Getting Started with Cachly
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is an activity where you seek out hidden containers using either a GPS receiver or smart phone. There are more than 3 million geocaches hidden in the world so hopefully there are lots near you. Cachly is an iOS app that enhances your geocaching experience.
Installing the Cachly app
Cachly is installed just like any other app from the App Store. Search for Cachly in the App Store and look for Cachly from Zed Said Studio.
Note: While this wiki is in English, Cachly itself is currently localized to the following languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish. If you are interested in helping with a new localization, please contact support at cach.ly. Volunteers should be willing to work on recurring translations as updates are made available with each release.
Launching Cachly for the first time
When you first start the Cachly App, you see the below screen. If you have already created an account at geocaching.com via the web, you should tap Login. If you want to create your account now, you can tap Signup and you will go through the account creation process. Alternatively, if you don't want to create an account with the site directly, you can login with your Facebook account and it will lead you to creating an account the first time and then future logins can be via Facebook.
If you tap "Login" you will be taken to the geocaching website to enter your geocaching.com username and password. If you try to create an account and get an error about your email address already being used, odds are good you already created an account on the geocaching.com web site. You don't need to create another, just login with your existing credentials.
Note: To be clear, you never have an account with Cachly. Instead, you have an account with geocaching.com and you permit Cachly to login for you and act on your behalf with them. What you can and cannot do in Cachly is determined by your geocaching.com account (Basic vs. Premium membership).
Logging in will lead you to a screen where you give Cachly permission to interact with your geocaching.com information. Cachly needs to do this in order to log your cache finds and otherwise interact with geocaching.com. Tap Agree to continue.
Note: After you successfully login, you won't need to do it again for at least 90 days (perhaps more). When your access token from geocaching.com expires, just login again and forget about it.
Let's find a geocache
After successful login, a map screen centered on your location will be displayed and will look similar to the screen below. The green circle with white border marks your current location. Just like Apple Maps, you can pinch to zoom the map in or out and reposition it.
If you tap the circular arrow in the icon stack at the bottom right of the screen, you request Cachly to load more geocaches near you from geocaching.com. The first 50 are loaded automatically when you start Cachly.
If you spot a geocache near you that you want to try to find, tap on the pin to see more information about it. A callout bubble will appear as shown in the first screen below. The callout tells you the name of the cache (The Cuesta Quest, in this case) and shows you an icon for the cache type, in this case a Traditional cache which is colored green. You will also see ratings for the difficulty of the hide and how challenging it is to navigate the terrain in the area where the cache is hidden. If you have never tried to find a geocache before, you might want to start with one that has lower ratings to increase your chance of success. The callout also includes additional information that may be more important to you as you gain geocaching experience. If you like the looks of the cache, tap the callout to see more about the cache and get ready to go find it. You will see the Cache Details screen as shown on the right below.
Geocaching.com has a Basic Membership category that is free and a paid Premium Membership with lots more features. The free Basic Membership gives you a chance to try out geocaching and see if it is something you will enjoy, but it comes with limitations for how much cache information you can access within a given time period. Note that Basic Membership restrictions are imposed by geocaching.com and not by Cachly.
As the second screen reminds you, geocaching.com limits basic members to viewing full details of three caches each 24 hours. The message you see that says Basic Version Loaded "Tap to load the full version of this cache" is a result of that. Premium members will see no such message and the full cache details will be loaded when you tap the callout.
Once you tap to see the full version and proceed past the below screen, you have used one of your three full cache downloads for this 24 hour period. Premium members are allowed 10,000 lite downloads per day (used when populating the live map) and 6,000 full downloads per day. The geocaching.com API page has more information about limitations imposed by Geocaching HQ.
Let's say "The Cuesta Quest" cache interests you and you load the full version. You will see this screen:
Tip: On many Cachly screens, you will see a back arrow in the upper left corner. Tapping this takes you back to the previous screen.
The Description is the first point of interest. Tap that line and read the description the cache owner provided. Often there is material of interest or some clues towards finding the cache. After Description comes Hint. Sometimes cache owners provide a hint to help you find the cache if you get stuck.
With this information, you are ready to go look for your first geocache. Tap Compass icon at the bottom right of the screen which will take you to a map that shows your location marker and the location of the cache with a red line connecting them as in the left screen below. If you turn so the red arrow attached to your current location lines up with the red line and start walking, you will get closer and closer to where the cache is hidden.
If you prefer a Compass style view, tap the Compass button to the right of the Map one at the top of the screen. That will change your view to the Compass screen that you see as the second screen below. The red arrow on the Compass points in the direction of the cache so you would want to move in the direction it points. The distance from you to the cache will go down as you approach it.
The GPS system is only accurate to around 10 feet at best and it can be even less accurate under tree cover, near power lines or tall buildings. When you get very close to the cache location, it's time to start using your eyes and perhaps the hint to make the discovery. Some caches are on the ground, some hang from branches and some are clever constructions that look like other things. For example, caches disguised to look like a bird house are something you may find. As you gain experience with the ways caches can be hidden, you will get faster at making finds. Another great way to gain experience (and have a fun outing) is to go out with a more experienced geocacher and make it a team outing.
Logging your find
Suppose you have now found the cache. Caches are always supposed to be some sort of container with a paper log sheet inside for you to sign. Open the cache, find the log sheet and sign it with your geocaching.com user name. Congratulations, you are almost done! The signed log lets the cache owner know you found it. Now you need to record your find at geocaching.com. You do so by tapping the Log Geocache button at the bottom of the Cache Detail screen. You will be taken to a logging screen.
The most important things to do here are to specify that you found the cache and enter a message for your log. Tap Log Type and choose Found It since that is what you did. Then tap Message and enter a message for the Cache Owner and others who later find this cache and might appreciate hearing about your experience. You don't have to write a novel but cache owners often put a lot of work into creating their caches and get their reward from the fun logs written by the finders. Now that you have the two crucial fields in your log, just tap the Send Now button at the upper right and you are all done. See the Log Cache page for additional options for posting your logs.
Congratulations! You have gone through the whole process of choosing a cache, navigating to it, finding it, and logging it. Hopefully, you had fun. The rest of this Wiki provides more extensive information you will find useful as you gain experience.