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redbarryfan

How to GC in Ontario with American Smartohone

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I am going on vacation later in June to Ontario (London, Alliston, Toronto, Muskoka. I live in Michigan and I use an iphone 4s to Geocache. I don't' want to incur big time roaming/data charges - if it will work at all.

 

I would like to know what do other American's use to Geocache in Ontario?

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Create pocket queries for the areas wkhere you will be geocaching and download them to the phone before you cross the border. Them make sure the data roaming is turned off. you can then use the 'saved' tab to call up information from any of the pocket queries, and search for any of those geocaches without needing the phone data connection.

 

Make sure you save your logs and send them later, when you have a data link.

 

Downloading pocket queries and uploading logs can be done via WiFi. Pretty much every Tim Horton's or McDonald's has free WiFi available.

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Just in case... You may want to contact your cell provider. Explain to them that you DO NOT want data transfer while in Canada. You still want phone (for emergencies).

 

When we went to Mexico, my husband called our cell provider and explained our own situation. I think they turned OFF the international calling capabilities and/or data transfer while in Mexico. I'm not exactly sure how that works.

 

Worth a shot to call..... and make sure you don't get slammed with unknown charges.

Edited by Lieblweb

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I see you have an iPhone 4S.

 

I would not bother calling your provider to block international use/data. If you go to Settings->General->Celluar and ensure the "Data Roaming" is set to off you will not be hit with roaming charges for data. You can verify this by the fact that the 3G or 4G symbol will disappear once you cross the border.

 

I just got back from a trip to Ireland where I used my iPhone 4 with a local SIM card. Rather than data roaming I popped out my Canadian SIM and used a pay-as-you-go SIM for that country. Instead of paying $5/MB I paid $40 for 1GB. I would suggest you do the same sort of thing.

 

To do this, you will need to have an UNLOCKED iPhone. This is not a "jailbroken" iPhone, that is something else and I don't recommend that. I'm also assuming you have a GSM type iPhone (for example AT&T, TMobile) this won't work for a CDMA iPhone (Verizon). If your iPhone was subsidized by your carrier (you paid $200 or so not $800 or so) then you'll need to contact your carrier and ask if you can get your phone "unlocked". Typically the carrier will charge a moderate fee (ie $50) for the service and this will last as long as the iPhone does. Some carriers will not allow you to unlock (AT&T comes to mind) until the end of your contract if you have one.

 

If you can get your iPhone unlocked, then you'll want to contact Koodo or Fido for a pay-as-you-go service for 30 days. This will give you a Canadian phone number and you'll be able to use your iPhone as if you were at home.

If you can't get your iPhone unlocked, then follow the advice Chris-Mouse posted above and cache your Pocket Queries in between WiFi hotspots (Tim Hortons, McDonald's, etc). Geosphere is an iOS app that's a bit more awesome for maintaining a large cache of caches on the phone than the official geocaching app. There are over 35,000 caches in Ontario so .... you'll be using up those Pocket Queries!

 

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy your trip here to Ontario. If you have a Garmin GPS you might want to add the Ontario Trails Project to it as well.

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I am going on vacation later in June to Ontario (London, Alliston, Toronto, Muskoka. I live in Michigan and I use an iphone 4s to Geocache. I don't' want to incur big time roaming/data charges - if it will work at all.

 

I would like to know what do other American's use to Geocache in Ontario?

 

I think most people use handheld GPS's which can be used anywhere by using satellites GPS's.

 

I also use my 4s and when I go into the states, all you need to do is 1. make sure your data and roaming is off. Settings > General > Cellular - switch "Data Roaming", "Enable 3G (or 4G depending on your provider) and "Cellular Data" to the off position. Your phone calls and text messages will still come through. And 2. Save the caches for offline use on the geocaching app. When viewing a cache, click the three little dots in the upper right hand corner of the app and select "Save to Offline List". It will give you a choice of selecting a current list or you can create a new list. :) If you plan on doing a lot of caching, I suggest running pocket queries then saving them for offline use instead of doing it one by one. After you have your list(s) made up you can find them by going into the app and clicking the "Saved" tab at the bottom.

 

Note: I don't think it would hurt to call your provider anyway. I know once when I had all of my phone options off little bits of data still seemed to push through. Only kb's worth so it wasn't much. But the provider I'm with is really good and they reversed the charges when I told them all the options they advised me to turn off, were in fact turned off. :)

 

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