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Glossary of Terms

Geocaching Solutions updates this glossary as new terms emerge. If you have suggestions for future additions, please contact us.
These are icons on a cache detail intended to provide helpful information to geocachers. These icons represent unique cache characteristics, including size, difficulty of terrain, or difficulty of the location.
Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil. An acronym often used by cache owners to communicate to other geocachers that you will need to bring your writing utensil in order to sign the cache logbook.
A shortened version of the word geocache
Cache In Trash Out is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers have been dedicated to cleaning up parks and other cache-friendly places around the world. Learn more at
Did Not Find. An acronym used by geocachers to state that they did not find a cache. Cache owners who repeatedly receive "Did Not Find" logs should check to see that there cache has not been removed.
Geocaches are rated in two categories, each designated on a 5-point scale. Difficulty relates to the mental challenge of finding a cache and terrain describes the physical environment. A 1/1 difficulty/terrain rating would the easiest cache to find, while a 5/5 difficulty/terrain rating would be the most difficult.
This is one of several unique cache types. An EarthCache is a cache that promotes geoscience education. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth. For more information about EarthCaches, visit
First to Find. An acronym written by geocachers in physical cache logbooks or online when logging cache finds to denote being the first to find a new geocache.
A container hidden that includes, at minimum, a logbook for geocachers to sign.
Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
Geocoins are trackable and can travel the world, picking up stories from geocache to geocache. Geocoins are often created as signature items by geocachers and can also be used as collectibles.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a system of satellites that work with a GPS receiver to determine your location on the planet.
Ground Zero (GZ)
The point where your GPS device shows that you have reached the cache location. At Ground Zero, you are zero feet (or zero meters) away from your destination.
A hitchhiker is an item that is placed in a cache, and has instructions to travel to other caches. Sometimes they have logbooks attached so you can log their travels. A Geocoin is an example of a hitchhiker.
Latitude and longitude create a waypoint. Latitude is the angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured through 90 degrees
Letterboxing is similar to Geocaching, but you use a series of clues to find a container. Once you find the container (or letterbox), you take a carved stamp from the box and stamp your personal logbook. You then take your carved stamp and stamp the letterbox's logbook. See Letterboxing North America for more info.
Locationless (Reverse) Cache
This is one of several cache types. Instead of finding a hidden container, you are given a task to locate a specific object and log its coordinates. A scavenger hunt of sorts, it involves collecting waypoints of various objects around the world
Latitude and longitude create a waypoint. Longitude is the angular distance measured on a great circle of reference from the intersection of the adopted zero meridian with this reference circle to the similar intersection of the meridian passing through the object
Mega-Event Cache
This is one of several cache types. A Mega-Event cache is similar to an Event Cache but it is much larger. Among other considerations, a Mega-event cache must be attended by 500+ people. Typically, Mega Events are annual events and attract geocachers from all over the world.
A non-geocacher. Based on "Muggle" from the Harry Potter series, which is a non-magical person. Usually this term is used after a non geocacher looks puzzled after befriending a geocacher searching for a cache, or when a non-geocacher accidentally finds a cache. Geomuggles are mostly harmless.
Multi-Cache (offset Cache)
This is one of several cache types. A multi-cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations, the final location being a physical container. There are many variations, but most multi-caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has hints to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a multi-cache.
Mystery or Puzzle Caches
This is one of several cache types. The "catch-all" of cache types, this form of cache can involve complicated puzzles you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates. Examples include complicated ciphers, simple substitutions, arithmetical quizzes and clues cleverly hidden within the graphics, Due to the increasing creativity of geocaching this becomes the staging ground for new and unique challenges.
Signature Item
An item unique to a specific geocacher that is left behind in caches to signify that they visited that cache. These often include personal geocoins, tokens, pins, craft items or calling cards.
A spoiler is information that can give details away and ruin the experience of something. For example, telling someone the end of a movie before they see it. In geocaching, a spoiler gives away details of a cache location and can ruin the experience of the find.
An acronym often referred to as standing for 'Stuff We All Get." It includes the trade items left in caches by geocachers.
Thanks For The Cache. An acronym written by geocachers in physical cache logbooks or online when logging cache finds.
Thanks For The Hide
Took Nothing. Left Nothing. Usually written in cache logbooks by geocachers do not trade for material contents in a cache.
Took Nothing. Left Nothing. Signed Logbook / Took Nothing. Signed Logbook.
Traditional Cache
This is one of several cache types. This is the original cache type consisting, at a bare minimum, a container and a logbook. Normally you will find a clear container or ammo box containing items for trade. Smaller containers, called micro caches are usually too small to contain anything except for a logbook. The coordinates listed on the traditional cache page are the exact location for the cache.
Virtual (cache)
This is one of several cache types. A virtual cache is a cache that exists in a form of a location. Virtual caches have no cache container; the reward for these caches is the location itself and sharing information about your visit. Virtual caches are now considered waymarks by most geocachers.
Watch List
A watchlist is a list of users that are watching a specific travel bug or cache. Each user receives a copy of each posted log via email.
Waypoints are named coordinates representing points on the surface of the Earth. 
Webcam Cache
This is one of several cache types. These are caches that use existing web cameras placed by individuals or agencies that monitor various areas like parks or road conditions. The idea is to get yourself in front of the camera to log your visit. The challenging part, however, is that you need to call a friend to look up the web site that displays the camera image. You will need to have them to save the picture to log the cache. If you are a tech savvy, you can also use a wireless modem and save the image yourself on a laptop.


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