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Old 04-28-2005, 05:13 PM   #21
sacco
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kevin, i also disagree with much of your post.

basically for this reason-

if you know how to use a compass and have some basic land nav skills you should be able to get out of just about anywhere in a days time.

the exception would be if you're injured or snowed in or some other way your movement is hindered. but if that's the case than a GPS unit is not gonna increase your speed either.

i'm not against GPS, i have one and use it occasionally, but it has not completely replaced the map & compass, only supplemented it.
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:15 PM   #22
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i do pretty much agree with perc's sentiment.

use what you want. you won't hurt me.
just so long as you know how to use whatever tools you choose.
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:32 PM   #23
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Obviously anyone who takes being outdoors seriously and partakes in any level of activity that could put them deep into the wilderness should know basic map/compass skills. The use of a GPS should really only be an alternative tool to that knowledge. Guess I didn't make that point because I felt it was obvious. I also don't sign my posts for the same reason.



At the same time, although I do carry a cheap compass and map, I use the GPS as a compass because I trust it as I would any other part of my gear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sacco
use what you want. you won't hurt me.
just so long as you know how to use whatever tools you choose.
Problem is that we may one day depend on each other to get out. Do YOU trust someone with a GPS?? I know you and Chris can use map/compass, but I'm not 100% convinced you feel the same about those of us that choose this tool. The knee-jerk reaction is usually the genuine/honest one. And the reaction that leaked first was very, um, anti-GPS. There was no reason this thread had to take this turn in discussion, the first post had nothing to do with whether we should/shouldn't use a GPS.

Not much different from people sneering at those who hike in sneakers.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:36 PM   #24
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if my post came off as sneering at GPS users than i apologize. i have one and use it.
i am also quite sure that you and most other GPSers do know how to use them.

my feelings are quite the opposite.
in fact, i would bet that more GPSers know how to use their chosen tool, then map/compass people really know how to use theirs.

it seemed to me that you were saying that map/compass is so far inferior to GPS that choosing to not use a GPS was silly, and almost irresponsible if you don't also carry enough gear to survive for a few extra days.

i would sneer till the cows come home at that attitude! [insert sneering smiley]
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:38 PM   #25
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and also, i'd sneer at anyone hiking in sneakers too!
those dam losers should get some real hiking boots!
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacco
and also, i'd sneer at anyone hiking in sneakers too!
those dam losers should get some real hiking boots!
My thoughts exactly!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sacco
it seemed to me that you were saying that map/compass is so far inferior to GPS that choosing to not use a GPS was silly, and almost irresponsible if you don't also carry enough gear to survive for a few extra days.
With concerns to hiking in the Dacks I meant exactly that.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:13 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
My thoughts exactly!




With concerns to hiking in the Dacks I meant exactly that.
Are you saying that, nowadays, it's irresponsable to hike the Dacks without a GPS if you are not carrying several days of whatever it takes to remain alive for 2-3 days?
Can anyone repeat to me the max distance to a road or trail in the Dacks, regardless of what one's position is.
BTW are we talking HPR or the entire park?
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:55 PM   #28
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"So to say that "I don't need a GPS because I have a compass and map" is sort of a silly recommendation if you (or the person you're recommending this to) don't bring adequate means or having knowledge of surviving for days in the wilderness. I don't bring enough or know enough, hence I carry a GPS."

Kevin- Many people are quite capable of navagating in the wilderness with only a map and a compass. There is nothing silly about the recommendation. Not carrying some emergency gear for a couple of days worth of rescue time borders on silly, especially in the winter. Some extra clothes or a light sleeping bag comdined witha bivy could go a long ways...no amount of carrying a GPS makes up for skimping on gear.

I carry and use both. Now that I'm up to speed on UTM's, I find it a cool little game to guess my position on the map before turning on the GPS. I'm usually close, which tends to give me warm fuzzy feelings. I confident that I can get around if GPS poops the bed.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:23 PM   #29
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Handlebar Mount

My Garmin E-trex has a real nice handlebar mount for my MTB. I use it for mapping trails at work and for SAR. I also have a Magellan 315 for backup. I have chest-strap holsters for both of them when I am hiking or canoeing. (No, Sartonin, I only use one at a time.)

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Old 04-28-2005, 08:34 PM   #30
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kevin, since you've obviously set your mind so strong on this issue i guess i'll just leave it at that.

BTW- to anyone else who might hike in sneakers -don't flame me - that was kind of an inside joke- on me.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:39 PM   #31
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neil-


this thread talks about longest distance
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:50 PM   #32
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I attached a cell phone holder to the strap of my pack and my GPS fits in it nicely, it's on my shoulder so it can read satalites without a problem and I can access it as I walk along. I usually don't take it with me when I climb mountains. It's a bummer to pull it out and look at it and find I still have 3.9 miles to go when I thought I was almost there. I'd rather kid myself that the summit is right over the next rise.
I use mine mainly for geocaching.
I also use it when I'm on my local walk. Sometimes I carry it and use the trip computer that will tell me my speed at any given time. If I notice it says 3.0 MPH than I must be watching the birds too much and not getting much of a workout. I also use the trip computer to see how far I've hiked or how much stopped time I have.
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:26 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil
Can anyone repeat to me the max distance to a road or trail in the Dacks, regardless of what one's position is.
BTW are we talking HPR or the entire park?
No but several of us can reel off the names of backpackers who got lost and perished in spite of the nearness of roads!
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:36 PM   #34
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I use my GPS always. I track and save all my rourts and waypoints. On long distance treks i have waypoints entered from the trail to the nearest road to bushwhack out "just in case". I make notes and save waypoints of various things that don't show up in the trail guides or show on maps. There are new lean-tos that are not on the maps and many of the lean tos show no longer exist. I use my compass and paper map only when necessary or now and then to keep my skills sharp.

I first used to use a gps "incountry" in Nam. We were all proficient in map reading and navigating and use of compass. However we constantly used the GPS (and at that time the technology was not quite what it was now). Why? Because our lives were on the line and we used the technologies that best assured our survival. The UTM system was developed by the military for accuracy.

I carry mine on a clip on my backpack shoulder harness. I don't lose signal, even in the densest canopy.

And somewhere online I saw a modification of one of the Garmin bicycle handlebar GPS mounting bracket for use on a trekking pole.
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:15 PM   #35
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Gps

As a merchant marine navigator, I am astounded at the number of people who will rely solely on the GPS, without using visual or radar means of navigation. I am old enough to remember the times before GPS. The late 80's and early 90's were a sucky time for electronic navigation, as LORAN-C isn't worldwide (and prone to certain errors), transit satnav wasn't being maintained, as GPS was coming online to replace it and GPS still wasn't operational. It wasn't uncommon to go 5-6 hours without a fix off the transit satnav.

GPS entered widespread commercial use in the early 90s, so no offense, Redhawk, but whatever you were using in 'Nam isn't the system that is in place now. I would suspect you either had a LORAN-type system or transit satnav.

This thread has become a little bitter at times, but I'll throw my two cents in. Use both, if you have them available. Checking one system against another (map and compass against GPS) will allow you to pick up errors in EITHER system. Obviously, it is possible to become lost or disoriented with map and compass, but the GPS system has its flaws, as well. Antennas can go bad, satellites are taken offline for repair (mariners receive word of this, but do you?) and there is certainly the question of datum. How many people recognize when their GPS has dropped into a DR (dead reckoning) position? Are your receivers capable of picking up differential signals? Do you know where your differential station is located? I was off the coast of Saudi Arabia a couple of months ago, about 25 miles from a differential station, but one of the GPS units was defaulting to a differential station some 800 miles away. There I was with two GPS units 10 feet apart, with positions over a mile apart. Hello, radar and visual navigation!

I will admit, however, to not using GPS while hiking. In general, I stay on trails and like to keep the map and compass skills sharp for orienteering. A good topo map in hand or in a map case and thumbing your position every 10 minutes or so has sufficed for me, so far.

See ya on the trails!
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Old 04-29-2005, 12:20 AM   #36
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Uber, great post and good points.

I think people read what they wanted in my original post in order to shoot down the position (the ole "look at the rabbit" technique of distracting from the magic ).

Re-read my first posts. The ADKs are very dense. You cannot always make an accurate judgement of location using visual aides. Period. Taking bearings require some idea of where the hell you are in the first place!

I also said that my comments were only being aimed at those of us who go into the wilderness, not a sunday hike up Cascade mountain (just follow the herd). [Yes I am minimalizing the potential danger just for example sake. I personally still prepare as I would for any hike, but I can understand if others didn't]

Example - I was invited on a bushwack up Macomb this past winter. As we started to gain elevation it was imperative we caught the correct arm of the mountain (because apparently the wrong one was extremely steep). As we started to climb one of the hikers with a GPS realized we were heading up the wrong arm. I confirmed this on my GPS as well (which I didn't have turned on because I was relying on their experience in having previously taken this route up Macomb). DESPITE visual observation indicating otherwise, we turned back and caught what turned out to be the right one. Map and compass completely failed. Now, this was in the winter on a clear day with no leaves and much higher visibility than any other time of the year. We could see the tops of the ridgelines all around. Didn't help a single bit. Ole GPS saved the day. Now add leaves to the trees, such that you can't see any ridge lines (not that being able to see them helped in our case anyway). What then? That's my only point.

We have to be prepared. In order for me to feel safe in the dacks I require certain gear in certain situations. The GPSr is one of those pieces of gear I nearly ALWAYS take with me hiking. It's peace of mind and important to my survivial when hiking in the ADKs. On shorter, well marked/obvious hikes, or elsewhere on the continent, it may not be as critical. If I'm not packing for a weekend then I better take as much precaution as I can afford to ensure I get out relatively fast. As redhawk said, despite the road and trail network people do get lost and turned around - especially if the weather suddenly turns bad. I don't think I'm above having that happen to me. I aint that unique, nor have I become that complacent in my short time hiking.

One point that uberturtle made that I wanted to elaborate on - one reason I spent the extra dough in buying a Rino was having the ability to check the location against the topo maps loaded into the GPS unit (I also bring the new NG topo and the ADK Club maps as a paper backup/reference). Chris has mentioned our Street hike, where I had the map loaded and we were literally watching ourselves heading up the contour lines. Funny thing - the waypoints I pre-loaded for the summit were incorrect and because I could see where I was on the GPS map (even though I could NOT see 200 feet in any direction around me) we found the actual summit without issue.

Last point - if you're like me and sometimes use waypoints and logs people have uploaded on the internet, be weary of your source. I used what appeared to be legitimate coordinates from a legit online source and I have discovered many of them to be grossly inaccurate. But that's human error (someone loaded the wrong datum I suspect), not GPS error.

Bottom line - I trust my gear.

Last edited by Kevin; 04-29-2005 at 12:41 AM..
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Old 04-29-2005, 08:11 AM   #37
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I think the gps question's (Ie. does one really need a gps in the Adks?) answer depends on where and when one goes hiking. Bushwhacking in winter through dense cover with a day pack is at one end of the spectrum. Following a marked trail in summertime is at the other. I bet there are people who have done the Hundred Highest with map and compass only and, learning as I went, I have done flatland bushwhacking with only a map and compass through dense cover in Manitoba-that's in Canada BTW .
You can use a gps to follow a route (multiple WP's) on your way to the destination or you can have only the destination entered as a single waypoint and navigate by map and compass checking from time to time that you are on course.

For me, it's not so much a question of security. It's more a question of what gives me the most of the type of back country pleasure I happen to be looking for that particular day. Follow a friend's tracklog and enjoy the scenery? Study minutely the lay of the land, use every little clue and solve the puzzle of where am I and how do I get to where I want to go? Both of the above can be immensely satisfying.
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:31 AM   #38
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Very good sketch percious! I've build 10 models and sold 9 of them so far! Where do I send the royalty payments?
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:40 AM   #39
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"I think people read what they wanted in my original post in order to shoot down the position (the ole "look at the rabbit" technique of distracting from the magic ).

Re-read my first posts. The ADKs are very dense. You cannot always make an accurate judgement of location using visual aides. Period. Taking bearings require some idea of where the hell you are in the first place!"


Your original post stated that recommending a map and a compass was practically silly. It looks like it was you who tried shooting down someones position.

The Adirondacks are not too dense for map and compass use. It might require more work than simply flipping on your GPS, but it can still work.

I don't know of any organization (ADK, Boy Scouts, etc...) that recommend that we all toss our maps and compasses in favour of GPS...Most advocate knowing how to use your map and compass as a priority.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:22 AM   #40
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Thank you Thank you!

Should I start selling them on www.advancedmountainproducts.com?

I have a new and improved model as per Nuked Rocket's suggestion See below!

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Very good sketch percious! I've build 10 models and sold 9 of them so far! Where do I send the royalty payments?
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