Death by GPS

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by Mazer, May 6, 2016.

  1. Mazer

    Mazer Scout

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  2. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    GPSs can be horrible. Mine has told me to take planned, but never built roads. I mainly use it to get a better idea of drive time. I still prefer to keep a paper map handy.
     
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  3. Cohutta

    Cohutta Guide

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    A street GPS unit and a handheld unit are 2 different things. I've had a street GPS run me down a deadend dirt road. The street unit is dependent on the map programmer. Not all roads are mapped and some mapped roads are not drivable. The handheld unit is dependent on the user; it will only give you a direction and a distance to a waypoint. I have 2 handheld units and never use either one. i prefer a map and compass.
     
  4. crewhead05

    crewhead05 Supporter Supporter

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  5. Mazer

    Mazer Scout

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    There have been so many Geocachers who have either injured themselves, gotten hopelessly lost or died as a result of handhelds
     
  6. GGTBod

    GGTBod Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Personally i always have my Garmin on me, but, i always have a traditional plotting compass and paper maps of the area i am currently in too and these are always my first navigation tools i reach for, the gps is an educational backup device to confirm what i am telling myself is correct or not from the info i have gleaned from the compass and paper maps, the gps is also massively handy in low visibility, trust me here I have never seen fog and mist like you get in Northumberland and Scotland anywhere else i have been in the world, at times you are literally walking through a cloud that is on the ground, it is really astounding how thick it is and how low to the ground it hangs and how wet you get walking through it

    Just imagine there you are happily wandering through the glens on a lovely bright day, you crest the brow of the little hill afore you and this is sitting in the next valley

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. PaPa K

    PaPa K Supporter Supporter

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    They are all tools...learn to use them and leverage their benefits, and then use them wisely. Too many people plod blindly along and don't ask any questions when things don't seem right.
     
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  8. ripcurlksm

    ripcurlksm Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    This.

    A working GPS will be superior to maps, but only a fool would rely on a GPS alone with no map/compass as a backup

    I have the Garmin 62s (~$450) and have never lost signal in the Sierras or my local mountains and valleys.
     
  9. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Scout

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    I might not mind going through those foggy glens if I knew palm trees were awaiting me at the top. Any bathing beauties to go with them?
     
  10. x39

    x39 Guide

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  11. GGTBod

    GGTBod Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great tools, i have the Garmin 64s with the Topo 24 map packs installed overlayed onto satellite imagery, you betcha those satellite images took a long time to render and download, took me nearly a month of my spare time (anytime i could be bothered) to do just the north east England and Southern Scotland and nearly a week just to do the Adirondack State park, where ever i am going i load on the relevant satellite images if i have already sorted them or render the satellite images for new areas for the maps to overlay on, they really enhance the Topo 24 maps having real land based visual details, best part is once you have rendered your satellite images and have them saved in your Garmin software any time there is an update to any satellite images that you have downloaded then the Garmin software automatically updates them with the newer versions overwriting your old saved images
     
  12. GGTBod

    GGTBod Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sad to say it but those are in a hotel garden are not native trees and i can't vouch for the bathing beauties either, they must be some special kind of cold weather adapted palm trees to live in Scotland, only native palm trees i know of in the UK are in Cornwall which is as far south as you can get from Scotland in the uk without falling into the English Channel
     
  13. Wapitilo

    Wapitilo Tracker

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    Personally, I use a map and compass to tell me where I'm going. But I always carry a GPS to know where I've been.
     
  14. rattleweed

    rattleweed Scout

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    Now that everyone seems to have GPS,I run into more lost and confused people than ever in this area. My cousin's tom tom shows a road on the ranch that does not exist. You could not build a road where this is supposed to be. It even has a county road number. Several times I have had hunters try to show me how I am wrong about where they are, or land status. It seems they have not practiced with it ahead of time, and are somehow getting things mixed up. I think gps is incredibly useful when used right. Even so,I prefer a paper map to get the big picture.
     
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  15. WoodGnome

    WoodGnome Woodgnome Supporter

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    I was just taking a google street view stroll through Death Valley...

    Death Valley.jpg

    Must have used GPS and now I don't wonder anymore why my shipments are taking so long...

    Sorry, but incidents like that always bring out my sarcastic side...
     
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  16. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Scout

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    I've heard about those palms down in Cornwall. That they can survive there is said to be do to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream current. Even so, I don't think they are native there, but were introduced a long time ago. I wonder if the hotel grounds keepers to those palms indoors in the winter. I'm sure they wouldn't leave bathing beauties lying around out in the snow.
     
  17. RSniderWVA

    RSniderWVA Tracker

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    I agree whole heartedly. I do use GPS but I'm still a map and compass guy.
     
  18. GGTBod

    GGTBod Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have no doubts those palms were imported but local folks down that way act like they are native, their survival in Cornwall is definitely due to the Gulf Stream airflow and related weather systems, according to the experts this is the only reason the whole UK is not constantly frozen, if the gulf stream shifted our weather system would be more like Norway. I think if the Scottish hotel doesn't bring them inside for winter they will definitely be wrapping them in serious insulation, i am just south of Scotland and live on the same parallel equatorial line as Unimak Island in Alaska and Saskatchewan Canada (55 degrees north of the equator) so without the warmth of the Gulf Stream I think it is safe to say we'd be a little cooler especially during winter, instead of being frozen solid 8 months of the year we hover between 30 and 50f and get enough rain to drown fish, we are just coming out of that season now and all this week it has only rained on about half of the days and the temp today was a sweltering 57f, we got a forecast of 60.6 for this sunday and it will be the hottest day of the year so far and i am looking forward to it as if they had forecast 90f
     
  19. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    The automotive GPS has navigated me through some hard to drive areas like LA and surrounding cities but one must keep alert all the time. I have had the lanes end or erroneous lane information displayed, often because of construction that is new or ongoing.

    We once were heading to Balboa Park in San Diego and the GPS kept saying "turn right onto trail", the unit was set to follow roads as in automotive use. After about the third time making a loop around and having the same instructions, I was able to slow down more through that area and caught site of a small sign marked "trail" and looking up the hill I could see a walking trail that came off the main road. Managed to find the park after some reasonable deduction with no thanks to the GPS. In fact there were several times on that particular trip I threatened to toss it out the window.

    I have a newer one now with lifetime map updates and it is a lot more accurate and helpful. Still helps to keep alert for bad directions. The times that is specifies for arrival at a destination, although always adjusting, are always within a minute or two. That is over 1000 miles from point to point too.
     
  20. pure_mahem

    pure_mahem Guide

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    My personal thought is that the GPS is strictly for geocaching. The Topo map and compass are for getting where you need to go. My faith was obliterated on GPS when it took me to the middle of Albany, NY and said you have now arrived at the Walmart. Nearest Walmart was 20 minutes away with clear traffic. I prefer to scout out where I'm going on the computer and see it on a map and then just go. If my wife feels more comfortable that the GPS backs up where I said I'm going so be it. But that thing has lost satellite signal more times than I can count. I would never put my life on one even if I didn't have to worry about the batteries going dead.
     
  21. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine I bring nothing to the table Supporter

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    I use a GPS when working along with a map and compass, but on my own, I rarely bother. I prefer the map and compass. Someone else mentioned it, a map and compass forces you to pay attention and build a mental map. Relying on a GPS erodes the construction of that mental map.
     
  22. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Time Outdoorsman Supporter

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    It's almost impossible to find 'analog GPS' (maps) anymore. It used to be that they were available free from any 'service stations' (don't get me started on service vs. gas stations). Now days, if you're lucky enough to find a map, you pay a premium price for them.

    The thing about a good road map is that even if new roads aren't shown, the powers that be will seldom, if ever destroy older roads. If it's on the map, no matter how old, the road will almost always still be there.

    A GPS will be good for (sometimes) finding a wayward address. Other than that, I still prefer maps.

    If I can't find a road map, I'll log onto one of the map programs, find what I need, then print it out for use on the road. When I was still riding motorcycles, I'd print out a series of maps and put them in the plastic map sleeve on my tank bag. They were a life saver.

    Finally, maps never have their batteries go bad.

    Steve
     
  23. Chew

    Chew Tracker

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    Map and compass are tough in east tx where you can't see much but trees. But I'd rather have them than a gps if I had to choose

    _____________________
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  24. VtBlackDog

    VtBlackDog Guide

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    I use a GPS...and haven't died from getting lost yet. But its hard to get really lost here in the northeast, walk a few hundred yards in any direction until you find a line of POSTED signs, then follow them out! :42:
     
  25. CaptainAhab

    CaptainAhab Scout Bushclass I

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    My only tip is to turn around and look backwards after you've gone down each section of trail so your mind will "remember" how it looks going back home. Seems to work for me. That's how I trained my wife to find her car in parking lots. :D
     
  26. Ratdog

    Ratdog Scout

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    I deal with this constantly as my 20 something nieces and nephews are all completely reliant on GPS and rarely carry maps in the car. That's all changing this summer as I head into the north country with them.

    More recently, took a couple nephews camping a few weeks back. Was going to be a 3-4 hour drive. Hopped into the truck, threw the 14yr old an US Atlas map and said, "Navigate".

    Apparently they don't teach map reading in school anymore?

    For the next 3 1/2 hours I asked him questions, showed him how to use the map, made him estimate and verify every waypoint, turn, town and intersection we encountered. Introduced him to mileage estimating on the map, mile markers, turnpike mileages and terminus, call boxes, a little geology because we were driving through central PA, engineering because of the construction with moving some turnpike toll booths and connecting the turnpike to 95.

    He did well, had fun with it, understood the exercise but kept reaching for his iPhone to confirm some things. Joked and said I would toss that time sucker out the window if he used it again.

    My favorite part, aside from the kid actually learning some stuff, was asking him for a weather forecast. He went for the phone, I glared at him and he hit me with, 'well how am I supposed to tell?' I just turned and looked out the window and he started laughing. Yep, the old eyeballs are pretty good at telling you what's coming if you know what to look for, say like clouds and wind direction.

    He can start a fire with flint and steel, track down fatwood, fish, rig a hammock, split the camp's firewood for the day but there is much Uncle work left to be done.

    Dug out my old Silva Polaris compass the other day and have my NJ Pinebarren's USGS Topos from the 1970's. That boy is going on a walk soon.
     
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  27. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    The important thing about aa map , is that you must orient it each time making you aware of your position every time .
    Should you loose the map, your still ahead, having maintained that orientation through out your journey .
    If you have been depending on the GpS, and it dies, or gives false information, your really lost both ways.
    Map and compass for me thanks .
    Oh and I realize the there will be a pole shift, and declination will change , all the more reason to be paying attention to your compass.
    If there is a EMP you might as well toss the GPS .
    If it is detonated 20 miles above , the blast will take out satellites as well as electronics on earth.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  28. hidingpool

    hidingpool Tracker

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    When I drove over the road I loved my GPS, really helped in cities. But I also used my atlas, the directions given to me, and common sense. It is just another tool and used in combination with the others can get you where you're going. But I would never rely on GPS alone.
     
  29. Mazer

    Mazer Scout

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    I use my Garmin for geocaching and orienteering. I happen to love maps, old new - either way... Taking the classes on map and compass from REI and taking their GPS class was fun and I learned a ton. I think I will always prefer a map. Orienteering is fun, we go out as much as possible with our local club. Orienteering is a world wide sport for beginners and for the serious runner. I think map and compass are just less frustrating, no working about carrying extra batteries, or getting a good signal. I have been in a canyon and waited 20 minutes for a good signal and got nothing.
     
  30. ozarkbushman

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    I prefer map and compass. I don't own a GPS. I had one and gave it away because it wouldn't get good signal. I have seen many GPS that when you get down in a holler or canyon it can't get signal because of the canopy. A friend of mine has a 700$ GPS it does a lot better but even it will lose signal deep in a holler with thick canopy. I always study the lay of the land on a topo before I trek into an area. I note which streams are draining the land. Which direction they flow and to which stream they flow. I also look at the divides and their orientation. You may also notice unique terrain you can identify and confirm your position with. Stream intersections, trails, etc. There is a wealth of info on a topo. Not much with a GPS. I use topos all the time for finding morels and ginseng in new territory. Topos are worth there weight in gold compared to a GPS. And like it has been said maps don't need batteries.
     
  31. jeeptrekker

    jeeptrekker Tracker

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    Fishing this year I happened upon two separate couples in some of the more dense and brushy areas around here. frustrated and very lost because the GPS app on their smartphones they were using to geocache lost signal/ malfunctioned. one of the couples told me they had been lost for several hours and could not call for help because one phone had been broke and the others battery ran out. No maps ,no compass, one bottle of water 100 degree day. so after they relaxed.and a couple waters I walked them out and gave them a local area map I keep in all my cars/ jeeps. they asked if I minded giving them my phone number because they wanted to come back and find the cache along with a few others in my area and thought it would be a good idea in the future to know someone in the area to notify where they are and if they needed help. I was more than glad to and they did end up finding that cache...and three others.
     

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