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naturalhigh


Jul 26, 2001, 3:35 AM
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GPS
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I'll carry a GPS with me on winter backcountry trips, but I'm always navigating primarily with my map and compass. Those never fail me.

In fact, back in march I was on a ~70mi snowshoe trip between longmire and mowich lake on the west flank of ranier. My dad was with me and had brought a GPS w/ downloaded maps, waypoints, and stuff like that. Well, just as we were approaching emerald ridge, the thing froze/crashed/died whatever. Tried to fix it but to no avail. He wasn't so sure about going on because we had to traverse this knife ridge cornice that dropped off over 500 ft on the right at a near vertical and the left wasn't very pretty either. ANyways, the story goes that we moved on and completed the traverse and eventual descent (not to mention the next 50 miles) with me navigating the ridge using the map and compass.

Moral of the story: NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A MAP AND COMPASS (and know how to use them!)
(a good first aid kit is number two on the list, but that's another story...)

[ This Message was edited by: naturalhigh on 2001-07-26 03:36 ]


kagunkie


Jul 26, 2001, 9:15 AM
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Modern technology is a wonderfull thing. Unfortunatly they are sometimes alittle too eager to market it and we end up with something less than perfect. Dont depend on it too heavily when all your cookies are on the line!!! ALWAYS HAVE A BACK-UP!!!!


kriso9tails


Jul 26, 2001, 11:22 AM
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I have a GPS. It's called the sun. Okay, so it's not always useful, but it has helped me out of a jam more than once.


krillen


Jul 26, 2001, 2:09 PM
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GPS are merely a tool. just like anything else it can fail. More likely than not, the LCD or batteries froze up on you (naturalhigh). If you have those instant heat packs you can get them operational again. You are better off to keep them in your jacket, body warth thawed :).

If people can't use a map and comapss properly (acurate declination etc.) a GPS is not what you need, education or a guide is what they need.

Plus there is sooooo much error associated with the signal that you REALLY have to use your head. Multi-path, from tree foliage makes them relatively useless in forested areas, and Multi-path off rock faces, buildings, caves, crevasses do the same in areas with a lot of Topography.

GPS has it's place, but it's not a the all amazing Godsend everyone thinks it is. Know what you dealing with before you use them.

Sorry for the rant.

[ This Message was edited by: krillen on 2001-07-26 14:18 ]


naturalhigh


Jul 26, 2001, 6:10 PM
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I agree with you krillen. It actually turned out that the unit was malfunctional (didn't even work when we got back to civ.). Irregardless, it made me feel reaffirmed in my deadset belief of learning to do things with primitive tools... fire starting, routefinding (map, compass, sun and stars), and always having a backup plan.
I actually don't think I'll ever even bother to take a GPS with me again. My dad can carry his if he wants, but all i want is my map and compass. =)


naturalhigh


Jul 26, 2001, 6:14 PM
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PS - You're also completely right about the erratic signal that GPS units have... I was fairly disgusted with the thing even when it was "working"; get in the shadow of a 200ft wall and you ain't got jack when it comes to a signal. I kept looking at my map and my dad kept looking at his GPS... he can be a bit of gearhead sometimes... =P


boulder_chalk


Jul 26, 2001, 8:52 PM
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I've never had the opertunity to use GPS, i have always gone out with a map and compass. They sound really nice, but i'm just used to looking for points on the map and going by that. Maybe someday when i get old i'll use one.


krillen


Jul 27, 2001, 7:37 AM
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Don't get me wrong, they are an amazing tool and given the option, sure I'd take one. There are just concerns associated with them that you have to be aware of. For one thing you get what you pay for. A $250 GPS will not act like a $10000 GeoExplorere 3 with the back pack total station.

If you are on the top of a good cliff, or open area, they arent' too bad. Great for setting points for locating rappel stations, or tops of good climbs for TR's. They a have gotten a lot better, recently too, since the US military has taken Selective Availabilty off.

Your dad's a bit of a gear hear? Well aren't most Trad climbers? mmmmm...shiney....


kagunkie


Jul 27, 2001, 9:00 AM
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Id love to have one of those gps things. It would be great for hunting!!!!


kolby


Jul 27, 2001, 10:22 AM
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I thru-hiked the entire Arizona Trail last spring using a lightweight GPS by Magellan. I fell in love with the TOPO! Arizona software that I interfaced with my GPS. Check out my trial journals and pictures at www.trailjournals.com/kolby. When used with Topo maps, the system greatly enhanced the connection with my surroundings.

-Kolby Jardine


Partner matt


Aug 8, 2001, 9:58 AM
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All I have to say is...For God sakes! YOU'RE ONLY 13 YEARS OLD! Why do you have a GPS? How can you validate a minimum of $300.00 for something you don't seem to need?


krillen


Aug 8, 2001, 4:30 PM
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uh KoolKitty I DO understand that. Any nitwit thats going to use a geoexplorer 3 for hiking/hunting is stupid. no other word covers it. I was stressing you must know how to use what you have in conjuction with compass and traditional maps an dnot trust GPS soley. It's a tool, not a solve all.


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