I've been geocaching for a little under a year using my iPhone4 and the
geocaching app and am happy with that setup. I especially like the paperless
caching that is possible due to the app providing all the information I need
and the possibility to switch between various map types on the go.
The drawback to this is that I need a data connection while caching but at
home (Switzerland) this is not a problem as coverage is generally good and
my data plan allows for enough traffic (1GB/month).
Of course, travelling abroad, this becomes a problem as data roaming has the
potential for financial ruin :-)
I've experiemented using my iPhone offline (importing cache data using
pocket queries; viewing maps beforehand in all required zoom levels and then
storing them for each cache). I've tested this with a couple of caches at
home to see if it is viable. It works in principle, but requires extensive
preparation (mostly buffering the map data) and comes with a lack of
Due to this, I've been toying with the thought of buying a "secondary"
proper GPS device that I could use when travelling abroad. I've looked into
some of the Garmin devices and as far as I could see, the current ones all
support using OSM map material and some even come with GPX/paperless caching
I haven't yet looked at other suppliers but wouldn't rule those out at all.
This device is not intended to replace my iPhone for caching at home (my
predominant use), it is really just an "offline" solution to have flexible
access to maps.
I'd summarise my requirements as follows:
- not too expensive
- good quality GPS receiver and compass
- either geocaching capable base maps or possibility to use OSM map data
- paperless caching is a bonus but not a requirement
- no need for fancy features like the Oregon 550's camera (I have my iPhone
and digital camera for that)
Based on my description above, have I left out any requirements?
What devices would you recommend that match my requirements?
I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions.
Urs "sbeelis" Beeli