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Just wondering..

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I was just wondering what type of transportation do you use? We have listed the items that we carry along with us, but it has been a long time since we told how we get to those pesky marks. So, for the record, here is the question.


What do you use to get to the area where the marks are?


Feet (is so what type of footwear)? Bicycle? Motorcycle? Quad? Car? SUV? Jeep? Pick-up truck? 2WD? 4WD? Public transport (as in Bus, taxi, train, work vehicle)?


If it your personal owned vehicle, what make/model is it and do you have anything special that you have made for marking it as an 'official looking' something for purposes of hunting marks? Like a decal that could be copied and let others use?


If you would like to post a picture of your Benchmark Mobile, this is the place.


Thank you for your input in advance.


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I guess I should start this off by posting two small pictures of our hunting mobile. It is a Dodge, Ram 1500 with 4WD. I named it 'Hemi'.



This is dirtiest we have ever had it! (on an AZ. Scenic dirt/mud road)


We were on a cache run. (on one of Utah's Scenic dirt back roads)


We do not have anything to make our truck "look official". Just the dirt. -_-



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Subies rule!!! -_-


I usually take Yami (short for Yama Yagi = "mountain goat"), because it has AWD and is a wonderful all-purpose car:




I haven't done anything special to set it up for benchmarking, except for putting a Garmin mount on the dashboard.


Sometimes if I'm sure I'm going to stick to pretty good roads, I'll take Pfeffer (named after those dark-red peppers used in kung pao dishes) instead:




I've had the Porsche on some potholed dirt roads, but clearly, the Subaru is a better choice for those situations. Also, since I do a lot of benchmark hunting in Yosemite, and often go in the shoulder seasons, it's safer to take Yami in case of snow or ice.


Of course, when Meg and Lloyd and I did the Old Tioga Road a couple of months ago, we were on foot (for two days). And I've done some marks in Yosemite Valley via bicycle. But most of my hunting is done by driving.



Edited by Wintertime
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The 02 Saturn 4-door works just fine for me. The trunk is full of necessary items such as cornstarch, shovel, 100-foot measuring tape and camera, while the GPS, compass, notebooks and maps stay in the passenger area. GeoDog Kali usually takes up most of the back seat. Summer hunting is usually in walking shoes, but winter brings out the boots and waders.

Edited by shorbird
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Usually, Toyota Tacoma, V-6, FWD, six-speed manual; long cab, short bed.

Occasionally, Subaru Outback, V-6, all-track, five-speed automatic; four door.


Both excellent vehicles. Though the Subaru does not have enough clearance to go too far off-road, on the road it goes about 30 percent farther than the Toy on a gallon of gasoline.



Edited by seventhings
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Here's Big Red, but I'm about to rename it "Big Dog Daddy" only because I like that commercial on TV. :laughing:


It now has one of those aluminum crossbed tool boxes in the back, where I carry my measuring wheel, probe, shovel, and other benchmarking stuff. Benchmark hunting has slowed down recently, diesel fuel is $3.60 a gallon. $112 yesterday....




If I'm just going to do some "light" benchmarking, I use this. 40 miles per gallon of cheap regular.



Edited by GrizzFlyer
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Mine is a 2000 Ford Focus (to those of us who are older. The younger crowd seems to refer to it as a "FoFo"). I haven't named it as I don't really name my belongings (my son and daughter spent some time in their lives being called "The Boy" and "The Girl"), but if told you what I called it yesterday I would be suspended from the forum. It has decided to have electrical problems that have been unsolvable to date, including the replacement of the alternator 3 times. I have seriously considered loading it with dynamite and running it off a cliff but for the lack of cliffs around here and my inability to get dynamite. Chances are it is illegal too. But it would look great.


It is a totally middle of the road, non-descript, silver vehicle that I drive to death and, while I don't treat it poorly, I don't baby it. Perhaps it is getting me back by having these electrical issues. Who knows.


It is fairly narrow so it fits on road shoulders well, which is a great advantage when pulling off to find a mark. The clearance is decent, so I have run it up and down dirt roads without much issue. Oh, it gets very close to 30 mpg too, which is important to me.


If anyone knows what would make the entire electrical system misbehave (meaning all lights, interior and exterior) flicker ONLY when the car accelerates, please get in touch with me. Otherwise, I will report in a few weeks what I replace it with.

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My Benchmarking/Geocaching Mobile is a 1995 2 Door Camry Coup (4cyl Manual). It has served me very well over these years. It is my first car ever owned and I plan on driving it until it cannot be repaired any more. Right now I am at 162,000 miles and I still get between 29mpg - 33mpg with everyday driving, which is as good if not better than what the newer year camry specs are.


My only complaint is the low ground clearance. If you have ever driven behind a 94-05 camry you can see the exhaust system hangs extremely low. I had mine replaced for the second time last summer, and it hangs even lower now. There are some speed bumbs near my house I have to go around because it bottoms out. I also have to be careful on shoulders with drainage ditches close by, I have flung some mud in close calls, but have not gotten stuck yet. Nothing like that adrenaline surge when you slow down on a shoulder and feel the car make that "sinking feeling", and then I floor it to get out before I get stuck. :laughing:


The vanity 'TETRIS' license plate and numerous Boston Red Sox decals on the car make for definitely un-official looking benchmarking vehicle, but my vest, pda, and hard hat make up for that. I got a automobile travel bug sticker for the car, you can track it at: TB1CT5C


And the pics:


GeoMobile Close Up:




With a knocked over benchmark:




The mark in the photo is logged on the Waymarking web site: USGS 34 WSM 1949

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My benchmark hunting vehicle is an ’83 Chevy S10 pickup. I’d take a picture of it but it might break the camera. It’s ugly but it does the job well. Best of all I can drive around in the bushes and not worry about the paint (what paint?).


Note to mloser: You most likly have a conector problem and maybe a motor mount problem. A few years ago I started my ’68 Eldorado, when I blipped the throttle the engine reved up, cut out, reved up again, cut out again repeating the cycle as long as I held the throttle open. The all the lights flashed on and off while this was happening too. On investigation I found the main power connector was loose. It is about one foot from the starter. When the engine reved up it moved slightly in the engine compartment from the torque. This movement was enough to break the connection and kill all power to the car including the ignition. When the ignition died the engine would settle back into its normal position which reconnected the connector. Ignition restored; engine reved up; connection broke and the cycle repeated its self.


Your problem while not as extreme as mine was, is likely similar.

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By foot!


I do not and have never owned any motor vehicle in my life!


Local recoveries I do by public transportation followed by a lot of walking. Just yesterday I took the train up, walked 7 miles or so, logged close to 20 stations, and took the train home. A long but productive day. Recoveries in the wilds of Maine or elsewhere I have been known to go, are done via cheap rental car (yes I have a license) and lots (and lots) of hiking, sometimes including lengthy bushwhacking,


Of course I have been known to go with others who drive (Paul, Bob), and that's fine. Those are my days off.


Although the question has never been discussed here, I would bet I have walked more miles bench mark hunting than anyone (and who would want to do that?) You might say I'm a hiker with a benchmark problem, or maybe a bench mark hunter with a hiking problem.


It's just what I do. :laughing:

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC
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Mix of Jeep, Feet (good hiking boots, treking poles), Airplanes & rental cars (business trips), Ships (cruise type ones - squeezed in a few benchmarks in Hawaii). Oh yeah, a few "bottom braking" decents from high places I probably shouldn't have been at, and thereby minus a few pants back-ends & skin.


The Jeep 2005 Grand Cherokee has taken me places I wouldn't have believed, for a stock SUV. It's name is Jeep.


Two-Tone (Blue & Mud):




Mohave Racing Stripes (courtesy of the infamous VEX & nearby relatives). Most of them buffed out OK.


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Mike, I was bummed when I was on the Garmin site recently and discovered that they no longer make a GPS unit in the GPS III/V profile. :unsure: Not only does that mean that I'll have to buy a new mount next time I get a new GPS receiver, but the horizontal profile was perfect for the dashboards in my cars--and the side of your ATV.



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ROFL! When they say 'label the benchmark', I don't think they meant label EVERYTHING. :unsure:


Okay. I got carried away on that one. But the last log was a DNF by the Power Squadron. Just pointing out all the obvious links. :ph34r: THE STATION IS 6.0 M (19.7 FT) NORTHEAST FROM THE CENTERLINE OF ROUTE 647, 3.4 M (11.2 FT) NORTHWEST FROM A STEEP GRADE SIGN, 9.2 M (30.2 FT) WEST FROM A POLE WITH NO NUMBER

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Okay. I got carried away on that one. But the last log was a DNF by the Power Squadron. Just pointing out all the obvious links. :) THE STATION IS 6.0 M (19.7 FT) NORTHEAST FROM THE CENTERLINE OF ROUTE 647, 3.4 M (11.2 FT) NORTHWEST FROM A STEEP GRADE SIGN, 9.2 M (30.2 FT) WEST FROM A POLE WITH NO NUMBER


But Harry, you forgot to add: "10.1 M (33.1 FT) NORTHWEST FROM OOMPHIE (CACHEMOBILE)."


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I just started caching this past weekend. My first two caches I rode my mountain bike to. The other caches so far I have driven my Jeep to. I am scoping out some caches to hunt on my off-road runs with my off-road club. I also found a couple on some small islands not too far away that you can only get to by boat, so I am going to take my kayak to get to those. Plus sometimes I am sure I will be using my own two feet to hike to a lot of caches.







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Way cool on all your modes of transportation, Jen! And welcome to geocaching. I hope we can get you hooked on looking for benchmarks near those caches, too. :)




Thanks for the welcome Patty! I started reading about the benchmarks and stuff this week and am really interested in those. So I am going to start mapping some out that I can do in the daytime. It is hard right now because it gets dark so early and I often go alone, so I hate to go tromping through the woods at night. So I might try a benchmark or two this weekend. Thanks again for the welcome!


P.S. My brother lives in California too.

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Jen, you might want to start with some benchmarks that other Geocaching.com users have already found. That way you won't get frustrated right off the bat looking for something that's maybe no longer there!


I just looked for marks around Montclair and found a few that have been reported as found:



HV5086 (a standpipe, not a disk)



Feel free to start a new topic with any specific questions you may have. If you haven't already, check out the FAQ on Groundspeak's Benchmark Hunting home page.


Have fun!



p.s. Which part of California is your brother in?

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Jen, I'd like to hear about those benchmarks and caches you get to on your bike and what things seem to work best for you like GPS mounts, etc. I'm interested in doing both by bike.


I have a Garmin Nuvi, and they sell the mounts to hook to your bike. I am going to order on this weekend. The other day I tried riding around with it in my pocket and had to keep pulling it out and almost made friends with a tree. So i definitely need to get that mount.


I might put a plastic bag or something over the thing if that would work, because I often go through a lot of mud and water on the bike, and wouldn't want it to get ruined.

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I've got a white '01 PT Cruiser. Back row of seats fold down, so a good amount of cargo room in the back. I've put a CB in it, good for multi-car group hunts. It is rather low to the ground, so speedbumps and gravel roads make the front bumper scrape sometimes... No 4WD or trailer hitch either. But with enough money, all those things can be fixed.

Here's a pic of it during my benchmarking adventures today:



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Any other "unusual transport" documented in the NGS database? I've seen "...HELICOPTER..." once somewhere, but don't remember where.

We talked about this one earlier this year:




Yes, it's in Yosemite. No, I'm not going to try to recover it. :laughing:




I've got 50 feet of rope, I'm double covered. Let's go, who's got the helo?

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Well, I live in a very rural area and try to mix some exercise into my benchmarking. That results in a lot of walking.

To reach the general area the M37 is ideal, but who can afford all that 10 MPG?


Here is a shot through the windshield on the way to NV0533


So the 86 Isuzu P'up gets most of the duty. I carry a heavy come-along, chain and jacks. Very handy if I back into a hole that was hidden by tumbleweeds. :anitongue:


This benchmarking poker thing was at a difficult time for me, so the Honda wagon was pressed into service finding BMs along the paved highways. Warning.... Dont take your honda out into the brush. Those plastic fairings that we refer to as bumpers WILL come off!


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Most of the time I'm driving my old Festiva. It's ugly and rusty but I've had it down roads that only a 4X4 should be on, it fits in tight places, and it gets 40 mpg.




If I'm going to places with good roads, I take one of my MR2s. This one is where I got my screen name. It's a 1989 MR2 supercharged:



Edited by 89SC
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Going after my first benchmark today. These are my primary geocaching vehicles...


1993 Jeep Cherokee Sport with Upcountry Package, I6, 5 speed manual (my Acura CL is in the background) As you can see from its' "pristine condition", I don't have to worry about scratches and dents! :ph34r:




From April - November, this will make it more fun, 1994 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic



Edited by geowizerd
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