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Geocaching 201: What is an icon run?


Staff member
Jan 19, 2024
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With this month’s Iconic Cacher challenge for Wheel of Challenges, geocachers everywhere are focusing their next cache outings on different types of geocaches. Since each geocache type has a unique icon, stats-obsessed geocachers challenged themselves to complete what is referred to as an ‘icon run.’ In an icon run the goal is to find and log as many different types of geocaches as you can, ‘collecting’ their icons as you go! Read on to learn more about icon runs and how to prepare for one.

An icon run can range in difficulty depending on what you want to achieve. If you’re new to icon runs, maybe start off by trying to find five different cache types that are all nearby. A good list might be a Traditional Cache, a Multi-Cache, a Mystery Cache, a Letterbox Hybrid and an Adventure Location. If you feel up for more of a challenge, strive for eight cache types. In Washington State where Geocaching HQ is located, you have the chance to complete an impressive 13-cache icon run because the state is home to the Geocaching HQ cache (GCK25B), which has its own icon, and one of the rare Project A.P.E. Caches (GC1169).

If you’re curious about what cache type icons you’ve already found, you can see them on your profile page on the website and selecting the Geocaches tab. Along the left side you’ll see the different types of geocaches you’ve found and their icons. You can see a list of all geocache types on Geocaching.com.

Planning ahead is the key to icon run success. Below are tips that will help you reach Iconic Cacher status in no time!

  • If you are a Premium member, create a List in the Geocaching® app with the geocaches that you plan to find for the icon run. Then, download it for offline use. This way you can easily plan your route and look for the caches even if your mobile device doesn’t have service.
  • Include backup geocaches on your List. There’s always a chance that you can’t find a cache, so double up on the icons on your List so one Didn’t find it log (DNF) doesn’t jeopardize your epic outing.
  • Pick Multi-Caches with fewer stages. This will make sure that finding a Multi-Cache doesn’t take too much time away from finding other icons.
  • Event Caches are a great cache type to include in an icon run. You are practically guaranteed a Found it log and you’ll have some fun chatting with geocachers too! You could even host your own Event Cache as part of an icon run.

Have you ever completed an icon run? Share your icon run stories in the comments!
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