Name that geocache: What size is this?


Deciding the size of your geocache can be a bit like ordering a coffee drink from your local coffee-snob barista—overwhelming!  Before you’ve even had your caffeine pick-me-up, you are forced to decide whether you would like a Short, Tall, Grande, Venti, or even Trenta (yes, “Trenta” is now a real size). Choosing the correct size for your geocache can be just as tricky. What is the difference between “Regular and Small”? What in the world is a “Nano”? What does it mean when a geocache is labelled as “Other”? Knowing the answers to these questions can make all the difference in getting that smiley, so we’ve created the following geocache size-guide to give you the answers to the ultimate questions of life, the Universe, and geocache sizes. And no, the answer is not 42.

Traditional Sizes

While these may seem straightforward, it can be a tough call when your geocache falls somewhere in between. CacheSizeborder2.0

Micro –  Tiny containers that most likely will only hold a log sheet, e.g. a film canister.

Small – Just big enough to fit a sandwich. Holds only a small logbook and small items, e.g. a small plastic container. Note: Please don’t put a sandwich in your gecoache.

Regular – Think shoe box. If you could fit a pair of shoes inside, you’re golden, e.g. an ammo box.

Large –  Think Bigfoot’s shoe box. If he could fit his hiking boots inside, it should probably be labelled as a Large, e.g. a 5 gallon bucket.

Other Categorizations 

A camouflaged Nano cache container.

For times when the traditional categories simply aren’t enough, you might need to use the following:

Nano – For the very tiniest of geocaches. ‘Nano’ is not officially listed on geocache pages, so players should mark Nanos as Micros, e.g. a fake bolt.

Other – Unusual geocache containers that just don’t fit into other categories, e.g. a magnetic strip.

Unknown – For when a little extra surprise is needed, e.g. when knowing the size of the container would completely give away the find.

What benchmarks do you use to size out your geocaches?  Tell us about them in the comments below.


Paige Edmiston
Paige (ThePaigeTurner) is a Marketing Specialist at Geocaching HQ. She likes books.
  • Cissy

    I use “unknown” size when the cache itself and the camo are of different sizes. Example: A micro is glued or secured to a bigger item used as the camo.

  • Aldebay

    The never ending story:why can’t we get a nano size? It makes a difference for a city search if its a nano or a micro. This is why most owners remark in their listing whether its a nano or a micro. Some of them use micro, some “other” as official category because they don’t have the choice for the “rigtht one”. I haven’t heard any good arguments so far why groundspeak just refuses this simple upgrade…

  • ErSaBB

    I agree on the nano size, I really miss it!

  • StJeP

    We’ve hid 2 nanos in the city and set them as other. It would’ve been better to label them as nano.

  • Dschofield91

    Nanos should not be labeled as Micros. It makes a huge difference in where and how you search especially in an urban setting.

  • Born2BWyld

    It would be so helpful to have a listing for nanos. My fingers can no longer handle those little creatures and I’m afraid I’ll fumble the container away, losing it. If there were a listing for nano, then I’d know not to waste my time on it.

  • dukeofurl

    Well then what would you suggest? I (and many others) think that labeling them as Micros is better than labeling them as Unknown.

  • Agreed… there should be a category choice for nano. Groundspeak states and advertises the size, so they should update their site to reflect it’s availability.

  • zargfinders

    I agree

  • Theo

    Remembering the feedback system, a nano cache size was the second highest ratet suggest… groundspeak only has to listen to the website users… 😉

  • Jiizii76

    The bigger is Bed and Breakfast -sized cache

  • zymes

    0 – 0,2 decilitre: other
    0,2 – 1 deciltre: micro
    1,1 – 1 litre: small
    1,1 – 20 litres: regular
    20,1+ litres: large

    This is pretty much what i choose after 🙂

  • I usually use this guide:

    If it’s a film container or a regular PETling (such as those we got at Project Eck as part of the entrance) it’s a Micro. Anything substantially smaller is Nano. Large PETlings (such as the containers of caches like “Project Eck – Festungspark”) and other boxen or tubes larger than film containers are Small. Regular starts at a little smaller than a shoe box (but not by much), and Large is anything I wouldn’t want to lift myself with one hand, or so.

  • I agree with that, but Groundspeak (and other listing sites) should *really* make the perceived reality formal and add the Nano size.

  • vks

    Geocaching 101 Guide->Finding geocaches->What does a geocache look like? states:

    Micro – Less than 100ml. Examples: a 35 mm film canister or a tiny storage box typically containing only a logbook or a logsheet. A nano cache is a common sub-type of a micro cache that is less than 10ml and can only hold a small logsheet.
    Small – 100ml or larger, but less than 1L. Example: A sandwich-sized plastic container or similar.
    Regular – 1L or larger, but less than 20L. Examples: a plastic container or ammo can about the size of a shoebox.
    Large – 20L or larger. Example: A large bucket.
    Other – See the cache description for information.

  • Web-ling

    I agree with so many others: The nano cache size needs to be added. There is precedence, too – the small cache size wasn’t added until 2005 (I might be off by a year). I’m not sure why the nano couldn’t be added – it shouldn’t take too much coding.

  • Kent Van Cleave

    I have been using prescription bottles and calling them small. To me, a micro is the size of a bison tube or smaller.

  • Kent Van Cleave

    Might we leave nanos “not specified”?

  • SageInThyme82

    Based on the ratio of caches found locally, my scale has slid down a bit. What I call regular is anything from ammo-can down to sandwich, a small is anything from sandwich to film-canister, a micro is anything smaller than that.