Geocaching by bike or mtb? What are the benefits and which are the best tools?

Have you ever seen someone a little suspicious in a forest, around a tree or fence, or even in a bush peeking and groping? Sure, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. That person was then most likely searching for a treasure, i.e. geocaching. I do it myself regularly and lately, I have even regularly geocaching by bike.

If you’re not quite up to speed or have never even heard of geocaching, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we not only explain what geocaching is, but we also introduce you to the many advantages and practical conveniences of geocaching by bicycle. In addition, we also show you some practical tools and tools that make every search a success.

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is a worldwide game, or rather a treasure hunt, in which you search for treasures based on GPS coordinates. The treasures can be hidden by anyone. In the geocaching app, you can look up where geocaches are hidden. You can then search for the treasure based on those coordinates. There are also geocaches where you still have to decipher the coordinates yourself, for example by solving a riddle.

Once you have found the correct location of the geocache and actually have the treasure in your hands, you must log it in the logbook. Then you can also indicate in the app that you have found the geocache.

Geocaches are hidden all over the world. There is a good chance that one or more caches can be found close to your home.

If you have already found some geocaches yourself and you are completely up to date with the concept of geocaching, you can also create and hide a cache yourself.


Geocaching, how do you get started and what do you need?

Getting started with geocaching is not difficult at all and you don’t really need that much. In the first instance, you will of course have to install the geocaching app on your smartphone. That app is completely free, although there are limitations to the free version. With the free version, you will not see all caches. When you upgrade to the paid version, geocache premium, you do have access to all geocaches worldwide. Such a premium membership is valid for 1 year and costs €34.95.

In addition to the app, what you need for your first treasure hunt is a ballpoint pen to fill in the cache log.

If you eventually find that you like geocaching, you can think about purchasing different geocaching tools. To find or grab some geocaches you need special tools, such as a magnetic stick, tweezers, fishing rod, or multi-tool. At the bottom of the article, we explain the most important geocaching tools in detail.

In what ways can you start geocaching?

Geocaches can therefore be found everywhere, in villages, cities, in the forest, or even in someone’s driveway. In addition to individual caches, there are also complete rounds where you have to find 5, 10, or even more caches in succession. Such rounds often also have a bonus as an extra.

Most of the time, geocachers are out on foot. This is by far the easiest way to geocaching. After all, you don’t have to take a means of transport into account and you can walk over everything, under or in between.

Of course, you walk far fewer kilometers than, for example, with a bicycle or even by car. The car does not seem to us to be the most suitable means of geocaching for an outdoor hobby such as geocaching. To do a round somewhere far away, you can, of course, make the move by car.

Another option and in our view perhaps the most fun and practical is geocaching by bicycle.

Geocaching by bike

Geocaching by bike is arguably the best and most convenient way to geocaching. In the listing or description of the cache or the round that you want to cache, you can usually find information about the type of terrain where the cache(s) are hidden. That way you immediately know whether the round can be done by bike. And in addition, you immediately know which bike is best to take with you on your search.

It goes without saying that you can also get a mountain bike or gravel bike for off-road terrain and wooded areas. That way you can combine your two favorite hobbies. I can already tell you that this is super fun!

geocaching by bike

In addition to many advantages, there are of course also some disadvantages to geocaching by bicycle. We’ll go over both the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself whether geocaching by bike is right for you:

Advantages and disadvantages of geocaching by bicycle

From your own experiences with geocaching by bicycle, you will immediately find out all the advantages and disadvantages. After all, you experience them while doing; we are happy to share them with you:


  • Faster from one cache to the next cache;
  • You get more caches done in a day;
  • Cycling is a good workout;
  • It is adventurous and environmentally friendly (compared to the car);
  • You can handle all types of terrain (especially with a mountain or gravel bike);
  • Nice change/break during a brisk bike ride.


  • Keeping an eye on the screen of your phone or GPS while you are cycling can be dangerous;
  • The terrain can sometimes surprise you if you don’t have the right bike with you (check listing well in advance);
  • You sometimes have to leave your bike at the side in dense forests or areas.

We have all experienced the above advantages and disadvantages ourselves. The disadvantages are certainly not insurmountable, but of course, you have to take them into account.

For example, it is not very practical to bounce on bumpy singletrack with your city bike. You also prefer not to leave your bicycle or mountain bike somewhere along the side. And with your smartphone in your hands while cycling in search of a treasure is not very safe. Fortunately, there is often a ready-made solution for all these disadvantages or problems.

So definitely choose the right bike and keep your attention on the road in front of you as much as possible. If you have to get off the bike and it is out of your sight, then secure it with a solid bicycle lock.

Practical tools & tips to make geocaching by bike a success

Geocaching by bike only becomes really fun and practical when you go out with good and the right equipment. In that sense, it can be compared to any other hobby, such as mountain biking or cycling.

The right pedals and the right footwear

Geocaching by bike naturally means that you sometimes have to get off your bike or walk a little extra to get to the treasure. If you are on the road with your road bike, gravel, or mountain bike, keep in mind that you also have to get off the bike and still be able to walk properly.

Of course, especially for MTB and gravel bikes, there are shoes with a click system that you can use to walk properly. With specific MTB shoes or cycling shoes, this will be a bit more difficult. Fortunately, a smart Icelandic bicycle enthusiast has come up with a solution for that too: Pocket Pedals. With this, you can transform your Spd clipless pedals into handy platform pedals in seconds.

For that reason, platform pedals in combination with flat pedal shoes or even sturdy walking shoes are a better solution. That way you are very flexible and you can adapt to all circumstances. You will be able to cycle smoothly, but also easily walk on any type of terrain.

If you don’t have clipless pedals on your sporty bike, you’re already in the right place and you are immediately ready to geocaching with the bike.

Bicycle navigation, hiking GPS, or smartphone

In order to find a treasure, you must have the correct coordinates. In addition, you also have to get to the location of the coordinate. You can do this in different ways depending on the device you have or use for geocaching. There are three possible options in this regard:

  • Bike navigation
  • hiking GPS
  • Smartphone with app

Bicycle navigation or walking GPS

navigation geocaching

When you use a bicycle navigation or walking GPS to geocaching (by bicycle), you can download the GPX file of the geocache. If you have a premium membership, you can even send complete lists (with your pending caches) directly to your Garmin device or download the GPX file of the listing.

You can also create a pocket query. This is a list based on different filters that you choose yourself. You can then send the search results to yourself as a list in the form of a GPX or LOC file, after which you can also place them on your Garmin device.

Geocaching with smartphone and the geocaching app

As you learned earlier, you can also simply start geocaching with your smartphone and the geocaching app (with or without a premium membership). When you select and open a geocache in the app, you can press the “navigate” button.

The app will then draw a straight line on the map between your current destination and the destination where the cache is located. At the top of the screen, you can see the total distance (in a straight line) between your current position and the cache.

To get to the cache safely, it is wise to use a phone holder so that you can keep your hands on the handlebars while cycling toward the cache. Holding or operating your smartphone while cycling is not really safe in the first place. In addition, it can even result in a fine.

With a sturdy phone holder, you can even get along very well with your smartphone off-road. So you don’t have to make the big cost of a cycling or walking GPS right away.

Take the right geocaching tools with you

You can log the most geocaches without any problems once you have found them. However, there are also caches that you cannot easily get hold of. For such caches, you need special geocaching tools to be able to grab the cache or even put it back at its original location. The listing or description of the cache usually states which geocaching tools you need to find/grab the cache.

The most common and commonly used geocaching tools are the following:

Magnetic stick

A magnetic stick is usually extendable and has a magnetic head on the end. When a cache is hidden in a tube, it often contains a magnet so that you can only reach it with a magnetic stick. You often need a magnetic stick, we have already experienced it ourselves. Handy to have these in your standard geocaching gear.

Magnetic stick - tool for geocaching


The more often you start geocaching, you will notice that the pots are not always the same size and can sometimes even be very small. Sometimes a jar is so small that the log is quite stuck in it. To get such a log out of the jar undamaged, it is best to use tweezers.

Pricking stick

A cache can also be hidden in a hole in the ground. Such a hole is often covered with a wooden board with soil, leaves and possibly some small branches. To find such a cache visually, you need an eagle eye. Over time, such things will come to your attention more often and more quickly.

However, a prod can provide some help with this. This way you at least prevent that you keep looking for something that you may not even be able to see with the eye for too long. With a prod you can scan the surface by pricking it. If you push the wooden plank under which the cache is located, you have found the cache.

Fishing rod

You can also encounter fishing caches once in a while. With a fishing cache, the cache hangs high in a tree or in another inaccessible place. To grab the cache and put it back in place after logging, you need a fishing rod (with a certain length). The rod is preferably also equipped with a hook to easily grab the cache and hang it back (for example on a branch).

Flexible grabber tool

A flexible grabber tool, possibly equipped with an LED light and magnet, can help you make difficult caches just that little bit easier. This makes a quasi-inaccessible cache easily accessible.

Log sheet roller

When the cache container or jar is a bit on the small side, it is sometimes an art to get the log back in. By using a log sheet roller it only becomes easier and you do not have to struggle for fifteen minutes to get the log roller back into the pot.


A geocaching multitool is, as the name suggests, multifunctional or multi-usable. Depending on the size and type of multi-tool, you have different tools at your disposal that can help you open a cache. In most cases, a multi-tool contains different types of screwdrivers and Allen keys and in addition possibly a ruler, mirror, butterfly wrench, cord cutter, and scraper. You can obtain such a geocaching multi-tool in different forms.

Multitool for geocaching

Inspection mirror

With a telescopic mirror, you can take a look at difficult or hard-to-reach places. For example, I once needed one to be able to read a code under a sill stone (which was 5 cm above the ground). So very handy and practical.

LED lamp

The latest geocaching tool probably speaks for itself. Log jars can sometimes be very well hidden. Especially when the log jar has the same color as the surrounding area. Even when it starts to get dark or when there is less light somewhere, an LED lamp can lead you to the cache a little faster.

Geocaching tool kit; all tools in one handy tool

In addition, you can also immediately opt for a complete geocaching toolkit in which different tools are combined. These toolkits often come out cheaper than if you bought all geocaching tools separately. Keep in mind that a tool from a toolkit will be slightly smaller or less robust compared to the larger version of such a tool.

An advantage of such a geocaching toolkit is that you only have to put 1 tool in your bag and you are always provided with all the tools.

Geocaching tool kit

Conclusion: geocaching by bike, do or don’t?

Once you start geocaching you can’t stop. Not only is it a lot of fun but also a bit addictive. Finding a treasure is also just a lot of fun and let the child in you come out.

Another advantage is that it can simply be “played” worldwide. Even on holiday abroad or when you visit another city, there are geocaches everywhere.

If you are a recreational cyclist or mountain biker, you can combine your favorite hobby with geocaching. So

you can search for many more caches than if you geocaching on foot and you move from cache to cache faster. In addition, cycling is very relaxing but it can also become adventurous when you go off-road. It is also a fun workout that you can do as intensively as you want.

In short, geocaching by mountain bike is for many, and also for me, THE way to fully enjoy geocaching. You can start geocaching for free and with only your smartphone. What are you actually waiting for?

Have you already started geocaching or would you like to do so, on foot or by bike? Be sure to let us know in a comment at the bottom of the page.

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