Geocache Icon Run: find the most cache types in one day

A geocaching crew goes for 13 different icons in one day
A geocaching crew goes for 13 different icons in one day

This blog post was written by geocaching superwoman and Geocaching HQ employee, Annie Love.

If you are an obsessed geocacher, then you probably like to build your Geocaching profile stats such as “Most caches found in a single day”, “Highest altitude geocache”, or “Farthest away from home”. One statistic that can be trickier is an “Icon Run”, which is logging as many different cache types in one day as possible. But most geocachers, with a just little guidance and a full tank of gas, can bulk up their icon stats. Here’s how!

Find geocaching icons for your account*

You can find the icons you’ve already earned by going to your profile page and selecting the Geocache tab. Along the left side you’ll see the icons you’ve earned, and along the right side you’ll see the geocaches you’ve hidden. Here’s an example of a prolific geocacher’s profile with several icons accumulated:

Geocaching icons on a prolific geocacher's profile
Geocaching icons on a prolific geocacher’s profile

Starting with easily accessible icons

It may be easy to find eight icons in one day depending on geocache saturation in your area. Since the common cache types can be placed by any geocacher, the likelihood of finding them in your area may be higher. You may have to be creative about the date and then factor in an Event Cache.

Geocaching icons that are easily accessible

Traditional Cache Traditional Cache          Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) EventCache In Trash Out® (CITO

Multi-Cache Multi-Cache                   Mystery or Puzzle Cache Mystery or Puzzle Cache

Letterbox Hybrid Letterbox Hybrid          EarthCache EarthCache

Event Cache Event Cache                  Wherigo Wherigo

How to add even more icons in one day


But wait, there’s more! It is possible to get more than eight icons in one day, however, this is where things start to get tricky. For this, you need to cache in a specific location or have a temporary cache type available near you. For example, if you 
visit us at Geocaching HQ in Seattle, WA, you may be lucky enough to get the eight icons above plus Virtual, Lab, Webcam, Geocaching HQ (GCK25B), and a Project APE (GC1169) icons. That’s a whopping 13 icons! Though rare, you may even find yourself with the chance to earn a Mega- or Giga-Event icon if one is conveniently located in the area during your visit.

Additionally, if you plan your icon run in Europe at the right time, you may end up with the chance to earn the GPS Adventure Exhibit icon since it occasionally travels to European Mega/Giga-Events. This summer the GPS Maze will make its way to Austria (GC7C99M) at the Summer, Sun & Fun 2018 Mega-Event (GC6V0JF).

Geocaching icons not easily accessible

Virtual Cache Virtual Cache               Project APE Cache Project APE Cache

Mega-Event Cache Mega-Event Cache      Webcam Cache  Webcam Cache

Giga-Event Cache Giga-Event Cache           GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit  GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit

Geocaching HQ Geocaching HQ             Lab Cache Lab Cache

Geocaching icons that are no longer available

There are a few icons that have been retired thus impossible for newer geocachers to ever obtain. If you have one of these, consider yourself lucky!

Lost and Found Event Cache Lost and Found Event Cache

Groundspeak Lost and Found Celebration Groundspeak Lost and Found Celebration

Groundspeak Block Party Groundspeak Block Party

Locationless (Reverse) Cache Locationless (Reverse) Cache

Set yourself up for Icon Run success

Road trip!
  • Drive time — some rare cache types may be spread pretty far. Can you feasibly drive to all the cache locations in one day while obeying all traffic laws? Map out the best route that keeps the event times in mind.
  • Ensure you have plenty of fuel in your car and be aware of where you may need to fuel up during the day.
  • If caching with your smartphone, charge your phone in the car whenever you’re driving.
  • Pack lots of water and snacks — you’ll need your energy!
  • If your group is larger and has multiple cars, bring two-way radios (walkie-talkies) to communicate with each other in areas that may not have cell coverage.
Up-level with Event Caches
  • To maximize potential icons, look for a Mega/Giga-Event with a high saturation of the other cache types in the area.
  • Mega/Giga-Events typically have Lab Caches associated with them, providing an easy additional icon.
  • For any events you attend, plan your day so that you spend the time to enjoy them. Don’t just show up at a CITO, sign the log, and leave — you’re there to help clean up where we cache. So take some time to give back on behalf of the game we all love.
  • Consider hosting your own event to help with your icon run. But make sure you meet all event requirements and truly focus on the event.
Extras
  • If you’re a Premium member, download an offline List on the Geocaching® app.
  • If possible, choose locations with a Webcam and/or Virtual close by.
  • Search for Multi-Caches with only two stages.
  • Have backup caches in your list in case you have a change of plans or log a DNF. For example, solve additional Mystery Caches in advance.
  • As tempting as it may be, try not to stop for that extra ‘Traditional that’s just 0.1 miles away!’ Time will get away from you!
How many icons have you found in a day? Tell us your story.
Icon Challenge smiley cookies
Icon Run smiley cookies

*Geocaching.com is transitioning the styles of our icons — we’ve featured the newer styles in most of this blog.The older versions are still visible on your profile page. The newer versions are visible on the map. 

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