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#296193 - 05/21/20 07:14 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: AKSAR]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5329
Loc: SOCAL
Both the newer SiRF chipset and better antennas are needed for reliable navigation under a canopy. My Oregon 600 has the newer chipset and in the open where antenna sensitivity is not big deal, it gets a position within 20’ faster than my older GPSMAP 60CSx. The 60CSx does have a better (quad helix) antenna and under a canopy that might prove advantageous and might give it an advantage over the Oregon, not sure.

I’m considering a Garmin GPSMAP 64x, which has both a newer chipset and the quad helix antenna, — the best of both processor and antenna combo’s. It also receives from GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite systems. That said, I’ve really come to like the display and user interface on the Oregon over the older UI of the 60/62/64/66 family. Decisions decisions...




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#296207 - 05/23/20 03:50 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: Doug_Ritter]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2107
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Am I the only person who finds paper maps ... well ... they make me feel ... informed ... smart ... in the know.

I like paper maps a lot. If lost, I would think a paper map would give me something to sit and look at ... and help calm me down.

I tried, but could never get the young men in my son's Boys Scout troop to get interested in paper maps, let alone using a compass to navigate. I'm sure today, as young adults, their sole tool for navigation is a smartphone with whatever mapping software came loaded. Those would have stopped working properly about an hour south of here. ;-)

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#296208 - 05/23/20 04:20 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7261
Loc: southern Cal
You and me,at least. I am very happy with items for which batteries are not required. My professional work (archaeology/paleontology) benefits immensely from the development of GPS technologies - the accurate location of materials...
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#296209 - 05/23/20 05:08 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: KenK]
pforeman Offline
Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 181
Loc: Iowa
I too appreciate the actual paper map and highly value it. Sure, I love all the electronic gadgets, 'smart' phones, GPS etc. and use them - but I am just to paranoid to fully count on them.

If all else fails a simple compass and paper map of your area can keep you on track and aware of where you are and where you want to go. This (for me) is even more true in a vehicle. Most of the cars on the road today have GPS as does mine and I use it often but... there is still the good old high way map from the State DOT in the glove box and several other area maps of the county too. I'll also print out trip maps on paper from my planning sessions for any road trip so I have a reference to work from if I find myself in disagreement with the GPS advice.

I'm not D. Boone by any stretch of imagination but I too have found myself a "bit confused" now and then when out and about but I never have really felt truly lost. I'm still here so it must be true!

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#296210 - 05/23/20 05:53 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: KenK]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1174
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: KenK
I tried, but could never get the young men in my son's Boys Scout troop to get interested in paper maps, let alone using a compass to navigate. I'm sure today, as young adults, their sole tool for navigation is a smartphone with whatever mapping software came loaded. Those would have stopped working properly about an hour south of here. ;-)
This is most unfortunate. I'm convinced that one should learn to be adept with printed map and compass before ever touching a GPS. I've read and been told that Navy SEALS and virtually all other SOF personnel must demonstrate serious mastery of traditional map and compass skills before ever starting to use GPS.

Perhaps one way to interest the Boy Sprouts is to present it as a challenge or game? Go to someplace with a good view of surrounding landmarks, give them each a map, and challenge them to see who can first pinpoint their exact location (to a pencil point) by map inspection. Another fun exercise is to have people make a map of a small area using pace and compass? Again, present it as a fun game.

The other thing is, I wish people would get away from the idea of map and compass as only a "backup" to a GPS. Rather, they are tools to be used in conjunction with a GPS. This is particularly true of printed maps. For example, while a GPS screen may show your location pinpointed, it is often very difficult on that tiny screen to see how your location fits in to the bigger picture. A printed map allows one to view a much bigger chunk of territory at a glance. Much better for getting an overview. I really enjoy sitting on some high point, identifying surrounding features on the map, and visualizing the rest of my hike. And one can easily make notes on a map, to record info for future reference.

One last point. We are fortunate that today's technology allows us to combine electronic and traditional navigation tools. For example, it was always an old joke that the area of interest would be at the corner junction of 4 topo quad sheets. Back in the day, we sometimes did all sorts of cutting and splicing of map sheets to properly show the area we were interested in. Nowadays, with computer mapping programs, one can easily generate and print a map centered on our area of interest. Another thing I find very fun and enlightening is to use a GPS (often my iPhone) to record my track. Then at home I can download that into a mapping program to see where I went. One gains lots of interesting insights about terrain. It is fascinating to see clearly how often trails as shown on maps are not exactly where we walked. Lots of fun an interesting things to do using a combination of GPS and trad methods.


Edited by AKSAR (05/23/20 06:02 PM)
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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#296211 - 05/23/20 07:06 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: AKSAR]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5329
Loc: SOCAL
A few of us are fortunate in that we were introduced to navigation in a time before GPS and cell phones — for me it was map/chart, compass, sextant and a large celestial table as a reference for calculating a fix based on moon, planets and stars. I’ve seen Dead Reckoning (DR) (an art form) when an aircraft lost all electrical power while the crew was in the middle of the Indian Ocean — (the navigator used winds he’d calculated during prior flights and navigated the aircraft close enough for the pilots to take over visually). I digress...

We have been grounded with navigation basics. That said, I like GPS for its convenience, speed and accuracy. My new (on the way) Garmin GPSMAP® 64sx can access three different satellite systems (as required) and also has a barometric altimeter which when used with a good topo map can yield a very accurate location. From that you (or at least I) put the GPS receiver in standby to save the battery and continue to navigate with a mag compass and DR. If/when the GPS dies, I won’t be without navigation; I’ll have lost a convenient shortcut, but I won’t be lost.

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#296212 - 05/23/20 07:16 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7261
Loc: southern Cal
When it comes to new tech, I find Google Earth and Google Earth Pro more useful in many situations than a GPS topo map. This is because the most significant failing of the standard USGS 7.5 quadrangles is their historical nature. They frequently do not show roads and other significant cultural features correctly and the location of trails may be ludicrously inaccurate. GE is a very useful adjunct, although you must do your homework before you are in the field.

I can only say that someone in the USGS devote considerable time and energy to insure that the point of significant interest would fall at the junction of four quadrangle sheets. A mere computer would have been incapable.....
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#296213 - 05/23/20 11:55 PM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: Doug_Ritter]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2151
Loc: Colorado
I practice finding my position with map and compass when hiking. Then I compare that to my GPS to see how well I did. But I've never been lost hiking here in Colorado. You always know "about where you are" simply because of the mountains. You start off in the lower area of a drainage and start hiking upwards usually, and if you don't cross "that big ridge over there", you known you're still in the same drainage. Hike downhill and you're home free. Even if you cross that high ridge, you know you're now in the next drainage over. Of course this requires that you have some idea of the general area you are hiking in.

I would be more fearful hiking in the desert. You don't have the landscape markers (mountains) like we do in Colorado. What do you take a bearing on, to triangulate your position? If you can see a mountain, aren't they so far away as to be off your topo maps? I would be much more active in constantly determining my location in a desert. One, because it's harder to do, and two, because the terrain is much more hostile than here in the mountains. I'm pretty much always going to be able to find water and a sheltered area to sleep if the worst happens. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but all in all I'd rather be in the mountains than in the desert if I was stranded. Might get chilly at night, but firewood is abundant (unless you're above timberline - but just hike to a lower elevation if that's the case).

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#296214 - 05/24/20 02:03 AM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7261
Loc: southern Cal
There are deserts and there are deserts, probably with a variety of land forms from one region to another. my experience is in the American Southwest, where there is lots of terrain relief, just like the mountains of Colorado. Plenty of lower hills and drainages that show up quite well on topo maps.

Terrain association is the way to go, whether in the mountains or lower in the desert. i have used a compass for aid in navigation typically only in conditions of reduced visibility
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#296215 - 05/24/20 04:56 AM Re: Why Humans Totally Freak Out When They Get Lost [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1174
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
When it comes to new tech, I find Google Earth and Google Earth Pro more useful in many situations than a GPS topo map. This is because the most significant failing of the standard USGS 7.5 quadrangles is their historical nature. They frequently do not show roads and other significant cultural features correctly and the location of trails may be ludicrously inaccurate. GE is a very useful adjunct, although you must do your homework before you are in the field.
Google Earth is definitely useful.

The program I use a lot, perhaps even more than GE, is CalTopo). (Actually I use SARTopo, which is the exact same program with a few extra bells and whistles for SAR use.) CalTopo/SARTopo has generally the most up to date trail and road info of anything I've seen. You can use USGS maps as the base, or the CalTopo contours. You can also use satellite imagery as the base. You can even overlay contours on the imagery. For more info see CalTopo: About. In my experience it is an extremely versatile tool for trip planning, making your own maps, displaying GPS tracks, etc etc.

As I mentioned, CalTopo has a satellite imagery layer. However, GE has the advantage that in many areas it has multiple layers of imagery. With GE, you can sometimes find a different vintage of imagery (perhaps from another season) that better shows the features you are interested in. So in that respect GE is better. However, for most mapping functions, CalTopo/SARTopo is my tool of choice.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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