Man About Menifee: Finding Hidden Treasures Right Here

By David Baker

Anybody who knows our family knows that my middle son, Jeremiah, and I are a lot alike. We have the same hair, the same eyes, and of course the same sense of humor (sorry, honey).

Above all, we share our sense of curiosity and exploration.

Shortly after I began commuting to San Diego on a daily basis, I noticed I was spending less quality time with the kids. Then I heard a scouting podcast mention geocaching and how much fun it was, so I decided to look into it.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt using GPS coordinates located online at (click here to watch an introductory video). Basically, it is all about finding caches that are hidden all around the world by various geocachers. A cache can be as small as a film canister (for those under 20, that was what we used before SD Cards in our cameras) or as large as a shoebox, although Altoids tins seem to be the most common form.

Adventurers can use a handheld GPS device or a smart phone to lead them to the coordinates. Sometimes the caches are easy to find, and sometimes you have to solve a riddle before you can find it. There are usually hints located in both the description and the comments below the listing (this is where a smart phone beats a simple GPS).

Once at the location, geocachers can sign a log and look at the other users who were there before. Sometimes there are trinkets in the box. The idea here is to take a trinket and leave a trinket of similar value. There are even “trackables”, or trinkets that are hidden in a cache here in Menifee with the purpose of eventually making it to The Statue of Liberty in New York City, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

So I downloaded the free “lite” version of the app to start, grabbed Jeremiah, and off we went. I figured there would be one, maybe two, in Menifee, but as it turned out, there were dozens. Jeremiah and I found several just in and near the few major shopping centers along Newport Road. We had a blast and it opened us up to a whole new range of conversations, and gave
us both a physical and mental workout.

We talked about a lot more than geocaching, though. We talked about things that were going on at school, about what he thought about life and even current events. My little boy actually had opinions and thoughts all his own. Kids are like little
people that way.

So grab your kids, your smart phones, and go find a cache near you. Who knows, you might learn something about them, or yourself, that you never knew. Watch out for Muggles, though. These are people who don’t know about geocaching, who might look at you oddly as you walk around a shopping center parking lot, looking under bushes while staring at your iPhone.

David Baker, our Man About Menifee, writes about his adventures in and around town every Friday in this space. You may leave comments here for him or email him at


  1. So cool. I have heard of geocaching, but didn't really know the purpose. thanks for the post. I hope to do this with my kiddos soon!

  2. Nanos are even smaller that a film canister.

    Please, if you don't want to participate in geocaching but happen to come across one, don't destroy it or move it from it's location.

    The thrill of the hunt and finding new areas in practically your own backyard are some of the great aspects of geocaching.