These are the best GPS devices for geocaching.
Geocaching is the worldwide, high-tech scavenger hunt game using global positioning systems (GPS.) It is a hobby is fun for the whole family. If you are not already familiar with geocaching, it has similarities to Pokemon Go, but it predates that hobby. Another plus is that geocaching gives you something tangible to find in the form of hidden containers full of trinkets placed in natural areas all over the world.
One can use a cell phone and the geocaching.com smartphone app for this hobby, but seasoned geocachers know the real way to go is with a dedicated handheld GPS receiver. Why? Well, a dedicated handheld GPS device is always going to be more accurate. They also bring longer battery life and they do not use cellular data to function.
Personally, I have geocached for 15 years now and I have found what works and what does not. These are my five top recommendations for the best GPS units for this popular hobby. They are all Garmins, but no one else is really seriously in the business of making handheld GPS anymore. These high-sensitivity GPS units will help you find geocaches no matter where in the world you happen to travel.
Garmin GPSMAP 64s
The GPSMAP 64s is a solid mid-priced option for anyone wanting to take their geocaching to the next level. The external antenna of the 60 series has worked well for me in the past, even in heavy, dense tree cover or mountain terrain. I used a 60 series model to geocache in England, Scotland, and Ireland extensively last year and did not have a single issue. It picked up signal quickly after I arrived in Europe despite the over 3,000-mile coordinate jump. These units rarely lose satellite signals. They offer excellent battery life of up to 16 hours, even when using cheap alkaline AA batteries and turning the color display's backlight up high. Of course, this unit also has great geocaching features that allow for fully paperless geocaching. In recent years, Garmin has since started loading their units with 250,000 preloaded geocaches so you can head right into the field and start searching. That is what they did with this one. Some other great features of this unit that geocachers will find useful are the ability to wirelessly transfer waypoints, BirdsEye satellite imagery and the option to use Garmin's NiMH battery pack. MicroSD card slots allow you to quickly add different topo maps for your next road trip.
Garmin eTrex 10
If you are looking for simplicity on a budget, consider the classic Garmin eTrex platform. At just $109, it is very affordable. The black and white display may seem a bit simplistic, but this unit gets a whopping 25 hours of battery life. That means you can spend more time caching and less time worrying about finding a store because your battery is dead. It can also handle GPX files, giving it paperless capabilities. As a bonus, this unit is waterproof, making it an excellent choice for campers and hikers who are looking for dependable unit at a bargain price. This is a great option if you are just starting out in the hobby and you are not sure what to buy.
Garmin Oregon 750t
The Garmin Oregon line has always been a solid option for anyone preferring a touchscreen display for their handheld GPS navigator. The 750t is top of the line and is fully loaded with a bevy of features serious geocachers will find useful. The "t" stands for topo. This model already has base maps pre-installed. This unit also offers Garmin's "Live Geocaching" system that pulls geocache data directly off the website for simplicity. The 750t also has a 3-axis-compass, the ability to use GLONASS satellites, and the ability to get weather updates through with the barometer and altimeter. We also like this one for the large, 3-inch screen size. It is a great option for anyone looking for an easier-to-read device.
Garmin Montana 680t
Another solid geocaching GPS, the Montana is one of the larger handheld devices on the market at 10.2 ounces. We recommend a good lanyard to keep it securely around your neck. This unit is packed full of great features not found in many other handheld devices. Like the Oregon, this model is preloaded with Topo maps, but also includes City Navigator data. That means you can use this for road driving directions. It is essentially two devices in one. This receiver is WAAS-enabled. It can also receive GLONASS GPS satellite reception. Another nice feature of this GPS is the dual battery system. You can use the unit's rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, but if it runs out, you can also pop in some AA batteries to keep caching. This GPS unit even has an 8MP camera that also geo-tags the spot where the photo was taken, helping preserve memories of your outdoor adventures.
Garmin eTrex 30x
With an awesome battery life and internal memory for up to 2,000 geocaches, the eTrex 30x is a step up from the eTrex 10. It offers a nicer color display and the ability to use BirdsEye satellite imagery. Helpful when you are trying to determine exactly what bush or tree that micro cache is hiding out in. This unit is also light and compact for geocachers wanting to hike far off the beaten path for those lonely hides no one seems to visit anymore. At $269, this GPS is a solidly priced upgrade away from using an inaccurate cell phone. Especially if you are planning on geocaching in extremely remote areas.