Are You in the Market for the Best GPS for Geocaching? Let’s Find the Right One for You.

Recently, I have become fascinated with the world of geocaching, which is an activity that requires individuals to search for “caches” or hidden containers of objects. As Electric Light describes geocaching in a tweet, it is almost like a fun “scavenger hunt-style game” or a game of hide-and-seek, except with objects:


The anticipation builds up as you are searching high and low for this container, and you feel a sense of happiness, relief, and proudness once you have found it. It is like you have found a buried treasure!

When I first started becoming interested in geocaching, I realized that I needed a tool that would assist me in finding the caches, which is how I came across GPS devices. I began doing lots of research and set out to find the best GPS for geocaching.

Ultimately, I decided to share my recommended list of devices to help others who may be in the market for these types of devices and need some help choosing one. I found over 30 different devices that seemed to be great, but I narrowed my list down to seven. I chose these seven products because I felt like they met the requirements to be the most beneficial while looking for caches.

If you are not satisfied with the products on my list, the Garmin GPSMAP 66i, the Garmin eTrex 20, and the Garmin eTrex 32x are other great products to check out. However, I believe that the products on my list are better, and I am confident that you will find the perfect one that will meet your needs.

After reading this article, you will officially know:

  • My top pick and other great devices for geocaching
  • My advice on what to focus on when buying a device for geocaching (My buyer’s guide)
  • The seven best devices for geocaching and my personal review of each
  • Other top must-haves to consider purchasing with your device

 My Top Pick  

Garmin GPSMAP 66sGarmin GPSMAP 66s

What’s Inside?

  • Handheld device with BirdsEye satellite imagery
  • 3-inch sunlight-readable color display
  • Multiple Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
  • Expanded wireless connectivity

Killer Feature: Ability to automatically update with the latest caches from Geocaching Live

Buying Options

The Garmin GPSMAP 66s is the best device for geocaching, as it automatically receives updates about the latest caches from Geocaching Live. This includes descriptions, hints, clues, and logs. All of your finds will also automatically upload to your geocaching website.

  Also Great  

Garmin GPSMAP 64sGarmin GPSMAP 64s

What’s Inside?

  • 16 hours of battery life
  • Expanded memory of 8GB
  • A dual battery system available
  • Ability to upload wirelessly to Garmin Connect

Killer Feature: Very user-friendly

Buying Options

The aspect that blew me away about the Garmin GPSMAP 64s is its user-friendly features. This device is very easy to use right out of the box. It does not take much to get it up and running as well as to begin using to find caches.

Garmin eTrex 10Garmin eTrex 10

What’s Inside?

  • Handheld navigator with 2.2-inch monochrome display
  • WAAS GPS receiver with GLONASS and HotFix support
  • Waterproof
  • 20 hours of battery life

Killer Feature: Ability to see high and low elevation points as well as store start and end points on a track

Buying Options

The Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator is another great device, as it will ensure that you never get lost and always find your way to and back from wherever you are going. Some have described it as a lifesaver, whether hunting for caches, hiking, or biking in the wilderness.

If you are interested in staying up to date on the world of geocaching, my suggestion is to check out the Geocaching Twitter page. They recently aired a podcast on “going on vacation and wanting to geocache.” During the podcast, people called in and gave their ideas and tips on how to geocache while on vacation.

Buyer’s Guide

When looking to find the best GPS for geocaching, there are several key factors that you should make sure you check out before making a purchase. Each of these important aspects can greatly affect the quality of your device. Therefore, I will provide a buyer’s guide for you to look at and check off each important element while you are ensuring that the device meets your expectations.

1. Basic GPS Features

The basic features are important because you want to make sure that the device you select has the best accuracy and functionality. Even if it may sound silly to tell buyers to check these key components, it is not because devices can easily lack these two main features.

When we are in the market for an item, it is common to assume that every product will have great accuracy or functionality. However, that is not the case. Therefore, checking the basics is a must.

2. Easy to Use

This element is crucial because many times buyers will return items that they purchased because it was not easy to use. So, my advice is to make sure the product you are looking at appears to be user-friendly, has good reviews, and looks easy to use. Many of us do not have the extra time to learn new things in-depth, so I highly recommend looking up devices that are easy to use.

3. Battery Life

I cannot tell you how important battery life is when searching for this type of product. The reason for this is because you do not want to be in the woods or wilderness somewhere and the battery on your device dies. It will be hard to find your way back when that happens. Therefore, my suggestion is to do yourself a huge favor and make sure the product you are interested in has a great battery life. You will thank me for this later!

If you are unsure about what exactly geocaching is, I recommend learning what it is before buying a device for geocaching. You can learn all about geocaching by taking a look at I Am Your Target Demographic’s YouTube video. This is a quick video that discusses what geocaching is and why people participate in this type of activity.

4. Display Size

The display size is something to pay attention to because you do not want to be constantly squinting to look at your device. The idea is to be able to easily and quickly look at it to get from different points. If you have to constantly squint or struggle to see the map, you will be less likely to use your selected product.

5. Waterproof or Water-Resistant

Since the weather is always unpredictable, I recommend choosing a device that is waterproof or at least water-resistant. This will help you out in the long run because you will not have to replace your device due to damage from rain or snow.

When you leave your home, the weather channel may say no rain or snow for the area. However, some storms are unexpected. This feature will also be beneficial if you were to drop your product into a puddle.

6. Weight and Size

This is a personal preference, but it is definitely something to keep in mind. Some people may prefer to have a device that is small and lightweight where they do not even feel like they are carrying anything, while others prefer to have a bigger device that they know they will not lose. If size and weight are big factors to you, make sure that you look at these specs when determining which product to purchase.

7. Memory Card Expansion

The memory card expansion is another critical feature to assess before buying one of these devices. The reason for this is that you want to be able to increase your memory capacity on your chosen device. If you need to store more maps, finds, or other important things that will help you, more memory is required.

8. Bluetooth Compatibility

Bluetooth compatibility may also be an important factor when looking to buy these types of devices. You may want to connect it to your phone or vehicle, which can be done through Bluetooth.

7 Best GPS for Geocaching

Garmin GPSMAP 66s

1. Garmin GPSMAP 66s →

Best for individuals who are tech savvy and need the perfect device to start geocaching.

This device allows you to see where you are headed, stay aware of weather conditions, and keep track of your caches.

My Top Pick

Garmin GPSMAP 64s

2. Garmin GPSMAP 64s →

Great option for individuals who have never used a GPS for geocaching and need something easy to begin using.

This device is extremely easy to use and has no learning curve.

Also Great

Garmin eTrex 10

3. Garmin eTrex 10 →

Good choice for individuals going out into the wilderness and need to be able to find their way to and back.

This exceptional device is a life saver when it comes to going off the trail.

Also Great

Garmin Montana 700

4. Garmin Montana 700 →

Excellent selection for individuals who need a handheld device to go outdoors, whether geocaching, riding ATVs, bikes, or hiking.

This device has an extended battery that will make sure that you never get lost.

Garmin Oregon 700

5. Garmin Oregon 700 →

Perfect for individuals who have used handheld devices for geocaching or other outdoor activities.

This device may take some time to fully learn, but it will get the job done once you have taken the time to learn it.

Garmin eTrex 20XT

6. Garmin eTrex 20XT →

Most recommended for individuals who need a user-friendly device to get from one place to another.

This device is easy to set up, begin using, and plot and name a point in a specific area.

Bad Elf 2200

7. Bad Elf 2200 →

Best for persons who have used a handheld device before and are tech-savvy.

With time and patience, you will learn and understand this device, and it will perform greatly for you.

I will now provide reviews of my top recommended GPS devices for geocaching. Each of these devices is an excellent product, but you may only find one that you feel is perfect for you. The goal is for you to read my personal reviews and decide for yourself which product you would like to purchase.

1. Garmin GPSMAP 66s

Garmin GPSMAP 66s Front Side

The Garmin 66s is an excellent device. It comes equipped with the InReach Satellite communicator, allowing you to communicate when you are off the grid. It also features a system that automatically updates with the latest caches from Geocaching Live and allows you to automatically upload all of your finds to the Geocaching website.

Features

  • Handheld device with BirdsEye satellite imagery
  • 3-inch sunlight-readable color display
  • Multiple Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
  • Expanded wireless connectivity

Pros

  • Ability to track weather conditions
  • Keep track of caches
  • Able to communicate when no cell service

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No touchscreen
  • Quality of maps could be better

Killer Feature: Ability to automatically update with the latest caches from Geocaching Live

Garmin GPSMAP 66s Back Side

For more information on setting up the Garmin GPSMAP 66s, refer to GPS Training’s YouTube video. This video shows you how to set up this device as well as explains the main differences. It is a great video to watch to help you decide if this device is perfect for you.

Buying options

2. Garmin GPSMAP 64s

Garmin GPSMAP 64s Front Side

The Garmin 64s is one of the most user-friendly devices on this list. It is very easy to use once opened and taken out of the box. There are no large amounts of reading or learning when it comes to this product. All you must do is turn it on, and it is ready to show you how to get wherever you need to go.

Features

  • 2.6-inch sunlight-readable color display
  • 16 hours of battery life
  • Expanded memory of 8GB
  • A dual battery system available
  • Ability to upload wirelessly to Garmin Connect

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Very easy to use
  • Accuracy and reliability are perfect

Cons

  • No touchscreen
  • Map quality could be better
  • Battery life could be better

Killer Feature: Very user friendly

Using Garmin GPSMAP 64s

To learn more about the Garmin GPSMAP 64s, I suggest watching NLGhostWolf’s YouTube video. This video goes in-depth explaining how to use this product as well as why the user recommends it. Although this video is quite long, I think it will be beneficial to you in your search.

Buying Options

3. Garmin eTrex 10

Garmin eTrex 10 Front Side

The Garmin eTrex 10 is a terrific choice for those looking for a budget-friendly device that will follow them outdoors. This device makes it easy to see where you are as well as where you have gone in the past.

Features

  • Handheld navigator with 2.2-inch monochrome display
  • WAAS GPS receiver with GLONASS and HotFix support
  • Waterproof
  • 20 hours of battery life

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Fits in your pocket and easily travels on-the-go

Cons

  • Old model
  • Maps are basic and not updated often
  • Memory cannot be expanded

Killer Feature: Ability to see high and low elevation points as well as store start and end points on a track.

Garmin eTrex 10 Back Side

An excellent video that I recommend checking out is geojibby’s YouTube video. In this video, the user goes over all the details of the Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator. Some of the key elements discussed are the physical overview, the menu, and customization, marking waypoints, using tracks, using maps, compasses, accessing routes, and geocaching.

Buying Options

4. Garmin Montana 700

Garmin Montana 700 Front Side

The Garmin Montana 700 is perfect for people who enjoy the outdoors. The battery life can last for more than a week, and the maps are great quality.

Features

  • Rugged construction
  • 5-inch display that is touchscreen and glove-friendly
  • Multi-GNSS support
  • Compatible with Garmin Explore website and app as well as ANT+ technology, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth

Pros

  • Has a variety of useful features and settings that you can customize
  • Well-built, rugged, and sturdy
  • Ability to communicate when off the grid

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Takes time to learn everything
  • Unable to update with a Mac computer

Killer Feature: Very large display screen that makes it easier to read and look at maps.

Garmin Montana 700

If you are considering this device, my advice is to check out Garmin Retail Training’s YouTube video that introduces the Garmin Montana 700. This is a short video that does a wonderful job showing off the device as well as explaining its awesome features. I believe that this video will help you make a great decision.

Buying Options

5. Garmin Oregon 700

Garmin Oregon 700 Front Side

The Garmin Oregon 700 is a great device that is very functional and gets the job done when outdoors. This product will bring maps to your fingertips in just a few short seconds.

Features

  • 3-inch sunlight-readable display that is a touchscreen
  • ABC sensors
  • Rugged construction for outdoors
  • Simple multi-activity menu
  • Compatibility with Connect IQ

Pros

  • Very functional
  • Great rugged feel
  • Touchscreen works really well

Cons

  • A very complex device that requires lots of learning
  • Battery life could be better
  • Different than the other Oregon devices

Killer Feature: A redesigned antenna that allows users to have better satellite reception.

Garmin Oregon 700 Landscape Orientation

If you have chosen the Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS, watch Garmin’s YouTube video. This video will help you learn how to set up your device and begin using it. It will also give you a closer look at the product to see if you think it will be a good fit for you.

Buying Options

6. Garmin eTrex 20XT

Garmin eTrex 20XT Front Side

The Garmin eTrex 20XT is a wonderful device that offers you clear views of topography maps, wireless capabilities to share information with other people, and allows you to access a variety of coordinates. This product will assist you every step of the way no matter where you go.

Features

  • 2.2-inch color sunlight-readable display
  • 3.7GB of internal memory
  • WAAS enabled with GLONASS and HotFix

Pros

  • Battery life is good
  • Very user friendly
  • Easy to set up and begin using

Cons

  • Maps and screen are small and hard to see
  • May be difficult to understand manual
  • May take a few minutes to start up and prepare to use

Killer Feature: Very user-friendly and easy to use for individuals who are new with these devices.

Garmin eTrex 20XT Back Side

Do not only take my advice that this product is a fantastic choice. You can also take a look at HikingGuy.com’s YouTube video that gives you a brief run-down on the Garmin eTrex 20XT. This video will provide you with a real and authentic opinion from someone who continuously uses this device often.

Buying Options

7. Bad Elf 2200

Bad Elf 2200 Front Side

The Bad Elf 2200 is a small device that fits inside your hand and can travel on-the-go with you. This device shares your location in real time, records and maps your trip, and can pair with up to five other devices.

Features

  • Ability to connect five devices at once with Bluetooth
  • Large LCD screen with blacklight for dark and nighttime conditions
  • Ability to store over 100 hours of tracking data
  • Long battery life and 10Hz reporting rate
  • Splash-proof and rugged construction

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great battery life of 36 hours
  • Small, compact, and easy to travel with you

Cons

  • Accuracy issues
  • Does not do a good job with letting you know your battery is about to die
  • Outdated formats

Killer Feature: Long-lasting battery life for 36 hours.

Bad Elf 2200 Back Side

I am very happy with my last recommended device for geocaching, and I wanted to find another user who has found this product to be helpful to them. I came across Katie Scheurer’s YouTube video, where she explains her experience testing out the device while canoeing. My advice is for you to take the time to watch this 13-minute video clip to hear about how this product was a lifesaver for Katie.

Buying Options

To take your learning to a more advanced level, you should consider enrolling in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate program. By earning an education centered around GIS, you will be able to have a career similar to geocaching. I have written an article on the 15 best GIS certificate online programs. If you would like to learn more information about these programs, head over to my other article by clicking here.

Must-Haves

There are a couple of must-haves that I recommend immediately purchasing to go with your device. These items will benefit you in the long run and can help protect your device while you are traveling as well as using it. Below, I will tell you more about these products.

Hard Storage Case ReplacementHard Storage Case Replacement

The Hard Storage Case Replacement is made of high-quality materials that are durable, crush-resistant, water-resistant, and anti-shocking. This case will protect the device from any type of impact, scratch, or water drop. It also has a small pocket that can be used to store small accessories while on the go.

TUSITA Tempered Glass Screen ProtectorsTUSITA Tempered Glass Screen Protectors

The TUSITA Tempered Glass Screen Protectors Bundle comes with two tempered glass screen protectors that will protect the screen of your device. These tempered glass protectors are compatible with 66i, 66s, 66st, and 66sr. If you drop your phone with one of these glass protectors properly installed on your device, the screen will remain unbroken and unscratched.

Additionally, a must-have that cannot be bought is the ability to read a topography map. If you need help reading a topography map, watch REI’s YouTube video. It explains how a topography map is different than a regular map as well as provides advice on how to successfully read this type of map. This video is beneficial to individuals who are participating in geocaching and need to be able to read a topography map on a device.

 

Before you go, look at this funny tweet from Geocaching’s Twitter account. The tweet is about when geocachers forget a pen, and I am sure you will find it quite as funny and relatable as I did.

Useful Resources

My Closing Thoughts

I hope this article helped you find the best GPS for geocaching. These devices are all unique, neat, and beneficial when it comes to the world of geocaching. Therefore, they are definitely a top recommendation to individuals interested in this type of recreational activity and need to find their way around the world. I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy your newly selected device!

101GIS/ author of the article
Our team members have many prestigious associations and we recommend joining the conversation with other GIS professionals who are members of the Association for Geographic Information, CaGIS, Canadian Institute of Geomatics, EUROGI, Geospatial Information and Technology Association , EUROGI, GIS Certification Institute, MAPPS, University Consortium, Urban Regional Information Systems Association and many other GIS user groups. We look forward to an expansive future of GIS systems and innovative applcations.
101GIS
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: