Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#87908 - 03/09/07 07:57 PM Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1970
Loc: NE Illinois
Not sure if you saw this, but in Doug Ritter's Blog he has an item entitled A Look at “The Ten Essentials” where he was interviewed about survival essentials, I found his comments regarding navigation gear very interesting:

Quote:
...the ten essentials starts out with a map and compass. And certainly a map is an essential item to have with you. But, unfortunately today, the vast majority of people I find have trouble figuring out even how to find north on a compass. It's not a skill that is widely taught anymore... So from my perspective, if your first goal is to stay found, not get lost, a G-P-S these days is more essential than a map and compass. You can get a mapping G-P-S for very reasonable prices. Carry a spare set of batteries for anything you carry that's electric and battery powered.


Reliance on electronic gear is sure to raise the hair on some people's necks, but lately my thinking has evolved to exactly what Doug said. Its just that I was surprized to read that Doug said it.

A good mapping GPS - with the proper maps for the user's area loaded - is an incredibly powerful tool to prevent getting lost AND to find your way if lost. Yeah, I know "things" can go wrong with a GPS, but the reality is that today's electronics are really amazing dependable.

Given that statement, I still prefer to ALSO carry a good map, compass, and UTM grid because:

-They provide redundancy, in case the GPS does fail - its kind of like bringing matches even though I packed a lighter.
-The magnetic compass allows me to save battery life by turning the GPS off while following a bearing.
-A good map likely provides better detail than the map(s) available for the GPS (Garmin only provides 24K topo maps for national parks; the others are 100K).
-A good map provide a much easier to read "lay of the land".
-A map provides a place to take notes and make plans.

Ken K.

Top
#87911 - 03/09/07 08:10 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: KenK]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1944
Originally Posted By: KenK
Reliance on electronic gear is sure to raise the hair on some people's necks, but lately my thinking has evolved to exactly what Doug said. Its just that I was surprized to read that Doug said it.


Not sure why you are surprised. This was an interview that focused on the great unwashed masses, not the enthusiast such as found here. As noted, give the average person a map and compass and they are lost, figuratively and soon enough, literally. I don't have to be happy this skill is becomming a lost art, but the reality is what it is and I'd be less than responsible if I didn't recognize it and recommend the best solution for the majority of people. I'd much rather they stay found tahn have to find them after they get lost. If encouraging them to cary a mapping GPS will do that, seems like a sensible way to go.
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

Top
#87917 - 03/09/07 08:39 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: Doug_Ritter]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
Doug, I'm shocked and appalled.

Blindly depending on only a GPS is a good way for the unwashed masses to get themselves into big trouble.

From the second story on this page:
http://www.outdoorsafe.com/SurvivalStories.htm
Quote:
Several hours later heavy snow began to fall and Bob decided to return to his truck. Reaching into his pocket for his GPS receiver he was horrified to find it gone. Bob was depending on his GPS receiver to get him back to his vehicle.

When he finally stopped panicking, he was able to reconstruct a map of the area from memory and find his way out. My point is that he would probably have been better off without the GPS to begin with!

How about "Stay out of the !@#%&* woods until you can grasp the most basic fundamentals of using a map and compass. Use your GPS to stay found but keep track of where you are on your paper map also."

_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

Top
#87918 - 03/09/07 08:44 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: thseng]
obmeyer Offline


Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 31
Loc: Fairfax County VA
If he did not tether his GPS to himself, what makes you think that he may not loose his map or compass? Again we are talking redundancy that we here on ETS generally practice (two knives, lighter and another type of fire starter).

Top
#87920 - 03/09/07 08:55 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: KenK]
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
I'll take this in the other direction. What is a good place to find comparisons of the newer models? All I have is an etrex that I haven't used in years.
_________________________
It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

Top
#87922 - 03/09/07 09:08 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: thseng]
Misanthrope Offline
Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 156
Loc: Chicago burbs
I want the unwashed masses out in the woods. They are easier to snare then most wildlife.

Misanthrope

Throwing extra Tabasco sauce into the bag


Edited by Misanthrope (03/09/07 09:09 PM)
_________________________
I hear voices....And they don't like you.

Top
#87923 - 03/09/07 09:16 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: obmeyer]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
My point is that he was intentionally wandering all over the place, totally oblivious to his situation, knowing that when he was ready to go home he would just turn on his GPS and follow it to his truck. Typical "unwashed mass" behavior.

If he had not had a GPS at all that day, he would have needed to pay attention to where he was at all times. Note that once he actually started using his brain, he was able to find his way out with NO map, NO compass and NO GPS.

I'm not saying a GPS is bad, I think they are great and can really get you out of trouble sometimes. But I wouldn't encourage someone who was befuddled by a map and compass to use it as a crutch. I'd advise them to stay home.

Its like telling the masses that they are too irresponsible to remember to tell someone where they are going and when they'll be back but if they carry a PLB that is a good substitute.
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

Top
#87924 - 03/09/07 09:34 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: thseng]
Meline Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 48
I agree with Doug on this one. The awefull truth is more and more people are going out in to the woods, most have no clue about what they are doing, if Doug's advice keeps just 1 person from becoming the subject of thread on this site it was worth it.





Top
#87925 - 03/09/07 09:45 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: Meline]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
Quote:
if Doug's advice keeps just 1 person from becoming the subject of thread on this site it was worth it.

And if the same advice gets two people in trouble its not worth it.

I guess it is really a matter of two different philosophies. Abstinence vs. Safe Sex. One encourages responsible behavior, knowing that not everyone will follow it, and the other just tries to minimize the negative consequences of irresponsible behavior thus tacitly encouraging it.

And never the twain shall meet.



Edited by thseng (03/09/07 09:46 PM)
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

Top
#87926 - 03/09/07 09:45 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: thseng]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2812
Originally Posted By: thseng
Doug, I'm shocked and appalled.

Blindly depending on only a GPS is a good way for the unwashed masses to get themselves into big trouble.

From the second story on this page:
http://www.outdoorsafe.com/SurvivalStories.htm
Quote:
Several hours later heavy snow began to fall and Bob decided to return to his truck. Reaching into his pocket for his GPS receiver he was horrified to find it gone. Bob was depending on his GPS receiver to get him back to his vehicle.

When he finally stopped panicking, he was able to reconstruct a map of the area from memory and find his way out. My point is that he would probably have been better off without the GPS to begin with!



Thats not a fault of a GPS, one could just as easily have reached into their pocket for their map and/or compass and found it missing. Now if the story had went "found his GPS batteries were dead" or "couldn't get a GPS lock due to cloud cover" then you would have a valid point.

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
December
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31
Who's Online
1 registered (Pete), 251 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Cowherd35, pecenco, jacklii, DIYELECTROAL, plazacutlery
5226 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Christmas Shopping Suggestion & Thank You!
by LesSnyder
03:01 AM
What did you do today to prepare?
by Phaedrus
01:25 AM
Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' on...
by Phaedrus
01:23 AM
Fun Continues After the Emergency!
by Pete
12:48 AM
Happy Hanukkah
by chaosmagnet
02:37 PM
building in a fire zone
by hikermor
04:26 AM
How to Flee the Fire (in ten easy steps)
by Russ
12/11/17 04:20 PM
Fire Preparedness Article
by Russ
12/11/17 04:10 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.