Category Archives: Caching Tools

Geocaching? Bring Batteries!

Sometimes it never fails. Your out in the bush, on the trail or in the middle of town geocaching, you’ve seen a new cache pop up on your cell phone (instant notifications from So you pull out your trusty gps and start popping in the co-ordinates. Your in a rush to get that First to Find (FTF) and don’t check over your gps very well because you just have to get out there and beat the rush! You park at the coords listed and don’t see any vehicles that you recognize anywhere close by. Your only 100 metres from the cache and chomping at the bit to get there.

Out of the vehicle you jump and start heading to ground zero (GZ).

You count them down:
20, 15, 10 ……… blitz …….!!???!??!??@@??? WHAT?????

Then some words are uttered that I don’t dare type here because I would love to keep this a family friendly site! By the time you calm down you realize the batteries have gone dead! As you search around your pockets because you were sure that you had some, you realize that you haven’t purchased anymore because they are just too expensive!

Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable Batteries – your next best friend when geocaching.

WOW! I can say that this has happened to me a couple of times in the beginning. Now I know better. Always carry spare batteries.

I was watching a thread about the new Geomate Jr. Canadian Edition on a forums and they talked about how they couldn’t use it because they didn’t have good batteries. It made me start thinking about what is the best solution?

I can’t say if this is this best way to make sure you have good batteries or not, but this is what I do to ensure my caching adventure is fruitful and fun! There is nothing like getting 3 meters from a cache and your gps screen goes blank. (I like how mine fades away slowly over 30 to 45 seconds).

About 2 months into caching I realized how quickly a GPS can suck the life out batteries. Even good ones like Duracell. I have a fairly decent Fuji camera that I love to use and the same thing was happening with the batteries I used for it. Batteries just don’t seem to last very long when you are using it extensively. The more affordable solution in the long run I found is “Rechargeable batteries”! Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it?

I am not plugging any company here, but I have used energizer rechargeable batteries from the very beginning and have had great luck with them. The one thing to look out for when buying rechargeable batteries is the capacity. WHAT? CAPACITY??

Yes the capacity. If you haven’t really looked at rechargeable batteries, grab one now and have a look. What you should see labelled on the battery is something like “2300 mAh”. mAh stands for milliampere hours. The higher the mAh on a battery, the longer it will potentially last. Also if you are using your batteries for you digital camera’s, some won’t even turn on if the mAh is too low. The highest I have seen is 3000 mAh and they work well in just about any device.

So the next time you are out geocaching and your batteries fail in your gps, flashlight or camera, remember that you were forewarned.

I will be creating some more posts about rechargeable batteries including what type of charger to use as well as what kind of batteries others are saying work the best for them.

GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife)

GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) is a great tool for the semi-serious to the full out, totally obsessed geocacher! GSAK is a program that you can download and install on your computer to keep track of caches in your area, caches you have hid and caches you have found. It is a database driven from your computer. Macros can be installed to create “Filters” for accomplishing different tasks. I use about 6 ranging from creating a cool profile stats page to being able to grab finds for the day from my Garmin Dakota 20 to uploading caches to my car Tom Tom XL.

I will be adding new tips and tricks about GSAK that I have found since I started using GSAK. Being a fairly serious cacher I use it all the time. I will list a few basic things that I do with GSAK here and expand more in later issues.

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