Geocaching Terminology & Glossary

If you are planning a camping trip, one thing you might want to put on your itinerary is a geocaching adventure. Geocaching is a fun activity that the whole family will enjoy. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt in which you use global positioning system (GPS) coordinates to hide and seek containers called geocaches anywhere in the world. Still need a better idea of what geocaching is all about? You must be a muggle – someone who doesn’t geocache or even know what it is. We also suggest you take a look at these geocaching apps to help get you started.

Not to worry. Here’s a list of geocaching terminology that can help you become more familiar with it and get you on your way to finding caches.

Cache machine – A group of cachers formed to work together to find a large number of caches quickly.

TLNL – Took Nothing, Left Nothing. While caching, you have the option to leave the cache as it was found or take what you find and leave something of equal or greater value for the next cacher to discover.

DNF – Did Not Find cache.

FTF – First To Find a cache after it has been placed somewhere.

Power Trail – A path with a large number of easy caches placed every tenth of a mile.

Travel bug – An item that travels from cache to cache, which has a unique tracking number assigned by

Geocoin – Very similar to a travel bug, a geocoin is able to be tracked. It can be placed in a geocache and then travel to another geocache with stories along the way.

UPS –Unnatural Pile of Sticks, which is a common sign of cache hidden underneath.

Podcache – A puzzle or cache that uses spoken auditory clues that you listen to on-site through a portable MP3 player.

Muggled – A geocache that has been vandalized or stolen.

BYOP – Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil. Sometimes you will need to use a physical sheet of paper if you want to sign the cache logbook.

CITO – Cache In, Trash Out. This has been an ongoing environmental initiative by since 2002 to help clean up parks and anywhere else you may find caches.

D/T – Difficulty/Terrain. Difficulty is the mental challenge of finding a cache, and terrain describes the physical environment. A 1/1 cache would be the easiest to find and a 5/5 would be the most difficult.

GC Code – A code that is unique to every cache listing. It always starts with GC and ends with other letters or numbers.

Ground Zero (GZ) – This is the location where your GPS device shows you have reached your cache destination. It means you are within zero feet or meters from the location of the cache.

Mega-event cache – An event attended by over 500 people that is essentially a day of planned activities related to finding geocaches.

Multi-cache – This is when there are geocaches in multiple locations. Your GPS will take you to the coordinates of the first cache, and once you find it, will take you to the location of the next cache after that.

Spoilers – Sometimes the worst part of geocaching, a spoiler is someone telling you the exact location and details of a geocache to help you find it. This is the worst, because it ruins all the fun of finding the geocache on your adventure!

So what did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

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