Types of caches - what are they and what you should know about them...

There are more than 2 million caches around the world. These differ in their location, difficulty and terrain rating. But also very important in the cache types.

Tradi, Multi, Mystery

A traditional cache is – as the name suggests – the simplest and most common form of cache that there is. You get coordinates and the box with the logbook is also located at these given coordinates. You can then register directly.

Cache Types – Multi

The multi-cache has several stations. The specified coordinates usually describe the start of a path that can have very different lengths. Sometimes there is a bit of a puzzle to be solved at the stations. This usually results in the next station after a small arithmetic operation.

Multinationals usually have a theme that runs through the cache.

Mysteries, Unknown or Guess Hook - this describes the puzzle cache. Here you have to solve a task in advance (usually at home), which then reveals the starting coordinates. On site, it can then continue with other stations or a can can be found directly at the coordinates. A mysterie is thus a tradition or multi with an upstream riddle. Coordinates are mentioned in the listing, but they usually have nothing to do with the cache. For a long time, the listing coordinates have to be 2 or at most 3 km around the cache. This makes sense so that you don't choose a cache on the map at home, puzzle for a long time and then realize that you don't live or get to the area of the finals at all.

Mysteries can - as the D rating should describe - be quite easy to solve, but they can also occupy whole teams for several weeks and be built up step by step. Today there are a whole range of tools that help to crack the common puzzles.


Challenges are actually mysteries with an additional task. Mostly it is about statistical comparisons, which you have to prove with your own number of finds.


The abbreviation WIG stands for Where-I-Go and means a game that can be played on some GPS devices or on a smartphone. You need an app for this, the Where-I-Go-Player. A virtual world is to be played through, one goes physically and/or psychologically to certain localities. Depending on the game, you collect items, have to talk to virtual people and sometimes make decisions. It is a bit reminiscent of earlier PC games such as Monkey Island or similar (who remembers that....) WIG requires that you have previously loaded a so-called cartridge onto your device. The programming of a TIG requires a significantly higher effort from the cache owner. Either WIG deal with beautiful stories or also lead virtually and when playing on site through inner cities etc.

Cachearten WIG


The letterbox most closely connects to the pre-geocaching era. Letterboxing existed long before that. Usually the coordinates indicate a starting point from which you are guided to the final with directions (in words or with a real treasure map with arrows and crossroads...). There should then be a stamp in the final box, which is not an exchange item but remains in the letter box. You can use it to make an imprint in your own letterbox book. You should also log with your own stamp in the logbook.

Virtual, Webcam

For these two types of cache , geocachers sometimes accept another detour.

Cache Types Virtual

A virtual is represented with a white ghost on the map. There is no can on site here. This type of cache was introduced for places where you can't put a can, but which are worth seeing. These can be e.g. heavily frequented places. You prove the find by answering a question from the listing or by taking a photo – depending on the cache description.

Since 2005, there was initially no longer the option of designing new virtual. That's why perhaps visiting a virtual was something special. In 2017, 4000 cachers received the opportunity to create a new virtual as a "thank you" from the HQ.

The webcam is also a type of cache that is no longer allowed to be displayed today. A public webcam is used, often operated by the tourist information offices of the municipalities. The cacher places himself in the specified place and then uploads the picture of himself to the cache as log evidence. Due to the rarity and the fact that no new webcam caches are published, the existing webcam caches are very popular with cachers.

Cache types webcam



An earth cache deals with geological questions. Mostly it goes to particularly beautiful places in nature and geologically significant places. There is no can on site here, there is usually a (longer) description of the geological peculiarity of the place. At the end, questions are asked that the cacher has to answer to the owner via email or messenger. Usually you are led to beautiful places that have something special. As a rule, you will be asked for a photo of yourself or the GPS device on site - as a kind of proof that you were there and didn't find the answers to the questions anywhere. However, this photo has not been a must for a long time.

Special cache types: APE and HQ

These are two unusual cache types, each with its own icon.

Cache types APE

The APE cache is present twice around the world. Once in Brazil, in Intervales Park, a second time in the USA near Seattle. A total of 13 APE caches were laid in 2001, each with an original prop from the film "Planet of the Apes" being hidden. The cache in Intervales Park in Brazil still has the monkey mask, the cache in the USA has a flashlight. There is an APE icon for both caches as soon as you have logged them online.

Cache Types HQ

The Head Quarter (HQ) is the headquarters of Groundspeak. In the entrance area of the offices there is a huge box that always contains a large number of TBs. As soon as you log online here, you have the coveted HQ icon, which is unique.


 Event caches with all their forms will soon be discussed in a separate article.


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