Geocaching Lingo & Shorthand


I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but when we started caching we really didn’t know anything about it. We had to learn as we cached. One of the things we had to learn was the geocaching lingo and abbreviations for phrases that we saw in many geocaches’ online logs. So, here’s a list of the most common abbreviations and shorthand phrases we geocachers use.

FTF – First-to-find. Use this when you are the first geocacher to find a new geocache.

“FTF with my favorite cacher, KesselRun!! We got the email alerting us to this new cache, so we jumped in the Cache Interceptor and hurried to GZ.”

GZ — Ground zero. The coordinates to which your GPS leads you. Hopeufully, the cache will be hidden there or very close to it.

“Made it to GZ. Searched for 30 minutes. Finally found the cache about 60 feet away.”

PAF – Phone-a-Friend. This is what you do when you need help finding a cache. Sometimes it’s good to mention in your online log that you had to PAF.

“After several minutes of searching, I decided to PAF.”

TFTF – Thanks for the find!

“Great hide. TFTF!”

TFTH – Thanks for the hide!

“Nice cache. TFTH!”

Muggles – Non-caching people. People who do not know anything about geocaching.

“Muggles on your 6. Act like you’re talking on your phone.”

Lampskirt – a cache hidden under a lampskirt

“While we’re in this parking lot, let’s see if there’s a lampskirt here.”

LPC – lamp post cache; a cache hidden under the skirt of a lamp post

“The thing I hate most about caching in town is all of the LPCs.”

BYOP – Bring your own pen. Usually found in cache descriptions.

“Cache is small. Logbook only. BYOP.”

DNF – Did not find.

“No luck finding this cache. Had to DNF it.”

Lock & Lock – a container with a lid that locks with a few snaps.

“You are seeking a small  lock & lock container.”

SWAG – Stuff we all get. Trade-able items found in geocaches.

“Awesome cache! Thanks for the SWAG.”

TNLN – Took nothing; left nothing.

“Had fun searching for the cache. Neat container with lots of SWAG, but I didn’t have anything to trade. TNLN. TFTF!”

TOTT – Tools of the trade. Refers to anything that geocachers typically use to open/extract/find geocaches.

“I had to use my favorite TOTT to get this one!”

OR in the cache description:

“Will need a TOTT to open this cache.”

So, that’s my list. What did I forget to mention???

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