Geocaching terms and acronyms

Using Coordinates to locate hidden Geocaches (treasure) guided by GPS.

The treasure we seek.

This could be a teeny tiny magnetic container, a small old fashioned film pot, a tupperware box or a genuine treasure chest. It could be disguised as a pinecone, a rock or a snail. The possibilities limited only by the creativity of the cache owners.
My personal favourite; the ammo can. I get far too excited over these than is acceptable for a thirty something year old woman. Put one on a pulley in a tree and it will blow my socks off! Amazing!

Geocaches can be found using any GPS enabled device.
The r is for receiver. A handheld GPS unit used for geocaching and other outdoor pursuits. I was lucky enough to get one for Christmas from Mr Muddy. I seek caches with either my GPSr or my phone. Sometimes both at the same time. Get me! 😉

Ground Zero
The spot where the cache is hidden and in theory where your GPS or Phone will display a 0m to cache reading. I’ve rarely seen a 0m but you get close enough to know where to start looking.

Each Geocache has a paper log inside it, which you sign to prove that you found it. Ok, some people do pretend, but that’s just weird. And pointless.
Then there is the online log you complete. A brief outline of your geocaching adventure.
I clearly need to get out more because I actually enjoy reading other people’s logs online. Some are absolute corkers full of strops and moans, others cheery accounts of a happy day. I have a tendency to get carried away on some of my logs but you may have noticed already I like to share my Geoadventures! 😀

Simply, Thanks For The Cache.
Most people mean it genuinely. Some people use it exclusively which makes dull reading for log lurkers like me.
When I use it my fluent sarcasm has failed to be suppressed.  My TFTC can be translated as; You brought me to a shitty location to find a rather boring cache. I can think of no positive things to say about my experience yet I appreciate you went to the effort to place the cache, so for that alone I thank you.

Did Not Find
You obviously don’t sign the paper log as you can’t find the bugger but still need to write an online log to share your woes. Sometimes it really is as simple as missing something blatantly right in front of your face. Dammit!
Sod’s law dictates that the next person who finds it after your attempt declares it an easy find. Just add more salt to my wounds why don’t you…..
Sometimes the cache is genuinely lost or stolen. By reporting a DNF you may be highlighting to the cache owner to check up on the cache or if necessary to replace. Sometimes the description and hint for the cache are so specific it can only be missing. Many people of course don’t bother to log DNF’s. That’s because they are wusses, far too afraid to admit they can’t find a cache. 😉

Cache Owner. The awesome person who has placed the cache to be found.

First To Find
The first person to find the cache once it has been published.
Bizarrely addictive.

Hmm, another element to the game. You can buy trackable items such as Geocoins or Travel bugs which have a tracking code. You find them in a cache and can then move it to another cache to continue its journey.
Some have goals, some are happily drifting around the world, littlest Hobo style.

A super clever cache which works by a little bit of geocaching magic.

A completely inconspicuous 😉 pile of sticks which sometimes hides the cache. My little wild offspring adore sticks and so we often have a fresh collection of stickoflage right outside our front door. I’m quite surprised we’ve not had a passing geocacher stopping for a rummage……

Phone a friend
For those desperate moments when you can’t find a cache.
I’m much more likely to TAF – Tweet a friend. Internet junkie that I am. I’ve virtually met some pretty cool Geocachers on Twitter.

A name for those who have yet to find their first cache. I’m not the fondest of the term especially as I live in a house of Potter adoration.
Personally I feel It insinuates some kind of superiority over those not in the know. Yet we are the ones looking for Tupperware in a forest?! Go figure.

Swag or swaps
Some caches are filled with items for trading. The idea being that if you take something, you leave something behind of equal or greater value. In reality a lot of caches are filled with crap. However you can also find some absolute gems, the children love to collect foreign currency, key-rings and badges from around the world. One haul gave us a polished shell which my daughter treasures and another a paracord bracelet which promptly led to sibling warfare.
A cache which you can’t find. A cache that has got under your skin. A cache that you can’t stop looking for, even if you suspect it may not be there.

Temporarily disabled
A cache can be disabled whilst a CO carries out maintenance or whilst there are problems with a cache. This prevents the cache showing up on a search on and prevents unnecessary searching for a cache that may have issues.

Volunteer geocachers who publish new geocachers and ensure guidelines are met.

Archiving a cache removes it from public view on The cache is no longer available for searching.

Premium members earn a favourite point for every 10 caches they find. You can then award the caches you have most enjoyed a favourite point. I’m stingy with mine for the record. 😉

D/T rating

Each cache has a rating from 1-5 for both difficulty and terrain. The higher the number the more difficult the cache will be to find or access.

Multi Cache

You won’t find a cache at the given coordinates. You will be required to work out the location of the final cache by looking for a physical clue, or information readily available in the environment.


Stage or extra location required to visit in order to find the cache.