I think one of the deceiving things about frequently using a GPS is the idea that checking a physical map and compass is not needed. In reality, if you don’t need to check your GPS, you don’t need to check your map or compass, and the opposite is also true. There are situations even only on trails that need the skills required to know your position, if you need to check the GPS your in one of those situations.
And apologies in advance I’m participating for the sake of discussion and the love of all things outdoors not to point out anything wrong. Technology has advanced well enough and the risk is low for most adventures. The idea here though is what if the technology fails in the field? I
Its funny one adventure I had a lot of distance to cover off trail and my compass failed (what are the odds of that...), I had to fall back on the electronic compass built into my watch of all things.
No offense taken
I rarely NEED to check my GPS in the sense of not being sure which way to go; when I use my GPS it's almost always a matter of wondering "Hmmm, I'm tired, I wonder how close I am to camp...?" or something like that. Satisfying my idle curiosity is not a good enough reason for me to break out the map and compass and go through the whole process when I can just switch the GPS on, hike for a few more minutes, and then glance at it and get the same information.
You can tell I don't use it much by the fact that I just did a five-day trip a few weeks ago and when I finished my tired old phone still had 30% charge
I would say I checked it once or twice a day on average. It's a handy thing to have but if I had to choose between a GPS and a map I would take the map because a map doesn't run out of batteries or break. On the other hand, if I didn't have a GPS in the situations like I described above where I'm just vaguely curious about my position, I probably wouldn't bother with the map and my curiosity would just go unsatisfied