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If you had to choose


toil&trouble
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Just for fun, let's say to had to choose and could only use one device for geocaching, what would it be? For me the choice would be between my Oregon 600 and my iPhone. I have to say, I'd pick the phone. I would give up the durability and accuracy to have the ability to have all caches and the website with me at all times. I would hate to lose the ability to grab a cache "on the fly" where ever I am. I do like not having to plan.

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Used Garmins before and ultimately settled into a Delorme for years (5) alongside my dumb phone.

I now have a smart phone (with the Official GS app), that does many other wonderful things.

 

I truly like using the phone, but if push comes-to-shove and I were forced to make that decision, I'd dump the phone and keep the Delorme in a heartbeat. Not a moment's worth of hesitation.

 

I have no problem with using a dedicated, rugged device and cheap batteries that works each and every time I ask it to.

The smart phone is fine, but its use can be spotty at times and I have to be mindful of keeping it charged... not to mention keeping it dry and securely in-hand.

 

That said, I prefer both but my decision stands.

 

Perhaps it is the "old dog... new tricks" syndrome. :)

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It depends on where you like to cache. In the mountains & deserts near me there are lots of places with no cell coverage, so phone caching is not an option. I do like having instant access to live internet, but I really like my Oregon 650. I keep it loaded with all the caches in the county (something like 6500) for spur-of-the-moment caching.

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In the mountains & deserts near me there are lots of places with no cell coverage, so phone caching is not an option.

I've visited relatives in actual civilization (not mountains or deserts) and had no phone service at all. It was kind of a surprise. The only way to know for sure is to visit a phone store in the area you're visiting. The "Map" is useless.

 

So, yeah, going to a new place with a handy-dandy smartphone and discovering it has no signal (mountain or not), might kind of kill a Geocaching trip.

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Just for fun, let's say to had to choose and could only use one device for geocaching, what would it be?

Who pays the data bill in that scenario? If I choose the GPSr, do I receive the money that would have been paid for the iPhone service? That would figure into my decision. :anicute:

 

Remember there ARE other phones where things are often free and more open, compared to Iphone where you often have to pay for everything. You don't need a network connection btw, good phones can do all gps function, offline geocaching and maps.

 

Modern phones will do geocaching well, software is modern and many people use them every day, in all kind of weather, with all kinds of app's.

If you solve the battery problem by taking an extra battery with you, you will be fine.

Edited by splashy
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Just for fun, let's say to had to choose and could only use one device for geocaching, what would it be?

Who pays the data bill in that scenario? If I choose the GPSr, do I receive the money that would have been paid for the iPhone service? That would figure into my decision. :anicute:

 

Remember there ARE other phones where things are often free and more open, compared to Iphone where you often have to pay for everything. You don't need a network connection btw, good phones can do all gps function, offline geocaching and maps.

But the OP is about the convenience of having the entire website available and "grabbing a cache on the fly".

Edited by kunarion
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YOU DO NOT NEED CELL COVERAGE FOR PHONES TO WORK

But you need cell coverage in this Topic. That's what the OP was about, comparing a phone with cell coverage and the ability to load a cache on the fly (and its access to the web site) to a GPSr without.

Edited by kunarion
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It depends on where you like to cache. In the mountains & deserts near me there are lots of places with no cell coverage, so phone caching is not an option. I do like having instant access to live internet, but I really like my Oregon 650. I keep it loaded with all the caches in the county (something like 6500) for spur-of-the-moment caching.

 

My first 800 finds were in the southern Az sonoran desert. My next couple of thousand have been in the rainy PNW mountains. Somehow I seem to do just fine.

 

And I have way, way, WAY more than 6500 saved caches in my iPhone, lol

 

Argument:fail

 

Just for fun, let's say to had to choose and could only use one device for geocaching, what would it be?

Who pays the data bill in that scenario? If I choose the GPSr, do I receive the money that would have been paid for the iPhone service? That would figure into my decision. :anicute:

 

You don't use data to cache offline.

As far as the bill? I pay that every month, whether I geocache or not. That is a real life, actual, must always pay, bill. Geocaching affects it not one red cent.

I also happen to have unlimited data, but if I'm offline caching ....like I said, I don't need it.

 

In the mountains & deserts near me there are lots of places with no cell coverage, so phone caching is not an option.

I've visited relatives in actual civilization (not mountains or deserts) and had no phone service at all. It was kind of a surprise. The only way to know for sure is to visit a phone store in the area you're visiting. The "Map" is useless.

 

So, yeah, going to a new place with a handy-dandy smartphone and discovering it has no signal (mountain or not), might kind of kill a Geocaching trip.

 

Huh. Never had that problem. It takes me a fraction of time to load up my iPhone when going to a new area. Heck, even if I suddenly found myself somewhere new with not one bit of planning...even in another country, i could go to a Starbucks, mcdonalds, or my hotel, download thousands of caches, and begin caching. Instantly

 

Whereas gps people need their special computer that has GSAK loaded up onto it, some cords to connect to the computer, probably some other computer program....blah blah blah.

 

 

***Name the place...in under a min I can have thousands of caches loaded up BEFORE you would even get your gps turned on.***

 

 

 

Because people seem to regurgitate non-facts, over and over and over.... let's cover this once and for all

 

YOU DO NOT NEED CELL COVERAGE FOR PHONES TO WORK

 

Do not feed the troll. What a pretentious jackwagon. :-/

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It depends on where you like to cache. In the mountains & deserts near me there are lots of places with no cell coverage, so phone caching is not an option. I do like having instant access to live internet, but I really like my Oregon 650. I keep it loaded with all the caches in the county (something like 6500) for spur-of-the-moment caching.

 

My first 800 finds were in the southern Az sonoran desert. My next couple of thousand have been in the rainy PNW mountains. Somehow I seem to do just fine.

 

And I have way, way, WAY more than 6500 saved caches in my iPhone, lol

 

Argument:fail

 

Just for fun, let's say to had to choose and could only use one device for geocaching, what would it be?

Who pays the data bill in that scenario? If I choose the GPSr, do I receive the money that would have been paid for the iPhone service? That would figure into my decision. :anicute:

 

You don't use data to cache offline.

As far as the bill? I pay that every month, whether I geocache or not. That is a real life, actual, must always pay, bill. Geocaching affects it not one red cent.

I also happen to have unlimited data, but if I'm offline caching ....like I said, I don't need it.

 

In the mountains & deserts near me there are lots of places with no cell coverage, so phone caching is not an option.

I've visited relatives in actual civilization (not mountains or deserts) and had no phone service at all. It was kind of a surprise. The only way to know for sure is to visit a phone store in the area you're visiting. The "Map" is useless.

 

So, yeah, going to a new place with a handy-dandy smartphone and discovering it has no signal (mountain or not), might kind of kill a Geocaching trip.

 

Huh. Never had that problem. It takes me a fraction of time to load up my iPhone when going to a new area. Heck, even if I suddenly found myself somewhere new with not one bit of planning...even in another country, i could go to a Starbucks, mcdonalds, or my hotel, download thousands of caches, and begin caching. Instantly

 

Whereas gps people need their special computer that has GSAK loaded up onto it, some cords to connect to the computer, probably some other computer program....blah blah blah.

 

 

***Name the place...in under a min I can have thousands of caches loaded up BEFORE you would even get your gps turned on.***

 

 

 

Because people seem to regurgitate non-facts, over and over and over.... let's cover this once and for all

 

YOU DO NOT NEED CELL COVERAGE FOR PHONES TO WORK

 

I guess we keep having this discussion.....fired up my 5S , turned on the Groundspeak app and also Geosphere, walked out to my front yard where there was semi-bright sunlight and it was VERY VERY hard to see the screen, with sunglasses its worse. IMO in the field the iPhone is almost worthless as a caching gps on screen readability alone...it matters not what the phone is capable of it all becomes moot if you can't view the screen in a leisurely manner. If I never left my truck the phone would be a good tool.

When you say you've found almost 1000 caches in the Arizona desert using a phone my heart goes out to you and I mean that sincerely. I've found several hundred in the same areas but I was using something I could see.....its a lot brighter out that way than it is in my yard.

Edited by BAMBOOZLE
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Well, I had to take care of some business and just got home to check on this discussion. Let me add two more cents. I am half of a cache team, we have over 2k finds in most of the US, started caching with a GPS60 and now use the OR and iPhone. I love the accuracy of the Garmin, love the device as a whole. And running a PQ and having it ready is not too big a deal, but some times you are somewhere that you didn't expect to be, and I do love pulling out the phone and seeing a cache right there, boom! We're retired and travel a lot, I have no sense of direction and am routinely LOST, so it is fun to turn a "where the heck are we" moment into a "hey! there's a cache a quarter of a mile from here" moment.

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YOU DO NOT NEED CELL COVERAGE FOR PHONES TO WORK

 

If you have a smartphone you have to buy a data plan. It doesn't matter if there is coverage or not. It doesn't matter if your caching with stored data or not.

I don't want a data plan.

Argument: FAIL

 

I'm not sure what generation of people out there don't have a data plan, but I ain't one of em. I have a data plan whether I geocache or not. A whopping $30! Scandal!

 

Sorry, your argument fails...again.

And again and again.

 

There is NO cache I can't find with my iPhone. Esp hide a keys under park benches/tables.

 

Why do you need to insult me to win your argument?

 

$30 for a data plan? That is as much as my cell phone bill so my bill would double. Sorry, I have no need for a data plan, especially when my phone is off probably 25 or 27 days a month. For some reason I don't have an overwhelming desire to share with the world that I am going to Wally World or tweet a picture I of my Mickie D lunch or that I'm getting gas. (Probably from the Mickie D lunch)

 

I have not said you can't find a cache with your iPhone, just that some of us don't have an overwhelming need to have an iPhone or an Android.

 

Can't you understand the simple concept that I'm not tied to my cellphone and therefore a cellphone is not the right choice for me? and perhaps a number of other folks.

 

So to repeat, I do not want a data plan and therefore I will not need a iPhone to use for caching. So don't tell me that my desire to cache using a GPS is a big fail, because for me caching with an iPhone is a big FAIL.

 

Because of this your argument that all you need is a iPhone fails big time.

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So anyway, getting back on topic.

 

Except for the occasional insulting narcissistic iPhone fanboy troll, I think most cachers prefer to use a dedicated GPSr for planned caching because they're generally more rugged and have longer battery life. Cell phones are great for when you suddenly have a little unexpected free time and you're away from the house. The nice thing about caching is you can play any way that works for you.

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I'm going to go with smartphone. But these days I can't imagine being without either. They both have strong points.

 

I like the spontaneity of smartphones. It's rare that I'm somewhere without coverage. I carry a portable battery charger for my phone, so battery life is less of an issue. My Garmin 62s conks out on me occassionally, for no reason or warning (it's a refurb - my last one was way worse so I sent it in for the refurb, this one is much better but still a problem).

Edited by L0ne.R
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Pay attention. I never said it was for everybody. I don't care if you have a data plan or not. People either do or don't.

 

But people always include a data plan in the cons of smartphone caching. If you don't already have a smartphone then you won't even consider getting one just to cache. The people asking about smartphone vs gps already have a smartphone and data plan

 

The idea that you need to be connected to the internet, constantly download data and be near some cell phone tower at all times is the number 1 misinformed fact given on this forum.

 

It gets old. But I won't let it go unchallenged. It's simply not true.

 

But if you don't have a data plan and are connected to the internet with you smartphone then reason to use a smartphone really doesn't make sense. Overall smartphones simply can't measure up to a dedicated GPS unit. Fragile, limited battery life and not near as accurate.

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...

 

I guess we keep having this discussion.....fired up my 5S , turned on the Groundspeak app and also Geosphere, walked out to my front yard where there was semi-bright sunlight and it was VERY VERY hard to see the screen, with sunglasses its worse. IMO in the field the iPhone is almost worthless as a caching gps on screen readability alone...it matters not what the phone is capable of it all becomes moot if you can't view the screen in a leisurely manner. If I never left my truck the phone would be a good tool.

When you say you've found almost 1000 caches in the Arizona desert using a phone my heart goes out to you and I mean that sincerely. I've found several hundred in the same areas but I was using something I could see.....its a lot brighter out that way than it is in my yard.

The 5S is but one phone. There are many many others. Some are better in sunlight than others. All the current Generation are really focused on daylight screen visibility, so your issue here is becoming less and less of a factor.

 

As far as the issue of data plans goes, I know a lot of older people (50+) who have smart phones with no data plan. They exclusivly use wifi for their data needs. This would work perfectly well for geocacing. A little less spur of the moment, but would still be much more convinient than a handled GPSr.

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I am glad I have a dedicated gpsr. It very convenient to use when I am on the water or mountain biking. And sometimes it is simply fun to use. But if I had to use one device for this game, I would go with my iphone. The graphics are stronger, it handles earthcaches with ease, it has a number of tools that can help with certain kinds of caches, there are some great offline maps, it acts as a caching database, does voice routing, supports GLONASS and gets me to where I want to go - besides, I would have it with me in any event because I might need to call, text, take a quick picture, or transfer caches to my gpsr.

 

Still, it's nice not having to choose.

Edited by geodarts
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I think that most of the down sides of a phone can be overcome quite easily (see link in my signature for details).

 

The only exception to this is GPSr sensitivity. Phones were never made for use in the back country. They were built for sidewalks and roads. When under heavy tree cover, the phones I have tried just don't perform. I carry around an old Garmin eTrex Vista HC for just that issue. It also is great to give to one of the kids or a noobie that I may bring with me. (I actually carry 2 of the Vista HC and one Legend H, got them off kijiji for $30 each)

Edited by Andronicus
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...

 

I guess we keep having this discussion.....fired up my 5S , turned on the Groundspeak app and also Geosphere, walked out to my front yard where there was semi-bright sunlight and it was VERY VERY hard to see the screen, with sunglasses its worse. IMO in the field the iPhone is almost worthless as a caching gps on screen readability alone...it matters not what the phone is capable of it all becomes moot if you can't view the screen in a leisurely manner. If I never left my truck the phone would be a good tool.

When you say you've found almost 1000 caches in the Arizona desert using a phone my heart goes out to you and I mean that sincerely. I've found several hundred in the same areas but I was using something I could see.....its a lot brighter out that way than it is in my yard.

The 5S is but one phone. There are many many others. Some are better in sunlight than others. All the current Generation are really focused on daylight screen visibility, so your issue here is becoming less and less of a factor.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. All my experience is with iPhones and if the sun is out you can forget easily seeing the screen....if others are readily visible I understand some people preferring to cache with them.

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Thanks for the reply. All my experience is with iPhones and if the sun is out you can forget easily seeing the screen....if others are readily visible I understand some people preferring to cache with them.

The AMOLED displays typically have this issue.

 

I have a Samsung SII HD LTE. It is definatly more difficult to read in sunlight, but by turning so the phone is in my shadow, and tipping my sunglasses up, it is usable. The newer ones are better. Reviewers suggest that the HTC One M8, and the Samusing Galaxy S5 are usable in direct sunlight (maybe others as well). Look for this in the next iPhone aswell. Apple is never too far behind, then when they catch up they usualy seem to do it better.

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While I'm not a fan of using my phone for caching the fact there is no cell coverage shouldn't worry you that much provided you plan ahead and download maps, caches etc before you go.

 

.... or pretty much you revert to the same thing the person that picked the 62s has to do. Figure out where you are going and load the caches/maps beforehand.

 

I just had a canoe trip to the remote parts of the Adirondacks and I loaded 5400 caches onto my iPhone with L4C (all the caches in the area and along the planned routes to / from). In this case the phone was actually better than the GPS even though I had no coverage, as my GPS maxes out at 5,000 caches (unlimited POIs) while my iPhone can have tens of thousands of full cache descriptions. Lifeproof case kept the iPhone happy and the solar charger I brought kept the iPhone powered up. I should note, however, that the core navigation was on my eTrex.

 

 

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Thanks for the reply. All my experience is with iPhones and if the sun is out you can forget easily seeing the screen....if others are readily visible I understand some people preferring to cache with them.

The AMOLED displays typically have this issue.

 

I have a Samsung SII HD LTE. It is definatly more difficult to read in sunlight, but by turning so the phone is in my shadow, and tipping my sunglasses up, it is usable. The newer ones are better. Reviewers suggest that the HTC One M8, and the Samusing Galaxy S5 are usable in direct sunlight (maybe others as well). Look for this in the next iPhone aswell. Apple is never too far behind, then when they catch up they usualy seem to do it better.

I have the Samsung S5 and it's still a bit hard to read in direct sunlight, but it is better than my previous HTC EVO. STRICTLY for geocaching (no other use) ANYWHERE in the world, I'd have to choose the GPS unit. Thankfully we don't HAVE to choose and I have access to both, giving me the best of both worlds.

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