100 Plus Geocaching Terms you may not know

100 Plus Geocaching Terms - Bottle top geocache, held by little girl
100 Plus Geocaching Terms you may not know

If you are new to geocaching I’d advise you first pop over and read my What is Geocaching post – it will give you some more information. Once you have read it though then there will likely be phrases you don’t understand. Whether these are in the clues, or comments, or anywhere really, we all find things we don’t quite understand sometimes. Explicitly this post is, I hope, going to help you out. To that end 100 plus Geocaching Terms aims to be a place to learn some of the intricacies you will find in this fascinating hobby.

If you are a regular reader or have spotted the menu bar at the top of this blog you will know that we are keen geocachers. We love nothing more than spending a few hours hunting through the briar and bramble for tiny pots; hidden by equally enthusiastic hiders. As weird as that sounds it really isn’t that odd. However there are loads of us out there.

100 Plus Geocaching Terms you may not know

The idea of this post is to provide a long list of terms that you may come across if you take up this fun hobby. When we first started there were often words or phrases that we just didn’t understand. We ended up researching as much as we could, and these are the ones we have found most useful. Hopefully you will find this list very useful in your geocaching journey. Basically just skip below the image for the full list.

100 Plus Geocaching Terms - learn some of the more technical terms
100 Plus Geocaching Terms

Geocaching Terms you may not know list

ALRThis stands for Additional Logging Requirement – Logging requires more than just signing the cache log – Geocache.com states: “All ALRs must be optional for finders of a geocache.”
Ammo CanAmmunition boxes (also known as or ammo cans) are those big green metal boxes that were designed to transport ammunition safely.
ArchiveTo Archive a cache means to permanently remove it from the listings. It’s important to note that a geocache owner can archive their own listing but cannot unarchive it! The alternative is a temporary disable.
ATCFBasically means As The Crow Flies
AttributesThe Icons that you find on caches on the geocaching website – Full details of each can be found here: https://www.geocaching.com/about/icons.aspx
Beach TubeThe sort of tube used to hold keys or money when swimming at the beach, Makes a good Nano.
Bison TubeA small, metal container used for micro-caches. The name comes from the original manufacturers Bison Design.
BlinkyOften used as another term for a Nano. It stems from a form of magnetic torch, that works as a magnetic micro if the battery is removed.
BookmarkA feature for Premium Members that allows you to save links to caches in your own bookmark lists (see below) the bookmark can be given (or leave as default of the cache title), and a notes can be added.
Bookmark ListA collection of Bookmarks.
BootyThe loot found in a cache. More often called Swag
BYOPBasically means Bring Your Own Pen
C:GeoA free android app for geocachers
CAARAnother acronym this stands for Caches Along A Route. Another Premium Member feature that allows you to identify other caches along a particular route.
Cache and Dash or C&DA cache placed conveniently for speed finding, often by roads or carparks., Also Park and Grab, P&G or PNG
Cache or GeocacheShort for Geocache.
Cacher or GeocacherOne who participates in geocaching
CamoShort for Camouflage
Challenge CacheA cache that requires you to fulfil a challenge or other Geocaching related activity before you may actually search for the cache. You may have to have a certain number of caches already etc.
Charter MemberGeocachers who bought a Geocaching Premium Membership the first year it was offered and every year since.
CITOBasically means Cache In, Trash Out. The idea is to collect rubbish and clear up the area as you hunt for caches.
Clip LockA type of container, with clips to hold the lid on (usually plastic)
COBasically means Cache Owner
CollectableA status assigned to any trackable item that people can keep it in their possession, and do not have to physically move it to another geocache. Conversely, non-collectible trackable items can be easily grabbed, dropped, discovered, etc. More about trackables here.
ConstellationThe configuration of GPS satellites overhead at any specific time. Some constellation configurations are better than others for calculating your position.
CoordinatesA pair of numbers (latitude and longitude) that pinpoint an exact position, or waypoint, on the Earth.
Creed, TheThe Geocachers creed, the voluntary creed all Geocachers follow – http://support.groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=46
D/TCache Difficulty and Terrain rating. The difficulty number is first, followed by the terrain rating. Each rating ranges from 1 to 5 in 0.5 steps. A 1/1 cache is the easiest 5/5 the hardest.
DippingLogging a trackable into a cache then removing it again.
DisableUsed to mark a cache temporarily unavailable
DNFAnother acronym this stands for Did Not Find – a sad act when you can’t locate the cache
Drunken Bee DanceThe bizarre movements of geocachers as they try and pinpoint the cache, like watching a bee dance in the hive- Also known as Bee Dance
Film Can or 35mm35mm film container, most common micro cache.
EarthCacheAn EarthCache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature of our Earth. EarthCache pages include a set of educational
Event CacheAn Event Cache is a gathering of geocachers or geocaching organizations. The Event Cache page specifies a time for the event and provides coordinates to its
Fizzy ChallengeTo find at least one cache of every difficulty/terrain combination (81 unique combinations). Fizzy Challenge caches may also require you to find each of different types of caches. EarthCache; Event Cache,; Letterbox Hybrid; CITO Event; Multi Cache; Traditional Cache; Unknown Cache; Virtual Cache; and Webcam Cache.
Flat PackSmall plastic baggie wrapped with camo tape
FTFAnother acronym this stands for First to the Find – the first person to locate a new cache
GC CodeA unique identifier associated with every geocache listing. The GC Code starts with the letters “GC” and is followed by other alphanumeric characters, such as GCK25B.
GeoCoinA Coin size token used as a trackable.
GeopileUnnatural piles of sticks, stones etc. hiding places for Geocaches, they are NOT always on the ground!
GeoStripesThe arm and leg scratches you WILL get from brambles. You have to earn your stripes!
GeotrailA series of caches spread out to encourage you to explore an area of interest.
GPS or GPSrA GPS receiver. The “r” in GPSr just means receiver
Ground Zero or GZThe spot on your GPS where the cache is located.
HAKBasically means Hide A Key – a variation of MKH
HIPSAnother acronym this stands for Hidden In Plain Sight
InventoryA list of your non-collectible trackables
Jasmer ChallengeA challenge to collect a cache placed in every month since the start of Geocaching (you will very probably have to travel for this one!)
LEOAnother acronym this stands for Law Enforcement Officer (The police)
Letterbox or LetterboxingA Type of Cache
LNBasically means Left Nothing
LogA piece of paper left in the cache for noting your name on. Indicates you found the cache. It may also refer to the act of logging the find on the Geocache website or app.
LPC or Lamppost CacheA common hiding place for micro caches, this exploits the fact that the shroud (or “skirt”) on lamp posts that cover the anchor bolts are usually not secured, and can be lifted up to provide a hiding place. The term LPC is sometimes intended to be a derogatory reference; since LPC hides are generally all the same and require little skill or imagination.
McToycheap plastic toys often left in caches, originally referred to the happy meal toys
MEFFThis stands for Most Esteemed First Finder
MemberUsually refers to a paying member of the Geocaching.com community
MicroA small cache, ranging from 35mm film canisters to tiny magnetic post smaller than a thimble
Micro-spewA derogatory term for a collection of micro caches, in obvious often uninteresting places.
MKHAnother acronym this stands for Magnetic Key Holders are the sort of box designed to hide keys for your car etc.
MuggleA non-geocacher (taken from the Harry Potter series of books).
MuggledA cache that has been discovered by non-geocachers and often destroyed or moved.
Multi-CacheA Multi-Cache involves two or more locations. The final location will be a physical container.
Mystery or Puzzle CacheA type of Cache. Coordinates listed on the cache page are often bogus, and the final coordinates must be solved through a series of steps or instructions. Also known as a Puzzle Cache.
NanoA part of the Micro cache genre but tiny.
NIAHAnother acronym this one stands for Needle in a Haystack. A small cache in a place with multiple locations for hiding
Night CacheA type of cache that can only be seen at night
PAFBasically means Phone A Friend, what else would you do if you needed help?
PIAnother acronym this stands for Poison Ivy, take care!!
POBasically means Poison Oak, take care!!
Pocket Query or PQa Pocket Query is a custom geocache search that you can create and download on a daily or weekly basis.
Power TrailA path with lots of caches placed close together, allows cachers to increase cache counts easily
Preformplastic test-tube shaped container with screw-on lid.
P&GThis stands for Park and Go – usually a D/T 1/1 in a parking lot
QR CodeA type of barcode, sometimes seen on or near Geocaches (more often used for another game though)
ReviewerA volunteer who checks caches before validating them on the official site. Caches must adhere to the guidelines found here: https://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx
ROT13A common cipher used in puzzle caches and the likes
R.O.W.Basically means Right Of Way
SignalThe official Frog mascot of Geocaching.com
Signature ItemSignature items left by cachers, from personal calling cards to unique items. i.e someone leaves playing cards near me.
SLanother acronym this is short for Signed Log
SpoilerA log entry (online or in the app) giving away the location of the cache
STFbasically stands for Second To The Find
SwagThe items left behind in Geocaches for finders to swap
TFTC or T4TCThis stands for Thanks For The Cache
TFTH or T4THBasically means Thanks For The Hunt
TNAnother acronym this is for Took Nothing
TNLNSimilarly this stands for Took Nothing, Left Nothing
TNLNSLIn the same way Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log
TNX4GCAnother acronym (or short code) This stands for Thanks For The Geocache
TOTT or TOTThis stands for Tools Of The Trade
TrackableA tag with a unique code that can be attached to an item. The trackable is then carried from cache to cache (or person to person) in the real world. And its progress can be followed on Geocaching.com. Also known as Travel Bugs, TBs, and GeoCoins. More about Travel Bugs and trackables.
Traditional CacheThis is a Physical cache that has a log as a minimum.
Travel Bug, Bug or TBA Trackable item that is moved from Cache to Cache, each one has a unique code that allows you to follow it’s journey.
UPRBasically means Unnatural Pile of Rocks
UPSBasically means Unnatural Pile of Sticks
Virtual CacheThese refer to physical locations but there is no physical cache. Cachers show proof of a visit with a photo, or by answering a questions etc.
WatchlistUser maintained Lists set up to receive notifications on specific geocaches and/or trackables. Users receive a copy of each posted log via email.
WaypointA Reference point for a physical location. How you find caches
WebCam CacheThis is a type of cache, where you must get caught on a webcam
WheriGo CacheA WheriGo cartridge is a set of locations that you must find or a set of instructions to accomplish, in order, to get to the final cache location
XNSLeXchanged Nothing, Signed Log
YACIDKA or ACIDKAInterestingly this one means Yet Another Cemetery I Didn’t Know About (I love these 2)
YAPIDKA or APIDKAIn similar fashion Yet Another Park I Didn’t Know About (I love these 2)

Happy caching.

I hope you have found these 100 Plus Geocaching Terms useful. If you did please share them with anyone else you think might. And if you have any terms that you think we have missed, then please leave a comment below. I’d love to add more.

100 Plus Geocaching Terms - a Guide to over 100 terms found in the hobby Geocaching.
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  • Scott Riddle

    HAK – Hide-A-Key (variation of MKH)
    P&G – Park and Grab (usually a D/T 1/1 in a parking lot)
    PO – Poison Oak (US West Coast plant)
    flat pack – small plastic baggie wrapped with camo tape
    Cache type misspelling: Wherigo (without the 2nd 'e')
    Geocaching handle: Papa EGTH

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