Private Geocaching Bear Hunt

While Geocaching is a very public activity with most cache’s listed on public sites, there are times when it’s fun to have a private cache list. As of this writing there doesn’t appear to be any good way to do this. Eventually I’ll write an app, but until then here’s how we can share a geocache list.

This method was created to allow some safe, geocaching fun during the 2020 covid epidemic. I’ve hidden small bears that don’t require to be touched or opened. Just found.

It was inspired by the Bear Hunt for kids where people put teddy bears in their windows so children can walk around the neighborhood and “find” the bears. My bears are tiny, and hidden around the neighborhood.

So we avoid gatherings, the GPX file that has all the locations is shared with one family at a time, then passed along to the next after they’ve discovered all the bears.

Here’s a few examples of what to look for…

2020-04-05 20_46_01-2020-04-04 10.48.29.jpg - IrfanView (Zoom_ 658 x 877) 2020-04-05 20_00_18-2020-04-04 16.17.21.jpg - IrfanView (Zoom_ 1555 x 1166)

Any app that can import a GPX file can be used.  I didn’t mention the official Geocaching app because it requires a monthly subscription to import files.   Below are a few I’ve tested.

The general idea is to save your GPX file that contains your cache’s to Dropbox.  Then load that file into an app and start looking for bears!

GPX Viewer, $1.99
One of the best I’ve found purely due to it’s simplicity.

Easy to use

Can’t mark cache’s as found
Doesn’t display all the cache information (like hints)


  • Click Files (top left)
  • + (bottom left)
  • iCloud
  • Select your .gpx file
  • Click on imported file
  • Go find some bears!

Cachly, $4.99
More expensive than GPX Viewer but a lot more features.  If the price doesn’t bother you and clicking a few more buttons to get a file imported is OK, this is the best choice.

Shows all information about the cache
Can highlight cache’s to indicate found
(zoom in so you only see the one cache, click (…), Highlight, Add Highlight, Visible Caches)

Can’t easily mark found caches with ‘Log Geocache’ (but can highlight)
Requires login (though an account is free)
– you must create an account at, Cachly uses this account

Offline Lists can be created in Cachly and are accessed by the “Lists” item in the bottom nav.  A list will be created here and the GPX file imported to it following these steps.

  • Create List (bottom nav, Lists), then + button in upper right
  • Select List
  • More … (bottom nav)
  • Import from Dropbox
  • Select .gpx file
  • Details /  Choose Offline List
  • Select the List you created
  • Import
  • Make sure your still in your offline list and go find some bears!