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The Searchers Field Trips
The crew at Davis Creek.

For the detailed plan of the next scheduled field trip click here.

For past trip plans and reports click here.

To find the Liability Waiver click here.  


Most trips are weekend trips. Periodically there are extended "Long Range Trips" run during the summer months to access locations that are too remote to visit on a weekend.

Why you should go on a Searchers Field Trip

Rockhounding is simple, but not easy.  Most places in the world do not have quality rocks which would interest a rockhound.   And if you do manage to get to a location that does have quality rock, it is not always easy to identify and locate the good stuff. And sometimes it is not easy to extract the rock.  The tribal knowledge that the members of the Searchers have amassed over the years is one of the best things the Searchers have to offer.  And we are happy to share it with you and the rest of the rockhounding community. Part of our reason for being is to create new rockhounds.

There is a secondary benefit to Field Trips, besides the rocks.  Too many of us spend all of our time in the city.  We get so that we don’t even notice the hustle and the noise.   But I believe that you are noticing it, on a subconscious level.  You will definitely notice when the noise is gone.  When you are in a desert canyon and all of a sudden realize that it is silent, really silent, it is like your soul takes a deep breath, and then lets it out and your tensions disappear.  I believe that all of us need more of this.

One last benefit is the opportunity to get your children into the outdoors.  There are too many children nowadays who have only experienced nature only from a TV screen.  I completely believe that getting children into the real outdoors and allowing them to experience it for themselves is invaluable.

So…… really should consider going on some of the Field Trips.  You do not need to be a member to go on a Field Trip. You will need to sign the hold harmless waiver like everyone else.

  1. Here, in no particular order, are some thoughts about field trips: 

  2. Most trips are for the weekend, although there are some 1 day trips, and some longer ones

  3. Most campsites are dry campsites (no facilities, no water etc.)  

  4. Pack out all of your trash, leave the campsite cleaner than when you arrived.

  5. Deposit solid human waste in cat holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cat hole when finished.

  6. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.

  7. Campsites are usually accessible by any vehicle.

  8. Some people tent camp, some sleep in their pickups, some sleep in their RVs, and some sleep back in town at the nearest motel.

  9. Sat night there is a potluck and campfire.

  10. Collecting trips may require high clearance or 4x4 vehicles, if you don’t have one we will carpool you with someone.

  11. Your most used tools will be a rock pick and a spray bottle, this is enough for most trips

  12. When this is not enough you may want sledges, gads, shovels etc.

  13. I have found that backpacks are the most convenient way to carry rocks, although you will see many other methods being used.

  14. I like shoes with stiff soles (as compared to soft soled running shoes), but the soft soles will work.

  15. Hats are good.

  16. Gloves are good.

  17. Glasses to protect your eyes from flying rock chips are good.

  18. Sun screen and water are necessary.

  19. Snacks when out collecting are good.

  20. You won’t see many critters, and most want nothing more than to be left alone, be careful reaching into holes, under bushes etc.

  21. Many places have been picked over some, that just means that you need to work harder to find good stuff.

  22. Look under bushes, on the side of step hills, etc.  Wherever no one looked before.

  23. Not sure what you are looking for?  Ask someone.  We will all be glad to help you.

  24. It never hurts to follow the field trip leader’s recommendations about how and where to collect.

  25. Realize that although finding rocks is certainly the goal, half the fun is in just being out there and spending some time with friends. 

  26. Leave the collecting site cleaner than you found it.

  27. Fill in holes, if that is not possible slope the sides so that a critter that falls in can get out.

  28. Don’t pick up or bother a tortoise, you will literally scare the pee out of them, and with the loss of that liquid they run the risk of dying of dehydration.

  29. Drink lots of water, and pace yourself.  It is easy to become dehydrated.

  30. Don’t mess with a rattlesnake.

  31. Do show your rocks to others, at the trucks, at the campsite etc.  We do like to look at rocks

  32. Bring along friends.  You do not have to be a Searcher to come on one of our trips.

  33. You will need to sign a waiver.

  34. Once you have found all these cool rocks there is the question of what to do with them.  You can certainly have the coolest yard in the neighborhood (or at least the most rocky), but learning to work the rocks will increase your enjoyment of them.

  35. The club workshop is the perfect place to learn how to work with rocks

  36. When you are out collecting in the desert you may notice the lack of something: noise.  Pause for a moment and enjoy it.  Take a second to renew your connection with Pachamama (the earth Mother).

  37. It is nice to find a great rock, but it is really nice to give that rock to a youngster or rockhounding newbie and watch their eyes light up.

  38. Spending time with your friends is good.

  39. Breaking out of your everyday routine, and getting out of the city is good.

  40. Finding rocks in the parking lot is good.

  41. Finding rocks in the road is good (literally “in” the road).

  42. Telling stories about the nice rocks you have found is acceptable, telling stories about the great rocks is encouraged.

  43. I find that when I arrive at a site I am not “seeing” the rocks well, but as some time goes by, and my mind slows down, and I find a few examples, all of a sudden it seems like I can see all the good ones.

  44. The driving can be exciting, collecting requires a different pace.

  45. When traveling to collecting sites we will convoy.

  46. There are rules to convoying:

    1. Try not to lose sight of the person behind you.

    2. Definitely to not pass an intersection until the person behind you has caught up to the point that they will be able to see which direction you take. 

  47. Field trips are one of the great things the Searchers has to offer you. 

This list may answer most of your questions, but if you have more questions about Searchers Field Trips send me an email. 

Steve Duncan,

Collected minerals from field trip.
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