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#272796 - 11/10/14 09:06 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: chickenlittle]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
There is a lot of iron in the rocks there... I wonder what would have happened if we were hiking up there and became disoriented (it was a grey day), and only had a map and compass to navigate... The map and compass would have directed us into the heart of the wilderness.

I still prefer map and compass, but in iron country, the handheld GPS and a fist-full of AA's is going back into my pack.


Concur 100%. It is common, and appropriate, to criticize people for relying on a GPS and not knowing how to work a map & compass. However, there really are times when one tool is superior to others. I can work a map & compass pretty dang well but I shamelessly tote (and use) a GPS.

They say that mindset, strategy, and tactics outweigh equipment and it's true. But once I've got the mindset/strategy/tactics down, I want the best equipment I can get for the job.

Originally Posted By: chickenlittle
There are so many small magnets around that are very strong a compass can easily be ruined if you get it too close to one.


That's a good point. I was at a shop looking at some Blackhawk lightweight cargo pants recently and they looked pretty well designed. Then I noticed the flap closures on the pockets used magnets instead of velcro or buttons. BZZZZT! That's a no-go.

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#272797 - 11/10/14 09:14 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5918
Loc: southern Cal
For normal hiking use, could not one just use the North Star for true north and then just set off the declination with the needle (taking care to remove metal, etc. that would influence the reading)?

And just what is a Romer,anyway?
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#272803 - 11/10/14 09:39 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4553
Loc: SOCAL
Romer Learn something new every day.

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#272809 - 11/10/14 10:27 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5918
Loc: southern Cal
Thanks much! If anything exists, it will have a wikipedia entry. I have been using and carrying romers for years, and just never learned the-term.....

My new vocabulary word for the day.....
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#272813 - 11/11/14 12:40 AM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Montanero Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1111
Loc: North Carolina
Have used such things as the rimer for decades, and never heard the term. Standard equipment in the military for grid coordinates.

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#272814 - 11/11/14 01:25 AM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1965
Loc: NE Illinois
maptools.com** sells a bunch of nice ... well ... map tools, including roamers. More importantly it has great how to's on how to use them.


One other bit of navigation advice ... if using a GPS bring along plenty of extra batteries. I once had to borrow a few batteries from a Girl Scout while trying to show them how a GPS works (Mine died and I forgot to bring extras). That may have been in my top 10 most embarrassing moments in life.


**I have NOTHING to do with this web site - financially or otherwise ... just a happy customer.

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#272815 - 11/11/14 02:13 AM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: KenK]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4553
Loc: SOCAL
Originally Posted By: KenK
... One other bit of navigation advice ... if using a GPS bring along plenty of extra batteries. I once had to borrow a few batteries from a Girl Scout while trying to show them how a GPS works (Mine died and I forgot to bring extras). That may have been in my top 10 most embarrassing moments in life...
I've always thought that it was best to learn from other people's mistakes/experience. It may not have been planned, but your demonstration of what happens when you let your batteries run down without back-ups will probably stay with those students all their life -- and nobody got lost. Excellent...

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#272930 - 11/19/14 05:56 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: Russ]
Outdoor_Quest Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/17/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Central Oregon
I tend to leave my GPS on all day when in the field.

I'll download the track data for future presentations in the classroom.

I find that my batteries last through the day. At the end of the day I'll dump the batteries and put new ones in and then calibrate the GPS receiver's compass.

That way I am ready to go the next day and don't have to fuss around calibrating.

Blake

www.outdoorquest.blogspot.com

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#273198 - 12/09/14 03:41 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
DonnieH Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/07/14
Posts: 2
Loc: Washington
I agree with Glock A Roo. No device or instrument will replace making sure you have the independent skillset and can use your own surroundings to navigate when all else fails.

Nothing can replace personal responsibility, self-sufficiency and redundancy.

Even if a person chooses to get a GPS to aid in navigation, I always recommend our customers to buy a paper map [like the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetter], and take those pages with you on your trip.

Even if our customers choose the inReach Explorer, which provides GPS navigation [and has to built in digital compass, altimeter, and acceleromoter] in addition to the standard 2-way satellite communications, then I still recommend they take an atlas or a handheld compass for redundancy.

I emphasize this to the trainings I do at REI and our other retailers, that even though there are now hybrid products that provide a mind-boggling amount of functionality [like the inReach Explorer - as per feedback from REI employees], nothing should be used as a substitute for common sense, self-sufficiedncy, and a Plan B.


Attachments
InReachExplorer.jpg

Description: DeLorme inReach Explorer




Edited by DonnieH (12/09/14 03:42 PM)

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#273232 - 12/12/14 02:06 PM Re: a couple anecdotes on backup navigation gear [Re: DonnieH]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
The important thing is that any navigation device can and will malfunction under a specific set of conditions. That said, a decent compass is generally more foolproof than a GPS receiver and does not rely on batteries.

It doesn't mean a compass will work well all the time. I've had a Suunto MC-2G develop a bubble at the worst possible moment, throwing off accuracy (by a totally unpredicatable margin) when I really needed it. But I've also had a quality GPS receiver freeze more than once, not to mention the times I couldn't get a good signal in difficult terrain, making the device pretty much useless for accurate land navigation.

Bottom line, whatever navigation device you use always double-check everything in the field - keep looking at the map if terrain features match, check the direction of sun/shadows... The more you know, the less you need to carry. All basic common sense stuff.

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