An Introduction to Geocaching
Geocaching has a large collection of terms and abbreviations that can be daunting for a beginner to grasp, so I've compiled a list of the more commonly used ones and posted them here. If you are aware of any items that should be on this list but aren't, please send me a note via the contact page.
2TF - Second to find. See also: STF
3TF - Third to find
ATCF - As the crow flies
BYOP - Bring your own pen
Bison Tube - A small metal tube with a screw top, waterproofed with a rubber o-ring. The name originated from Bison Designs, the company who originally manufactured them. Inexpensive clones of Bison tubes are widely available and often sold as "ID holders". These tubes make excellent micro caches.
CITO - Cache in, trash out. Cachers are encouraged to practice CITO while Geocaching.
DNF - Did not find
FDF - First day find, claimed when a cache has been found on the day it was published.
FFTF - First FTF.
FTF - First to find. The coveted designation for the first geocacher to find a newly placed cache. Many caches will contain a "FTF Prize", a special reward for the first geocacher to find the cache.
GPX - A GPX file contains additional information about caches, including the description, hint and the most recent logs. Generating GPX files is a premium member feature of Geocaching.com
GZ - See: Ground Zero
Geocrap - Useless, boring or otherwise uninteresting items left behind in caches
Ground Zero - The point at where a cache is supposed to be located, according to your GPS.
Lock-n-Lock - A popular choice for small and regular caches; an inexpensive waterproof plastic storage container which has four clasps - one on each side - providing a secure closure.
MKH - Magnetic key holder; a common choice for micro caches.
Muggle - A non-geocacher, often a passerby.
Muggled - When a cache is discovered by a muggle and removed.
PAF - Phone a friend. The act of contacting (usually by phone) someone who has previously found a cache for additional hints or guidance.
Paperless Caching - An environmentally friendly option for Geocaching, where cache listings are downloaded to the GPS and/or a PDA or laptop so that no paper is wasted storing Geocaching information.
Plundered - A cache that has been discovered by Muggles or corrupt Geocachers and removed or the contents strewn about, vandalized or stolen.
SBA - Should be archived. A log note indicating that the cache should be placed into archived status.
SL - Signed log.
STF - Second to find. Almost as prestigious as a FTF.
Sistema - A waterproof plastic container, similar to a Lock-n-Lock, commonly used for geocaches throughout Australia and New Zealand
TB - See: Travel Bug
TFTC - Thanks for the cache. See also TFTH
TFTF - Thanks for the find. Definition can be ambiguous so usage not recommended.
TFTFTF - Thanks for the FTF (ok, ok, I invented that one)
TFTH - Thanks for the hide. See also TFTC
TNLN - Took nothing, left nothing.
TNLNSL - Took nothing, left nothing, signed log book. See also: TNLN, TNSL
TNSL - Took nothing, signed log. See also: TNLN, TNLNSL
Travel Bug - A dog tag that is usually attached to a 'hitchhiker'. Travel bugs aren't trade items, if you pick one up, you must place it in another cache. Travel bugs are given a mission by their owners and contain a code to track their movements on Geocaching.com; see: How to log a travel bug
Travel Bug Hotel - A cache that is intended as a swap point for trackable items.
WPID - Waypoint ID. See Waypoint
Waypoint - A waypoint represents a GPS coordinate. Multi-caches will have one or more waypoints which will ultimately point you to the final cache. A cache ID is sometimes referred to as a waypoint.