Benchmarks, does anybody actually hunt them?

Discussions about Bench Mark hunting, types, reporting.
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ar_kayaker
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Benchmarks, does anybody actually hunt them?

Postby ar_kayaker » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:36 pm

I found a few local ones right after I started caching, but I haven't bothered much since. I'd really like to get around to digging up some of the ones noted as lost or that at least haven't been found since the last official survey, but the ones that nobody else has found yet are all deep in woods or deep on private land with less-than-certain coordinates to begin with.

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SJClimber
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Postby SJClimber » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:31 pm

Wonder if it would be cheating to use a metal detector?? Don't have one, but might help with those off the beaten path.?
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BackpacknJack
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Cheating??

Postby BackpacknJack » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:23 pm

I have reported 4 finds (as best I recall) plus found 5 more that I have not reported for various reasons. I’ve searched for 2 that I should have been able to find but could not and have 2 more on my list to look for that are reported as missing. It seems much easer to me to find them in the woods then it is to find them in urban areas.
I do have a metal detector but have not used it yet for hunting bench marks. Using one would not be cheating, it is a volunteer service to help out the NGS and help preserve and/or report on the integrity of the marks. Some marks are really neat and historic so folks make copies or rubbings for framing, some are in very interesting spots and some hunters are very serious and very dedicated.
It isn’t always easy, descriptions and measurements are often used from many years gone by and compass degrees from objects that no longer exist. Even with my limited experience I’ve figured out it would be most helpful to have some brave soul who would run out in the traffic to the centerline of the road with the other end of the tape measure or who would be willing to wear a bright red hat you could spot through your compass. Although I have a few friends who are reportedly able to stop traffic for various reasons I have yet convinced them to help me with the other end of the tape and all have refused to wear a bright red hat for me.
I did have fun finding the ones that hadn’t been found in awhile and I did learn who the “Power Squadron” is but that is about the extent of my experience in benchmark hunting and reporting.
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stu22321
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Postby stu22321 » Tue May 29, 2007 10:52 pm

I really enjoy hunting for benchmarks. I've found eleven with a few extras that are no longer there. I've reported all of mine to the NGS.
There are some pretty serious hunters out there. I usually read the forums on geocaching.com to get any info I might need. I most often don't use my GPSr while trying to locate one unless I get turned around.
It's a lot of fun and I've even had people stop me at various places asking me what I was doing on the side of the road. All friendly and seemed genuinely interested and curious about benchmark hunting as well as geocaching. I usually carry two or three brochures with me and without fail I'll come home empty. I still have volumes to learn and actually dread the day when I don't.
As far as metal detectors go, most of the really avid hunters use one. Many of the marks get buried over time and can be tricky to locate. I don't use one but I've already asked Santa (hint,hint, to wife reading over my shoulder) for one. I do carry a BIG screwdriver which works great for probing into the ground as well as various brushes to clean them off for the purpose of taking photographs. A surveyors tape is recommended but I use a regular 100 foot metal tape and convert to metric.
By the way, who is the "Power Squadron". I have no idea but I really dig the name!
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where-” said Alice.
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BackpacknJack
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Power Squadron

Postby BackpacknJack » Tue May 29, 2007 11:29 pm

I believe the Power Squadron is a group of power boaters who volunteer their time as a group activity to do benchmark hunting.
By the way...welcome to the site.
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JuggoPop
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Re: Cheating??

Postby JuggoPop » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:00 pm

BackpacknJack wrote:... Some marks are really neat and historic so folks make copies or rubbings for framing, ...


that sounds pretty cool.
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Postby GEO*Trailblazer 1 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:04 pm

I have found 1169 Benchmarks and have been from Ocean to Ocean to find them.

I got a few more to go.
JuggoPop
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Postby JuggoPop » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:11 pm

GEO*Trailblazer 1 wrote:I have found 1169 Benchmarks and have been from Ocean to Ocean to find them.

I got a few more to go.


Very cool. Do you take rubbing of them? Photos? or nothing at all?... just wondering.

BTW, Welcome to the community!
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HikerRon
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Postby HikerRon » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:08 pm

i have found 227 benchmarks but 99% of them were in Colorado. it is much easier out there....i found 45 in one day while teamed up with my buddy Tom, '2/3 Marine'.
but i've found that BM'ing in AR is a whole different ballgame, and much, much more difficult. (out in CO, you dont have weeds over your head, and snakes at your feet:)
the oldest i have found was 1878. we use a metal detector if we think we have a reasonable chance of finding the BM. lots of stories to tell.
if the coords are not listed as 'adjusted' then we basically just use them to get in the area and find a place to park. from there, we just use the descriptions. it can be like a puzzle sometimes. i enjoy it. -Ron
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ar_kayaker
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Postby ar_kayaker » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:19 pm

At first I thought it would be interesting to seek out BM's and I found a few, but the difficulties of seeking them here are such that it's nearly impossible to find more than a handfull without a metal detector. Weed growth is only the tip of the iceberg. Anywhere that isn't a rocky crag gets burried in leaf waste year after year and soon the BM is under six inches of dirt, making the metal detector mandatory rather than a helpful option.

I might be inclinced to seek out a few more if the GC website allowed you to PQ them, but until I come across a cheap metal detector I will just log them whenever I stumble across one near a cache.

After three nearly years that process has netted me a grand total of 9.

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hoytshooter119
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Postby hoytshooter119 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:59 am

While being new to caching I have been an avid gps'r for some time now. I use mine mostly to mark points for hanging tree stands on public land for return as the AGFC doesn't allow the permanent stand placement. And its alot easier with the trusty gps to find that spot rather than relying on memory alone. Anyway while checking out the site that list geocaches I stumbled upon the benchmark list. After searching my zip I noticed 1 that was less than a mile from my house and decided to go after it. I felt real good finding it because it was listed "not found" by the NGS in 1984. I grew up aprox 200 yards from this mark and have been within 10 feet of it more times than I could fathomly count. I noticed there are several along this Missouri Pacific Rail bed. It has been unused and the rail removed ever since I moved to the area in 1974. It actualy had steam engines run on it. As kids we would ride atv's on it and if you werent the lead dog you came back black as coal. Ok now that the history lesson and mini life segment is over on to the point. I have a question. How does 1 go about reporting to the NGS that the mark is still there and in good shape or do they care? any help with this would be greatly apreciated.
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BackpacknJack
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Postby BackpacknJack » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:35 am

Quotes from GC Forums/Benchmarks
"Submitting a report to NGS is 100% optional. If you are just benchmark hunting for fun, and are not interested
in submitting your data to the government that is fine. Have fun."
----------------
"Whether or not to log a find with NGS is up to you. You are never obligated to do so. However, in certain cases
the information you find when looking for a benchmark may be valuable. For example, if you find a mark that has
not been recovered in a long time or a mark that has been destroyed, that is valuable. If you find an error in
the datasheet, or if you discover that something has changed in the description of how to find the mark, you have
information that may be of high value to someone. By reporting it to NGS you are performing a valuable public
service by sharing that important information with people who need it.
"
----------------

"The NGS has an on-line mark recovery page. To submit a report, just visit"
http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/FORMS_PROCESSIN ... ry_www.prl
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grzz51
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Postby grzz51 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:42 pm

I just started hunting benchmarks, thanks to HikerRon. He was here in Helena for an event and did a cache very near my house. We had a cup of coffee and were talking about benchmarks and that was all it took. We have literally tons of benchmark in the Helena-West Helena are. Very few of them have been found yet.

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