Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
Caitlin-Rfd

Do I need GPS?

Recommended Posts

I do not have any GPS device or anything that I could use; however I am VERY keen on geocaching.

 

Do I need a GPS device, or is there an alternative?

Share this post


Link to post

A GPS will greatly simplify the task, but I have seen people use online map resources with pretty good success.

Share this post


Link to post

I found hundreds of caches using the satellite view of Google Maps before finally buying a GPS receiver.

 

Today, I do most of my geocaching with a smartphone app, and use a GPS receiver only when I need something with more battery life, durability, and/or waterproofness than my phone.

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you, although can you explain how exactly you'd go about it without any GPS systems

For me I do a lot of research on the caches I want to pick up. If I know I'm going to a special place that weekend I'll search for some caches in the area and write down the co-ords to put into my phone's google maps or just use the geocaching app. For caches in my area I use google maps and just take notes as to where they're located. It's really easy to zoom in and see almost exactly where the coordinates are listed and just by knowing my area I can usually go grab them without having to even check the geocaching app once I'm out searching for them. But it's definitely possible to not use a GPSr since I'm still fairly new and wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it so I haven't bought one yet and have just been relying on my phone and/or google maps and the notes I write down for myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Thank you, although can you explain how exactly you'd go about it without any GPS systems
All the GPS system does is get you to ground zero, the place where you start searching. If you can identify ground zero without a GPS system, then you can go geocaching without one.

 

I would follow the Google Maps link on the cache page, figure out the general location, then switch to satellite view and identify landmarks that would help me locate GZ. Sometimes GZ itself was an identifiable landmark: the third bush from the left, or the corner of the fence, or something like that. Other times I'd need to locate GZ by its relation to other objects: 100ft east of the dead tree, or 200ft north of the two boulders, or something like that. Obviously, its easier in urban/suburban locations when the landmarks are clear and easily identifiable from both the satellite view and from the ground. But it can be done in open spaces and parks as well.

 

Here's a video that shows how edscott does it:

Share this post


Link to post

As others have suggested, one can do pretty well with doing their research and using Google Earth. Yes the smart phone apps also work. However, some of the locations we recently visited in South Dakota and Wyoming we didn't have data access.

 

I use my GPS and log (if I have data access) from my Android.

 

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post

Keep in mind that most of the smartphone apps out there have the ability to store caches (some do maps too) for offline use, so if you're out of data service, you can still cache. All phones have a GPS chip that communicates with the satellites just as a dedicated GPS does, so if you own a smartphone, you own a GPS.

 

Without a GPS, you can navigate the old-fashioned way - orienteering with a map and compass. Or as some people have done, use google maps and satellite view.

Share this post


Link to post

Ahhh...good point Mineral2. I guess because I use my GPS (Garmin) almost exclusively for geocaching, I get in the frame of mind to plan out my trip and create my pocket queries and load those where we will be visiting. With regards to my phone I just simply forget I can do that and then have been caught off guard with no data access.

 

Jerry

KD0BIK

Share this post


Link to post

I found my first 20 or so caches without using a GPSr. In the suburban area where I used to live it was quite easy to use the satellite images on Google maps and recognise landmarks such as trees, fence lines and corners of buildings. Once I was at the location the hint of the cache page would often help narrow the search down.

 

I still find caches without a GPSr occasionally, if the cache location is on a road then Google street view can be very useful too, often allowing me to see the road sign that a cache is attatched to before I even visit the area.

Share this post


Link to post

If you have a phone that detects location, you can download the "Geocaching" app. But depending on what store you use they will charge you a fee. Also, some caches are in parkling lots, and are letterbox hybrids, so if you do have the idea of where the cache could be, you could just go there and search in the reasonable spots without the coords.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

×