by Chris Guld,

We started Geocaching several years ago, but we had a very old hand held GPS. It was not very accurate and that made it too difficult to find the caches. We soon tired of the effort. Now with our Droid ‘app phone’ it appears we’re back in business.

In case you don’t know what Geocaching is, let me give you a brief overview. It’s a high-tech game played by people all over the world where a player hides a Cache (what’s in it varies) and records the latitude and longitude of the hiding place. This information is entered on the website where millions of players look up available Caches in their area and make a note of the coordinates. Then you go on an adventure to find the Cache. A handheld GPS device is a necessary tool for the hunt. When (If!) you find the specified Cache you should find a log book with it where you record the fact that you indeed found this particular Cache. Then, you put it back where you found it so the next player can have the same fun.

This is a wonderful game for RVers since we’re always some place new. The Geocaches are usually hidden by locals – so the chase gives us a reason to get out of our RVs and explore the local territory. It’s also great for geeks who need some reason to buy new toys! Or, in this case, new uses for current toys.

The Droid is our latest new toy, it’s a cell phone *and* a hand-held computer – see last month’s Geeks on Tour newsletter for our introductory article on the Droid. Since the Droid includes built-in GPS, Jim decided take a look at the Apps to find one for Geocaching. The one he decided to try is called ‘GeoBeagle’ It’s available for free on the Droid Marketplace

You don’t have to have an App to use the Droid for Geocaching, you could just search for the coordinates and use Google Maps (pre-installed on the Droid) – but, using a specific Geocaching application is easier and more accurate. We only tried it this once and are not ready to make any recommendations. It was just too much fun to keep it to ourselves!

One Geocaching tip … don’t let yourself get so buried in looking at the computer screen that you don’t appreciate the view and read the earthbound signs:

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  220. Francis

    Well, fer all o’ my grousin’ and complainin’ about the dearth of hard info from Verizon on what the Droid plans *really* provided and for what price, I finally determined that there just isn’t anyone currently who can provide the breadth and speed of data access *nationwide* except Verizon. So I took a flier on the “Droid” thing and it turns out that it is 10x the GPS navigator that the dedicated GPS (Garmin 855) is!

    Now, I know the Garmin will do things that the Droid will not, but for “Get me from Point A to Point B” nothing could be easier, faster or more accurate IMHO. It finds *everything* where the Garmin finds some things and it has been accurate 100% of the time thus far. This is over 3000 miles through AZ, NM, OK, AR, MS, AL, GA, TN and so far in VA.

    I am not traveling on interstates except very rarely for brief stretches and just wander where it suits me. This past week found me crawling around the mountains of SW Virginia following the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail from one amazing jam/concert to the next. VA state and county roads for 95% of it and dead on at every stop. Nice phone, too. 😉

    I just thought I’d take this opportunity to comment on what an amazing piece of technology this is and to eat a nice big slice of humble pie a la mode for all of my whining about it on previous blog posts of yours!