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Mermaidsh

Do you use a metal detector to find benchmarks

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I just recently got into the Benchmark search.  I especially like it right now since I do not have to touch a container.  I have located the general area for a couple but short of digging up the entire area I am having a tough time with a couple.  I enjoy finding some that have never been located.  I was thinking of purchasing a metal detector.  I noticed that there are some that are more of a pinpoint detector.  They are smaller easier to carry and less expensive. What is your thought? Do you use one? If so what type? Thanks for your input (Any other supplies that you find helpful to carry with you I am open to learning)

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A measuring tape is more important than a metal detector, but after you have measured to a likely spot and don't see a disk, a metal detector is useful.

The sequence should be:

1. Pick a mark using the Geocaching site and read any logs for clues.

2. Look at the NGS site data sheet for the latest logs.

3. Use the GPS to figure out where to park the car.

4. If it is a triangulation station (ADJUSTED horizontal coordinates) or has been measured by GPS, use your GPS to get closer. Look over the situation and figure out if anyone will object to your search.

5. If you don't see it, use the to-reach description and tape from any objects it lists that are still there.

6. If you find a disk in the vicinity of a triangulation station, look carefully at the marking to see if it is the station or a reference mark. The tri station is often buried and its reference marks not.

7. If you think you know about where a disk should be and don't see it, try probing with a long screwdriver or other tool. Often an elevation bench mark will be covered by decades of accumulated vegetation turning into soil.

8. If all else fails, get out the metal detector and search.

9. Before digging, look around the area for signs of buried utilities. The last thing you want to happen is a cut line.

10. If you have to dig, a hand trowel is safer than a shovel and usually fast enough for the depth your metal detector works.

11. If you find something, make very sure it is the one described on the data sheet. There are too many FOUND logs where they saw a reference mark, a RESET instead of an original or a different agency's disk.

 

The metal detector is only occasionally needed, and then any working machine is usually adequate. You don't need a top of the line coin hunter to find a 3-inch bronze disk at 6 inches. Practice with whatever detector you have before going out to look for bench marks so you know its capabilities.

Have fun and good luck.

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I would add two things.

 

Before setting out, see if the area is visible in Google Maps Street View. It'll give you an idea of what to expect.

 

I found one of the most useful things in my kit was a pair of pruning shears. Great for cutting grass and roots around disc for a clear photo or for getting into overgrown brambles, etc. Please be respectful of others' property, of course.

 

Good luck!

 

~ArtMan~

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I carry a Garrett Ace 250 with me but seldom use it. It did come in really handy on one find. RM1 was destroyed and RM2 was not found. The station monument was supposed to project 4 inches but was nowhere to be seen. I did know the exact distance from the center-line of a nearby road. That+gps got me close enough to find it with the Garrett. It was buried about 3 inches deep. 

 

Bear in mind that using medal detectors is often illegal in state and national parks and forests. 

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It's our understanding that we can't even have a metal detector with us in a national park, but it's okay in most national forests.

Folks pan for gold and collect mineral samples in national forests...

We've "been caught" geocaching with handheld Garrets (super scanners) in a few state parks, in a couple of states (caching in winter).

Once they realized we had them so we didn't disturb anything, we had no issues.

I feel having a metal detector along presents a lot less hassle than being caught "digging" on any of those properties.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2020 at 1:01 AM, cerberus1 said:

It's our understanding that we can't even have a metal detector with us in a national park, but it's okay in most national forests.

Folks pan for gold and collect mineral samples in national forests...

We've "been caught" geocaching with handheld Garrets (super scanners) in a few state parks, in a couple of states (caching in winter).

Once they realized we had them so we didn't disturb anything, we had no issues.

I feel having a metal detector along presents a lot less hassle than being caught "digging" on any of those properties.

Not only is it not permitted in Nat'l parks, it can be a felony and get you arrested.   I recall years ago we (state DOT) had one of our licensed surveyors arrested for digging for a section corner on nat't park land.  The said corner was an original from the 1800's.

 

In addition to metal detecting, federal law also prohibits relic hunting, digging for artifacts, and removing artifacts or historical objects. These acts are illegal and can lead to confiscation of equipment, arrest, and prosecution as a felony under federal law. Penalties may include fines of up to $10,000 and possible prison time.

 

36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.1(a)(7) - the possessing or use of a metal detector magnetometer, side scan sonar, other metal detecting device or subbottom profiler is prohibited.

Archeological Resource Protection Act 1979 - All natural, cultural, and archeological resources are protected and may not be removed or disturbed.

Edited by Z15

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