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bovrilheid

What to do with no phone coverage

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Hi, I'm looking for some help. I stay in a very remote part of the world and have used a very basic GPS gar min to geocache.....getting the co-ord in is impossible (well very difficult) without using a computer. I have been thinking about upgrading my gps....but I do have an iPhone 4 s and I have installed the app. Now how can I geocache, when there is no phone coverage at all..not talking 3G....talking no coverage at all.....is it possible to use gps on iPhone 4s without a phone signal and if so how? If not any thoughts for a good gps with maps etc?

 

Thanks everyone

Andy

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You ARE using the full (paid) app, are you not? The Intro-app (free) has limited access and would greatly hinder your selection of geocaches.

If you do have the Intro-app, don't opt into the Premium Membership that it "baits" you with (unless you want it).

The full app will do it all.

 

Your GPS chip functions just fine without cell coverage. If you can load geocaches to your phone (home wifi works great for that -- any wifi access, really), then save those downloaded caches to an off-line list... you should be set to go.

 

You don't need website data access to go caching... you do need it to download. That's all. :)

 

Good luck.

 

EDIT to add: you'll probably have to log your finds as you would a dedicated GPSr online... without cell coverage to send from your phone.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee

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Sorry little additional information.....I use a mac and don't have a PC, so if a new GPS receiver was needed which might be the best for connecting to the mac as the gar in, just had loads of trouble connecting up.

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Thanks for that GG...yes using the full app but struggling to use it off line and without phone coverage......I'm sensing I need to have another try thought...appreciate the response thanks

 

Andy

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Any current GPSr unit should function well with a Mac. Some of their plug-ins for getting the data to the unit don't always work well.

 

This should not pose any problem whatsoever using your phone.

The trick will be getting the data to your phone. As before, any wifi that you can access will suffice, cell coverage is unnecessary.

Afield, you really don't HAVE to have any access at all, as long as you have prepped and saved some "target" caches.

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Done a little test GG...worked we'll, saved a cache to my phone, turned off wifi...and only had a a tiny bit of phone coverage and went outside for a quick drive.....tracked me easily. One problem however....when I tried to find another cache ( i saved a few for trial purposes) and tried to navigate to that one...it wouldn't load the map....how do I load the map of a much larger area prior to geocaching using the iPhone? Ideally I would like to download the whole of Shetland to my iPhone.....is this possible? Thanks again for your really helpful answers and taking the time to help me out...very much appreciated....I'm sensing my phone might save me the cost of a new GPS....and thanks for the advice on the mac too

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Not for sure on the mapping, but I *think* you can save maps, also. Leastwise I have seen that question posed and answered before for folks going abroad (and not wanting exorbitant data charges). So.... I think it is possible, I just don't have the answer.

:(

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When you download and save caches to an offline list in the app, it will ask if you want to download the maps also. Obviously it won't download maps for the whole Shetland area but it will download the map tiles in the vicinity of each of the caches you selected.

 

I'm assuming we're talking about the official Geocaching app from Groundspeak, correct?

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Done a little test GG...worked we'll, saved a cache to my phone, turned off wifi...and only had a a tiny bit of phone coverage and went outside for a quick drive.....tracked me easily. One problem however....when I tried to find another cache ( i saved a few for trial purposes) and tried to navigate to that one...it wouldn't load the map....how do I load the map of a much larger area prior to geocaching using the iPhone? Ideally I would like to download the whole of Shetland to my iPhone.....is this possible? Thanks again for your really helpful answers and taking the time to help me out...very much appreciated....I'm sensing my phone might save me the cost of a new GPS....and thanks for the advice on the mac too

I'm not entirely sure what the deal with maps not downloading is - but it does seem to be a bit of an issue. I think, even if you try and save them, that it actually tries ti update them on the fly. The different scales are a factor in this - there's just too much mapping or sat image data at too many different scales to download quickly I think.

 

I tend to solve it by not using the map if I'm using the phone to be honest - or simply using it fairly blind and without much on it. I also tend to look at the maps on the website first off - and use the link to Google Maps. To be honest, I find a quick sketch or even a memory of a mp is enough to get me in more or less the right place most of the time - if I do have a phone with me then I'll use the arrow if necessary to figure out where to be.

 

Now, about this lack of phone signal on Shetland... Heck, I'm sure when they had the TV series on just now it was fine everywhere... ;-)

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I've used Android phones rather than iPhones, but when I'm geocaching in an area with poor phone reception (or no phone reception), I download PQ data in advance, and put my phone in Airplane Mode while geocaching. Airplane Mode turns off the cell and data antennas, so the phone doesn't waste energy trying desperately to connect to a faint signal. It may also prevent apps from waiting a long time trying to connect to the servers, allowing them to recognize quickly that they have no data connection, and get on with whatever it is they're going to do without a data connection.

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Yes, you can save maps and photos as well with the official app. I've been using it quite extensively recently, and sometimes simply as a backup for my normal gps in case I run out of batteries, or to look at a photo.

 

Mrs. terratin

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Thanks for the fantastic replies...much appreciated. Maps do not appear to download well I'm afraid, even though I tried to do that. I'm thinking as blue square thing stated I might just forget about the maps and use either a OS paper map, or perhaps an app with a download map on it already. Love the idea about switching to airplane mode...genius idea to save power.

 

Is the official geocaching app the best one in folks opinions for the iPhone?

 

Shetland has hardly any mobile coverage.....especially in the north ...no too bad about Lerwick though........despite what a recent TV series might suggest ...;-)

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Thanks for the fantastic replies...much appreciated. Maps do not appear to download well I'm afraid, even though I tried to do that. I'm thinking as blue square thing stated I might just forget about the maps and use either a OS paper map, or perhaps an app with a download map on it already. Love the idea about switching to airplane mode...genius idea to save power.

 

Is the official geocaching app the best one in folks opinions for the iPhone?

 

Shetland has hardly any mobile coverage.....especially in the north ...no too bad about Lerwick though........despite what a recent TV series might suggest ...;-)

 

Groundspeaks app on iPhone 5 does allow maps to be saved offline with the cache information.

There is an option to turn on/off save maps feature.

 

Does your phone do wifi, is there a possibility to download cache info via wifi for you?

 

To be honest, in your situation, I'd work on the 'use proper maps' basis, and just use the phone with the arrow to get to the cache...

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iPhone 4s bear and ragged.....but I share your view of using a proper map and an arrow when not in phone coverage. Certainly cheaper than buying a new GPS receiver or upgrading my phone.

 

Thanks

Andy

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You might find it handy to look at this thread about a way to get OS maps as a map option here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=291102

 

Don't try the link from the first post - user scripts seems to be v problematic now. There are more up to date instructions and so on later in the thread - in fact, the last page is probably the best place to look. Look for the most recent posts by jri for the most up to date stuff. There have been some problems recently but they seem to have been solved.

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I've been using an app called "GCdroid" lately. It allows you to download and save maps so that you don't need to have cell coverage when you are in the field. You can then put your cellphone into "airplane mode" which helps keep the batteries charged longer.

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I use "Looking4Cache Pro" on the iPhone. Offline maps are included with the Pro version (however, not with the free version).

 

Caches can be downloaded before going outdoors in several ways. It even allows offline logging and later transfer, when online access is possible

 

The app is built to provide total offline usage and power saving very well.

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