This geocache blog post is about a review of 3 common types of units to use to find geocaches – Garmin, Blackberry, and iPhone and which one is the best geocaching GPS for you. In the past few weeks I’ve used each of these units to find geocaches and am providing my geocacher review on them.
- Garmin Colorado 400t Unit the foundational tool for geocachers with great GPS accuracy, hide information, and fantastic features like “turn by turn driving directions to your next geocache”, but requires uploading queries and downloading finds that add an extra step the wireless devices no longer need. I still would take this one out for when I know I’m going geocaching (weekends, vacations…)
- Blackberry Trimble Geocache Navigator Application if you have the blackberry, worth adding this for those “wonder if there are any geocaches around here” moments. But as any wireless device – depends on being in an area where there is a signal. It does upload the log information straight away vs. just posting a field note which is what the iPhone does.
- iPhone Groundspeak Geocaching Application same comment as Blackberry for those ”wonder if there are any geocaches around here” moments and signal issues. But this is made by Geocaching.com and has some offline capabilities that makes this better for me than the Blackberry app.
Garmin Colorado 400t
Here’s the link to Garmin’s store about this tool.
I bought this one when I started geocaching just over 1 year ago. It was the newest release at that time and had special features for geocaching – like including the hints and the past 5 logs automatically.
When I bought the driving maps in addition (yes, that’s how they make money) for a trip to Europe – I discovered a whole new fantastic aspect of the Garmin tool for Geocaching. The “we’ll give you turn by turn driving instructions to get to your next cache” feature. This stopped a lot of those navigating arguments straight away and made geocaching so much more fun when we were driving to areas of geocaches….
as I get more experienced and use wireless devices, this tool will start to get outdated. I don’t want to have to spend the time and steps I do now. Mainly the posting of the logs on to Geocaching.com after I have geocached. The wireless devices can send the information “Live” so it’s done.
Blackberry Trimble Geocache Navigator Application
Here’s the link to Trimble about this application.
COST $5.99 per month (but FREE trial for 60 days available)
I tried this out for a week and loved the features and functionalities. It had a good interface, was easy to use, logged the caches straight away (the step I least like to do). But is is slow to load up and find – I had my Garmin out and loaded and found a couple of caches before the Trimble app had found local geocaches…
Worth trying out with the free trial…we had issues trying to download on 2 types of blackberries and had to call for support (not a good message for a little application)
I’ll refer to HeadHardHat’s review as he went over much of the good and bad ad was super thorough about it. He even has his classic GeoSnippet video tutorials to help you along if you use this tool.
iPhone Geocaching Application
Here’s the link to Geocaching.com about this tool.
I just added this application last week and planned to go out for a geocaching day on Friday July 3rd with the tool. But that was the fateful day of the Fisher Fire (Here’s the geocachers updates on this) that brought down the servers for the Geocaching site – and the downside of an app that relies on the Internet was shown.
But the servers were up the next day and July 4th was the big geocache day (30+ in 1 day!)and we used the iPhone app. The navigating part is not so good – hard to know where to go, how far away you are.. But the details of the geocache are great including an inventory of any Travel bugs! So you can target finding these. And the ability to post a field not live is super great! At the end of the day I still had to go online and load them up – but was simply a click of a button vs having to remember information about each geocache find.
The tool can take a little while to find local caches – but less than the Blackberry Trimble – and you can alos access your pocket queries so do ‘offline’ caching from your iPhone – another big plus!
Summary – not yet ready to go 100% iPhone but see this as a great partnering tool when the hubby and I are out together. we can each have a tool that adds a different aspect to our fun.
Here is a link to reviews about other iPhone geocache applications from “Let’s Go Geocaching” – did not even know there were others. I’m sticking with GroundSpeak as it ties to my account. And $10 is not a lot for a one-time fee for the great interactions it has.
Update October 2010 – The best geocaching GPS market is growing strong with the iPhone app vastly improved, new GPS units from Garmin like the Oregon, and the Android Geocaching app entering the market.