can switch around in the case.

Bring a or ball pen-marker too.

Direct buying links on Amazon.

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3 Other GeoCaching Apps For Smartphones

During my research about the pros and cons, I came across some other apps. As I might have already stated, it just seems like the Geocaching.com app is the best choice. I am not sure, but I do also think it is the official app with most users.

And some apps might be better, some might do something else, but as with any other "multiplayer game" you want to be a part of the biggest game. The server with most players means more caches to discover.

If you need to discover other apps, here are some app names I looked into.

  1. Geocaches
  2. iGeoCacher (not free)
  3. Cachly (not free, but not monthly payments like the premium in Geocaching.com & no android version)

Extra: Locus (not available on iPhone, but is mentioned in forums as being great)

What do You Normally Find in a Geocache?

Most common items in a geocache container include some very inexpensive toys or trinkets as they are referred to.

But all containers really must contain writing equipment and some sort of notebook or note slip, for you to write in. It's not all containers that house the same stuff, some even include a disposable camera where you can take a picture and put it back.

Basic stuff the cache might contain

  • A logbook or a note
  • Pencils, markers
  • Maybe a waterproof bag
  • Geo-swag (Tradeable trinkets)
  • Trackable items, that need to go from this case to the next case.

Geocaching is a gentleman's sport because the rule if, when you take a trinket from a box, you replace it with something else. If you do not do this, there is no fun, for the next finder of the case.

Some of the basic rules that anyone must follow

  1. Sign the log, both online and if there is one in the case
  2. If you take something, you replace it with something else.
  3. Always trade up, or something of the same value.
  4. Trackable items do not need to be replaced but just needs to be put on its way to the next geocache.
  5. Do not put in food, sweets, dangerous, offensive or harmful stuff
  6. Start finding geocaches before placing your own.

Read my blog post about the rules of Geocaching. Click here!

Are you ready to get started?

I learned about Geocaching, through a friend who played a lot of Pokemon Go. I actually also played it, but only for a week or so, and I found this more interesting and less demanding of your time.

You can go "play" if you want to, and not to get experience and game, but still go full Sherlock and solve mystery caches and collectibles.

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Author Bio
Patrick Author BonfireBob

My name is Patrick, and I am the main Author and owner of BonfireBob.com

I live in a smaller town, very close to a bigger city and I love the Outdoors!

BonfireBob is my outlet, and my escape from the every day lives. I write about fishing, hiking, climbing, gear, camping and much more, enjoy!

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