In this article I will help you, hopefully, to leverage your geocaching efforts by suggesting 5 apps that you can use on your iPhone …
… Most of those apps have a free version that you can take advantage of.
I’ve chosen those simply because I understand that some people might not have the budget to invest in a paid app, so it makes sense to start with a free one.
If this sounds good for you, then let’s dive in!
Geocaches is one of the simplest apps on this list. There are few settings, which makes the app pretty straightforward.
However, with that being said, this means there is not as much customization as other apps on this list.
Each cache you select on the map will display three individual identifiers: S, D, and T. They refer to size, difficulty, and terrain levels. The lower the level, the smaller the cache – which only increases the difficulty. Additionally, each cache you select offers information including a description and log book info.
Plus, you’ll get any available hints.
What can you do with a limited app? Not much. The only changes available are for the map (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.
The only major downside is you can’t get notifications for every cache with a global setting. You have to go into the individual cache’s information box and turn on Notify me in 300m zone.
Also, you’ll want to avoid the in-app navigation. Instead, export the coordinates to Apple Maps.
You can install Geocaches to your iPad or iPhone.
For a streamlined experience with fewer settings to get in the way, use Geocaches.
Check the app here.
2. Looking4Cache Pro
This app is full of features. That’s if you are willing to pay for the full version – the free version is severely limited, and you would do better with another app if you don’t want to pay.
Let’s talk pros of this app first. A major pro is it functions similar to the official Geocaching app. You can find caches, log caches, and manage lists of caches.
All these are a major plus for the hardcore player. You know, the ones that live and breath geocaching that take advantage of all resources and log every find in detail.
Besides that, Looking4Cache offers offline maps. Why is this important? Battery conservation. Especially during long hunts. You can download maps including contour lines directly in the app and use theme in dead spots or in foreign countries without roamings costs.
Also, you can download whole states or complete countries.
The ability to cache completely offline will help save your precious battery. To save more power the GPS accuracy will be switched based on the distance to your next target.
Heavy app users, those who spend a ton of time in the field, will benefit from this battery saving feature – which is well worth the cost.
Check the app here.
3. Geocaching Buddy
Those who have experience geocaching have more than likely come across multi-cache puzzles. They also know the difficulty of keeping tracking with the multiple clues. Geocaching Buddy helps with tracking all the clues and will calculate any derived clue or new waypoint for you.
This feature is powered by Geocaching Live.
Waypoints can be formulas or projections which are then evaluated the moment all clues are found and entered. Doing so will lead you to the final cache formula.
Why is all this valuable to you as a geocacher?
Tracking all these clues for multi-caches is fun, but also tedious. It is a lot of numbers to keep up with and having the ability to track in-app helps tremendously.
One unique feature of Geocaching Buddy is you can record your spot so you’ll be able to easily find your way back to your car after you find a cache. This app is designed for the hardcore players that spend a majority of their time hiking long distances.
Or, those that forget where they park fairly easy.
Either way, this app does what most of the other apps on this list do as well. It is fully functionable with many ways to customize and track.
Check the app here.
Cachly is as close to the official app as you can get – without paying the recurring fee. For a one time fee, you get a simple and powerful Geocaching app for iOS that includes plenty of features for beginners and advanced players.
Cachly is one of the few official Geocaching HQ partner apps. This means the official site allowed Cachly to use the official API – you can login in with your normal Geocaching HG login.
This fully functionable app can be used on all three Apple products: iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The watch feature is a major draw for many players, which is easy to understand why if you have ever been out in the field. Many find it more intuitive to use their watch rather than their phone while walking around looking for a cache.
Anyone who relies on their watch heavily will get the most use out of this app. Using your watch is an excellent way of conserving phone battery. The same features you find on the official app can be found on Cachly.
However, more features can be had with Cachly but only if you subscribe to Geocaching Premium. This should come to no surprise since Cachly is built upon the official app.
Check the app here.
5. Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc.
Besides Cachly, the official app Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc is considered one of the best apps for geocaching. It is the official app after all.
You can use the app to search for geocaches, log the caches you did or did not find, learn details about caches you are interested in.
It offers the most amount of features out of all the others on the list. At this point, it is worth mentioning the free version is not worth using considering some of the other options on this list.
Many of the features not on the free version of Geocaching are found on other apps.
You can do way more on this app, and one of the best features is the ability to message the owner of a geocache. Why would you do this? Well, for example if a log is in bad condition you can inform the owner it is time to upkeep the cache. You are doing your part of helping keep caches available for other players.
The app is simple, but provides plenty of features any player can take advantage of. That’s if you are willing to pay the price. Ask many players and they’ll agree it’s worth the cost.
Final Thoughts …
Those were the best free geocaching apps that I was able to find for you for the time being. Hopefully, if I am able to find others I can include them in this article …
… Also, if you know of any free geocaching app on iphone then please let me know.