After you find your first geocache and you go to sign the log or start reading logs before finding a cache you will quickly notice that there is a lot of lingo and acronyms that are used in the geocaching world. I figured I would share some of the more common ones here with you to get you started, but first what the heck is geocaching?
Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek”, sharing many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, and letterboxing.
Archiving a cache removes the listing from public view. This action is usually taken when a cache owner does not intend to replace a cache after it has been removed. As an alternative to archiving, the cache owner can temporarily disable their cache if they plan to provide maintenance on the cache or replace the container within one month.
Using your GPS unit and/or written directions provided by NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS), you can seek out NGS survey markers and other items that have been marked in the USA.
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.
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.
Did Not Find. An acronym used by geocachers to state that they did not find a cache. This is also a type of online log on Geocaching.com and is useful for alerting cache owners of potential issues. 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.
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.
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 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.
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 who do not trade for material contents in a cache.
TNLNSL / TNSL
Took Nothing. Left Nothing. Signed Logbook / Took Nothing. Signed Logbook.
Tools of the Trade. An acronym used for any of the tools that might be used to search for/retrieve/find/log a geocache.
For more info on geocaching or to get caching head over to geocaching.com