Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kindle for reading.... and Geocaching??

One of my family's newest hobbies this year has been Geocaching. If you've never heard it, it's an activity that uses government satellite equipment to find tupperware in the woodsIn other words: using your GPS to find "caches", little treasures ranging from 1/2 inch to 5 gallon buckets filled with "stuff", a.k.a. trinkets or swag.

We began doing it earlier this year. It's fantastic for families, with or without the dog, for any age group and any fitness level. You can practically park your car on some caches, or hike miles for others. There are over a million of them around the world so there really is something for everyone.

So, how does the Kindle come into it?  Well, I load up co-ordinates of caches I select to my GPS (currently a very basic Garmin nuvi 1200) from Geocaching.com and then either make some notes or print them out with a bit more info. The info might contain clues, what size cache we're looking for, what the terrain is like etc. Then in the evening, I go back online and log which ones we found and which we didn't.

Yesterday we decided to test how the Kindle could join in!  First off, I created a bookmark list of caches on the Geocaching.com website. Then, while at home, I opened the page from my Kindle (Menu > Wireless On, then Menu > experimental > Basic Web).

Once I had their website up and found the relevant list in my profile, I bookmarked it. (Menu > Bookmark this page).

Now what? Let's go caching! 

How did Kindle help??

Well, naturally I could get wireless signal on my 3G Kindle wherever I had a cell phone service. Unlike accessing the internet from my phone, I can access from Kindle for free. Although it's slow, I was able to access all our planned caches, look at the clues and previous logs, and even log my visit - saving me time later that evening.

Now, it is slow. I am not denying that. And I found it easier to keep clicking menu/ bookmarks to get to the right page, rather than navigate through the site all the time but it was helpful. I didn't need to drag a notebook and a pen and numerous notes around with me.

Now I want a Kindle 3 even more, since the web browser is apparently more streamlined than the Kindle 2. And I wonder what other activities we could get our Kindle involved with??


  1. How interesting! I ordered a Kindle 3G yesterday (I live in Germany) and was wondering, if I could use it to support my Garmin. Good news, I hope it works in my country, too.

  2. Hi! Congrats on buying the Kindle! I am sure you will love it!
    Well, I assume it will work the same in Germany as in US, and so you would use the Kindle and Garmin alongside each other. You'd still need the Garmin as a GPS, but the Kindle would be able to access Geocaching.com and so access clues and logs etc. I see no reason why it shouldn't work for you! Let me know!

  3. It wont work in Germany, though. You only get access to wikipedia and the amazon shop from here :(

  4. Oh, no web browser for Germany? I didn't know that.

    You made me curious, and so went looking. Seems web browser capabilities are creeping into other countries. I found some good info at Kindle World Blog with lots of where it is and is not available (60+ countries now have it) and a good table here

    Surprised to see that some of the bigger European countries without it! Hopefully you will get it soon!

  5. I have a Kindle 3G coming tomorrow... I hope it will be able to read HTML files that I put on it from my PC (generated with GSAK) so I can read the cache sheets without having to print them. I may have to work out how to open the "Home" page for a group of caches and then it should link from there.

    IF I find that there is a way to access Geocaching.com via its 3G connection, I'll also be able to check for updates etc "in the field"

    Belplasca on Geocaching.com

  6. Hi Belsplasca, that's exactly what I do it in the field.

    I made an update on this a little while ago:
    Someone made a How To video on using GSAK with Kindle.

    Also you can log into Geocaching.com with Kindle, and a faster but more basic one for mobile: wap.geocaching.com

    Also see -
    Sending personal documents to your Kindle for getting your personal files and HTML onto Kindle: