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Benchmarking

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Why bother with benchmarking? What are the benefits? It takes about as long, Lhe coords are off even more than usual, and there is no GC credit for a find. I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching. Why bother?

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One could argue that the better question is, why geocache?

 

Benchmarks have history. Many of them are history, e.g. HV4442. They offer a connection with the underappreciated infrastructure that makes modern life possible. Reading the old descriptions gives you an idea of what an area — maybe your area — was like in decades past. Because land surveyors and other professionals use our reports to update their information, logging benchmarks performs a real public service.

 

And if you're concerned about your score on Geocaching.com, you do get credit, but it's in a different category.

 

Try it. You may like it.

 

-ArtMan-

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I was going to say just about the same things ArtMan did. I do appreciate the skeleton of benchmarks spread across the country.

 

Almost every piece of property in this country relates to one, or more, benchmarks in some way. Subdivision maps and records of survey commonly tie-in to a benchmark.

 

The people who benchmarks are another "secret society" like geocaching is. Benchmarks are all over the place and few people really notice.

 

In rural areas, where we don't get a lot of new caches, benchmark hunting adds another element to gps gaming.

 

The fact that gps coordinates of benchmarks can often be way off creates another puzzle to solve. Dialing youself in on a benchmark by the description is fun and sometimes very challenging.

 

And its interesting to see just how many benchmarks there are in any given area after downloading several local area pages into my gpsr and/or the computer map program.

 

And finding benchmarks has the element of treasure hunting too. The treasure is the markings on the disk, or the interesting buildings, antennas, spans or geological features that are often used for benchmarks.

 

Not everyone will like this game. In fact, far fewer than do geocaching, but those of us who do like it tend to really enjoy the activity.

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Why bother with benchmarking? What are the benefits? It takes about as long, Lhe coords are off even more than usual, and there is no GC credit for a find. I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching. Why bother?

 

 

Prizes :

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0

Winchester 10X25 binoculars - donate by Dragon Clan

Pentax K1000 used 35mm camera / used with a few small extras

Cordless phone - Uniden 2.4 GHz :D:laughing:

 

 

When you start finding 100+ year old benchmarks, you get hooked!

 

John

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Like Team Sagefox, I live in a cache starved environment. My desire for the GPS Gaming lead me to benchmarking and now I prefer it over Geocaching. I ratio about 6 benchmarks to one geocache. Why? Because there are usually five marks or more, near, or on the way to the cache. It is also easier to explain that you are looking for a Government Mark than a "Pill Bottle" some one has hidden, usually without permission.

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Many caches have benchmarks located nearby, and lots of folks enjoy looking for both. As an example, I give you DH2727 in Alabama. Note especially the entry by HutchDav. It ties directly to your question about difficulty.

 

I hope you'll give benchmarking a try. I believe you will like it.

 

-Paul-

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Why bother?

It's really just a matter of personal preference. Some people get their jollies looking for tupperware in the local county park. Others would rather slog through a swamp for a mile or so to find a dressed stone set by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in December, 1765.

 

Pretty much the same thing, I guess.

 

5

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Geocaching has become all about finding it,where benchmarking is all about hunting for it.I used to go caching and maybe look for a benchmark.Now I go benchmarking and probably won't hunt for a cache even if it was close,unless I'm with a friend who is a cacher.The longest I've ever looked for a DNF cache is probably an hour,frustrating!! I've spent hours looking for some DNF benchmarks with no frustration at all.Yeah, finding them IS fun,so's looking.

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Geocaching has become all about finding it,where benchmarking is all about hunting for it.I used to go caching and maybe look for a benchmark.Now I go benchmarking and probably won't hunt for a cache even if it was close,unless I'm with a friend who is a cacher.The longest I've ever looked for a DNF cache is probably an hour,frustrating!! I've spent hours looking for some DNF benchmarks with no frustration at all.Yeah, finding them IS fun,so's looking.

 

You know it's too late to be saved, when you go back looking for the same benchmark 3, 4, or 5 times, because you are sure it is still there! And when you find it, it feels so good, you walk about a foot off the ground.

 

John

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Because they are there.

But seriously:

1) Engineering / technical neat stuff. Maybe you have to be at least somewhat technically inclined (like most engineers / scientists?) to appreciate this aspect.

2) I got a little tired of geocaching. No longer trading. Don't really care about my GC cache find count. A good way to go out & find something.

3) The challenge. Enough said.

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Why bother with benchmarking?
Because I like to.
What are the benefits?
Hmm, exercise, meeting people, finding out about my area's history, mental stimulation....
It takes about as long

... as what? I didn't know I was in a race.

Lhe coords are off even more than usual
How far is "usual"? I read the FAQ, so I don't think they are off at all. In fact, for triangulation stations, they are on much more than "usual"--sub-centimeter accuracy, which is much closer than any consumer GPSr can deal with.
and there is no GC credit for a find.
Yep, that's true, although you get credit in another location. What do we win when we get more credit than others?
I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching.
Grammar issues aside, if you gotta "find time" you may be in the wrong hobby as it is.
Why bother?
Please don't. You won't like it.

 

I hope nobody here was offended by that... it was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, since the original question was somewhat pointed. It was also pretty honest.

 

I totally agree with every benchmarker here, including the ones who have gone to the dark side and (also) geocache. There are so many reasons we hunt for benchmarks and like all hobbies they are personal reasons. I don't want to spend time converting others to my hobby. In fact, I sort of LIKE that it is a bit out of the norm. I do it for my own satisfaction.

 

I will add one additional reason-because what I do MEANS something. I report my recoveries to the NGS, which helps surveyors in their search for benchmarks to use. What a great hobby when you can do something you really enjoy, and then at the end you can contribute something beyond your own little world.

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Good answer, "mloser"!

 

I like the idea that what I am doing has real useful benefits to some professional surveyor. For me, the geocaching site is a good place to keep my logs organized, and as a place to keep a copy of my photos until the day the NGS starts accepting them.

 

I do it for the enjoyment of going out and seeing the countryside, learning all kinds of history, and meeting some very interesting people. And I don't need any contest (sorry "2oldfarts") or number ranking system to keep me going out and hunting. I'm not in it for the numbers.

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Bother????

 

No bother to me.

 

I might say a few other words now and again.

 

But the History and places I have been and seen just cause there was a benchmark no one elso has found in over 100 years...................

 

Not a bother to me.

In fact it is with a great pleasure, I ponder and think when I find one of them,no matter how old.

 

I don't even think there is a cahe older than 7 years.

And it is hidden right next to a ........Benchmark.

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Agreed. It's almost a "Zen-Like" experience to find one of these on a mountain, in the desert, or even along a grown-over river bank in a big city and know that you may have been the first person to have been in this spot in 1/2 a century or more!

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Very well put everyone.

 

One of my favorite parts of benchmarking is the history. Some of the descriptions are like journal entries from those guys back in the day. The other great thing about benchmarks in Colorado-----mountains. Tall mountains with little brass disks at the top. Hoping to bag my first fourteener this summer to find the benchmark on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

I also have found an explanation for all those vague two track roads up remote hillsides. Saw a old road cut into the side of a shale cliff in the distance the other day. Checked the area out for benchmarks when I got home and found one with a description leading right up the road. Those guys had guts. I wouldn't even hike that road. I'll drive around the backside (4 hr. trip) when the snow melts and take a picture of the valley 3000 ft. below the BM!

 

Geocaching is great.........it led me to benchmarks!

 

Wannabe surveyor/cartographer/hobo

go_pokes

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Geocaching is great.........it led me to benchmarks!

 

 

That's how I got into it. It is far more interesting than GC. I GC as a side activity to hiking/walking in our local forest preserves. I benchmark for the challenge, the history, and all the things the previous posters said.

 

Brendan

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here here,

Geocaching also led me to Benchmarking. before I even had a chance to go find a geocache I was signed up in a Benchmark contest. I had so much fun looking for these bits of history that I do not see the allure in looking for Tupperware, ammo cans and little pill bottles etc. that are littered all over the country.

I am looking for real history of places marked with little disk with numbers, a drill hole or simply an X in a rock that has been placed for a real reason and mostly forgotten for up to 100+ years in my area. All this with nothing but a general area to start looking and a fine description of where the mark had been placed. A description that can turn into a puzzle because of subtle differences in an area due to brush growing, landslides or some other mind boggling change over a few years to a few decades. that is what makes this an interesting challenge and is all the more sweeter when you do find an elusive mark.

All in all finding is cool, not finding but going back can be fun yet frustrating, however in the end understanding the why is the real treasure.

This hunter don't need no stinking smiley faces. :)

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Why Benchmarking? I have just gone on the hunt for my 1st BM. It is deffinetly a challenge :) which is great. It has also given me some history of the area that I didnt know. Some of it is cool some I could care less but I think I will try this for awhile before I decide if its worth the time & effort. Mother Wolf

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Mother Wolf -

 

Stevensville, Maryland? Excellent location. You are within easy striking distance of many interseting benchmarks like this:

 

JU3903

 

Welcome aboard; good hunting.

 

5

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I think the benchmarking search is interesting. I never knew you did not get "credit" but why is on some cachers pages their total seems to add with the benchmarks in place.

 

We have found some interesting place using the benchmarks...:)

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I just started caching with my brother and wife. They get all bent out of shape when I cache without them, so I went on a benchmarking hike one day and found that for a solitary activity its more fun than caching, but when I'm with the others its fun to find a box of goodies.

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Why bother with benchmarking? What are the benefits? It takes about as long, Lhe coords are off even more than usual, and there is no GC credit for a find. I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching. Why bother?

 

You do it because you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it you don't do it. Simple enough.

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here here,

Geocaching also led me to Benchmarking. before I even had a chance to go find a geocache I was signed up in a Benchmark contest. I had so much fun looking for these bits of history that I do not see the allure in looking for Tupperware, ammo cans and little pill bottles etc. that are littered all over the country.

I am looking for real history of places marked with little disk with numbers, a drill hole or simply an X in a rock that has been placed for a real reason and mostly forgotten for up to 100+ years in my area. All this with nothing but a general area to start looking and a fine description of where the mark had been placed. A description that can turn into a puzzle because of subtle differences in an area due to brush growing, landslides or some other mind boggling change over a few years to a few decades. that is what makes this an interesting challenge and is all the more sweeter when you do find an elusive mark.

All in all finding is cool, not finding but going back can be fun yet frustrating, however in the end understanding the why is the real treasure.

This hunter don't need no stinking smiley faces. ;)

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here here,

Geocaching also led me to Benchmarking. before I even had a chance to go find a geocache I was signed up in a Benchmark contest. I had so much fun looking for these bits of history that I do not see the allure in looking for Tupperware, ammo cans and little pill bottles etc. that are littered all over the country.

I am looking for real history of places marked with little disk with numbers, a drill hole or simply an X in a rock that has been placed for a real reason and mostly forgotten for up to 100+ years in my area. All this with nothing but a general area to start looking and a fine description of where the mark had been placed. A description that can turn into a puzzle because of subtle differences in an area due to brush growing, landslides or some other mind boggling change over a few years to a few decades. that is what makes this an interesting challenge and is all the more sweeter when you do find an elusive mark.

All in all finding is cool, not finding but going back can be fun yet frustrating, however in the end understanding the why is the real treasure.

This hunter don't need no stinking smiley faces. ;)

 

While in college, I had a professor advise us to "Do only that which is counted. Many of you are working your way through school so here's the context. You my be the best refrigerator sales person that Lowe's ever had. But, if the boss wants you to sell the discontinued washer dryer set, don't even try to sell the fridge. Do that which is counted."

 

If I can find a few more pill bottles, and my buddies want to give me an ammo can to honor my achievement, bring it on.

 

Count it or I won't do it.

 

Tracy

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here here,

Geocaching also led me to Benchmarking. before I even had a chance to go find a geocache I was signed up in a Benchmark contest. I had so much fun looking for these bits of history that I do not see the allure in looking for Tupperware, ammo cans and little pill bottles etc. that are littered all over the country.

I am looking for real history of places marked with little disk with numbers, a drill hole or simply an X in a rock that has been placed for a real reason and mostly forgotten for up to 100+ years in my area. All this with nothing but a general area to start looking and a fine description of where the mark had been placed. A description that can turn into a puzzle because of subtle differences in an area due to brush growing, landslides or some other mind boggling change over a few years to a few decades. that is what makes this an interesting challenge and is all the more sweeter when you do find an elusive mark.

All in all finding is cool, not finding but going back can be fun yet frustrating, however in the end understanding the why is the real treasure.

This hunter don't need no stinking smiley faces. ;)

History for us in the south is just wrong. Those of us who love history are just evil racist thug conservatives. We stood at the school house door preventing blacks from entering the university of Alabama. No, that was Wallace, a Democrat. Those evil conservatives established the pole tax to keep undesirables from voting. No, democrats again.

 

I understand the local history and will not go to a dangerous place to prove it to....no one????

 

If you don't count it I won't do it.

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Edit: I reread what I wrote and removed it--to even answer the previous two posts is futile. I hunt benchmarks because I want to, not so I can justify it to people who visit to snipe what I do. Just t'ain't worth arguing about. John said it better than I could (below), and quite a bit nicer.

Edited by mloser

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here here,

Geocaching also led me to Benchmarking. before I even had a chance to go find a geocache I was signed up in a Benchmark contest. I had so much fun looking for these bits of history that I do not see the allure in looking for Tupperware, ammo cans and little pill bottles etc. that are littered all over the country.

I am looking for real history of places marked with little disk with numbers, a drill hole or simply an X in a rock that has been placed for a real reason and mostly forgotten for up to 100+ years in my area. All this with nothing but a general area to start looking and a fine description of where the mark had been placed. A description that can turn into a puzzle because of subtle differences in an area due to brush growing, landslides or some other mind boggling change over a few years to a few decades. that is what makes this an interesting challenge and is all the more sweeter when you do find an elusive mark.

All in all finding is cool, not finding but going back can be fun yet frustrating, however in the end understanding the why is the real treasure.

This hunter don't need no stinking smiley faces. ;)

History for us in the south is just wrong. Those of us who love history are just evil racist thug conservatives. We stood at the school house door preventing blacks from entering the university of Alabama. No, that was Wallace, a Democrat. Those evil conservatives established the pole tax to keep undesirables from voting. No, democrats again.

 

I understand the local history and will not go to a dangerous place to prove it to....no one????

 

If you don't count it I won't do it.

 

There have been many who offer the why of benchmark hunting. Obviously you don't care one way or the other about the sport we enjoy, nor will you be able to understand the feelings of finding something that has been around for over 100 years and is still in good condition and can be used for it's intended purpose. It counts, whether you care or not, it does count so we do it. Sorry you can't enjoy the simple pleasure of finding something that has a value that some folks just can't fathom.

 

I recently recovered a benchmark that was placed in 1921 and the "Highway" named in the description is now nothing more than a little two track trail. It took some effort and brain power to figure out where it really was. That, in and of itself was all that mattered. I didn't need to brag in the forum or post any pictures for it in the appropriate thread, just finding it was reward enough.

 

If benchmark hunting is too difficult for you to follow and enjoy, then by all means pick another hobby. We will not beg you to do something that you don't enjoy.

 

John

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Knight said it best above and I will echo him.

 

"You do it because you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it you don't do it."

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Count it or I won't do it.

 

So you won't do anything unless it is counted? Does this include listening to music, scenic drives, watching a favorite TV show, etc?

 

Brendan

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In general we will leave it to you the community, to police yourselves. Treat others with respect. Remember that this is a public venue read by many people spanning all walks of life.

 

Personally have really enjoyed reading this thread and it brings up all the reasons that I like Benchmarks as well as Geocaching, please stay on topic and no personal attacks

 

Max Cacher

Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer // Moderator

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History for us in the south is just wrong....

 

...If you don't count it I won't do it.

 

It could also be asked 'Why Geocache'. It seems a little silly for adults to go looking for Tupperware full of McToys for nothing more than a Smilie by your name. What does THAT really count for?

 

Absolutely nothing, ...except that it's fun.

 

There can be a redeeming quality and social significance to benchmarking. If a benchmarker logs his finds on GC.com - or more particularly with the NGS - that benchmarker is helping to further the Geodetic and scientific studies of a particular area. Future surveyors and engineers can read and learn from those logs, and further their work.

 

It is true that the search for benchmarks often teaches a local history. Few caches do that. Whether that local history is good or bad is not as relevant as the possible personal growth obtained by the benchmark hunter. There are parts of the country (and world) where people have done some unconscionable things in the name of race, gender, religion, politics, even safety. There is no doubt about that. But to NOT do an activity simply because it invokes memories of those unconscionable things isn't too intelligent either.

 

George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905) If benchmarking helps an individual move forward, farther from that history that we may not want to remember, that's a good reason to do it.

 

- Kewaneh

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Why bother with benchmarking? What are the benefits? It takes about as long, Lhe coords are off even more than usual, and there is no GC credit for a find. I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching. Why bother?

 

What is this fascination with getting credit/recognition anyways??? Are you so starved that self-gratification and self-satisfaction no longer exists that you need outside validation and praise for everything to make you feel worthy?? Just curious......

 

I do benchmarking because it makes me use my brain. I want the challenge of finding a marker by trying to use descriptions that are in some cases 50 years old and the landmarks referenced are long gone. While I still geocache its not as exciting anymore. After all, the coords get me within 20 feet of the cache.

 

I do benchmarking because I get to go places and do things that geocaching doesn't provide.

 

I do benchmarking because I can learn the history of my city, my state, heck even my geographical region and beyond. I always loved history.

 

I have the opportunity to talk to others who find benchmarking as providing information that means something and has benefits to others. I do it because it doesn't pad my numbers . It's that self satisfaction/gratification thing.

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There's no reason to be angry because of either perspective on this. The "why bother" question has been answered in many ways. If those answers aren't enough to pique someone's interest, then that's just the way it is and there's no fault in that. <_<

 

There are counts in Geocaching, Benchmarking, and Waymarking. If anyone wants counts, you got 'em! These aren't counted together because the activities are so different - apples and oranges. If you want to add them together, you can certainly do so on your home page so that everyone can see your grand total!

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BDT (et al),

 

The only reason this thread got my hackles raised is that it was essentially a snipe--two folks took the effort to visit this board just to inject negativity. The OP never returned (he may have read what we said and simply gone away, or never have intended to return) and the second poster still has me scratching my head at both the statements made and what I feel is some hidden agenda behind them.

 

Overall I am very free with my opinions. If you know me a while you know how I feel on quite a few things. However, I don't make special effort to tick people off. That is akin to walking into a biker bar and yelling "Harley's suck". There just isn't any call for that sort of behavior (and in that particular instance you could get hurt!).

 

I don't care if you love to benchmark or hate it, love geocaching or hate it, ride motorcycles, parachute, dress in drag, or why you like something or hate it. Just don't go saying what I like is wrong because it differs from your likes. As long as nobody is harmed or laws are not being broken, don't condemn me because of something you don't agree with.

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In most of the fora, the response would be "Don't Feed the Troll".

dftt.gif

 

Yeah, I thought about responding to the O.P. too, but it reminded me too much of a guy in the shop that would make statements to individuals just to "wind them up". It was a sport with him. After a while you just learned to ignore him and he went on his way to find another victim.

 

He was about as sad a character as the "if it doesn't count I won't do it" bunch.

 

I agree, don't feed the troll.

Edited by 68-eldo

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Shirley here,

 

Personally, I have enjoyed this thread whether a troll started it or not. Just read all of the posts from people who are seriously answering the question "Why Bother?" and you will see a lot of happy benchmark hunters. Some noobies and others seasoned hunters...

 

I think this thread is good overall for the community.

 

Happy Hunting!

 

PS: SRD525 - nice mark.

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"If you don't count it, I won't do it..."

 

Sounds like someone who has issues with always trying to please someone...anyone? everyone?...and has made a life goal of only doing something if someone else will say "yes, you did a good job; YOU get MY approval; you win but only this time; YOUR effort wasn't wasted for ME so here's some credit from me to you."

 

What if you do something that pleases NO ONE except yourself, and NO ONE notices except you, and it matters to NO ONE except yourself? If you did something that would only please yourself, would it be worth doing? Who gives the credit if you won't do something for yourself and feel good about giving yourself credit?

 

Some things are done for the enjoyment of DOING it, not getting credit FOR doing it. Some people give to charity anonimously and enjoy not getting credit. That sounds like an honorable thing to me. Some people like to go for walks...WHY...to prove that they can walk a hundred miles? maybe just to get out and enjoy the fresh air, to see the flowers, to see the ice and snow, to see the sun come up on the horizon, to see the deer run around at dusk, to be with family, to do the things that they enjoy doing because it pleases himself or herself. And some people like to go benchmarking because of the joy of DOING it. If you only do it for the credit, you'll never get enough credit to please yourself. Find something else to do that doesn't follow a self-destructive personal policy and do something that you find enjoyable...you'll probably live longer too.

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Why bother with benchmarking? What are the benefits? It takes about as long, Lhe coords are off even more than usual, and there is no GC credit for a find. I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching. Why bother?

 

You do it because you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it you don't do it. Simple enough.

 

Statement: I agree with the sentiment up above, for the reason that no matter what you do in life there should be some sort of personal satisfaction. Therefore, without having satisfaction in what you do makes life's accomplishments look and sound not so worth awhile after all.

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There are 2 why-to-bother interests in benchmark hunting expressed here:

1. Benchmark hunting is a way to get a higher geocaching find count.

2. Benchmark hunting itself is fun.

 

Some of the people posting here were disappointed with benchmark hunting because #1 turned out to be untrue, and at the same time were not particularly enthused about #2.

 

There is no logical reason to say that these people are therefore not understanding life, etc. Being much more interested in #1 than #2 is a subjective issue, not a personality pass-fail issue.

 

Actually, this whole subject is really more about the theory of Groundspeak's counting than personality issues.

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Why do I enjoy benchmarking? Good question. I'm not sure that I understand why.

It can be very challenging. Success is not guaranteed. Success is not even always plausible! Sometimes I wonder what ever possessed the surveyor to put out some of these marks! The database is cluttered with stations long ago destroyed (as industrial areas give way to suburban sprawl) (and, of course, my constant rant about the hundred-some-number disks set in clay tile pipe along the Hackensack and Pasaic Rivers in 1913 and never seen since.) Here's one that I would love to find! It's probably even still there! MOO KV4051 Near a tank farm, with no vehicular access. Kayak across the Hackensack River from Secaucus High School???

Okay. I'm probably obsessive/compulsive. :rolleyes: But, we have found a few disks not reported in seventy-five years! It's challenging (mentally and physically). It's fun. It gets me out of the apartment. I've seen some very interesting places (and far too many railroad bridgs).

Because I enjoy it! That's the answer. :rolleyes:

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Why bother with benchmarking? What are the benefits? It takes about as long, Lhe coords are off even more than usual, and there is no GC credit for a find. I have a hard enough time finding for Geocaching. Why bother?

 

Lots of reasons, a couple are...........

 

1. its the hunt and finding a benchmark that was placed on mountain top 80 years ago is cool

2. geocaching has become humdrum and I am tired of illegally placed caches and micros and people who are only concerned about how many coins they can collect and not pass on.

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Maybe the geocaching rules need to be changed to: All coordinates must be given as a distance and bearing from a known benchmark! That would add a new wrinklle!!!!!

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Harry, once you get away from northern NJ, you'll find more marks with no vehicular access. There are old railroads through the wilds and of course, the marks on islands.

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While in college, I had a professor advise us to "Do only that which is counted. Many of you are working your way through school so here's the context. You my be the best refrigerator sales person that Lowe's ever had. But, if the boss wants you to sell the discontinued washer dryer set, don't even try to sell the fridge. Do that which is counted."

 

If I can find a few more pill bottles, and my buddies want to give me an ammo can to honor my achievement, bring it on.

 

Count it or I won't do it.

 

Tracy

 

That's fine- but you haven't defined who is doing the counting. If it's your buddies counting and your reward is their respect and a trinket that's just fine. Doing the counting yourself can provide less tangible rewards too.

 

Jim

So-Cal

Land Surveyor

 

Or you could do as I did my second summer in college. I spent most of it tramping around the Sierra Nevada foothills with topo maps and 100 year old notes in hand looking for section corner monuments. My employer was doing the counting and paid in dollars. That was my first job as a land surveyor and it hooked me. Now twenty years later I seldom get to tramp the hills looking for benchmarks but I still enjoy it and it pays better than twice my state's median income.

Edited by JimQPublic

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My recollection of that quote is Those who do not LEARN from history are doomed to repeat it. In other words, history is a CAUTION to future generations. In order to learn from history and not repeat those mistakes, one must learn and understand the facts.

 

The historical facts here in the south are muddled by "Political Correctness" which is not a new term. It was actually coined by Jews in Bismark's Germany over a hundred years ago. I think we all know how that turned out.

 

My family did fight in the War Between the States for a cause they believed in and won. They were abolitionists.

 

But you know what? It was a fight over taxes, period.

 

Fail to learn that and you are doomed to repeat it. The Revolutionary War was also a fight over taxes.

 

History for us in the south is just wrong....

 

...If you don't count it I won't do it.

 

It could also be asked 'Why Geocache'. It seems a little silly for adults to go looking for Tupperware full of McToys for nothing more than a Smilie by your name. What does THAT really count for?

 

Absolutely nothing, ...except that it's fun.

 

There can be a redeeming quality and social significance to benchmarking. If a benchmarker logs his finds on GC.com - or more particularly with the NGS - that benchmarker is helping to further the Geodetic and scientific studies of a particular area. Future surveyors and engineers can read and learn from those logs, and further their work.

 

It is true that the search for benchmarks often teaches a local history. Few caches do that. Whether that local history is good or bad is not as relevant as the possible personal growth obtained by the benchmark hunter. There are parts of the country (and world) where people have done some unconscionable things in the name of race, gender, religion, politics, even safety. There is no doubt about that. But to NOT do an activity simply because it invokes memories of those unconscionable things isn't too intelligent either.

 

George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905) If benchmarking helps an individual move forward, farther from that history that we may not want to remember, that's a good reason to do it.

 

- Kewaneh

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