A compass is a nice addition to have, especially when you are under the trees and have no GPS signal.
Also remember to take water. Not soda. Water. Room temp water.
Before going out
on a geocache hunt, make sure that you have a route planned out. I can't stress this enough. There is nothing worse than getting stuck and not being able to get there, or parking 5 miles farther
away than you had to. A good place to get street maps is at AAA (they are free if you are a member, just go to the travel counter). The nearest AAA office is located at:
AAA CAPITOLA/SANTA CRUZ
4400 CAPITOLA ROAD, CAPITOLA, CA 95010, phone: (831) 479-9830
Also make sure that you have a topographical map of the area that you are going into if it is deep in the interior or isn't very easy to get
to. The online resources are nice... but usually they don't print in right or the quality is crappy. Its worth it to pay the six bucks and just buy the topo map for the quad that you are going to
be hiking in. If you live in Santa Cruz then you can get USGS topographical maps at...
Bugaboo in downtown Santa Cruz for about 6 bucks a quad. Or check them out online at http://www.bugaboosports.com/
Buy USGS maps online at http://mac.usgs.gov/mac/findmaps.html for about 5 bucks a quad.
Bugaboo usually stocks quads that are in the Santa Cruz area, and can probably order others for you if you want.
Also if you just want to check out
some maps or do some studying, don't forget your local library. Not the public library, but a University Library which more than likely has a Map Room tucked away in their Engineering or Science
Library. The Science Library at UC Santa Cruz has every 7.5 min quad in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon, not to mention a few others. They also have the larger guidesheets of California
that show you where each quad is located in relationship with every other one. This can be an invaluable resource if you can't afford the maps but can afford university parking fees ;~)
Just a hint though, make sure to call ahead and make sure that you know the Map Room's hours as they are not necessarily the same as the library's. Map Rooms are often staffed and not self-service,
thus open less hours during the day. UCSC's Map Room is only open from 1 pm till 5 or 6 pm on weekdays during the summer for instance.
USGS Topo maps for Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Diego, and Bay Areas.
Garmin MapSource "City Select" DCA Region unlock code for one region.
or MapSource "Roads and Recreation."
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