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Premium membership


HomeyJay
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Hi all,

I just started out with geocaching. I don't really know how it works but I'm willing to learn!

I was on the Geocaching.com website and it seems that I need to have a "premium membership" to get pretty much anything else apart from the rough location of the cache from the site. Is this the case?

I'd like to get as much info about each cache - some of it seems to be interesting but I'm a bit hesitant to pay for the membership when I don't really know if I'm going to get on with it!

Can anyone give me some advice please?

 

H.

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Hello and welcome!

 

The short answer is: No, you don't need to buy Premium membership now. You can get all the details you need on the majority of caches with a basic membership.

 

Longer answer: There are 2 main aspects to Premium Membership:

 

1. When someone hides a cache, they can choose to make it available to all members, or make it available to Premium Members only.

 

2. Premium membership provides additional tools which makes it easier to find and download caches to a GPS, or save offline on the phone app.

 

For point 1: I don't have country-wide numbers, but I can tell you that of the 5000 caches nearest to me, 500 are Premium. I.e. 90% of the caches are non-Premium and fully visible to basic members. So you won't be able to find ALL the caches, but there will be plenty to get on with.

 

Point 2 is something which may become more important to you as you find more caches.

 

For me as a newbie, I cached for about 6 months as a basic member. What prompted me to sign up for premium at first was "point 1" - There were premium caches nearby that I wanted to find. But once I was Premium, I discovered "point 2", which is especially useful with a "paperless" GPS (such as my Oregon 600).

 

Note this is all different from and not to be confused with the paid "App" vs. the free "App".

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Forgot to add - there are these things called "Event Caches". These are where geocachers get together and socialise. Search the site for an Event Cache near you; it is a good way to meet local cachers, who will generally be pleased to meet and help a "newbie".

 

There are also regional geocaching groups on Facebook if you do that...

 

Where are you based?

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Thanks!

What I noticed that premium membership seems to give you more info about the cache - sometimes the history of the area and other nice stuff on my browser but not on my eTrex 20 once I'd downloaded the details of the cache. All I seem to have was the basic location and not much else. Is there some sort of trial membership available for the premium service, because for me, it's nice having some background knowledge about the location thrown in to see on the GPS. It's nice to see on the browser but this is not much use when you're out and about!

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Thanks!

What I noticed that premium membership seems to give you more info about the cache - sometimes the history of the area and other nice stuff on my browser but not on my eTrex 20 once I'd downloaded the details of the cache. All I seem to have was the basic location and not much else. Is there some sort of trial membership available for the premium service, because for me, it's nice having some background knowledge about the location thrown in to see on the GPS. It's nice to see on the browser but this is not much use when you're out and about!

 

All the cache information is available to you on the web page but as a non premium member you can only download a .LOC file which has the cache name, the coordinates and a few other minor things but not the full description or previous logs etc. With premium membership you can download .GPX files which contain all the information on the webpage. More importantly without premium membership, you have to download the caches one-by-one, as a premium member you and run a pocket query ( for example all the caches which I haven't found and which are not disabled, within 10 miles of home) this will provide a .GPX file containing full data on up to 1000 caches.

 

I believe that most premium members would quote pocket queries as the main benefit of premium membership.

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There is a 3 month membership. (It is auto-renewing after that, so you need to remember to cancel it, or change it to a yearly one).

 

The downloading of cache details is part of what I was lumping together as "point 2" - making it easier. You are correct that with basic membership you can't send all those details to the GPS (and take advantage of "paperless caching".)

 

You can of course print out the cache details and take the paper with you. You could also combine some online cutting and pasting to manually get details onto the device; but that is messy. For reasons such as this, Premium Membership is well worth it. I was just saying you that if you aren't sure, you can live without it (by printing cache pages etc) as a workaround.

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