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Geocaching glossary: what do all those terms mean? part two

A creative geocaching container
A creative geocaching container
Pennington Photo

Continuing my article from yesterday, here are more terms that sometime puzzle the new geocacher.

This is one of several unique cache types. An EarthCache is a cache that promotes geoscience education. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth. For more information about EarthCaches, visit
Event Cache
This is one of several unique cache types. Events are gatherings set up by local geocachers and geocaching organizations to meet players and to discuss geocaching.
First to Find. An acronym written by geocachers in physical cache logbooks or online when logging cache finds to denote being the first to find a new geocache.
A container hidden that includes, at minimum, a logbook for geocachers to sign.
Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
Geocoins work similarly to Groundspeak Travel Bugs® (see Travel Bugs) in that they are trackable and can travel the world, picking up stories from geocache to geocache. Geocoins are often created as signature items by geocachers and can also be used as collectibles.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a system of satellites that work with a GPS receiver to determine your location on the planet. For more information on GPS, FAQs.
GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit
This is one of several unique cache types. An exhibit cache represents geocaching participation at the GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit. The GPS Adventures Maze is a traveling educational exhibit designed to teach people of all ages about navigation, GPS technology and geocaching.
Slang for a GPS receiver. Equipment to receive GPS signals for use in navigation.
GPX (GPS eXchange Format)
A specific file format available when creating a Pocket Query. A Premium Member feature, the GPX file format has specific geocaching information that can be used by supporting applications.
Ground Zero (GZ)
The point where your GPS device shows that you have reached the cache location. At Ground Zero, you are zero feet (or zero meters) away from your destination.
A hitchhiker is an item that is placed in a cache, and has instructions to travel to other caches. Sometimes they have logbooks attached so you can log their travels. A Travel Bug is an example of a hitchhiker.
Latitude and longitude create a waypoint. Latitude is the angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured through 90 degrees. (Listen to this mp3 for an entertaining way to learn about longitude and latitude (thanks to ACME)).
Letterboxing is similar to Geocaching, but you use a series of clues to find a container. Once you find the container (or letterbox), you use the carved stamp from the box, stamp your personal logbook and return that stamp to the letterbox. You then use your carved stamp and stamp the letterbox's logbook. See Letterboxing North America for more information.
The original download format for the search results page on
Locationless (Reverse) Cache
This is one of several cache types which are no longer available for creation on Instead of finding a hidden container, you are given a task to locate a specific object and log its coordinates. A scavenger hunt of sorts, it involves collecting waypoints of various objects around the world. Note: this is not a valid cache type any more.

Locationless caches have evolved into Waymarking. Waymark categories are similar to how locationless caches were listed on, but you can now search for the locations in each category.
Latitude and longitude create a waypoint. Longitude is the angular distance measured on a great circle of reference from the intersection of the adopted zero meridian with this reference circle to the similar intersection of the meridian passing through the object.

More terms in my next article.

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More information on geocaching is found on the Centennial State Geocaching Podcast


  • Tina Ranieri 5 years ago

    awesome! more fun to know facts, what a difference it makes when you are in the know

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