Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top 10 Geocaching Acronyms You Need To Know

Hiding geocache with Garmin GPS

Geocachers simply love their acronyms. It’s not uncommon to open a logbook or read the notes on a cache only to find a string of what looks like alphabet soup. And, while some of them are standard, many geocachers make up their own acronyms which makes things extremely complicated. However, there are a handful that everyone should know.

1. FTF – First To Find

This acronym is often written in logbooks or online when a geocacher is the first one to a newly created cache. Getting an FTF is pretty exciting and something that many geocachers strive towards.

2. DNF – Did Not Find

This means that you didn’t locate the cache. While it might be tempting to not admit your defeat, logging DNFs is important so that the cache owner can check and make sure it wasn’t muggled or missing.

travel bug3. TB – Travel Bug

Travel bugs are designed to be tracked from location to location, and each has its own goal. If you pick up, drop, or see a travel bug, it’s important to note any action taking that way the original owner can monitor it. Another common travel but acronym is TBD – Travel Bug Dropped.

4. TFTC – Thanks For The Cache (also T4TC)

Writing this is a good way to thank the cache owner for the clever hide and upkeep, although it’s also good to write a sentence or two about what you liked. A variation of this acronym is T4TC.

5. SL – Signed Logbook

All geocaches have a logbook that you can sign when you’ve found it. This acronym is usually only found online, as the signature itself will be at the cache.

6. BYOP – Bring Your Own Pencil

This acronym is common on smaller caches, where including a writing utensil is impossible. If you see this, make sure you bring your own pencil or pen so that you can make your mark once you find the cache!

7. TNLN – Took Nothing Left Nothing

Most caches contain SWAG, but many geocachers aren’t interested in that (or simply didn’t see any SWAG they actually cared to take). Generally speaking, you won’t want to take something unless you have something small to leave behind.

This is the international geocaching symbol recognized around the world

This is the international geocaching symbol recognized around the world

8. CO – Cache Owner

This acronym is usually in reference to the person who created the cache and maintains it. If the cache needs attention or was particularly good, sometimes people will address the owner specifically.

9. TOTT – Tools Of The Trade

Seeing this in a log means that you will need to use some common geocaching gear or an actual tool, like a screwdriver, in order to find or access the case. Make sure to read the logs carefully and be prepared!

10. CITO – Cache In Trash Out

Geocachers worldwide have an ongoing environmental initiative to clean up the natural parks and areas where caches are often hidden and found. While there are designated CITO events, sometimes this simply means the geocacher took a moment and cleaned up trash on the way to or from the cache.

Of course, these are just some of the common ones I’ve seen. What else have you seen? Tell me in the comments below!


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