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#88046 - 03/11/07 09:57 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: KenK]
samhain Offline

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The magnetic compass allows me to save battery life by turning the GPS off while following a bearing.

I agree.

Just got back from a hiking trip and mainly kept my Garmin Rino off except to "bookmark" reference points to use to figure out where I was along the trail.

Mostly used my compass and map moving along a bearing though the GPS saved time in figuring out where I was(quickly triangulating my position is a skill I've not mastered yet).

In reality how often do we really have use navigation skills in our daily lives? I don't. I drive the same way to and from work and rarely venture out of my geographical area during my daily life.

I'm a navigation novice but still know more than most of my coworkers and friends.

Given the general public's unfamiliarity with navigation in general a GPS would be a little less difficult to learn than a map and compass especially by the video-game-generation .

Redundancy (having a backup for your backup) is common theme in many of the posts on this group so ideally carrying compass, map, AND GPS would make sense.

But if forced to chose one over the other to recommend to somebody on the street, I'd recommend a GPS unit.

samhain autumnwood

#88055 - 03/11/07 11:03 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: ]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
The US Army has a separate manual on navigation by compass and map. 'Bout 3/4" thick, one of the most boring things you will ever read. It goes into just about everything, but in my opinion the army way makes everything more complicated. Easier to learn from a Boy Scout Handbook...

#88065 - 03/12/07 01:04 AM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: KenK]
gryps Offline
Aspiring Ant

Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 44
Loc: New Rochelle,NY, USA
Originally Posted By: KenK
In the last year or two I've seen an amazing number of people uisng automotive GPS's. Business associates, folks with rental cars w/ GPS's onboard, mothers of Scouts in my son's troop.

Take the mother of the Scout for example. I've bet money that she wouldn't have a clue how to use a map & compass, but during a trip a few weeks ago, not only was she using her auto-style GPS to follow the route, but she was also using it to find gas stations and places to eat for the group.

Just to test this I just went outside with my 10 year old daughter who has never touched a GPS in her life, though I did recently explain how the GPS uses the satellites to find your location:

While outside on our driveway I handed her my Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx and asked her to find out how to get to Mville (a nearby good-sized city). She was able to figure out how to turn it on, though it took a while since the power button isn't the most prominent. The "Aquiring Satellites" display confused her a bit, but she correctly figured she should wait until that display disappeared. She correctly guessed that she should use the Find button. She correctly guessed to select Cities and then press the Enter button. She had to scroll down a ways until she found Mville, but she eventually found it and pressed Enter again to select it. She stumbled a bit on selecting the Goto option, though she eventually found it and selected it by pressing the Enter key. And finally she understood the next two options "Follow Road" or "Off Road", but wasn't sure which one she should pick. She finally picked "Follow Road" saying she could always walk along-side the roads anyway.

So, even a 5th grader with no prior exerience can find their way using what might be considered the most advanced mapping GPS available today.

Sounds like a killer piece of hardware, and something that the IMing, video game playing generation can easily relate to. Developing sufficient orienteering skills to duplicate what that GPS did in the hands of your daughter, requires alot more patience, energy, and time.
"In the eyes of its mother every beetle is a gazelle."-African proverb.

#88075 - 03/12/07 02:00 AM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: gryps]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2023
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: gryps
Developing sufficient orienteering skills to duplicate what that GPS did in the hands of your daughter, requires alot more patience, energy, and time.

Yeah. My son's Boy Scout troop has a bunch of boys that "think" they know how to use a compass. Several times I've offered the leaders to teach them how to navigate with a map & compass, but they just don't seem all that interested.

Ken K.

#88084 - 03/12/07 03:33 AM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: KenK]
Seeker890 Offline

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 93
Loc: Central Ohio
When you really think about it, todays young people have been training most of their lives to use a GPS. They have been working with menues in their cell phones, I-pods, blackberries, you name its........ If you can page through the menues, you can figure out where you are and which direction to go.

A map & compass does not have an electronic menue tree to lead you to the right direction. You have to have a bit of training for it. If you didn't get it in the scouts, more than likely you just didn't get it.
The Seeker

#88548 - 03/16/07 05:46 PM Re: Doug's Blog: Mapping GPS vs. Map & Compass [Re: Eugene]
asfried1 Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 31
Sorry for getting onto this thread late - been out lost with my map and compass (kidding...)

I bought a Garmin GPS 60CSx a few months ago and added it to my essentials list that very day. Here's the primary reason why: I go into the woods with my family. While I have the standard military map/compass training and feel pretty confident that with them I could get back to the ski lodge, I am CERTAIN that my wife could not(despite my trying to teach her numerous times). On the other hand, I know (because I tried) that my wife can figure out the GPS. Moreover, I don't completely trust anyone's navigating skills unless they have had extensive real world experience and that's pretty hard to come by in the non-military world. That makes me question my brother's ability to navagate in an emergency despite his book knowledge and national-parks-trail-only navagating experience. So unless my wife, brother, and people like them are forbidden from venturing into the woods unless accompanied by experienced companions AND those companions are forbidden from ever being incapacitated, I think Doug's reasoning is valid and not only directed at fools (which my wife and brother are far from being).

One last thought: even with lots of outdoor experience and instruction, I can still get temporarily confused outdoors with a map and compass. I hate that. I NEVER get confused as to my location when I am using the GPS, map and compass as a trio. In fact, there is a lot of extremely valuable information that the GPS provides that most maps lack. My GPS can tell me if that generic building on the map is an abandoned barn, a Denny's, or a medical office building, and I think that information could be useful in a survival situation.

If anyone is wondering about the hype regarding the accuracy and fix finding ability of the GPS 60CSx, mine has obtained good fixes from an almost windowless room in my basement. I have yet to have a problem getting a fix outdoors no matter what the terrain, foliage, or weather.

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