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iPhone geocaching abroad

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I will be traveling to the USA soon and I want to know if I'll still be able to geocache without racking up huge roaming data charges. I have an iPhone and I use it for geocaching in the UK - this is no problem as I get 1GB a month on my contract. When I go to USA it will cost about £8 for 1MB of data!

Is there any way that I can disable certain settings on my phone to allow me to use GPS still but without using data?

I have the official Geocaching app and am a premium member.

Basically I need to know if GPS location uses up any data or if I can somehow avoid this.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Using the GPS only shouldn't use any data - it's just receiving a satellite signal.


If you use any data at all (Google Maps, geocaching apps etc) you'll start paying that rather punitive rate. If you can download caches and store the details on your phone (I'm not familiar with anything iPhone so don't know one way or the other) you can download data when you've got wifi access and leave data turned off.


One other thing to be aware of, if you turn your phone on at all it will register as being in the US, so you'll pay international roaming rates if someone calls you. If you don't answer the phone you may find you pay the international (UK-US) rate for them to call you, then the international (US-UK) rate to divert them to your UK-based voicemail. To avoid that make sure you set your phone to divert all calls to voicemail before you leave the UK.


Check the specifics with your contract provider to make sure you don't get any nasty surprises. It can be surprising just how fast roaming costs stack up - one time I was in the US for three weeks and deliberately didn't use my phone a whole lot but still went through somewhere around £70 in calls alone.

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Dakboy's option 1 is good, and point 1a should be to enable WiFi so you can catch whatever hotspots might be around you.


His Option 2 will only work if the phone is unlocked from a carrier. Not sure if and (or all) iPhones in thel UK are locked or unlocked.


Last time I was in England was Dec2004 and I didn't think about that stuff back then :)

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As noted, using the GPS is not the issue, but having all the relevant caches data on your iPhone ahead of time, to avoid roaming charges, is an issue.

The official app is not the best in this sense: you can download Pocket Queries onto it, and access them offline, but the search function for nearby caches does not look at saved caches, so you need to manually look for the caches you are interested in.

I use Geosphere for caching with no data service. I download PQs and use the app's internal DB of saved caches to look for nearby caches. You just need to prepare some relevant PQs for the areas you travel to.



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