Geocaching – A new SIR activity
What is geocaching?
Geocaching is an outdoor “treasure” hunting activity that involves walking, hiking and searching. Geocaches or caches are containers of many sizes that are hidden along trails and in towns, cities, and rural areas. Anyone may create and hide a cache. Some caches are wheel-chair accessible and some caches contain “trinkets” that kids can trade. The location of the cache is posted on the geocaching.com website which has both free and paid premium accounts. Smartphone apps and handheld GPS receivers can be used to locate caches but are not required for SIRs. When you find a cache, you sign the paper log in the cache, put the cache back where you found it and record the find on the geocaching website. There are several thousand geocaches in Contra Costa county and over 3 million geocaches worldwide.
- Geocaching Hikes
Hiking with the added fun of finding geocaches on the first Thursday of every month. Hikes are typically 2-3 miles long, usually take about 2-3 hours, and leave from the trail head parking area at 9:30 am, unless otherwise specified in the hike description. The geocachers may meet for lunch and/or coffee following the hike.
Spouses, partners and guests are welcome.
Next hike: July 6, 2017
Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland Hills
A 2.3 miles hike with a total elevation gain of 500′. Meet at the Heather Farms parking area on the corner of Ygnacio Valley Rd and N. San Carlos Dr. at 8:45am to carpool to Huckleberry. Map Download PQ
Recommended geocaching equipment
- Walking gear such as good shoes for walking off maintained paths, sun hat, sun screen, small backpack and water.
- Pen. Some caches contain a pen to sign the logs but others are too small.
- Light gloves. Sometimes you will be searching for caches in bushes, leaves and in holes.
- Walking stick. For poking in holes before you put your hand in and to help search areas covered with leaves and ivy.
- Pocket flashlight. Caches can be hidden in posts and holes.
- Tweezers. Very small (nano) caches have a rolled up log which can be difficult to retrieve with just your fingers.
Optional geocaching equipment
You can enjoy SIR geocaching hikes and walks without a smartphone. If you have a smartphone or GPS handheld, check out the following geocaching apps and then download the hike’s PQ file to the app:
- New geocaching outings
If you are interested in a new geocaching outing (such as a monthly geocaching walk), click here to send an email and in the email, give your thoughts about the new outing.
- Geocaching Hikes
- A Taste of Geocaching Walk
While you enjoy your favorite beverage/snack from the adjacent Starbucks or Noah’s Bagels, a SIR geocacher will introduce geocaching and answer your questions. He will then guide you on a 30-120 minute walk along the Walnut Creek Contra Costa Canal trail where you will find different types of geocaches. Spouses, partners and guests are welcome.
Click this sentence to RSVP for a walk. You will be contacted to arrange a date for the walk.
Meet at the American flag pole next to the Starbucks in the Countrywood Shopping Center, 716 Bancroft Rd, in Walnut Creek.
June 1, 2017
Castle Rock Park, Walnut Creek
A 2.6 mile loop with 700′ elevation gain starting at the Castle Rock Parking Area in Walnut Creek with 7 traditional geocaches. If the Castle Rock Parking Area is full, meet at the Equestrian and Overflow area. Map Download PQ
May 4, 2017
Shell Ridge, Walnut Creek
A 2 mile loop starting at the Sutherland Drive Trailhead in Walnut Creek with 8 traditional geocaches and a special type of geocache where you will learn about the geology of Shell Ridge. Optional lunch at Tender Greens. Map Download PQ