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Teamcameron52

Benchmark Challenge Cache

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I am planning a benchmarking challenge geocache to be placed in the Fort Worth- Dallas area. In order to log the cache, hunters must find a variety of types of markers. The ones I plan on requiring so far include an NGS disc, aluminum rod, a church spire, an elevated tank, a copper bolt, a tri station with reference and azimuth mark included, a municipal marker and a marker placed by a university. Any other suggestions on marker types I should include? We don't have many pre-dating the 30's in our area, but I'd like to include a broad range of marks. Any suggestions would be appreciated Thanks!

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a tri station with reference and azimuth mark included,

 

The azimuth mark can make it tough on a lot of the triangulation stations.

 

You could make this challenge helpful, by requiring at least one of the finds be on a mark that has a previous 'not found' recovery report.

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I am planning a benchmarking challenge geocache to be placed in the Fort Worth- Dallas area. In order to log the cache, hunters must find a variety of types of markers. The ones I plan on requiring so far include an NGS disc, aluminum rod, a church spire, an elevated tank, a copper bolt, a tri station with reference and azimuth mark included, a municipal marker and a marker placed by a university. Any other suggestions on marker types I should include? We don't have many pre-dating the 30's in our area, but I'd like to include a broad range of marks. Any suggestions would be appreciated Thanks!

 

Here is a list that covers all the different types of marks listed in the NGS database.

 

You could use GSAK to sort through the county downloads to find the various types of benchmarks. It is interesting to just see which are available in your area.

 

John

 

PS: we did a benchmarking contest a few years ago using that list.

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How are they to prove they found them? Photos? Some of your own finds do not included a photo, I'm not saying you did not find them, but with a challenge cache, there needs to be some verification. I have only logged one benchmark challenge cash, A Century Of Benchmarks. Check it out to see the requirements. Good luck on this, could you move it closer to North Carolina? :lol:

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I own four 'Benchmarking Challenge' caches, but they all are based on how many marks someone has logged, not what types of markers.

I have an idea for another series, but I'm not sharing that at this time! :ph34r:

 

I would suggest requiring photos on the logs for the marks, as it's rather easy to say you found the mark (and even believe you are correct) when you really didn't.

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Ach. I've not found a lot of azimuth marks for the tri stations that I've found. That's a toughie.

The only marks placed by a university, that I've found were at Lehigh College, Pa. (And that's a college, and not a university.)

Will you be requiring benchmarks listed on GC?

Definitely require photos, and be prepared to argue resets, or 'No. That's not right!"

I'd probably go with 'X' number of different types from 2oldfarts' list.

We've all seen plenty of incorrect 'finds'. From 'that's RM 1', to 'that's a reset', to 'that church was built in 1971. That steeple was not there in 1934', to 'mark is stamped "Hill", your photo says SC 11451'.

Good luck. Give it a lot of thought. It sounds like fun.

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Thanks for the quick input. I'll certainly be requiring photos to verify the finds, and I plan on publishing this cache after holding a Benchmark Hunting 101 event to give people the tools they'll need to complete it. Some of the markers I plan on including won't be log-able on gc.com, such as the municipal and university discs, but I there are many of those in this area posted on Waymarking.com, so it shouldn't be too hard to track them down.

 

I think I'll reconsider including azimuth markers too.

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----We don't have many pre-dating the 30's in our area, but I'd like to include a broad range of marks. Any suggestions would be appreciated Thanks!

 

Looks like you have a few surviving chiseled squares and this lettered copper bolt from a Precise Level Run in 1902. kayakbird

 

a57f0d98-f50a-4219-8a29-1bc92a492b2a.jpg

 

CS1236

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This sounds like a very fun idea, Cameron.

 

One thing you might want to consider is whether you want to require all eight types of marks in a single geocache, or whether to perhaps make two caches with four types each. It's a matter of how hard you want to make it. To take an extreme example, the 100-benchmarks cache that "2Jacks" mentioned is a very interesting idea, but it requires such an investment of time and energy that only five people have done it in nearly three years. You'll want to balance yours being challenging enough to be interesting against it being offputtingly difficult or tedious for newcomers to benchmark hunting--if indeed you want to attract newcomers. Of course, if you do two caches, that means you'll have to place and maintain two physical caches at the final locations instead of just one. Eight benchmarks might not be too difficult if they're all within a fairly compact area.

 

Will you require people to gather information at each waypoint in order to determine the coordinates of the actual cache at the end? Or, as is apparently the case with that century benchmark cache, will you simply give them the cache coordinates and require separate proof (probably photos) that they visited the other waypoints?

 

Patty

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A few suggestions:

USGS disks (U.S. Geological Survey)

USACE disks (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

 

Most of the rod marks set by NGS are stainless steel, not aluminum.

 

Also, about the year 1900, the USC&GS did a north-south arc of triangulation along the 98th meridian, running through Texas. Some of these marks undoubtedly still exist and some were of the earliest type of disk that USC&GS used - a "cup" shaped disk. I have recovered one of these 98th marks that is a nail set in concrete. See USC&GS Special Publications at: http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/cgs_specpubs/data_rescue_cgs_specpubs.html especially #54, 88, and 189. Special Pub. #77 covers USC&GS leveling in Texas.

 

Good Luck,

GeorgeL

NGS

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A new challenge for an old posting. USC&GS marks are historic and all over the place. Some can be a little challenging to find.

CHECK OUT GC5C2E3, the South Florida Benchmark Challenge.

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