Glossary of Terms

Geocachers LOVE acronyms! We also assign our own unique meanings to words you may have heard elsewhere. When you’re just starting out, reading logs can be akin to trying to decipher a foreign language. Here’s a list of geocaching terms and their meanings. I will update it when I come across a new one – please feel free to suggest one if I’ve forgotten something!


ALR – Additional Logging Requirement. Anything that goes above and beyond signing the physical log. ALRs are not allowed as a requirement and can only be listed as optional on the cache page

A.P.E. cache – Officially Project A.P.E. caches. Fourteen caches published in 2001 to coincide with the release of the Planet of the Apes film. Clues as to the caches’ whereabouts were slowly released. A prop from the movie was hidden in each cache.

Archive – When a cache is permanently deleted from the live listings, it is said to be ‘archived’

Armchair logging – When someone logs a cache despite having not visited GZ, i.e. have logged from home ‘in their armchair’

Attribute – Icons featured on a cache page to provide the finder with more information about the cache. For example, attributes can inform the geocacher if a special tool will be required to extract the log, or if a tree climb will be involved

AWDTG – Another white day turned green – referring to days in the found dates calendar where you have not yet found a cache


BBTC – Bring back the cache – also known as a lonely cache or a resuscitator (resus) cache – a cache that has not been found for at least one year

Blue ribbon – an alternative term for favourite points, as a previous version of represented favourite points with a blue ribbon

BOP – Base of post: a common hint

BOT – Base of tree: a common hint

Bookmark List – Previous name for ‘List’

Bushwhacking – when a cache is hidden significantly off a trail, and you need to navigate through bushes and undergrowth to get to GZ

BYOP – Bring your own pen/pencil


C&D – Also, CND – usually a cache rated with a DT of 1/1, which can be grabbed quickly next to the closest parking

Challenge cache – Listed as a mystery cache, it involves completing specific requirements to qualify for logging the cache

Charter member – Any premium member who bought membership the first year it was available and every year since

CITO – Cache in Trash Out® – An ongoing environmental initiative whereby geocachers clean up areas, either by themselves or at a CITO event

CMChurch Micro: a series of caches in the UK placed at or near to churches

CO – Cache owner

Coords – abbreviation of coordinates


DFDC – Danke für den Cache – Thanks for the cache in German

Decon – Abbreviation for decontamination container; a type of small container used as a geocache

How Tough is my Geocache?

Dip – To ‘dip’ a trackable in to a cache, means to ‘visit’ it while logging a cache. This counts the mileage that the trackable has clocked up.

Disable – Cache owners or reviewers can temporarily ‘disable’ a cache if there is a problem with it. It can either be enabled again once the problem is fixed, or subsequently archived

DNA – Did not attempt

DNF – Did not find

DT – Difficulty/terrain – each geocache has a difficulty and terrain rating, rated on a scale of 1 – 5


ECEarthCache – a type of virtual cache whereby the finder has to answer geology questions

EO – Event owner/organiser

Event cache – a type of cache that involves a gathering of geocachers

ExTagz – Similar to a pathtag; a small personal trade item


Fizzy Grid – Also known as DT Grid, is the table of all possible DT combinations (a total of 81). The Fizzy Challenge is the associated challenge for filling every square in the grid

FP – Favourite point – a Premium Membership feature whereby you can ‘favourite’ caches you have particularly enjoyed

FTF – First to find – a side game whereby you need to be the first to find a newly published geocache


GC – Geocache/Geocoin

GC Code – Every geocache has a unique number assigned to it which can be used to search in an app or on the website

Geoart – A set of geocaches positioned in such a way to look like a word or object from a distance

Geochecker – A tool to check if coordinates are correct for puzzle or multi caches

Geokrety – An alternative trackable item which cannot be logged on

Geostripe – A scar obtained while geocaching

GeoTour – A collection of interesting caches designed to showcase a specific location

Giga – A geocaching event with at least 5,000 attendees

GPS Adventure Maze Exhibit – a geocache that reflects attendance at a GPS Adventure Maze Exhibit, which is designed to teach people all about geocaching and its history

GPSr – Global Positioning Satellite receiver

Grandfathered – Cache types which are no longer allowed to be set, but still exist as they were allowed at the time of setting

GS – Groundspeak, previous name for Geocaching HQ

GSAK – Geocaching Swiss Army Knife ( Software that enables the user to store and manage an offline database of caches and waypoints

GZ – Ground zero


Hedera helix – Latin name for ivy; commonly used as a hint

HIPS – Hidden in plain sight


ICP – Ivy covered pole/post

ICT – Ivy covered tree


Jasmer Challenge – a challenge whereby you need to find at least one cache placed in every month since geocaching began



Lab cache – An experimental type of cache, commonly found at mega and giga events

Lackey – a term for someone who works at Geocaching HQ

LBHLetterbox hybrid cache – a type of geocache similar to a letterbox, whereby the container has a stamp inside which should not be removed but rather used to stamp a notebook that the finder brings with them

Lily pad – an alternative name for Geocaching HQ in Seattle; a reference to Signal the Frog

Lonely cache – also known as a BBTC (bring back the cache) or a resuscitator (resus) cache – a cache that has not been found for at least one year

Lost & Found event – events held to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of geocaching

Lost Place Cache – a cache hidden at an abandoned site; they are particularly popular in Germany

LPC – Lamp post cache – in some countries, lamp posts have a ‘skirt’ at the bottom of them which lifts up. It is a popular location for hiding caches.


Mega – a geocaching event attended by a minimum of 500 people

MPLC – Merci pour le cache – Thanks for the cache in French

MTT – Multi trunk tree: a common hint

Muggle – anybody who is not a geocacher (borrowed from Harry Potter!)

Multi – a type of cache involving at least two waypoints

Mystery – also known as a puzzle or unknown or challenge cache – the term envelopes all ‘other’ cache types that don’t have their own icon. The symbol is a question mark. If the cache is a puzzle, you will need to either solve something on the cache page or at the published coordinates to obtain the final coordinates.


NA – Needs archived

Nano – A type of geocache smaller than a standard micro (or ‘extra small’).

How Tough is my Geocache?

NM – Needs maintenance


OCB – Original Can of Beans – one of the pieces of swag placed in the first ever geocache


PAF – Phone a friend

Pathtag – A personalised trade item in the shape of a small coin. They are not trackable on

PGCProject-GC – a comprehensive statistics site for geocachers

PMO Cache – Premium member only cache – a cache that has been restricted to being viewed by premium members only

PNG – Also P&G. Park & grab cache – usually a cache rated with a DT of 1/1, which can be grabbed quickly next to the closest parking

Project A.P.E. – Fourteen caches published in 2001 to coincide with the release of the Planet of the Apes film. Clues as to the caches’ whereabouts were slowly released. A prop from the movie was hidden in each cache.

PQPocket query – a custom geocache search that you can download daily or weekly


QEF – Quick easy find


RAF – Replaced as found

Resuscitator cache – also known as a lonely cache or a BBTC (bring back the cache) – a cache that has not been found for at least one year

Reviewer – a community volunteer who reviews cache submissions before publication

ROT13 – The cipher used to encrypt geocaching hints. Each letter is replaced with the letter 13 places after it in the alphabet


Signal the Frog – the official geocaching mascot

SL – Signed log

Sock Puppet – Usually a second, anonymous account set up by a geocacher

SOOP – something out of place; a common hint

SPOR – Suspicious pile of rocks

STF – Second to find

Streak – the term used to describe finding at least one cache a day for a consecutive period. Also used as a verb: streaking

SWAG – Stuff We All Get – small trade items left in caches


TB – Travel bug

TFTC – Thanks for the cache

TFTE – Thanks for the event

TFTH – Thanks for the hide (an alternative to TFTC)

TFTFTF – Thanks for the FTF

Throwdown – a cache that has been ‘thrown down’ by a cacher when they cannot find the cache at GZ. Generally a frowned upon practice as the cache may not even have been missing.

TNLN – Took nothing, left nothing – referring to whether or not swag was swapped, or trackables were picked up or dropped

TOTTTools of the Trade

Trackable – a travel bug or geocoin that is ‘discoverable’ on

Traditional – also, trad or tradi – the simplest type of geocache hide, involving a physical container hidden at the published coordinates

Trifecta – three specific geocaches in the Pacific Northwest and a goal for many geocachers travelling to that area. The caches are Geocaching HQ (GCK25B), the Original Stash Tribute Plaque (GCGV0P) and Project A.P.E.: Tunnel of Light (GC1169)


UPR – Unusual pile of rocks

UPS – Unusual pile of sticks/stones


Virtual cache – a ‘grandfathered’ cache type, where there is no physical container but rather the finder must fulfil some requirements, such as taking a picture or finding some information, in order to log as found

Virtual reward – In 2017, Geocaching HQ awarded 4,000 cachers and community volunteers the opportunity to create new virtual caches, known as virtual rewards


Watchlist – a list of caches you can compile that you would like to ‘watch’. Every time a log is made online, you will receive a notification by email

Webcam – a type of ‘grandfathered’ cache that involves having your picture taken on a webcam and uploading it with your log

Wherigo – A type of cache involving downloading a ‘cartridge’ from to play in order to find the final container

WN – Write note

WP – Waypoint – A reference point for a location




3TT – Three trunked tree

© 2018 | Sarah McLarkey | All Rights Reserved