Editing Geocaching Field Notes using Excel

Many of the newer GPS units have the ability to store your geocaching finds in a "field note" document that can be loaded directly onto Geocaching.com to make logging those finds much easier. This is a great time saving feature, but if you're dealing with a lot of finds (i.e. more than 50), I've found it easier and quicker to be able to edit those field notes using Excel before loading them onto Geocaching.com. You can compose your comments for each cache, change the cache order or make other changes the same way you would in a regular spread sheet. Once you've created the final file, logging the individual caches is very quick, with a good internet connection, you should be able to log at least 10 caches per minute or better yet, use GSAK to load them automatically (see step 12 for details).

The steps described below have been tested on a PC using Excel 2010 and 2007. I don't know how it will work on other Excel versions or other operating systems. All images can be clicked on for a larger view.

UPDATE 2/2012: GSAK version 8 will log your finds automatically on Geocaching.com. See step 12 for details.


Download your finds from your GPS device. You of course must have a unit capable of this function. Examples of units with this function are:

  • DeLorme PN-series
  • Lowrance Endura
  • Magellan eXplorist
  • Garmin Oregon and 62 series
I have a Garmin 62s, so after connecting it to my computer, I would go to the "Garmin" folder.....
and select "geocache_visits.txt". Copy this document onto your computer (I put it in a geocaching folder on my desktop for ease in finding it).

Step 2:

Start Excel

Step 3:

Open your finds in Excel (in this example, "geocache_visits.txt"). Note that in order to see this document as a choice, you'll need to select "Text Files" from the "Files of type" box at the bottom of the window.

Select the document then click "Open".

Step 4:

You'll get a pop-up box as shown to the right. Make sure the radio button "Delimited" is selected then click "Next".

Step 5:

In the next pop-up box, select the "Comma" box and deselect the "Tab" box as shown in the screen image. Click "Next".

Step 6:

In the next box, select the fourth column in the Data Preview window by clicking on the word "General". Now, click on the "Text" radio button. (Doing this will place quotes around your comments which will make it compatible with the Geocaching.com format for Field Notes). Click "Finish".

Select the fourth column by clicking on "General".
Select the "Text" button.

Step 7:

You should now see your finds in the spread sheet with the GC number in the first column, the date and time info in the second column and the found status in the third column.

Step 8:

Write your comments in the fourth column (D). No special formatting is necessary, just do it like you normally would when logging a find.

Step 9:

If you want the same wording in every log (aka, cut and paste logs), click on the small square box at the bottom right of the cell and drag it down.

Step 10:

When you've finished with your logs, choose "Save As" from the top menu. In the pop-up box, from the "Save as type" box at the bottom, choose "CSV (Comma delimited)(*.csv)" from the drop down menu.

Click the "Save" button.

Step 11:

You now have a .csv file that can be loaded directly onto Geocaching.com.

Step 12:

At this point, there are two ways to go:

  • If you have GSAK version 8 or later, it will log your finds automatically, this is by far the easiest way to go. Click here to find out how.
  • If you don't have GSAK, continue on to step 13.

Step 13:

Log into your account on Geocaching.com

Step 14:

Under "Your Profile", select "Field Notes"

Step 15:

Near the bottom of the Field Notes page, click on "Upload my Field Notes".

Step 16:

Click on "Browse" and select the .csv file you created with Excel.

Click "Open".

Step 17:

Click "Upload Field Note". Your notes are now being uploaded to Geocaching.com. It may take a while depending on the file size and connection speed.

Step 18:

After the notes have loaded, click on "Return to Field Notes".

Step 19:

You should now see a list of your finds in chronological order.

Step 20:

To begin logging, click on the first "Compose Log" in the "Actions" column.

Step 21:

You should see a familiar "Post a New Log" page with all the info filled in (found info, date found and comments). Click "Submit Log Entry" to add the log.


Step 22:

On the next page, click on "Submit more field notes", you'll go back to the field note page (see step 19) where your next find will be at the top of the list. Repeat steps 19-21 for each entry. Assuming Geocaching.com is up-to-speed and with a decent internet connection, you should be able to enter about 10 logs per minute in this fashion.

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last update 4-2012