What are tools of the trade?—check out these TOTT tutorials!

So you’re starting to get the hang of geocaching. You’ve watched all the tutorials, explored the Help Center, and even got a few geocache finds under your belt! But there’s one thing you just don’t understand—what in the world is a “TOTT,” and why do some caches require it?

We’re here to give you the lowdown on TOTTs (Tools of the Trade) and even share some examples of TOTTs you might need for your next geocaching hunt!

First and foremost, what is a Tool of the Trade, or TOTT?

‘TOTT’ is an acronym for any of the tools that someone might use to search for, retrieve, find, or log a geocache. For example, you might use a pair of tweezers to extract the logbook from a micro cache, or a UV light to see the hidden coordinates for your Multi-Cache adventure. TOTTs come in many different shapes and sizes, and some players even make their own so they’re prepared for every geocaching situation.

Don’t worry—you don’t need to break the bank for your TOTT kit. When just starting out, we recommend a few simple tools that should cover you for most geocaches. You may even have a few of these at home!

    1. Fill your geo-pack with all the necessities!


      This is what a prepared geocacher’s toolkit looks like! Whether you’re using a durable pouch from Shop Geocaching or your trusty backpack from home, ensure you have enough room for your pens, TOTTs, SWAG items, and maybe some snacks, too!

    2. Mirror, mirror, at GZ—show me the cache that I can’t see:

      Geocachers should be prepared to look amazing at all times—that’s where this mirror tool comes in! Oh, and it might also come in handy for some geocaching, too. A mirror on an extended pole can be super helpful to locate those hard-to-spot caches without getting flat on the ground or leaning all the way over a railing. Upon further reflection… we think that’s pretty neat!

    3. A really attractive magnet tool:


      Have you ever had that moment where you spotted a geocache but couldn’t figure out how to get it out? Depending on the geocache container, a magnet tool can spare you from the anguish of a DNF! Whether you’re using a simple magnet from home or a magnet on the end of an extended pole, this tool can come in handy for those polarizing finds.

    4. A battery TOTT could really energize your cache hunt!

      Imagine this: you’re about to make the find on a really cool gadget cache. You’re full of energy, but you realize that the cache needs some energy too. Luckily, you’ve brought your assortment of batteries to give some power to your find. Cache pages usually specify which battery type is needed, but we recommend keeping your TOTT kit well-stocked for all possible scenarios!

Now that you know some of the basic TOTTs, you can start preparing for your next geocache outing! Shop Geocaching has a great selection of Tools of the Trade to help you get started. You can also check out our list of International Retailers or go to the Geocaching Forums to see what homemade tools geocachers have created.

Since geocache hiders have an infinite amount of creativity, there’s no complete list available for what types of tools you might need out in the field. We recommend always reading the cache page carefully to make sure you’re prepared for the find when you arrive at GZ. As always, look to the hint on the cache page and prior logs to know what to expect.

Let us know which tool is your go-to and which TOTT tutorials you want to see next!

Good luck, and happy geocaching!

Nikki is a Community Manager at Geocaching HQ. Her specialties include making cheesy puns, talking endlessly about coffee, and being the only Californian who enjoys rain. She is passionate about geocaching and loves that it brings communities together.