Man About Menifee: It's All About Hidden Treasures

By David Baker

The age old question for most fathers is, “How do I relate to my children?”

I saw a video from a conference where the guest speaker was a video game designer who was speaking about the positive side of gaming. She shared a study done of hospice workers who shared the most frequent regrets people give near the end of their life. The top three from that list are:

1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
2. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
3. I wish I had let myself be happier.

For everyone, each of these regrets means something slightly different, but for me it is about finding balance in life, especially where my children are concerned.

I always try to find something each of my kids and I can call our own to bond over. For my tech-savvy middle son, 10-year-old Jeremiah, we bond over discussion of music, social media, TV, and video games. The trouble I find is that those topics don’t generally involve a lot of sunlight. He rides his bike around and plays on the playground, but I wanted something that provided him some intellectual stimulation as well.

Then a few years ago, I heard a podcast on Geocaching. This is a high-tech treasure hunt that has roots to similar games dating back to the 1800’s in England, where travelers would leave notes in boxes along a trail, usually with a clue inside on where to find the next box.

I went to and created a free account and found out that I didn’t even need a geocaching GPS. I was able to use my smartphone and download a free app. I did a quick trial run around the neighborhood and took Jeremiah out and we had a lot of fun.

Lately, he has been asking me to help hide geocaches for others to find. That gave me an idea. How about we invite our friends and neighbors in Menifee to play as well? I decided to give it a shot. Before we get started, here are a few things you need to know about Geocaching:

1. Make sure you are well prepared. Depending on the terrain, sometimes a cache can involve several hours of hiking to find. For information on how to be properly prepared for a hike, click here.

2. No Trespassing. Caches may never be hidden on private property without the express consent of the owner. Many caches are hidden on property open to the public, ranging from parks to shopping centers.

3. Beware of “muggles”. This term is borrowed from the popular “Harry Potter” book and movie franchise. It refers to anyone who does not participate in geocaching. The goal is to not give away the location to casual bystanders.

Here is how it will go. I have hidden a cache (pictured) in Menifee somewhere that will be posted on within the next six days, once it has been reviewed and deemed appropriate by staff. This will be an easy find for beginners and the cache code is GC4WAV5.

Log on, create a free account, and using your smartphone or GPS, locate the cache. The first one to find it and sign the log can help me hide the next one. It will be a great way to meet new people, have some fun, and explore Menifee together.

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


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