Geocaching is a project organized by Groundspeak, which holds the trademark for the word/activity. It is organized as outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational  techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually a tupperware or ammo box) containing a logbook. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is most often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek", sharing many aspects with orienteering, treasure-hunting, and waymarking.

Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica. As of March 8, 2010, there are over 1,007,477 active geocaches over the world.



For the traditional geocache, a geocacher will place a waterproof container containing a log book (with pen or pencil) and trade items then record the cache’s coordinates. These coordinates, along with other details of the location, are posted on a listing site (see list of some sites below). Other geocachers obtain the coordinates from that listing site and seek out the cache using their GPS handheld receivers. The finding geocachers record their exploits in the logbook and online. Geocachers are free to take objects (except the logbook, pencil, or stamp) from the cache in exchange for leaving something of similar or higher value.



There are various acronyms and phrases commonly used in logs, both online and in logbooks. These words and phrases include, but are not limited to:

  • "DNF" is an acronym for "Did Not Find", or when a geocacher hunts for a particular cache however is unable to find the container.
  • "FTF" is an acronym for "First To Find", used by the first person to locate the cache and sign the log.
  • "ICT" is an acronym for "Ivy Covered Tree", used in the description on where a cache may be hidden.
  • "LPC" is an acronym for "Lamp Post Cache", used in the description on where a cache may be hidden.
  • "TFTC" is one of the more commonly used acronyms, standing for "Thanks For The Cache". This is often used at the end of logs to thank the cache owner, or CO.
  • "TFTH" is an acronym similar to TFTC, however it stands for "Thanks For The Hunt" or "Thanks For The Hike" or "Thanks For the Hide". It shares the same purpose as TFTC.
  • "TNLN" is an acronym for "Took Nothing, Left Nothing", used when a finder of a cache does not trade any items in the cache. Just "TN" or "LN" can be used individually as well.
  • "SL" is an acronym for "Signed Log", used when the participant visited the cache and signed its logbook. This acronym can be combined with the one above, and then condensed to make "XNSL", which stands for "exchanged nothing, signed log".
  • "GZ" is an acronym for "Ground Zero" or "Geo-zone" and refers to the general area in which a cache is hidden.
  • "CITO" is an acronym for "Cache In Trash Out" and refers to picking up trash on the hunt.
  • "GPSr" is an acronym for "GPS receiver".

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