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We Play Outside

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  1. Thank you for all the replies. First, sorry about posting the Geocoin number: how do I edit my post? This post here shows an edit button when I post it (edited to add that, obviously, lol) but there is no such button on my first post. Perhaps the ability to edit changes after a while? Second, I can confirm that it is, indeed, a Christmas snow globe geocoin, and I did get the correct ID number. Third, I recall that the person who left the coin noted doing so in the cache log. I will go to the cache today and see if I can find any more information about it, even just the username. I remember it was left on August 6, just a few days before we found it. If I cannot track down the person who left it, I will go ahead and activate the coin (and I will leave some swag in exchange for the coin) and move it on to a new cache (I'm travelling this month and can take it pretty far away, which is always fun I think!). Thanks again for all the advice!
  2. I recently went out geocaching with a friend, and we visited a cache that I, but not my friend, had previously visited about 4 years ago. I stayed quiet as she navigated around and she found the cache without my help. Inside was a GeoCoin. We left a note in the book and took the coin. She is not a member of geocaching.com and suggested I should move it to the next cache, since I geocache more often than she does. I agreed. I noticed when I got home that I am able to add another log to a cache I have already visited, so I thought that problem was solved (was worried I couldn't log this visit b/c I had already done so before). I logged my visit but could see no indication that a geocoin had been placed in that cache. So I entered the number on the Geocoin page to see if I could somehow log the coin that way, but the message said it needed to be activated. When I began that process it congratulated me on my new geocoin, so I exited the process. I do not want to claim ownership of the coin, since I didn't buy it or put it there. What should I do?
  3. I'm sure this has been asked before but I can't search "mac" in the search fxn. Browsing the GPS units at the local WalMart and noticed they all said Windows and not Mac. Is this really a problem?
  4. I'm wanting to buy a GPS unit and I am leaning towards the DeLorme PN-40. I tried to order if from Amazon.ca (I'm in Canada) but the product description says it comes with Topo USA. Is there anybody here from Canada and were you able to buy it with Topo Canada maps instead? Also, the description on Amazon lists Windows OS that are compatible, but no mention of Mac OS. Will it work with a Mac? TIA.
  5. I've been geocaching for only a little while, have logged about 5 finds, and I only use an iPhone with the Geopher Lite app. It has worked very well, taking us to within a few feet of the cache location each time. This includes a number of caches that were in forested areas (i.e. without roads so no Google map to help). It does use a lot of battery power, so limited time is an issue. However, my kids are young and can't hike more than a kilometre or two, so for now it is serving us great. I'm sure a GPS handheld is in our future but it's an expense I can take time to save for because the iPhone is pretty much all we need right now.
  6. I am using only an iPhone with Geopher Lite to cache and just logged my second and third finds today. I was thinking it might be helpful to start a thread where folks can comment on their experiences, as I know the programmer of this App is on this forum and I'm sure they'd appreciate the feedback. I wrote of my first experience in this old thread. Today I was using a more recent version (upgrade 1.0.5. I believe) of Geopher and had an even better experience than last time. I'm still experiencing this weird phenomenon where, if I exit Geopher to do another function on the phone, when I come back it seems to be confused about my current location. It often puts me at a location I haven't been at in a while. However, whereas last time (see above linked thread) it would take up to a couple of minutes for it to re-update my current location, today it took only a couple of seconds. So really it was no problem at all. In fact, I'm not even sure it is the same issue (grabbing a set of past coordinates) because it didn't have me too far away this time and I'm thinking it may be I just didn't have a good GPS reading at first. Anyways, the phone worked great and I'll say that even when I'm not getting a good fix (error is high - btw I love that it shows this) the arrow seems to be very accurate. I decided today that I need to trust that arrow more as both caches I found today were where the arrow said they would be!
  7. I, too, am using my iPhone to cache. In fact, I don't own a GPS and am a newbie to the sport. But I just logged my second and third cache finds today using only the iPhone. I have Geopher Lite and it's a dandy little program. So far I have only hunted in my home neighbourhood and despite being surrounded by lovely forest trails we have very good cell phone coverage here, so it may not be a true test of the system. I'm thinking if one simply jotted down the coordinates while you are at home (you could make a sheet of them in the iPhone's Notes function) then you could enter the coordinates while out caching even if you didn't have an Internet connection. (?) So far I'm very pleased with being able to put off the purchase of a handheld (I imagine as I get more into this sport and try harder caches I may decide to get one).
  8. Hi! I was using Geopher Lite and pressed the "map" button when I had located the cache I wanted to find and entered the coordinates into Geopher Lite. At first it didn't show my current location, so I exited (by pressing the HOME button on the iPhone) and went into the iPhone "Maps" application, thinking that perhaps the Map button in Geopher just showed you where the cache was but wasn't able to pinpoint your current locale (I now know that it can). Anyways, it was the "Maps" application in iPhone's menu that had me in Burnaby (and I hadn't been in that location in days, certainly not when I was using Geopher). I then exited that application by pressing the iPhone HOME button, went back into Geopher Lite, and that's when it started having the reverting problem. I did find that the iPhone did not go into sleep mode when the target screen was showing. Sometimes I'd press the HOME button on the iPhone to do something else (eg. check my email), and when I went back into Geopher Lite it seemed to be where I left off (target coordinates were right, webpage on Geocaching.com was where I last visited), but the current location would show Burnaby with a corresponding distance (5 km) on the target screen. After a while (30 seconds or more) it would update and my current location would be displayed with the correct distance to the cache (a few metres). So at first I thought "ah, I better not use any other apps and just keep the target screen open" and that's when I discovered that it would revert to this Burnaby location every once in a while even when locked on the target screen. I wondered if maybe this occurs when the device is trying to take a new fix and can't get one? Though I still don't know why it would use that burnaby coordinate rather than the last one it had... Frankly, it was all very weird. I will say that I have played around with it here at home today and it seems to be working just fine! So maybe it was just one of those weird cyber-gremlin events, lol. I have already received one upgrade, not sure which one, but I'll look forward to the next one. I have to say that despite the little bugs I am LOVING this application and I'd like to thank you for putting it out there. I'm not only doing paperless caches but I don't even have a GPS and I found a cache...that's pretty neat in my books!
  9. We are unschoolers in British Columbia and new to geocaching (just logged our second find today!). As we were hiking through the gorgeous forest today, I thought about how lucky we were to be enjoying the peacful West Coast rainforest while hundreds of thousands of families were dealing with the frantic chaos of the first day of school. I couldn't think of a nicer way to celebrate "Not Back to School Day" than heading out on a cache hunt! We don't use any curricula but geocaching definitely is a learning experience in so many ways. My six year old daughter is a nature buff and we collected mushrooms and photographed various banana slugs as we cached. We often talk about the local flora and fauna, rock formations around the waterfalls and pools, and the various birds (saw a gorgeous pileated woodpecker out today). My 3.5 year old son, OTOH, enjoys the activity, being able to run and jump and climb...and the excitement of finding a cache is shared by everybody!
  10. Today I found my second ever cache, first one without experienced friends along, and using only an iPhone with the Geopher Lite application. On the one hand, if a newbie like me can do this I suppose that speaks to how well the app works for geocaching (and of course we were in a place with a good signal). But I did have some issues I thought I'd throw out there for discussion... The first thing I noticed was the app takes a while to refresh your position, so you need to wait several seconds, sometimes up to a minute at times, before it resets your current coordinates. This means you either need to walk very slowly when you get close to the cache, or stop every few minutes and allow it to catch up to you. Sometimes the reading changed widely, but the accuracy readings helped me determine which ones to ignore...I'd just wait another minute for it to update the location again. There was one weird problem that got pretty frustrating after a while though....I guess the last time I used the MAPS function on my iPhone we were passing through Burnaby. I pressed the little circle button that marks your location. Well, on today's cache hunt I used the map function in Geopher Lite to figure out where we were in relation to the cache and it put me back in Burnaby! Suddenly the cache was 5 km away instead of 600 m! I had to wait a minute or two for the location to refresh in Geopher... Every time the iPhone went into standby mode Geopher Lite would open with those Burnaby coordinates as my present location. I'd wait a while and eventually it would reset to my current coordinates and update the distance and direction markers. That was really annoying. When we were getting close to the cache location and I was preventing the Phone from going into standby, sometimes the location would mysteriously revert to the Burnaby coordinates right in front of my eyes! I would then have to wait a while until it figured out where I was again. I have no idea why this happened. But I did find the cache; at it's closest iPhone had me 4.9 m from the location...I suppose that is pretty good.
  11. Next Question: when I first started using geopher it asked me if it could use my current location as a starting point. Now I'm off camping and want to use this current location but I can't figure out how to change it. It's still searching for caches near my home. TIA. You guys are very helpful. Okay, stupid question.... What do you mean by the "navigator" on Geopher? Do you mean the compass with the red arrow? Because I thought I read on the Geopher blog that it doesn't actually work. If so, then that is super news and I'm very excited that it worked for you. can't wait to try it myself (heading off today for a family camping trip. I'll see if I can sneak away if there's a cache nearby! Yeah I mean the compass screen. It does indeed move, just not in the same way the navigation screen works on a handheld. Basically it takes your current location and points to what direction on the compass the cache is from you. So if the compass is pointing south the cache is south of your location regardless of your heading. It won't move much until you get closer to the cache, but it does in fact move. It does take some getting used to, and having a compass with you would help as well. I too am excited about being able to "sneak away" for caches. I travel a lot and come across unexpected free time, so now I can see what's close and instantly go after it. There has been some confusion on the compass arrow. It does work, but the compass itself doesn't current rotate. I have a version that is in beta testing that rotates. I'm not thrilled with the accuracy at the moment, but it's definitely usable. Keep an eye out, there should be a significant update to Geopher Lite in the next week or so, depending on how long it takes apple to approve it. Oh, I've taken out the directions portion of the google maps link -- I hadn't realized it snapped to a street level. Guess that's what I get for living in the city. =) Thanks for the good cache story. That kind of usage was the intent of the compass and arrow, I'm glad it worked for you.
  12. Okay, stupid question.... What do you mean by the "navigator" on Geopher? Do you mean the compass with the red arrow? Because I thought I read on the Geopher blog that it doesn't actually work. If so, then that is super news and I'm very excited that it worked for you. can't wait to try it myself (heading off today for a family camping trip. I'll see if I can sneak away if there's a cache nearby!
  13. I don't have a GPS unit yet, having done my first and only (so far) cache hunt with a geocaching friend. Now that I have an iPhone I'm itching to give it a try. I got the Geopher App and seems easy enough to find a cache and load the coordinates. The map feature is great, too. However, when we were last geocaching we relied alot on the arrow indicator on the GPS (it was a Magellan unit) since it was along some wooded trails. How will this work with my iPhone? I notice it tells you how many metres you are away from the target - will I use this as an indicator of whether I'm getting closer to the cache or not? I do plan to get myself a handheld GPS, but not for a bit (just forked out for the iPhone, lol). But I really want to do some more geocaching...any tips? TIA.
  14. That's a very good point. Thanks, northernpenguin. Husband is definitely getting the iPhone. I'm thinking about it. Since me and the kiddos will likely do some geocaching in our neighbourhood while Hubby is at work, I'll still need my own device. Looks like it will be a while before the kinks are sorted out with the iPhone. I think I might go with a handheld. Then I don't have to worry about the kids dropping it! :-)
  15. I am new to geocaching. I'm holding off on buying a GPS unit because I may get the new iPhone instead. From what I'm reading here, it may be a perfect substitute for a handheld GPS (notwithstanding the issues of protecting it from the elements). But I'm wondering about cost. Does one pay for a subscription when using a handheld GPS device? Does anybody know whether Canada will have an unlimited data plan for the iPhone (I understand that Rogers/Fido will be the carrier)? If not, what sort of price are we talking about and how would that differ from using a handheld unit in terms of cost to use on a typical cache hunt? TIA.
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