Geocaching and More

Each month I work with U. S. Cellular and tell you a little about my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone or fun features of it.  Today is one of those days.

Before I get to my post I know many children will be getting new phones with the start of the new school year.  If you’re like me, you want the kids to have rules and guidelines to go with that phone.  Here’s a link to a great agreement with talking points for you to share with your child.  You can find it here.

Today’s post:
Hubby and I are always a little behind the curve.  We’re late on learning about fads and new things.  A bit ago we were talking to a friend and she was telling us about geocaching.  If you’re like me and don’t know here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it, “Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.  A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with a pen or pencil). The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little financial value, although sometimes they are sentimental.”

I told Hubby about it and we both think we’d like to give it a try.  We keep hoping that next year things at the house here might settle down a bit and we will be able to actually have free time that we can play.

Our friend that does geocaching says one of the main reasons she got a smart phone was so that they could use a GPS app to show them the coordinates that they need.  Most smartphones come equipped with useful tools for the outdoors, such as a compass and flashlight function. Rugged phone cases can protect your device against the elements, and long-life lithium battery can give hours of power.

I don’t see Hubby and I heading out in extreme elements we just want to go for a little fun.

Whether you’re thinking of giving geocaching a try or if you’re more into the outdoors than Hubby and I are U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips and free or low-cost apps:

Safety first: Put the entire Army survival guide on your phone and access it anytime, online or offline, with the Army Survival Guide. This Android and iPhone compatible app offers information about survival planning and kits, shelters, water and food procurement, firecraft and much more.

Find your way: Recent U.S. Cellular research found that 22 percent of smartphone owners use GPS to get directions. Take advantage of your device’s GPS functionality with Gaia GPS, a free app offering the full functionality of a handheld, backcountry GPS unit. Record tracks and waypoints, take geo-tagged photos and more. Plus, you can search for nearby waypoints and read reports about places.

Be your own guide: Use the AllTrails app to browse through guides for 50,000 trails across North America. The app provides photos, reviews and tracks for outdoor activities – from hiking and mountain biking to fly-fishing and snowshoeing. Track your activities with your phone’s GPS and easily share your adventures with friends.

Spot wildlife: Identify birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, native trees and wildflowers with National Parks Field Guide, an interactive field guide to the wildlife and plants of 100 U.S. National Parks. The guide is also full of useful information about each park such as major sites within it, directions, hours and fees, links, and phone numbers to make reservations or get more information.

Boat safely: If your adventure involves boating, check out the official United States Coast Guard app. This free app provides state boating information, a safety equipment checklist, navigation rules, float plans and more. It also offers tools to check weather reports, report pollution and call for help.

Other tips: While a mobile device is not meant to replace good planning and adequate safety precautions, it may serve as a valuable lifeline. If you are lost or in trouble, in an ideal situation, you can call or send a text message for help. If you don’t have a signal, search and rescue might be able to find you based on your device’s location. Outdoor safety experts recommend bringing your mobile phone and leaving your phone number and service provider with family or friends. Even if you keep your device off, experts recommend powering it up occasionally to drop some digital breadcrumbs that may help search and rescue teams locate you if needed.

While flipping through the local continuing education pamphlet I saw that they are offering a geocaching class…I am off to see if I can talk Hubby into it.

1 thought on “Geocaching and More”

  1. Jo, I have been reading your blog for years, however I am finding it so loaded with advertising now, that my computer sometimes takes forever to open the page.
    This morning I had to try 3 times before it opened and that Marshall’s ad overpowers the blog. I do wish you would try and cut back on the size of the ads, so it is more user friendly. I would so appreciate it and I enjoy reading about your quilting and home life.

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