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2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

cornstarch, it's fun & easy

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Cornstarch, it is one of the little things that makes for better benchmark pictures.

 

Here's the way we use it. First is the small plastic bottle that will hold enough cornstarch for over 100 benchmarks!

 

adef86ca-3660-4145-a150-f4b0e0182bbd.jpg

 

Sprinkle some on the center of the benchmark.

 

1807b0e8-12d5-4c87-a54f-279388c3af38.jpg

 

Use your thumb or finger to smooth out the cornstarch.

 

bdd21082-ddad-4fee-a7ce-6de661118842.jpg

8a914755-6577-4b67-a96e-280360995c9e.jpg

 

Use the heel of your hand to wipe off the excess cornstarch.

 

fc5b1d22-de2c-47a2-9d9a-b212b50e6491.jpg

 

You're now ready to take the picture of the disk. There is the right way and the wrong way as shown in these 2 pictures. Notice the angle of the sun can either enhance the picture or create a glare that makes it hard to read the disk. Just changing the direction from which you take the picture will make all the difference in whether it is a good shot or just so-so.

 

0858a158-be40-4fef-b2ea-eef8e0fc4e4e.jpg

3113fb4f-291b-4318-bb02-d7ae635fe4ad.jpg

 

It's your turn to share something that makes benchmark hunting more enjoyable or easier.

 

John & Shirley

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

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Well Here is my fun.

 

With all these new programs and ease of editing I can now have all I want to download to my maps.

Wether it is TOPO!,GPSTrackmaker,Streets and Trips and Google Earth I got it made.

 

I have also figured out how to use those little zip drives,flash drive or jump drive which ever you prefer to call them.

I got one now that has 2 Gig of memory.

You can load your Topo into it and run it on your laptop along with the GPS.

 

I have also been working on this NGS,PLSS USGS grids map.

 

It has been some work but have got it well worked out for several Quads and Townships.

4f72007e-8985-45da-af3b-bde9de640a9a.jpg

 

Here is my 3 mile GEOID.

68f15ad0-733c-48bf-bbfa-f00af0a5f51a.jpg

 

Overwhelmed with data.

f4dbec74-472d-460b-9974-4485e8de4741.jpg

 

I am becoming a Techie Benchmark hunter.

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You're now ready to take the picture of the disk. There is the right way and the wrong way as shown in these 2 pictures. Notice the angle of the sun can either enhance the picture or create a glare that makes it hard to read the disk. Just changing the direction from which you take the picture will make all the difference in whether it is a good shot or just so-so.

 

0858a158-be40-4fef-b2ea-eef8e0fc4e4e.jpg

3113fb4f-291b-4318-bb02-d7ae635fe4ad.jpg

 

John & Shirley

Question: how did you move the sun around to shine on the benchmark from the left rather than the top. :lol:

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Question: How did you move the sun around to shine on the benchmark from the left rather than the top.

 

Papa-Bear:

Look at the hours/minutes on the GPS display in each picture. Apparently, they waited ten minutes before taking the 2nd picture. In that time, the Sun moved 90 degrees. :lol:

 

-Paul-

 

______________________________________________

"And this is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing which He has spoken: 'Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial.....ten degrees backward.' So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down."

---Isaiah 38:7-8

______________________________________________

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I took up with cornstarch after John and Shirley mentioned it for their last contest. What a difference!! In my pre-cornstarch days, it was often difficult to read the disk, but now there is never a problem. Thanks again to the 2OF.:lol:

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I cheat. I get Andy Bear to cast a shadow over the benchmark, and then use the flash. :lol:

 

I carry my cornstarch in Ziplocks, but I'm wary of carrying plastic bags of white powder into cities with me. Fortunately the Paterson police haven't caught up with me yet. (Or New York, or Jersey City, or Newark...)

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Question: How did you move the sun around to shine on the benchmark from the left rather than the top.

 

Papa-Bear:

Look at the hours/minutes on the GPS display in each picture. Apparently, they waited ten minutes before taking the 2nd picture. In that time, the Sun moved 90 degrees. :lol:

 

-Paul-

 

It's fun to pick on these minutia, but it is a serious point. I assume John moved the pipe cap around.

 

BUT most disks are not movable and pipe caps are a rarity in my section of the world.

 

What I do is take the picture so I'm not facing into the sun, but make sure I don't get my shadow into the shot. THEN, when I get home, I rotate the picture using software on my computer so the writing on the disk is upright. For benchmark or triangulation disks I always use "Rotate to line" (a command my software has - most programs have something similar) and I make sure the benchmark line or the bottom of the triangle are horizontal.

 

The other thing I do is never take a picture of my GPS. You can almost never read it in the pictures anyway, and to me it detracts from the disk. Just techno-clutter.

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I tried cornstarch back in the day and decided I just didn't like the artificial aesthetic of it. In many cases, though, it certainly does increase legibility. Maybe I should give it a second chance.

 

I'm glad to see a little attention here to the technical issues surrounding the visual part of the documentation process. Probably none of us are professional photographers, but today even very inexpensive digital cameras can produce great images. (Cellphone cameras, often not so great.)

 

Sometimes on sunny days when a disk is in partial shadow I find there's too much contrast to get a good picture, so I'll deliberately cast a shadow over the disk (both my clipboard and myself cast useful shadows) for a better result. Or sometimes I'll use my clipboard, which is white plastic, as a reflector to add some light to subject from a different angle.

 

I use a very old version of Photoshop Elements, and for my closeups I very gently sharpen my disk images with the "unsharp mask" function, which gives you a lot more control than the "sharpen" command. Too much sharpening makes the image look fake. Just a hint, though, enhances legibility.

 

-ArtMan-

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Cornstarch, it is one of the little things that makes for better benchmark pictures.

 

Here's the way we use it. First is the small plastic bottle that will hold enough cornstarch for over 100 benchmarks!

 

adef86ca-3660-4145-a150-f4b0e0182bbd.jpg

 

Sprinkle some on the center of the benchmark.

 

1807b0e8-12d5-4c87-a54f-279388c3af38.jpg

 

Use your thumb or finger to smooth out the cornstarch.

 

bdd21082-ddad-4fee-a7ce-6de661118842.jpg

8a914755-6577-4b67-a96e-280360995c9e.jpg

 

Use the heel of your hand to wipe off the excess cornstarch.

 

fc5b1d22-de2c-47a2-9d9a-b212b50e6491.jpg

 

You're now ready to take the picture of the disk. There is the right way and the wrong way as shown in these 2 pictures. Notice the angle of the sun can either enhance the picture or create a glare that makes it hard to read the disk. Just changing the direction from which you take the picture will make all the difference in whether it is a good shot or just so-so.

 

0858a158-be40-4fef-b2ea-eef8e0fc4e4e.jpg

3113fb4f-291b-4318-bb02-d7ae635fe4ad.jpg

 

It's your turn to share something that makes benchmark hunting more enjoyable or easier.

 

John & Shirley

 

I have considered using cornstarch, but so far haven't taken the risk of a little bottle exploding in my benchmarking bag! :lol:

 

Thus far, in the rare cases when I feel the stamping needs additional enhancement, I have been using a yellow lumber crayon. (as suggested on the NGS website..I forget where on the site)

 

I don't have a how-to photo series, but you can use the crayon in one of two ways depending on the mark.

 

You can use it to fill in the stamping...well, actually not filling them in, but leaving a definite deposit, and wiping off the excess from the 'base surface' gives a similar result to the cornstarch method above.

 

Conversely, you can carefully 'color in' the 'base surface', leaving the stampings in their natural color.

 

Now for a comment about benchmark photography.

/soapbox mode on/

I ALWAYS take a photo with my GPSr in the picture. I also take one without, and one or more 'wide area' shots (hopefully with the mark visible in the shot) to depict the surroundings. IF we are finding marks to help followers-on relocate them for professional use, wouldn't the GPSr reading be useful? I suppose you could write it all down and type it into your text note...too much trouble for me, and too much possibility for mistakes. Of course there are times when I fail, and the GPSr screen is unreadable..so I usually leave those photos out of the post.

What really gets me is when I see a beautiful long-distance shot, and the mark is clearly visible to me, but just in case I am blind there is a colored box or arrow pointing it out for me! I HATE that! If you take a good wide-area photo, the mark should be clearly evident without any further enhancement. I like to play 'find the mark' in those wild area photos...kind of like I am actually there trying to spot it for myself. Of course there are plenty of cases when you just can't get a good shot, and an arrow or box is a necessity...otherwise it 's just a photo of a jungle of underbrush.

/soapbox mode off/

:)

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You're now ready to take the picture of the disk. There is the right way and the wrong way as shown in these 2 pictures. Notice the angle of the sun can either enhance the picture or create a glare that makes it hard to read the disk. Just changing the direction from which you take the picture will make all the difference in whether it is a good shot or just so-so.

 

0858a158-be40-4fef-b2ea-eef8e0fc4e4e.jpg

3113fb4f-291b-4318-bb02-d7ae635fe4ad.jpg

 

John & Shirley

Question: how did you move the sun around to shine on the benchmark from the left rather than the top. :lol:

 

Would you believe that we have very good connections with the right person! :(

 

I took the bottom shot along with the view shots of that benchmark and then I simply walked across the highway and found the second benchmark and took the pictures of it. :)

 

I used 2 different benchmarks for the comparison shots. If you look closely you can see the top mark has been lightly stamped compared to the bottom disk.

 

John

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Now for a comment about benchmark photography.

/soapbox mode on/

... What really gets me is when I see a beautiful long-distance shot, and the mark is clearly visible to me, but just in case I am blind there is a colored box or arrow pointing it out for me! I HATE that! ...

/soapbox mode off/

:lol:

Cachemeister,

 

I am guilty of this sin. Although some of our area photos are very scenic and sometimes even lovely to look at, they are posted as part of the logs for the practical purpose of orientation and helping someone — perhaps a professional whose time is important — find the objects pictured.

 

Take a look at this photo I just posted:

7e7317ed-3b66-42c7-b310-2bd93153eea1.jpg

There are two marks in the picture (HW3458, station FRANKLIN, in Pendleton Co., WV, if you are interested). One is arguably obvious in the foreground. I thought about not putting that one in a box, but I decided (before I knew there were people like you who hated the practice) that there was no harm and it added a little symmetry since I knew I HAD to indicate where the other mark was, which was scarcely visible even in the original, much larger photo.

 

Now if we want to turn this thread into a recitation of pet peeves, one of mine is people who fail to edit the quoted material in their post, with the result that not only do we have endless repetition of text, but also duplicates of duplicates of photos, which is both annoying and unfair to our colleagues who have slower Internet connections.

 

-ArtMan-

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I ALWAYS take a photo with my GPSr in the picture. I also take one without, and one or more 'wide area' shots (hopefully with the mark visible in the shot) to depict the surroundings. IF we are finding marks to help followers-on relocate them for professional use, wouldn't the GPSr reading be useful? I suppose you could write it all down and type it into your text note...too much trouble for me, and too much possibility for mistakes. Of course there are times when I fail, and the GPSr screen is unreadable..so I usually leave those photos out of the post.

 

I agree with AZcachemeister on this. It is much easier for me to take a photo with the GPS in it, and thereby preserve the coordinates, both for my records and for reporting more accurate coordinates to the NGS for some scaled marks. The exception is that I don't (when I remember not to) include it for marks with adjusted coordinates.

 

A couple of added notes...while I enjoy logging on geocaching and regularly do, I have my GPS in D.M.S. mode for ease of providing coordinates to the NGS where appropriate. To make my coordinates as accurate as possible, I will average the waypoint for a particular mark once I find it, then photograph the mark with the GPS on the waypoint screen. This way it shows the averaged coordinates, rather than the "live" screen. This eliminates error because of bad satellite reception when the GPS is horizontal at ground level, sometimes not in optimum conditions.

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>wary of carrying plastic bags of white powder

 

there are two likely misinterpretations. One is that it is a prohibited consumable substance. The other is that they it is kind of contaminant that you are going to inflict on the inhabitants of the area. I saw an article the other day where some people marking a course for an unadvertised race by sprinkling flour at the turns were reported by alarmed bystanders, arrested, and charged with a felony version of disturbing the peace. It makes you realize how terrorized we are getting.

 

When you are puttering around in places that most people don't, you already look suspicious enough without having carrying more potential trouble.

 

I've used cornstarch with wonderful results, and in some places maybe it is a good idea. In others, definitely not.

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>wary of carrying plastic bags of white powder

 

there are two likely misinterpretations. One is that it is a prohibited consumable substance. The other is that they it is kind of contaminant that you are going to inflict on the inhabitants of the area. I saw an article the other day where some people marking a course for an unadvertised race by sprinkling flour at the turns were reported by alarmed bystanders, arrested, and charged with a felony version of disturbing the peace. It makes you realize how terrorized we are getting.

 

When you are puttering around in places that most people don't, you already look suspicious enough without having carrying more potential trouble.

 

I've used cornstarch with wonderful results, and in some places maybe it is a good idea. In others, definitely not.

 

That’s why I use baby powder in the original container. With the smell and the container I hope to head off any problems that might need to wait for the results of a lab test before it is resolved.

 

Yes the terrorist are winning.

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The baby powder in original container sounds like a great idea. Anything that reduces unsolicited interaction with authorities makes benchmarking more fun, enjoyable, and easier

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Thanks for the baby powder idea. I have added it to my shopping list! I like the idea that it comes prepackaged for sprinkling.

 

Now to get to work on how to 'turn pipe caps' to face the sun. :huh:

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... offering some things that make benchmarking fun, enjoyable, and maybe easier?

To add to the list of items in the Benchmarking Duffle Bag: hiking gaiters - help keep some of the sand/gravel/dirt out of one's boots, and here in Michigan, keep out the sand burrs, prickers, & ticks. Similarly, leather work gloves when clearing vines/thorns/etc from around mark.

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Baby Powder and Corn Starch what cool ideas, I like that. Today I was trying to photograph a benchmark and it was so grimy it was hard to read.

 

Does anyone ever use water to clean them off as well? (Maybe a silly question, if it is sorry)

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Baby Powder and Corn Starch what cool ideas, I like that. Today I was trying to photograph a benchmark and it was so grimy it was hard to read.

 

Does anyone ever use water to clean them off as well? (Maybe a silly question, if it is sorry)

 

And then there is the baby powder with corn starch in it. :huh:

 

Yes, to your second question. When it does rain here, it can get real Mucky (that is squishy, snotty muck mud) and then is when we are glad that we carry water in the desert. John will splash some on the area and then grab the paper towels or some shop towels out of the back of our truck. They are still a little dirty but, not so that you cannot read the disk.

 

It is called fun in the mud!

 

Welcome to the Benchmark forums PinkDolphin!

 

Shirley~

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Hey your getting close to my secret tick repellant.

 

Baby powder(unscented),corn starch and Pharmacutical Sulphur Powder.

 

It keeps the ticks off as well as the chiggers and noseums.

 

That's why I love the Desert none of them critters.

 

And when you get that chaffe in your well.

The powder works well for that too.

 

Oh yeah it works great on Benchmarks too.

I just leave the Sulphur one at home.

 

One note:

DO NOT USE ON WET BENCHMARK OR ON A RAINY DAY!!!!!

Trust me.

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Now if we want to turn this thread into a recitation of pet peeves, one of mine is people who fail to edit the quoted material in their post, with the result that not only do we have endless repetition of text, but also duplicates of duplicates of photos, which is both annoying and unfair to our colleagues who have slower Internet connections.

 

-ArtMan-

 

You're right and I should be whacked on the knuckles! :rolleyes: OW!

 

As I stated in my diatribe, there ARE CERTAINLY cases where boxes and arrows are called for and necessary.

I've done it myself!

Your example is a prime one.

 

And now back to our scheduled program of helpful benchmarking tips!

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I've always liked the benchmarks placed here in NM that have a gnomon in the center and markings so the photo of the disk also tells the time of day and day of the year.

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Helpful benchmark hint: You can clean mud/dirt off a benchmark disk with a toothbrush. Works better than the paper towels that I had used.

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I have used White-Out in a pinch. Dab it on and quickly rub excess off with a paper towel (or the palm of your hand) It washes out with the first rain.

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>wary of carrying plastic bags of white powder

 

there are two likely misinterpretations. One is that it is a prohibited consumable substance. The other is that they it is kind of contaminant that you are going to inflict on the inhabitants of the area. I saw an article the other day where some people marking a course for an unadvertised race by sprinkling flour at the turns were reported by alarmed bystanders, arrested, and charged with a felony version of disturbing the peace. It makes you realize how terrorized we are getting.

 

When you are puttering around in places that most people don't, you already look suspicious enough without having carrying more potential trouble.

 

 

This happened in my area. The "unknown substance" caused a Haz-mat scare that shut down the business and area streets for several hours.

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I have used White-Out in a pinch. Dab it on and quickly rub excess off with a paper towel (or the palm of your hand) It washes out with the first rain.

 

I would have never thought of using this...but it sounds like a quick thing to pick up if we forget the cornstarch. Thank you for that tip.

 

It would get a little pricey for long term use if you compare it with either cornstarch or baby powder though.

 

Shirley

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I use a small bottle of baby powder myself. It works great. I also have a small brush to get of the covering dirt as in the instance of today with a mark that has not been touched probably since 1969!

Without baby powder:

8ca4f9fb-077b-4b0b-bd7a-28fb53fdfaf6.jpg

And with:

ca4621fb-b84e-4c73-8bea-43142661951e.jpg

 

Another trick for baby powder... if your at the beach and you need to get the sand off your feet, use baby powder! It takes it all off.

Edited by bullionhunter

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>wary of carrying plastic bags of white powder

 

I saw an article the other day where some people marking a course for an unadvertised race by sprinkling flour at the turns were reported by alarmed bystanders, arrested, and charged with a felony version of disturbing the peace. It makes you realize how terrorized we are getting.

 

 

This one makes you realize how stupid some of our power and budget hungry beurocrats are.

It happened in New Haven, CT. The city is also stating that they will try to recover $50,000 allegedly spent from the charged suspects.

 

The "authorities" greatly overreacted in this instance. They were approached by the suspects who explained what it was and yet the "response" continued.

 

You can see I'm a bit torqued by this. I belong to a chapter of the same worldwide running group. (If you want to know more about this group, PM me and I can fill you in) These types of "HazMat Scares" have happened literally dozens of times. There are many that have been in the news, Omaha and KC I think for two. So much so, that the FBI is aware of it nationally and has it in their procedures. This was not followed in this case.

 

All that was put on the ground was standard kitchen flour. It looks little different from the chalk put down for cross-country practices and races and 5K type runs; only it's safer.

 

The Mayor of New Haven suggested that spray paint be used instead. Stupid suggestion, leaves a near permanent mess.

 

Locally I've witnessed two similar overreactions. One, a private HazMat team (semiconductor plant) came out of their parking lot and started cordoning off our little trail. The person who put the trail there tried to reassure them of it's safety. At first, they wouldn't let him get near it; so he ran over, put a handful in his mouth and ate it right in front of them. Then they realized their mistake and his honesty. They just kept watching us after that.

 

In another instance, the local PD saw one of our runners grab a plain paper bag containing flour she had hidden from under a bush. They thought it was cocaine. How ridicuolou! So they got her vitals, confiscated the flour and had it analyzed. Anaylytical results were "cooking flour with trace impurities".

 

The big point is that the "authorities" are WAY overresponding. Anthrax is not white in color like flour. People do not run through IKEA parking lots unprotected dropping 25 lbs of anthrax. Runners do not stash 5 lb bags of cocaine in the bushes.

 

There is another BM'er who posts occasionally here that belongs to our same group and he could tell you the same as well, but I won't rat him out just yet.

 

While wise to be vigilant, one must be reasonable as well.

 

Rant mode off and sorry to hijack this thread somewhat.

 

To bring this back to BM'ing; any cop or other who thinks you've got illicit material or anthrax to spread around on markers is just a blooming idiot - especially after you tell him so.

 

You can only be so paranoid.

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Back to cornstarch:

My environmentalist daughter won't let me use baby powder. Says it's not biodegradable (most of it is talcum = powdered volcanic rock). She is OK with cornstarch or flour. Let your conscience (or daughter!) be your guide. Depends on where you are, also. Of course, this weekend, WAY out in the boonies, when I needed some cornstarch, I didn't have it (Murphy's Law strikes again).

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Talc doesn't need to biodegrade. It is pretty much in the same state it came out of the earth, although it has been mechanically altered by being ground much finer than when it was removed from the earth. As such the properties that affect nature shouldn't be any different than if it was a large rock, except that deer can't trip over it. :anitongue:

 

Also, it is indeed powdered rock, but I don't think it is volcanic. Good ol' Wikipedia said it is metaporphic, but then I got confused and my ADD kicked in and I lost track of all those terms. When I woke back up I was on Ebay bidding on something.

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I won't bore you with the environmental issues that went along with the discussion about talc with my daughter. Suffice it to say I lost. Use it at your own peril if you are with a very serious tree hugger. Myself, I agree with the previous post. I switched to cornstarch anyway.

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I saw this topic staying near the top of the list lately and had to see what's up. :anitongue:

 

The wiki article looked like it was saying that talc could come from either metamorphic or igneous rock.

 

By the way, some models of "baby powder" IS cornstarch.

 

If you're really an extreme tree hugger you won't hunt any benchmarks beyond bicycle range of your house because the hunting involves your vehicle burning a lot of gasoline. :rolleyes: Getting there likely produces much more, and much worse, envirojunk than a shake or two of talcum powder.

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I am actually curious to know! I grew up in the age of "environmentalism" and am pretty considerate when it comes to the environment, but I don't go crazy about it (meaning a bit of talc on a benchmark isn't on my radar).

 

However, I am sure there is something here I am not considering. For one thing there are other elements to talcum powder other than ground up rock or it wouldn't smell so nice! I am not too certain about corn starch either. It sort of turns to a goo when wet and I picture it clinging tightly (yet biodegradably!) to anything it is put on.

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Helpful benchmark hint: You can clean mud/dirt off a benchmark disk with a toothbrush. Works better than the paper towels that I had used.

 

I got me one of them thar umpire brooms for cleaning off the Plate.

 

That way I can get a home run with each BM.

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I saw this topic staying near the top of the list lately and had to see what's up. :angry:

 

The wiki article looked like it was saying that talc could come from either metamorphic or igneous rock.

 

By the way, some models of "baby powder" IS cornstarch.

 

If you're really an extreme tree hugger you won't hunt any benchmarks beyond bicycle range of your house because the hunting involves your vehicle burning a lot of gasoline. :rolleyes: Getting there likely produces much more, and much worse, envirojunk than a shake or two of talcum powder.

 

BD I consider myself a real tree hugger.

 

It is like an Old Hippie.....the real ones are rare.

Or now Yuppies.

I thought metamorphic or igneous was 2 differnt types of earth.

 

The new age group has made a bad name for all the real meanings of things.

 

There is no way a ground up rock is going to hurt anything.

 

They all live on ground up rock called cement....a limestone rock!!

 

Hey if a tree didn't leak I might live in one. :D:anitongue:

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Something fun for benchmark hunting.....

 

Well, I never go hunting without a 12 pack of Mountain Dew....not useful in finding marks, but definately useful to ward off a crabby benchmark hunter. :anitongue:

 

Other things that are fun and easy.....a semi-large box in the back of a van. Everything needed for BM hunting is kept in this box.Everything stays in one place - so there is never searching around wondering if we have everything. On the outside of the box is a taped piece of paper with the inventory list of the box.

 

 

On the corn startch/baby powder thing.... we definately use baby powder. The hard durable container with the sprinkle top is lightweight and convenient. And well, I guess were not big enough tree huggers to care to even think about switching.

Edited by AstroD-Team

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Now if we want to turn this thread into a recitation of pet peeves, one of mine is people who fail to edit the quoted material in their post, with the result that not only do we have endless repetition of text, but also duplicates of duplicates of photos, which is both annoying and unfair to our colleagues who have slower Internet connections.

Amen! Folks, it isn't too late to go back and edit your postings to remove those duplicate photos and that extraneous text...

 

As for making benchmarks easier to read, I carry a toothbrush for brushing dirt off of benchmarks, but I also have in my car a combination ice scraper/brush. The brush part has larger, stiffer bristles than a toothbrush, and the scraper part can dig dirt away from around the mark.

 

Patty

Edited by Wintertime

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Please note our name..... (the rockhounders)

 

Talc is in the silicate family and best described as "A secondary mineral formed by the metamorphic alteration of a number of magnesium silicates."

 

There is absolutely nothing there that will harm the environment around or near a benchmark. The only hazard with using Talc is if you inhale it often enough and large enough quanities, it may cause silicosis.

 

John

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If mice or insects breathe it and are harmed by it, that is harming the environment since they are part of it.

There's really nothing that can be said to not harm the environment, except perhaps taking a digital picture of it. :anitongue:

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Talc, for you trivia fans, is also the softest of 10 minerals in the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamond is the hardest.

 

I use the brush half of a plastic brush-and-dustpan kit I found in a dollar store. Works great. My favorite all-purpose tool is a pruning snips (or whatever you call it), useful for gouging out dirt and rocks around disks, trimming grass and other vegetation, etc.

 

-ArtMan-

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I consider myself a good steward of the earth, but that doesn't mean I leave it untouched and have no affect. I have been known to carry a machete and use it. To date I don't think I have hacked down any endangered species.

As for the corn starch/baby powder dilemma, I simply don't bother. Reading the benchmark is rarely an issue, and having the lettering come out clearly in a picture is pretty much a non-issue with me. I used to carry a bottle of baby powder but gave it up after it ran out.

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There's really nothing that can be said to not harm the environment, except perhaps taking a digital picture of it.

 

I dunno - there's only so many pixels around, and once they're all used up....

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Talc, for you trivia fans, is also the softest of 10 minerals in the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamond is the hardest.

 

I use the brush half of a plastic brush-and-dustpan kit I found in a dollar store. Works great. My favorite all-purpose tool is a pruning snips (or whatever you call it), useful for gouging out dirt and rocks around disks, trimming grass and other vegetation, etc.

 

-ArtMan-

 

Hmmm interesting idea, wonder if a nut pick would work too?

 

I am still pretty new at this and most everything I have found has been easy.

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I like the cornstarch. It's biodegradable. I like circling in the picture the object of interest. It prevents confusion. I like the idea of flower to mark a temporary trail. It's also biodegradable and cheaper than cornstarch.

 

If over reactive stupidity happens in my town, I'll contribute to the defense fund, and even more to the counter suite.

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..instead of cornstarch, I just grab one of the kids' pieces of big "sidewalk" chalk:

 

efa4a60a-db1f-453d-bb0e-f00d771b3b04.jpg

 

Doesn't do a bad job - it's easy to carry & it's made of environmentally friendly fossilized critters!

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..instead of cornstarch, I just grab one of the kids' pieces of big "sidewalk" chalk:

 

efa4a60a-db1f-453d-bb0e-f00d771b3b04.jpg

 

Doesn't do a bad job - it's easy to carry & it's made of environmentally friendly fossilized critters!

 

Now you got me going I got a whole bunch of them.

In different colors too.

 

I can be a colorful treehuggin benchmarking talc carrying one of a kind.

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