[pct-l] Map and Compass
caver456 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 15:33:45 CDT 2014
Having a GPS without not knowing how to use it or when to trust it or when
to not trust it has been the cause of a WHOLE lot of SAR calls around the
world over the years. It's like the digital version of saying "I did use
my compass! I just followed the red arrow all day! I don't know how I got
lost!" Using a GPS with good judgment can be a big help, but I would never
go with a GPS without a paper map to back it up. If you can read a topo
well, have a sense of time of day, season, and latitude, and you're in
terrain with any sort of identifiable features, and weather good enough to
actually see them, then compass is a safety-backup-luxury and usually never
comes out of the bag.
A few years back, Boots borrowed my GPS when heading to southern Oregon in
a high snow year. I had loaded halfmile's latest tracks and we went over
how to use the basic features to locate the trail. Sure enough, she did
end up using it to find the trail in a snowpack and to guide another hiker
to the trail who had given up and sat down to wait for another hiker to
Bottom line: map, compass, iphone, gps, whatever - the best tool you can
take is your brain, and luckily it's hard to leave at home. Unfortunately
a lot of folks can and do decide to bring tools that they haven't taken the
time to learn how to use.
Stay safe out there!
On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 1:20 PM, marmot marmot <marmotwestvanc at hotmail.com>
> It was map and compass in '94 too. The trail was finished. All the new
> apps,GPS etc are fun and at times reassuring. But, as I just experienced on
> the CDT in the San Juan's, I could be standing right on trail next to a 813
> post and the GPS told me I was not "on trail ". I also experienced the GPS
> showing me on trail--the trail did not exist. It was back to looking at
> paper map to find out where I really was. Obviously I found my way out.
> Map and compass courses are priceless
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Sep 10, 2014, at 1:10 PM, "Brick Robbins" <brick at brickrobbins.com>
> >> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Greg Hummel <bighummel at aol.com>
> >> In '77 there was no GPS and a lot more challenges following the then
> unfinished trail than now. We all carried compass and maps. After just a
> couple weeks you become an expert. I pulled my compass out once in deep
> snow, that's all. The USFS maps were the best.
> > Back in 86 there was no GPS either, however the trail was finished
> > (more or less). But back then it was still all uphill - both ways -
> > and in the snow. Kids of today don't know how easy they have it, and
> > if you tell them, they'll never believe you.
> > I did use my compass often at road crossings, when the "book of lies"
> > would say "the trail resumes 200 ft west down the road."
> > Navigation by map in the High Sierra was easy, even in a high snow
> > year like 86, as one simply needed to keep in the correct drainage.
> > North of I-80, with shorter mountains, and taller trees, navigation by
> > map and compass was much, much trickier. I didn't run out of snow
> > navigation problems till north of Sierra City, and didn't run out of
> > significant coverage till Lassen.
> > Now Get off my lawn!
> > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo
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