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AstroD-Team
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-19
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

Here is a quick rundown of what to expect for those who may be interested in finding a benchmark or two.

1. Not all marks are listed on Geocaching.com (GC.com). Marks not listed on GC.com cannot be added to GC.com. THey can be added to the waymarking.com site.

2. Benchmarking takes patience and accuracy. It's not enough to find a benchmark at the location of the coords. The agency and stamping must match what is on the datasheets. (It's not uncommon for another agency to remove a benchmark and put their own in the same location).

3. Some benchmarks have reference marks and azimuth marks as well. Reference marks have arrows that point to the main station and the outer edge has written 'Reference Mark'. Azimuth marks are generally .25 miles or less from the main station and have 'Azimuth Mark' written on the outer edge. Niether reference marks or azimuth mark, if found, should be logged as the main station.

4. Not finding a benchmark is not a shameful thing! It's better to list a DNF, than to erroneously log a found mark.

5. Benchmarking is not about any numbers! If you want the smileys, the FTFs or some sort of 'recognition' for finding things - go back to geocaching. This is not the activity for you. It takes a lot of hard work and a full day of benchmarking may result in just a handful of finds. If you're lucky.

6. Many benchmarks are not "park and grabs". They require datasheets, camera, tape measures, metal detectors, trowels, probes, walking, and in quite a few cases permission to access private property.

7. Benchamarks can be logged on GC.com with nothing more than a simple note. However, anyone taking this activity seriously (and wants to be taken seriously) will always post at least one picture - a readable close up of the mark.

8. If you want to attempt a find or three, look for ones that have been found already. Get a feel for the datasheets, how they are mounted etc before attempting one that has not been found in quite awhile. Or better yet, find an avid benchmark hunter and ask to go along on the hunt!

9. This list isn't to scare you, but rather to inform you of the reality of what it takes to hunt these marks. It is a lot of fun.

Now to create another post to list what you need in your arsenal for a successful hunt....

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It is those whose case is weak who make the most clamour. Pier Anthony 
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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 6149
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:16 am Reply with quote Back to top

Katrina,

We just returned from the Nevada desert and were almost fooled many times by benchmarks placed by the Nevada DOT. They look for all the world like the NGS disks, but are something altogether different. Taking the photos also helped us match our finds to our notes and the datasheets. Thanks for the tips, we'll never do this at the level of you guys, but it's helpful for making sure we're really finding what we think we've found.

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Trekkin' and Birdin'
Let's just go out and find caches and be done with it! 
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AstroD-Team
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-05-19
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Trekkin' and Birdin' wrote:
Katrina,

We just returned from the Nevada desert and were almost fooled many times by benchmarks placed by the Nevada DOT. They look for all the world like the NGS disks, but are something altogether different. Taking the photos also helped us match our finds to our notes and the datasheets. Thanks for the tips, we'll never do this at the level of you guys, but it's helpful for making sure we're really finding what we think we've found.


Glad you found the info helpful! Nevada DOT isn't the only one - Wisconsin DOT is famous for this technique (As is many other states) as well! This is why we try to stress that the all the stamping must match (Name, agency date etc)what's on the datasheet - just cause a disk is there, doesn't mean it's the right one!

Glad you had a bit of fun finding a few and we're diligent enough to take care that the right marks are being logged. We're headed out that way in June/July and looking forward to finding a few ourselves! Who knows, maybe we'll be following after YOU!

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