Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > Outdoors Related Discussion > GPS Navigation, Maps, and Orienteering
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-08-2016, 03:45 PM   #1
Bark Eater Too
Member
 
Bark Eater Too's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 175
Bushwhacking navigation tip

I had an interesting experience last week that I wanted to share. Bushwhacking (no trail whatsoever) through some very heavy blowdown. At some point after climbing over and under a bunch of fallen obstacles I reached into my pocket for my compass to get a new bearing. Compass gone. Obviously a rookie mistake committed by an old timer. I was about a mile away and 1000 feet up from the nearest trail. Moral of the story: Tie your compass onto a belt loop or some other point of attachment. In this case it wasn't that big a deal. At that point I was headed downhill and knew roughly where I needed to go. But it could have been...Now there will be a bunch of posts asking why I didn't have a GPS. Old school I guess. I did have my phone in the pack as a back up.
Bark Eater Too is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 04:46 PM   #2
richard1726
46er2618
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 06333 & Pittsburg, Berlin GR, Edmonton
Posts: 394
I'd rather depend on my $20 compass powered by the Earth's magnetic field than the battery(s) in a GPS or cellphone.
richard1726 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 05:32 PM   #3
geogymn
Member
 
geogymn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,751
Stuff happens! Whilst bushwhacking I depend on a lanyard and also carry an extra compass in my emergency kit. I also have lost a compass in the back country. Bummer!
__________________
"A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden
geogymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2016, 05:42 PM   #4
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,627
When bushwhacking I usually keep my compass in my hand. When it's not in my hand it's zipped away in my hip-belt pouch/camera bag for easy reach. I used to wear my compass around my neck with the lanyard, but I've found it would often get caught on branches while fighting through thick brush.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 10:42 AM   #5
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,475
I wear mine on the lanyard in open woods so it's quick to grab. Like Justin, I put it away in a secure (zippered or Velcro) pocket in thick brush, or when rock hopping or scrambling.

Most of the time I am navigating by terrain features anyway, and I glance at the compass mostly for confirmation.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 12:15 PM   #6
1894
Member
 
1894's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,342
Yes , I have always used a leather lace or good string to tie my compass to my belt loop and keep it in my front pocket. 2 things happened with that 1. the lace came untied once ( didn't loose the compass ) but good reminder none the less. 2. I argued with my one compass once , sure that it was wrong and I was right nope I was wrong.
Since then I added a pin on ball compass to my outer coat pocket , and a third to whatever pack I have. That way I can clearly be outvoted as to who / what is right
__________________
Phil



“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” —Herbert Spencer

1894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,582
An old guide once told me to carry 3 compasses in separate places in my gear. One as primary, another in case I lose or break the primary, and a third to give to the poor soul I come across who has lost his.

Actually I do usually follow this advice. Compass #3 would be a much cheaper model.
When I am bushwhacking in tough stuff, I tuck the compass inside my shirt so it doesn't snag on brush.

One of those things best learned by the experience.... I was on a long bushwhack one time, when I noted the landscape I was in was not meeting my expectations for what it should be doing. (I learned much earlier how to navigation by what I call "great expectations" in the landscape.) I thought I was following a compass bearing closely enough, but something was wrong. So I recalculated my intended course from the map and noticed that my compass was not set to that azimuth. The bezel must have gotten randomly turned somewhere in the brush. Did it happen just once (a relatively easy fix) or more than once along the way (a more complicated fix) and where?

I tell my land nav students they are allowed one mistake for an easy fix. Compound with two mistakes and things may get a lot tougher. It wasn't a very big deal to figure out what really happened, though it was frustrating and made me loose a lot of time. But lesson learned, check the azimuth frequently when in the thick stuff. Minimize the chances of that ever happening again.

By the way, old school myself and confident in my skills, I would never chastise an accomplished traditional method navigator for not bringing a GPS. A phone? I feel forced to carry one sometimes when I leave home. An old stye flip phone. Usually leave it in the car where it can be stolen. No pictures, no touch screen, no accessible GPS on it, no texting ever. Just voice for when I am at the store and forget what I was told to get.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2016, 08:30 PM   #8
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,627
Wldrns,
Great point!
Always remember (or note) the azimuth or bearing!
I too have many times accidently turned the dial when zipping away my compass and/or taking it out again. Even if it had only turned a few degrees off it can cause a lot of confusion when you're far off trail. I've had that happen and thankfully was able to recognize the mistake & learn from it.

I also like to abide by the 3 compass rule...when one seems off, consult the other two, but that has yet to be an issuse in any of my Adk bushwhacking travels thus far.

As a side note for another bushwhacking tip...
Trekking poles are all fine & good for trail use, but many times you may wish that you didn't have them when traveling off trail. Just sayin'.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 06:50 AM   #9
geogymn
Member
 
geogymn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,751
Hmmm? A trekking pole with a compass embedded atop the handle?
__________________
"A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden
geogymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 07:03 AM   #10
wiiawiwb
Member
 
wiiawiwb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 566
I only carry two compasses but three sources for fire. Better not tempt fate and add a third that is otherwise sitting at home. Thanks for sharing and good lesson learned.

I always carry one on a lanyard along with a means by which to start a fire. Some people don't like having something on their neck that could get snagged. It's the way I've always done it.
wiiawiwb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 07:30 AM   #11
Fly Rodder
Member
 
Fly Rodder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 143
Bushwhacking navigation tip

GPS (either iPhone or garmin) pin-on ball compass, and trad compass, and waterproof topo of the area. I use the gps to quick check my location, verify by terrain and topo, set my bearing with the trad compass, check against the ball, and navigate by glancing at the ball.

It's worked for me well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fly Rodder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 08:04 AM   #12
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by geogymn View Post
Hmmm? A trekking pole with a compass embedded atop the handle?
Real bushwhackers use a hiking stick, not a trekking pole.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 12:26 PM   #13
Bark Eater Too
Member
 
Bark Eater Too's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 175
Guys, great discussion. Thank you. I agree on the trekking poles. In thick terrain they just get in the way when you are scrambling.
Bark Eater Too is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 07:06 PM   #14
geogymn
Member
 
geogymn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Real bushwhackers use a hiking stick, not a trekking pole.
I've never been a fan of either. I will pick up a stick when fording a stream but I think I'm too close to the ground to need one whilst hiking.
__________________
"A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden
geogymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2016, 09:03 PM   #15
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by geogymn View Post
I've never been a fan of either. I will pick up a stick when fording a stream but I think I'm too close to the ground to need one whilst hiking.
Ha...Real bushwhackers use a hiking stick with a GPS attached at the top.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2016, 08:20 AM   #16
1894
Member
 
1894's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
Ha...Real bushwhackers use a hiking stick with a Go-pro attached at the top.
Fixed that for ya
__________________
Phil



“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” —Herbert Spencer

1894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2016, 08:31 AM   #17
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1894 View Post
Fixed that for ya
Ha!
Real bushwhackers use a hiking stick as a selfie stick.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2016, 10:38 AM   #18
Boreal Fox
Moss Hopper
 
Boreal Fox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 227
I carry a Garmin GPS as my main navigation which I keep in a zipped pocket and have a regular compass tied to my pack inside a readily-accessible pocket in case my batteries die and I lose my spare batteries for some reason. It's always a good idea to have a backup, especially when your primary device is electronic.
Boreal Fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2016, 02:34 PM   #19
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreal Fox View Post
I carry a Garmin GPS as my main navigation which I keep in a zipped pocket and have a regular compass tied to my pack inside a readily-accessible pocket in case my batteries die and I lose my spare batteries for some reason. It's always a good idea to have a backup, especially when your primary device is electronic.
Your choice, but the order is backward in my opinion. Compass and knowledge of map with eyes on terrain should be primary, then GPS is only an optional backup tool best left buried in a gear bag.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2016, 09:03 PM   #20
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
Your choice, but the order is backward in my opinion. Compass and knowledge of map with eyes on terrain should be primary, then GPS is only an optional backup tool best left buried in a gear bag.
Agreed!
GPS is for recording data.
If you rely on a GPS as your primary navigational tool (in the backcountry or in your car), you're doing it wrong!
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.