The 5 Best Geocaching Apps

These are the most useful geocaching apps for Android and iOS

Compass laying on top of a brown map

 Photo by Himesh Kumar Behera on Unsplash

For most people, geocaching involves using the official Geocaching app, listed below. However, there are several other geocaching apps that you might like better or that have features that are cheaper than in the Geocaching app.

Listed below are all the best geocaching apps, some free and some that require payment. At their core, most of them work the same way: log in to your Geocaching.com account to access your information, and then use the app to find caches. Every app that accesses Geocaching.com uses the same map as every other geocacher, meaning that no matter which app you use, all the same caches show up on the map.

However, some of these apps have features not found in others. For example, one app might let you download maps so that you can access caches even without an internet connection, which is perfect for those times when you’re geocaching in remote areas. Another app might make it really easy to filter the caches you see on the screen to hide the ones you’ve ignored or have placed yourself, or to highlight ones you want to take a closer look at later.

Unless you upgrade to Geocaching Premium, none of these geocaching apps will show you extensive details for more than three caches within a 24-hour period. In other words, if you view the full details of three caches in one day, you have to wait another day to see three more. You can still view basic details and navigate to the caches, but not all of the information about the cache will be displayed.

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Geocaching

Geocaching app for iPhone

What We Like

  • Simple design makes it easy to understand.

  • Caches not yet found are simple to spot on the map.

  • Works with both Android and iOS devices.

  • You can navigate to the cache with a different GPS app on your phone.

What We Don't Like

  • Free features found in other apps are not free in this one.

  • Can't submit new geocaches through the app.

It’s no surprise that one of the better free geocaching apps is the official app, called Geocaching. You can use it to search for geocaches, log that you did or did not find any particular cache, and more.

However, because there’s also a premium version available, the free app is limited in some ways. If you don’t care about the advanced features, though, you can still use Geocaching to find lots and lots of geocaches without paying a dime.

The free version of Geocaching lets you search for geocaches by location, geocache type (Traditional or Event only), tracking code, and GeoTours. You can also view a geocache’s difficulty and terrain rating, read the description about the geocache, message the person who placed the geocache, share geocaches with others, and log whether or not the geocache was found.

Geocaching Premium is available through the app which lets you access all the geocache types, download maps offline, use the Trails maps for off-road geocaching, perform better searches when looking for geocaches, and more.

You can pay for the premium version for three months at a time for $9.99 ($3.33 /month) or for a whole year at $29.99 ($2.50 /month).

This app works on both Android and iOS devices.

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Cachly

Cachly app for iPhone

What We Like

  • Closely resembles the official Geocaching app.

  • There isn't a monthly payment requirement.

  • Logging caches is easy with templates.

  • Filtering options let you hide certain kinds of caches.

  • Works with Apple Watch.

What We Don't Like

  • The app isn't free.

  • No Android version.

Cachly is not a free geocaching app but unlike the official one listed above, this geocaching app only requires a one-time payment to get features like offline vector maps, lists, and advanced searching capabilities.

Once you’re viewing a particular cache through Cachly, you can use the menu button to select Find Caches Near This. This is a really handy feature to quickly look for more caches within a reasonable distance from the one you’re working on.

With the search options, Cachly lets you hide geocaches you’ve already found so that you don’t confuse them with new ones on the map. It can also hide your hidden geocaches, exclude ignored caches, remove inactive ones from the map, and exclude archived geocaches.

Another feature worth mentioning comes in handy when you’re making a list of geocaches to find. You can handpick certain caches and add them to a custom list but you can also search for geocaches, and even filter them if you like, and then save all the visible caches to a list. This makes it really easy to add caches to a list in bulk.

Cachly also lets you add notes to a cache for your own personal use, can highlight caches so that they stand out to you in the map or list view, syncs with Apple Watch so that you can find caches without pulling out your phone, supports importing and exporting GPX files (saved GPS data files), and templates for logging caches more quickly.

More features can be had with Cachly but only if you subscribe to Geocaching Premium through the Geocaching website or app.

This app is priced at $4.99 and works on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

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c:geo

c:geo app for Android

What We Like

  • Caches and maps can be saved for offline use.

  • You can log caches without an internet connection.

  • A signature template lets you log caches easier and faster.

  • Your own favorite GPS navigation app can be used to find the cache.

  • There isn't a fee or monthly payment to use it.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't support iOS.

This free Android geocaching app isn’t necessarily the prettiest thing you'll ever install but it does have lots of useful features that you won’t get with the official Geocaching app.

Using a local list with c:geo is helpful so you can handpick which caches you want to go after, and then see only those caches on your map, even without an internet connection. You can even filter them by distance, type, size, terrain, difficulty, attributes, status, and other criteria.

With offline logging, the geocaching app acts as if you were online even if you're using offline maps or downloaded caches. Then, once you’re connected to the internet, you can use your saved log to log it for real using the internet.

You can use variables when you set up a signature template, like to auto-insert the current date and time, terrain level, owner name, and more to configure a signature that changes for each cache you write a log for.

c:geo lets you pick a primary and a secondary navigation method, like a compass, an external map app, Google Maps (walking/bike/transit/driving), or Maps.me. You can also tinker with advanced settings like hardware acceleration, low-power mode, the orientation sensor, the database storage location, and the GPX import/export directory.

Here are some other notable features you’ll find in c:geo:

  • Option to search for caches by longitude and latitude, address, user, keywords, and trackable
  • Nearby cache option
  • List of caches you’ve recently viewed
  • “Go to” option to immediately start navigating to any set of coordinates from any other coordinates
  • Cache filter to either show all cache types or only traditional caches, multi-caches, mystery caches, giga-event caches, earthcaches, and several others
  • An option to find caches that are located near another cache
  • A “personal note” option to store information about a cache for only you to see
  • Waypoint extractor
  • Share caches with others over email or any other sharing app

c:geo works on Android only.

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GeoCaches

GeoCaches app for iPhone

What We Like

  • There isn't any clutter since there aren't many options.

  • The map can be filtered to only show certain items.

  • Much easier to use than most geocaching apps.

What We Don't Like

  • Only works with iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

  • Can't be as fully customized as the other apps in this list.

  • The option to be notified near a cache has to be set manually.

GeoCaches is a much simpler geocaching app than the others in this list. It’s really easy to use and doesn’t include too many settings, so choosing how to use it is pretty straightforward. However, because it’s so simple, you won’t find tons of customization options (but maybe that's a good thing).

When you tap a cache on the map, it shows an S, D, T in the pop-up box. Those refer to the size, difficulty, and terrain levels; the lower the number, the smaller the cache is, or the less difficult it is to find. You can tap on the cache for more information and to show the description, log book, and any available hints.

Since there aren’t a lot of settings in this app, the only real changes you can make are to the map type (satellite, terrain, etc.), show/hide found caches you’ve already found, show/hide caches that are inactive, and filter results for size, difficulty, and terrain levels.

Something not so great about this geocaching app is that you can’t turn on notifications for every cache with a global setting. Instead, you have to go into a particular cache’s information box and turn on Notify me in 300m zone

Another thing we don’t like about this app is that if you don't want to use the in-app navigation, and instead use your own navigation app, you're limited to using Apple Maps only. To do that, open the details for the cache and tap Export to send the coordinates to Apple Maps.

iOS devices can install GeoCaches, so it works for your iPad and your iPhone.

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Geocache Placer

Geocache Placer app for Android

What We Like

  • Can keep track of multiple caches.

  • Shows the minimum distance caches can be located from each other.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't show existing caches, only ones you place yourself through this app.

  • Works on Android only.

  • Hard to use at first.

  • Can't submit caches to Geocaching.com from the app (you need a computer).

As the name suggests, this app isn’t meant for finding geocaches but instead for making your own. Creating a geocache is fairly simple, but you have to make sure the coordinates are just right so that users can accurately find the geocache through whatever app they’re using.

Geocache Placer provides a way to save multiple places using their coordinates instead of an address like most navigation apps. Once you’ve collected the coordinates to the place(es) you want to add to the Geocaching service, use the Places button to find all of them, which is where you can tap to open them and then share them with yourself with the built-in share button (e.g. send the coordinates to your email so that you can access them on a computer and add them through Geocaching.com).

Another feature worth mentioning about Geocache Placer is the 161m/528ft circle you can overlay on the map. Since caches can only be placed over 161m from any other one, the circle is a great way to visually see how far away from your last cache you can go to place another so that they aren’t rejected by Geocaching.com.

This geocaching app can also import and export places to GPX files. Plus, there are lots of advanced settings you can edit, like to use more or less precise positioning settings, change the delay time between the measurements, change the map style (satellite, hybrid, terrain, etc.), adjust the format of the coordinates, and more.

This app works for Android devices only.

If you have an iPhone or are already using Google Maps on your phone, you can easily grab the coordinates of any location by dropping a pin on the map.