Attributes 101

You may have noticed that Premium members can filter for caches with specific attributes on the Geocaching® app and on! But maybe you’re not sure how to use attributes. Maybe you’ve never even heard of them before? Well, not to fear, because we’re covering attributes 101.

Keep reading to learn what attributes are, how to maximize your search using them, and more!

Attributes communicate what to expect at a cache location. Cache owners may identify attributes before submitting a cache listing for review. Identified attributes will appear on the right side of a cache listing page.

There are both negative and positive attributes. Positive attributes indicate things that CAN be found at a cache’s location, for example “Picnic tables nearby” or “scenic view.”

You can view the full list of attributes here. Note that the filter options in the official Geocaching® app include a subset of attributes that are commonly used by cache owners, as well as attributes that are most often searched for with Pocket Queries. Attribute Search currently only allows to filter for attributes in their positive state. To search for attributes in their negative state, you can use a Pocket Query.

There are also a couple of special attributes to be aware of:

  1. Needs maintenance: Needs maintenance (NM): Automatically appears when someone logs an NM log. Cache owners must do maintenance to remove it.
  2. Wheelchair accessible: Caches with a terrain rating of 1 must have this attribute. Learn more about accessibility and geocaching.

Filtering by attributes helps you find caches that match your plans, abilities, and desired experience, and lets you focus on the caches that will make your cache hunt a success.

Here’s how some examples of how geocaching Lackeys (employees of Geocaching HQ) like to use attributes:

When planning my cache outings, I have found that searching for caches by using attributes is a great way to expand my caching experiences. When I want to cache with my 4+ year old twins I will use the “Recommended for Kids” attribute, if I am looking for gadget caches I will use the “Field Puzzle” attribute and my new favorite cache experience is a Night Cache and for that I use the “Night Cache” attribute, obviously. Searching for caches using the attributes feature has really made this game a lot more fun and focused!


I like caching while hiking, so I often search for caches with one of the hiking attributes, such as Long hike (>10 km). I also like caching in the winter, so I look for the “Available in winter” attribute, to make sure I can find it even if there is snow.

Frau Potter

I enjoy snowshoeing so it’s extra-special to search for a cache in a forest that is “Available in winter.” This sometimes means it’s high up in a tree and can be reached easily when the snow has piled enough to give me the “height” to reach it without bringing a ladder.


Looks like Lackeys love to cache in the snow! What is your favorite attribute to use? Let us know in the comments!

Sarah is a French-speaking Marketing Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She likes cats and musicals, but only separately. In her spare time you can find her knitting, snuggling her cat, and waiting impatiently for the next season of Cosmos.