Compasses just aren’t that useful

Cartography, maps, navigation, GPS and more.
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retired jerry
Posts: 11926
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Compasses just aren’t that useful

Post by retired jerry » December 23rd, 2016, 9:44 am

uh oh, I usually listen to MP3 player or radio :)

(still, good advice in general)

requiem
Posts: 2
Joined: December 19th, 2016, 10:05 pm

Re: Compasses just aren’t that useful

Post by requiem » December 23rd, 2016, 3:35 pm

johngo wrote:I will add the one of the great benefits of using a quality GPS is navigating between set waypoints, which usually involves your GPS telling you a distance and bearing/azimuth to where you want to go. In this case it describes direction quite well. Of course, you may turn your GPS off and use your compass to do the actual navigating, and in the Northwest it may be difficult to impossible to go in a straight line very far, but your GPS is pretty darn good at telling direction to a place where you want to go.
That's true, and in twisty terrain it's an effective way to close the distance. I've personally never been particularly confident with the accuracy of electronic compasses; I feel that it's too easy for them to be off by ±10° or more. Not the actual bearing to the waypoint (that should be quite accurate), but the direction in which it thinks the bearing lies.

I also wonder if that may have contributed to what Lurch observed when he said, "Cross country navigation by GPS alone leads to wandering, often in snaking patterns or even circles, instead of direct and intentional movement."?
johngo wrote:And, if you don't mind me asking, what is the group to whom you are presenting a navigation lecture?
Feel free to use some of my material of the wilderness navigation challenge. See it on the website for the Columbia River Orienteering Club:
croc.org > Get Better > Navigation Challenge
It's an outdoor club at my work, so a mix of people with a varied range of experience. For a brief lunch presentation my purpose is to cover the basics that could hopefully get someone out of trouble if they need it. I'd also like to do a more hands-on course outside, as I think that's needed for anything beyond an intro. I started making an initial long deck and soon realized it could easily turn into a book. So, I tried to extract a few key topics and put them into shorter version. I like what you've done with all the examples and terrain pics as well, so I thank you for the offer and might incorporate a couple.

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