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Michaelinda

Why Do Benchmarks?

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

 

Why spend/waste your time looking for geocaches even when you DO get credit (a "find") for them?

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

You don't have to try to find them. If it doesn't appeal to you, don't do it.

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I'm aware that Benchmarks are not included in my total finds, but according to my stats I have found 24. Geocaching/Waymarking/Benchmarking is not about the numbers to me, so I can't explain why you should do something you are not interested in.:)

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

What have you received lately for your cache "credits"?

Nothing?

- So what's different about a benchmark again? :)

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

As mentioned, you do get credit, but the totals aren't combined by geocaching.com.

 

Many benchmarks are old, a hundred years or more. So there’s a lot of history associated with them. Benchmarks are the basis of geography. You may have heard that “Geocaching is like a treasure hunt”, but benchmarks are more like a real treasure hunt.

 

You may accidentally find a benchmark more frequently than finding a cache by accident. A benchmark can be most anywhere, and it tends to be there when you arrive (it’s illegal to “muggle” one). It may be in the middle of a street, or the top of a mountain.

 

There are more genuine mysteries with benchmarks than with caches. You’ll find a benchmark that isn’t listed, or discover one that others know exists and have tried to find, but they couldn’t find it. And it may be an incredible challenge to find one. It may have been buried over time. It may be underwater. You may use a tape measure frequently to find benchmarks -- 110” from some designated point or whatever.

 

I’ve found a few and never logged any. So I understand the OP, but I also understand some of the reasons that people go find benchmarks.

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I'll agree with everyone else. The way I'd put it is you shouldn't look for either benchmarks or geocaches because you get "credit" for them. You should look for them because you have fun doing it.

 

So to answer the question you didn't ask but should have, the reason I like looking for benchmarks is that I find it interesting to be challenged by the vagaries of the world instead of by the wiles of an individual cache owner. I like caches, too, don't get me wrong, but I also think it's fun when the problem in identifying the location is whether a building was built or torn down, whether a tree was removed or grew up, whether a road or a fence was moved, and stuff like that that has nothing to do with the benchmark itself yet affects my ability to find it.

 

It's also kind of nice for a change of pace not to have to use stealth, since there's nothing you have to hide about looking for and finding a benchmark.

 

Doesn't sound interesting to you? Then don't bother. Most people don't. For a typical benchmark, it's typical for me to be the first person in a year or two to find one.

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

 

You make it sound like a job. :lol:

Edited by Shinook & White Juan

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

 

Reading the description of an old mark (whatever it might be - Chiseled mark, Drill Hole, a rock cairn or a disk that is older than us) is fun to read and then try to go find. You sometimes get lucky and get a recovery that no one else has ever found since it was placed by the surveyor. It is a real kick to find one that others have tried finding and could not. It is a bit more to this hobby than regular caching....

 

But, if you don't want to try it...no one is going to twist your arm. It allows the ones who enjoy this hobby, more First to Recover marks to log. :rolleyes:

 

Enjoy your finding of those micros and other forms of geocaches....

 

Shirley~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Look for whatever you find rewarding, and skip the ones that don't make you feel good.

 

Would I rather find match holders in a pine tree and boxes of trinkets in hollow logs (of which there may be one every 0.1 mile) ...

 

OR would I rather hunt a marker that has a lot of history behind it, one that still has an important use, for which I can supply updated information that professional surveyors might appreciate, and which gives me a reason to learn a lot more about how the earth is measured?

 

All in your point of view.

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Excellent replies Bill93 & 2Oldfarts..........

My 2 cents......there's just something about benchmark hunting I myself enjoy, but never ever expect a non-hunter to understand

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Can someone please explain to us why we should spend/waste our time looking for benchmarks when we don't get credit (a "find") for them. Thank you. Mike and Linda

Not sure any of us can explain it more than you can explain why I should "spend/waste" my time playing bridge or driving an ATV or any other activity I don't happen to find appealing.

 

I've been benchmarking, sometimes seriously and other times not, for a dozen years. I enjoy using it as an excuse to explore places I wouldn't otherwise visit, as an opportunity to learn something about my community, as a way of honing my observational skills looking for bits of the build environment that we pass every day but don't think much about. Also, unlike Geocaching, I enjoy the fact that, when I file a report with NGS or sometimes even just by logging with Geocaching.com, I'm making a tangible contribution to knowledge that may be of actual use — to land surveyors and geodisists, contributing to flood control, ensuring the integrity of maps, etc.

 

If this doesn't interest you, fine. Do something else. If you think it might, give it a try. You'll find lots of happy benchmarkers here willing and eager to help you and share our enthusiasm.

 

-ArtMan-

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In my area, many markers were set in 1952 and haven't had a report since. I think is rather neat to be the first person in more than 60 years to visit a benchmark and care about it. For that matter, when I visit a marker that was set over 100 years ago, I think of all that the marker has "witnessed," good and bad. Could that marker have been set by a Civil War veteran? What has gone on around the marker? The datasheet will often tell you something about what that area looked like when the marker was set. One can learn a great deal about local history from these markers and their evolution.

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  •  
  • It is FUN!
  • Many skills involved
  • An excuse to get out and walk around in the boondocks.
  • Historical
  • Technical
  • Lots of details
  • Get your OCD on!!

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Mike and Linda,

 

I stumbled across my first benchmark in early 1962. It was (and still is, I believe) located in the top of a railroad bridge abutment a few hundred meters from my home. It was a true "benchmark" as it had an elevation listed. During my next trip to the public library I read as much information as I could find about these objects. I was fascinated by the idea that precise location and elevation amsl could be determined by scientific instruments. I regard that discovery as one of several events in my young life that led me to a career in science. Over the years I have delighted in the occasional chance discoveries of benchmarks. The relatively recent availability of searchable databases/digital tools like the National Geodetic Survey Data Explorer and the Groundspeak listing have made hunting these structures much more practical. I even have an app on my smartphone now!

In the last few years I have read much more of the literature that is available on the history of these marks (I was fascinated to learn that the reason that so many of the controls in my area were monumented in the 1930's was due to public works projects intended to keep surveyors and related personnel employed during the Great Depression.) I have also discovered that there are many purposes for what we commonly call benchmarks (I found a magnetic control this year and I hope to find a gravity station in 2015.)

 

Science, history and interesting objects...what more could you ask for?

 

Mike

 

P.S.If you do go hunting benchmarks, take the kids.

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I stumbled across my first benchmark in early 1962.

 

Reminds me of my first benchmark. My father bought a topographic map of Gettysburg in advance of our summer vacation to the military park in 1970. He also got a topographic map guide, which I found fantastically interesting reading, and I was determined to find some of these "Benchmarks," which I did, with Dad's help. I still have some of the pencil rubbings that I made of these marks. It was the summer before I turned 12 years old, and had no idea that I was about to embark on a lifelong fascination with these bronze disks. Periodically, I'd get back to the hobby, but never had the time to pursue it as more than finding a marker or two, now and then. GPS technology and the Internet have made the hobby much easier than it was a few decades ago, and it's great to get out and enjoy the outdoors, learn some local history, etc. Benchmarks really do "hide in plain sight" on your local post office, town square, railroad station, Federal building, bank, school building, etc.

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Most often I find benchmarks to be more challenging than most caches, I just haven't been taking the time to research them.

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