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When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 24th, 2016, 11:15 am
by Koda
http://www.thehikinglife.com/2016/06/wh ... -to-apply/


I really love my Backcountry Navigator application on my phone but I grew up learning navigation without it and can attest the mental map of where you are is not there when you rely only on GPS to navigate. And yeah, I've actually had my GPS fail on me once.

I thought this was a pretty good article on the subject of GPS use hopefully folks who rely on them will take this to heart.

...That means if the technology fails for whatever reason, you are going to be a lot more lost than you would have been if you were using a map.

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 24th, 2016, 12:07 pm
by Bosterson
That quote is so spot on that it should be reproduced in full:
I’ll leave you with this quote from a recent article I read on the British Mountaineering Council’s website:

“People using GPS for navigation just aren’t building a mental map in the same way you do in traditional map and compass navigation, where you are constantly relating the map to the terrain around you. That means if the technology fails for whatever reason, you are going to be a lot more lost than you would have been if you were using a map.”
Or, from the linked BMC article:
...another study concluded: “GPS eliminated much of the need to pay attention.”
How much attention people should be paying is an endless debate I'm sure will now unfold ( :roll: ), but it seems pretty safe to say regardless that when using GPS, you should always have a map backup in case the batteries die! :idea:

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 24th, 2016, 4:22 pm
by mreha
I use both...the GPS is handy to pinpoint exactly where I am, but I follow along on a paper map, too.

A few weeks ago I ran into a nice young couple that seemed pretty lost (incidentally, if you've been following the discussion on creepy Benson Plateau, they were the ones with the dog that ended up camping at Hunters Camp). I pulled out my map and helped orient them, and the guy was super impressed with the map: "Hey, that's really cool, we should get one of those!"

You think? :lol:

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 24th, 2016, 4:31 pm
by Koda
mreha wrote:I use both...the GPS is handy to pinpoint exactly where I am, but I follow along on a paper map, too.
the trick is to be able to pin point exactly where you are on the paper map, sans GPS.

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 24th, 2016, 7:10 pm
by ElementalFX
I use both maps and GPS, but iPhone GPS is generally much more convenient on the trail in my opinion.

I'd never go without a map and compass, however. But for me, maps are more of a collectible item (I just love collecting them). Even hiking off-trail, GPS is more convenient. It takes literally two seconds to see where I am with GPS, and when I want to hike fast, it makes a whole lot more sense.

And as insurance, I like to bring two phones, with one sealed in a waterproof bag, just in case. ;) On longer hikes I'll even bring extra charging batteries and a solar panel.

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 24th, 2016, 7:51 pm
by -Q-
Don't own a gps, don't want a gps

map and compass 100% of the time for me.

Paper maps, held in hand while in country, is just pure fun to me. Nothing can replace that

I do love my Casio pathfinder paw-1500 watch though

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 25th, 2016, 5:51 am
by RobFromRedland
Koda wrote:
mreha wrote:I use both...the GPS is handy to pinpoint exactly where I am, but I follow along on a paper map, too.
the trick is to be able to pin point exactly where you are on the paper map, sans GPS.
While I love my phone GPS app (Backcountry Navigator), I frequently look at the paper map and try and figure out where I am and then use the GPS to test myself. It helps improve your skills I think. The trick is to not get lazy and stop doing the map checks.

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 25th, 2016, 6:22 am
by mreha
Koda wrote:
mreha wrote:I use both...the GPS is handy to pinpoint exactly where I am, but I follow along on a paper map, too.
the trick is to be able to pin point exactly where you are on the paper map, sans GPS.
Honestly, unless you enjoy that aspect of it (as many people do), that seems kind of like a waste of time to me to stop every X minutes and pull out the map and compass to pinpoint my location. I mostly use my paper map when I come to a trail junction or point of interest, and the main reason I do it then is because I find it easier to read than a GPS map. I also like using a paper map when I'm planning a trip. I imagine it would be different for someone who goes off-trail a lot, which isn't something I like to do.

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 25th, 2016, 9:54 am
by Koda
mreha wrote:
Koda wrote:
mreha wrote:I use both...the GPS is handy to pinpoint exactly where I am, but I follow along on a paper map, too.
the trick is to be able to pin point exactly where you are on the paper map, sans GPS.
Honestly, unless you enjoy that aspect of it (as many people do), that seems kind of like a waste of time to me to stop every X minutes and pull out the map and compass to pinpoint my location. I mostly use my paper map when I come to a trail junction or point of interest, and the main reason I do it then is because I find it easier to read than a GPS map. I also like using a paper map when I'm planning a trip. I imagine it would be different for someone who goes off-trail a lot, which isn't something I like to do.
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.

Re: When “Hike Your Own Hike” Ceases to Apply....

Posted: June 26th, 2016, 8:22 am
by mreha
Koda wrote: 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 :lol: 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 ;)