Comman Geocaching Lingo

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I love Geocaching. I love it so much I even wrote my memoir school assignment on how I started. (note: memoir will be posted later this week). In the appendix, I wrote a section on common geocaching lingo. It took up half the book, so I decided to move it here and add this URL to my book. And, I thought you would like it too. So here you go!

Attributes: Cache characteristics.

Basic Member: Free membership with less features than premium on

Benchmark: Official government marker that you can log.

Bison Tube: A small, metal, water-tight cylindrical container that can be used for micro caches.

Bison: short for Bison Tube

Bookmark List: A list of geocaches.

Bookmark: Short for bookmark list.

Bug: Short for Travel Bug.

Bushwhacking: Hiking through vegetation.

BYOP: Short for “Bring Your Own Pencil” or “Bring Your Own Pen”.

Cache In Trash Out: Cleaning up an area or preforming community service while caching. Example: picking up trash, removing a bush (with permission and fellow geocachers), ect.

Caches Along a Route: A Geocaching Premium Membership feature that allows you to identify geocaches along a specific route for convenient geocaching.

Caching: Short for geocaching

Camo: Short for camouflage.

Camoed: Short for camouflaged

Camouflage: What makes something camoed.

Camouflaged: Made to blend in.

Challenge Cache: A type of geocache that requires seekers to find an associated physical cache, and to find an additional set of geocaches as defined by the challenge owner.

Charter Member: Geocachers who bought a Geocaching Premium Membership the first year it was offered and every year since.

CITO: Short for “Cache In Trash Out”.

CND: Short for “Cache N Dash”. Similar to PNG.

CO: Short for “Cache Owner”.

Collectible: TBs people can keep.

Coordinates: Location in a format GPSrs understand.

Coords: Short for coordinates.

Co-ords: Short for coordinates.

Cords: Short for coordinates.

COTD: Short for “Cache of the Day”.

D/T: Short for “Difficulty/Terrain”.

Darth Leviosa: Darth is a cacher who places extremely hard caches in Chicagoland, many without hints, attributes, descriptions, and finds. Some suspect that there is nothing at any of her caches since she has not found many herself.

Datum: Type of coordinates.

Dave Ulmer: The creator of geocaching.

Difficulty/Terrain: Geocaches are rated in two categories, each designated on a 5-point scale (in half-point increments). Difficulty relates to the mental challenge of finding a geocache, while Terrain describes the physical environment. Therefore, a D1/T1 rating would be the easiest geocache to find, while a D5/T5 difficulty/terrain rating would be the most difficult.

Dipping: For a TB to visit a cache.

Disable: A status used to mark a geocache as temporarily inactive.

DNF: Short for “Did Not Find”.

DNF: To search and not find. Stands for “Did Not Find”.

DNFed: To DNF.

Earthcache: A type of virtual cache that requires you to learn something about geology.

EO: Short for “Event Organizer”.

Event Cache: A gathering of geocachers or geocaching organizations.

Final: The last stage or waypoint on a cache. Some WPs have no order; some the order only matters for the end.

Find Count: The number of geocaches a player has found.

Find: A cache you have found.

First To Find: First person to find a cache.

Frowny: On the site and mobile app, DNFs are mark with frowny faces, so a frowny is a DNF.

FTF: Short for “First to Find”.

GC Code: A unique alphanumeric identifier associated with every geocache listing. Short for

GC: Short for “GeoCoin”, “Geocache”, “Geocacher” or “Geocaching”

GCHQ: Short for “Geocaching Headquarters”.

Geocaching HQ: Short for “Geocaching Headquarters”.

Geocaching: A treasure hunt game where players navigate to outdoor containers with a GPSr and sign the logbook.

GeoCoins: Trackable coin.

Geohashing: A game where you visit and log randomly generated locations that often have nothing there.

GeoSeries: A group of caches usually placed by the same person and usually have similar locations, containers, hide styles, and/or views. They can also be power trails.

GeoTour: A GeoSeries registered with

GeoTrail: A GeoTour with a reward for finishing.

Giga-Event: An Event Cache that is attended by 5,000+ people.

GL Code: A unique alphanumeric identifier associated with every geocache log.

Global Positioning System: System of positioning your location on the globe.

GPS receiver: A device that uses GPS to determine locations.

GPS: Short for Global Positioning System.

GPSr: Short for “GPS receiver”.

Grandfathered: Cache types that are typically no longer allowed to be hidden.

Ground Zero: The cache coords.

Groundspeak, incorporated: The company that owns and operates,, and

Guy0: My original geocaching username.

GZ: Short for “Ground Zero”.

Hide: A cache you have hid.

Jeremy Irish: Co-Founder and President of Groundspeak.

Lamp Post Cache: A common type of geocache hidden under an unsecured lamp post base.

Latitude: Latitudes are horizontal lines on the globe that run parallel to the Equator. Latitudes never intersect, and one degree of latitude equals approximately 69 miles (111 kilometers). The Equator is at 0 degrees Latitude and divides the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Think of latitude as rungs on a ladder.

Letterbox: Original geocache. Here is an example of a letterbox listing: “Go to the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 2. Go east approximately 5 miles until you find an unmarked dirt road. Go south .1 mile on the dirt road and look in the tree on the right.” Letterboxes and letterboxers have a stamp. Once you find the letterbox, you mark the log of the letterbox with your stamp and mark your notebook with the letterbox’s stamp. Letterboxes on require you to use a geocache for at least part of the find (example, instead of saying “the intersection of…” you say “the posted coords”, or the box you find has coords for the final).

LHS: Short for “Left Hand Side”

LN: Short for “Left Nothing”.

LOFTS: Short for “Logged Only For The Smiley”.

Log to follow: Used when you want people to know you found a cache but do not want to write a whole log at the moment.

Log will follow: Other way of saying “Log To Follow”.

Log: Short for logbook.

Logbook: A paper/notepad that players sign with their username and the date when they find the cache. Some larger logs have room for messages as well.

Longitude: Longitudes are vertical lines on the globe that converge at the North and South Poles. They are widest apart from each other at the Equator.

LPC: short for “Lamp Post Cache”

LTF: Short for “Log to Follow”.

LWF: Short for “Log will Follow”.

Mega-Event Cache: An Event Cache that is attended by 500+ people.

Meridians: Other name for longitudes.

Micro: The smallest geocache size. Micros are about the size of a film canister, and sometimes smaller.

Mike Teague: The hider of the second cache, the player actively playing for the longest time, and the person who coined “Geocaching”.

MikeE: MikeE is a geocacher who has placed many caches (most of them premium) up and down Randall Road in McHenry and Kane Counties, IL.

Muggle: A non geocacher. Based on “Muggle” from the Harry Potter series, which is a non-magical person.

Muggled: The discovery of a geocache by a non geocacher. When a cache has been “muggled”, it usually means it was dismantled or removed by an unsuspecting non-player.

Multi-Cache: Most Multi-Caches have a first stage with a hint to find the second stage, and the second stage has a hint to the third, and so on.

Munzee: A GPS game where you log hidden QR codes.

Mystery Cache: A challenge or puzzle cache.

NA: Short for “Needs Archiving”.

Nano: The tiniest of all Micros—the smallest unofficial geocache size. Nanos are about the size of a pencil eraser.

NM: Short for “Needs Maintenance”.

Park-and-Grab: A cache where you can park right next to it and it is very quick.

Park-n-Grab: Short for “Park-and-Grab”.

Physical: A cache with a physical final container.

Physicals: Physical caches. That means that it is a cache that is not virtual, so you must sign the log to log it online.

PMO: Short for “Premium Members Only”.

PNG: Short for “Park-n-Grab”.

Pocket Query: A custom search that saves to a bookmark on days you specify.

Pokémon Go: A game where you go to special GPS locations to find virtual creatures.

Posted Coordinates: Coordinates posted on the cache listing page.

Power Trail: A path with a large number of caches placed within close proximity to each other.

PQ: Short for “Pocket Query”.

Premium Member: members with a paid Geocaching Premium Membership. Premium members have more features available to them than Basic members.

Puzzle Cache: A cache where the coords listed on the cache page are often bogus, and the final coordinates must be solved for through a series of steps or instructions.

QEF: Short for “Quick Easy Find”.

RAF: Short for “Replaced as Found”.

Randall Road Re-Romp: A PMO GeoSeries of about 20 caches organized and with many of the caches in it placed by Mike*E around Interstate 90 and Randall Road in Elgin, IL.

Randall Road Romp: A PMO GeoSeries of over 75 LPCs placed up and down Randall Road from the Randall Road, Ackman Road, McHenry Avenue, James R. Rakow Road, and Meredith Drive.

Randall Road Tree Romp: A GeoSeries of around 15 caches organized by and with the majority of the caches in it placed by Mike*E along bike paths only relatively near Randall Road from Fetzner Park in Crystal Lake to the Algonquin main library, IL.

RedGuy11: My current geocaching username.

Renzo: Short for “renzotobias”.

renzotobias: An inactive geocache who placed caches like those placed by rocky.

Renzy: Short for “renzotobias”.

Reviewer: Community volunteers from all over the world who review geocaching listings to see if they follow the guidelines and publish cache listings on

RHS: Short for “Right Hand Side”.

rocky is a very good doggie: rocky is a geocacher who places a lot of puzzle and harder caches in Chicagoland. He also created an inactive joke account that has no finds or hides called “Rocky is a very evil doggie”.

rocky: Short for “rocky is a very good doggie”.

Romp for Mike*E: A PMO Tribute GeoSeries of about 10 caches along Rolwing Road in Rolling Meadows, IL.

Romp: Play roughly and energetically. In the case of the Randall Road Tree Romp, it means that it is quick and easy, but involves bushwhacking. In the case of the Randall Road Romp, Randall Road Re-Romp, and Romp for MikeE, it means that it is quick and easy, but may be a little hard with stealth and secrecy (and I guess MikeE wanted to keep the pattern).

ROT13: A simple letter substitution cipher, or code, where each of the letters are rotated 13 characters up or down in the alphabet. Hints for geocaches are encrypted using ROT13.

Second To Find: The second person to find a geocache after it has been placed.

Signal the Frog: The official mascot of Groundspeak.

Signal: Short for Signal the Frog.

SL: Short for “Signed Log”.

Smiley: On the site and mobile app, finds are mark with smiley faces, so a smiley is a find.

Spoiler: In geocaching, a spoiler gives away details of a geocache location and can ruin the experience of the find. Some people (like me) do not care and look for spoilers but avoid leaving them for the sake of people who do care.

Stage: Short for waypoint.

STF: Short for “Second to Find”.

Stuff We All Get: Trade items left in caches by geocachers.

SWAG: Short for “Stuff We All Get.”

T4TC: Other way of writing TFTC.

T4TH: Other way of writing TFTH.

TB Code: A unique alphanumeric identifier associated with every trackable listing.

TB Hotel: A geocache with the intended purpose of housing many Travel Bugs.

TB: Short for “Travel Bug” or “Trackable”.

TFTC: Short for “Thanks for the Cache”.

TFTE: Short for “Thanks for the Event”.

TFTEC: Short for “Thanks for the EarthCache”.

TFTH: Short for “Thanks for the Hide”, “Thanks for the Hunt”, or “Thanks for the Hike”.

The Great American GPS Stash Hunt: Original name of geocaching.

TN: Short for “Took Nothing”.

TNLN: Short for “Took Nothing; Left Nothing”. Sometimes written with various punctuation marks in it.

TNLNSL: Short for “Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log”. Sometimes written with various punctuation marks in it.

Tools of the Trade: An phrase used for any of the tools that might be used to search for, retrieve, hide, find, or log geocaches.

TOTT: Short for “Tool of the Trade”.

Trackables: SWAG items that you can track its progress around the world. Most TBs are not for keeping.

Tracking Number: A unique alphanumeric code associated with a Travel Bug or trackable. Tracking numbers are used as proof that a geocacher physically came in contact with an item. Tracking numbers also double as a way for users to locate the personal web page for a Travel Bug. This is different from the TB code; TB codes are public to all who find the right page, but the Tracking Number is only on the TB itself.

Traditional Cache: The original geocache type. The coordinates listed on the Traditional Cache page provide its location.

Travel Bugs: The most popular type of TB. They are dog tags that have a picture of a bug on it.

Tribute Cache: A cache dedicated to someone, it could be a relation, a fellow geocacher, the random person you saw while hiding the cache, or no one in particular (the whole community, ect.).

Virtual: A grandfathered geocache type where geocachers discover locations rather than containers. A subset of a virtual cache is an EarthCache, which is not grandfathered.

Virtual: Something that does not really exist. Virtual caches are a type of cache where you must post a picture of yourself or answer questions instead of signing the log.

Watchlist: Lists that users maintain to receive notifications regarding specific geocaches and/or trackables. Users receive a copy of each posted log via email. Unlike other lists, this feature is not PMO.

Waymarking: A GPS game where you log interesting locations and items (like a giant dinosaur, or a city called Venice, Pennsylvania).

Waypoint: Various parts of caches. Typically, you must go to each waypoint to log a cache.

Webcam Cache: A grandfathered geocache type using existing web cameras placed by individuals or agencies that monitor various areas such as parks or business complexes. The idea is to get yourself in front of the camera to log your visit, then use a smartphone or ask a friend on a computer to look up the website displaying the camera shot. You or your friend must save the picture in order to log the cache.

WGS84: Format of GPS coords.

Wherigo Among other uses, Wherigo allows geocachers to interact with physical and virtual elements such as objects or characters while still finding a physical geocache container. A Wherigo-enabled GPS device or a smartphone running the Wherigo app is required to play a cartridge.

World headquarters of,,, and Groundspeak. Located in Seattle, Washington, USA.

WP: Short for “Waypoint”.

Writing Stick: Pencil/Pen/Marker/Crayon/ect. The site that most geocaches are listed on. The official GCHQ site. The only geohashing site. A geocaching event listing site. A site with all sorts of games played with GPS—including geocaching! A geocaching site for Premium members only that generates your geocaching statistics. A geocache listing site with mostly German caches. A United Kingdom only geocache listing site A United States only geocache listing site. A Czech Republic only geocache listing site. A Germany only geocache listing site. A Netherlands only geocache listing site. A Poland only geocache listing site. A Romania only geocache listing site A Sweden only geocache listing site. The only Munzee listing site. A geocaching site with statistics, tools, and more. A geocache listing site. The only waymarking site. A listing site for Wherigo Cartridges.

Ziggy: Short for Ziggy1Fan.

Ziggy1Fan: Ziggy1Fan used to place many caches in Kane County, IL, but removed all his caches and decided to become solely a seeker of caches in 2012.

One thought on “Comman Geocaching Lingo

  • It’s been so much fun finding geocaches with you that we tracked down a few while we were biking in Florida in January. Thanks for introducing us to a new hobby (as if we didn’t already have enough to do!).

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