The main barrier for entry into the sport of geocaching is the cost of a GPS receiver. A new GPS model designed for geocaching with mapping features will run easily $200 US or more.
However, those of us with android based smart phones, the ability to add geocaching features to the phone is as low as $10. The android marketplace offers the official Groundspeak geocaching app at this low price. With this software, you can turn your phone into a geocaching hunting device.
The app uses a combination of the nearby cell towers and the built in GPS functions on the phone to determine your location, and then access the full GEOCACHING.COMdatabase to show you the nearby caches. You get to review the full listing, including hints past logs, and trackable items inventory.
With the full GPS functions activated, you can use the phone to guide you directly to the cache.
The app also allow you to post you find log directly into geocaching .com
This Examiner tested the app recently on three different geocaches in the Denver area. The GPS on the phone acquired quickly, and the app guided me within 15-30 feet of the actual cache location. This is equivalent to using a full function GPS receiver. I was able to write my log find directly on the phone and either upload each log individually, or log all my finds at once. I also had the choice to logging as a field note for later editing and posting.
The downside of this app, as all apps is they will burn through the battery at a fast clip. I recommend using an android application killer such as the free ‘Advanced Task Killer’to kill apps you do not need to run. The android smart phone allow for multitasking, which leaves apps open after you think you have closed them.
Check out this app as a handy way to geocache on the spur of the moment. The app is availavble in the android marketplace.
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For additional information on geocaching, follow the Centennial State Geocaching Podcast