Basics,  Geocaching

50+ Geocaching Acronyms

Every hobby has its own lingo, and geocaching is no exception. Not only are there many, many new terms to learn when diving into this great hobby, but there are also many abbreviations to go along with them!

Some of them are pretty simple to figure out, but others had me scratching my head for a while. One thing I’ve learned is that most acronyms are regional. Certain hide styles might be more common in some parts over others, and so the local cachers have created their own terms and abbreviations for the hide styles and hints.

I’ve compiled a list of many of these geocaching abbreviations/acronyms/inialisms/whatever you want to call them. (Yes, I know there’s a difference!) This list is based on what is used here in the Chicagoland area and some that I’ve seen in my travels. It is in no way a complete list! Feel free to email or message me others that you might use in your area, and I will gladly add them to the list.

  • ALR – additional logging requirements
  • APE – alternative primate evolution, refers to Project APE series
  • BITBB – Breakfast in the Blustery Burbs, an annual winter event in Chicagoland
  • BOP/T – base of pole/tree
  • BM – bookmark
  • BYOP – bring your own pen/pencil
  • CITO – Cache In Trash Out
  • CO – cache owner
  • D/T – difficulty/terrain
  • DNA – did not attempt
  • DNF – did not find
  • FP – favorite point; could also mean forest preserve
  • FTF – first to find
  • FTFML – first to find, more later
  • GC – geocache, geocache code number, or geocoin
  • GIFF – Geocaching International Film Festival, annual film competition
  • GPS – global positioning system
  • GPSr – global positioning system receiver
  • GPX – GPS exchange format, file format used by GPSr
  • GRC – guard rail cache
  • GSAK – geocaching swiss army knife, Windows program for cache management
  • GT – Geotour
  • GWS – Geowoodstock, annual US Mega Event
  • GZ – ground zero
  • HIPS – hidden in plain sight
  • HOW – house of worship, series of cache hides placed at churches
  • HQ – headquarters, as in Geocaching HQ
  • ISQ – Illinois spirit quest, can replace (I) with any state, such as WSQ in Wisconsin, series of cache hides placed at cemeteries
  • LEO – law enforcement officer
  • LB – letterbox
  • LPC – lamp post cache
  • LWF – log will follow
  • MKH – magnetic key holder
  • MWGB – Midwest Geobash, annual US Mega Event
  • NA – needs archived
  • NM – needs maintenance
  • OCB – original can of beans, now a trackable https://coord.info/TBGJAA
  • PAF – phone a friend
  • PI – poison ivy
  • PMO – premium members only
  • PNG or P&G – park and grab
  • PQ  pocket query
  • PT – power trail
  • RAF – replaced as found
  • SL – signed log
  • SLAP – Skirt lifters anonymous program, tongue in cheek series of LPC hides
  • STF – second to find
  • TAF – text a friend
  • TB – travel bug
  • TFTC – thanks for the cache
  • TFTH – thanks for the hide
  • TN – took nothing
  • TNLN – took nothing, left nothing
  • TOTT – tools of the trade
  • UPR / UPS – unnatural pile of rocks/sticks
  • WBCB – West Bend Cache Bash, annual US Mega Event
  • WIG – Wherigo
  • WP – waypoint
  • WWFM – worldwide flash mob
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