Talk like a Buccaneer

One thing we do after finding a geocache is logging the find in a physical logbook at the cache site. This is fun for the us and also gives the geocache owner a personal record of who has found their cache. Space can be limited in these log books and that is where geo-speak comes in handy.

In traditional geocaches the logbook may be a small pocket-sized notebook with plenty of room for leaving the date, your geocaching handle, and a brief comment. On the other hand, if the geocache is a micro or nano, the logbook may be a small roll of paper with little space for commenting. This is when geocaching acronyms come in handy.

If you are a newbie, muggle, or simply curious, the following is a list of common geocaching acronyms that will help you translate geo-speak.

Geocaching Acronyms

DNF – Did not find. When logged online this tells the owner of the cache that you did not find their geocache. If a cache owner receives many DNF’s, it alerts them that their cache may be too difficult to find, that the coordinates they’ve posted may be off, or even that their geocache has gone missing.

LN – Left nothing. This is a common acronym used when a geocacher leaves nothing in the geocache and only signs the log book.

SL – Signed log. This is written in the physical logbook to tell the geocache owner that the log was signed . Can also be used when logging the cache online.

FTF – First to find. This is written in a physical logbook to tell cache owner that you were the first to find the geocache. Can also be used when logging the geocache online.

STF – Second to find. Not as cool as “First to Find”, but nothing shabby about being the 2nd geocacher to find the cache. This is written in the physical cache logbook and also when logging the geocache online.

SLTFTF – Signed log. Thanks for the find. This acronym is written in the physical logbook and in addition to thanking the cache owner for the find lets them know that the log was signed.

TFTC – Thanks for the cache. This acronym is used in a physical logbook to thank the cache owner for placing the geocache. Can also be used when logging the cache online.

TFTH – Thanks for the hide. This acronym is used in a physical logbook to thank the cache owner for hiding the cache. Can also be used when logging the geocache online. Often written T4TH.

TNLN – Took nothing, left nothing. This acronym is used in a physical logbook meaning the finder of a cache with SWAG (Stuff We All Get) took none of the material contents of the geocache and also left nothing behind. Can also be used when logging the cache online.

TNLNSL – Took nothing, left nothing, signed logbook. This acronym is used online and tells the geocache owner that the finder took nothing, left nothing, and signed the log book.

Ammo Can – Ammo cans safely transport ammunition, or bullets. However, in the glossary of geocaching terms, it is a popular choice of traditional geocaching container.

Bug – Also known as a travel bug, this trackable tag carries a unique code and travels via person to person, from cache to cache. Following its progress around your city, your state, your country, and the world is fascinating and lots of fun.

BYOP – This acronym means Bring Your Own Pencil. Consequently, when you see a cache owner using this term in their cache description, you know that you need to bring your own writing utensil in order to sign the geocache log book.

Coordinates – Geocaching relies on a pair of numbers (latitude and longitude) that pinpoint an exact location on the earth. It’s imperative that coordinates are accurate for hiding a geocache or locating one.

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

Logbook – A logbook is a physical record of every geocacher that has found a cache. Usually made of paper, logbooks come in various shapes and sizes. Some are small notebooks, others or a simple strip of paper.

Muggle – A term used to mean a non-geocacher. It comes from the Harry Potter series meaning a non-magical person.

Power Trail – A path with a large number of hidden geocaches. This allows cachers to easily increase their find count.

SWAG – An acronym for Stuff We All Get and this applies to trading trinkets left in geocaches.

Virtual Cache – This is the opposite of a traditional cache in that geocachers discover locations rather than containers. The challenge is to find the location of a virtual cache and follow the instructions for logging the cache. You may be required to take a picture at the location, answer a question about the area, etc. These geocaches have been grandfathered in and can be found, but can no longer be created.