NOTE: Geocacher’s Compass is not affiliated with Geocaching.com or any cache listing site.
Geocaching is a very inexpensive yet rewarding pastime. All of the major Geocache listing sites offer free accounts so you might wonder…..
“Why pay to Geocache?“
The Geocaching.com listing site offers a completely free account but also a Premium Membership that is $29.99 a YEAR or $9.99 for 3 MONTHS.
What do you get for the money?
- Highly customizable searches – Or Pocket Queries (PQ) as they are called. With 2.1 million Geocaches listed on their website, the task to find caches that you want to look for can be quite an undertaking. Pocket Queries allow you to specify characteristics such as container size, difficulty and terrain ratings, Geocache type, etc. The results from your personalized search is sent right to your email inbox with up to 1,000 caches at a time.
- Advanced Map Features – Enhance your map experience and apply filters to remove what you don’t want to see. You can remove Your Finds or Your Caches from the map with a click of the mouse. View your existing saved Pocket Queries or create new ones right from the map.
- Paperless Caching – Send all the details of the cache directly to your compatible GPS device and you’ll be able to see the cache description, recent logs, hints, etc., without adding to the environments problem with too much paper.
- My Finds Pocket Query – Want a list of all your cache finds? One mouse click is all it takes. This special query makes it easy to see what Geocaches you’ve found and delivers it too via email. The My Finds pocket query is essential when you want to use external software to list, sort, search and filter your found caches.
- Stats – Charts, graphs, and other symbology is done for you right in your profile. You can see milestones, maps, and breakdowns of your caching history by cache type, size, distance, and difficulty/terrain ratings.
- Instant Alerts of New Caches – Receive instant notification when a cache is published in your area so that you can join in on the First To Find (FTF) fun. There is a thrill in signing a blank log and these alerts give you an edge over the cachers with regular accounts.
- Caches Along a Route – This is perfect for when you go on a road trip and want to load the caches your pass along the route. Just enter the start/end point and you’ll soon have all you need to turn the long trip into an adventure.
- Bookmark Lists – These are extremely helpful in organizing groups of caches. Do you want to have a list of caches in a certain park near the office? How about a list of caches that you need for a certain challenge? Bookmark lists can be shared with others if you want.
- Favorite Points – When you find a quality hide and you want to let other cachers know, you give it a Favorite Point. This helps the caching community find top-notch caches easily. Let’s say you are in the middle of 2 caches and you only have time for one. Which one do you go find? The one with more Favorite Points! This is a great “score card” to see how cachers view your cache hides too.
- More API Features “Unlocked” – As a Premium Member you can access the whole Geocaching.com database through partnered Apps on your mobile devices.
Stacie and I used the free account for about 3 months before we upgraded to the Premium account. I use the free software GSAK as a large part of my workflow and GSAK has access to the whole Geocaching.com database. The Cache Along a Route feature is another favorite of mine. I think $30 for a whole year is very reasonable and I plan to renew every year. I’m not selling Premium accounts or anything, I just see it as a great value for cachers.