- Jan 17, 2020 at 9:44 pm #3627672
Ah Rog, you crack me up. I generally get your humor, that’s not it. Talking past each other, no doubt. But rather than continuing to pick on you, it’s probably best if I just leave it at that.Jan 17, 2020 at 11:19 pm #3627685
Over and out.
CheersJan 18, 2020 at 12:17 am #3627689Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
I’ve often noted Roger acknowledging errors when they were pointed out. But may have spent more time on BPL than others.
My post on this thread was followed by a couple pages of other posting in less than 24 hours, so was concerned about hitting hot buttons. That can always happen, but there will be no sequel. Am OK with what I wrote, not taken out of context, and will stand by it.
On another note, for those who would like to use portions of the USGS 7.5 minute topo maps, GBC.com makes laminating pouches for up to letter size paper that are 1.5 mil thick, and can by obtained from U-Line, along with lamination machines. The pouch material is so thin, they must go through the machine with a heavy paper carrier. The result is not much thicker than the plastic map material used by Nat. Geo. for Trails Illustrated maps, and folds just as easily.
I’ve found that the above USGS maps are far better than any others for finding landmarks, timberline, and other info in addition to topography, including in many cases where the trails actually are, or were before abandoned.
At some point, I’d like to outline on BPL a North-South backpacking route in Colorado that stays the most in Wilderness areas, excluding national parks, roadwalking, and other undesirables. Beginning on the Wyoming border in Mountain Home, WY, (less than a half hour drive from Laramie airport & car rentals) proceeding south through the Rawah and Never Summer Wilderness areas, and so on using the CT and CDT for much of the route. Would include GPS coordinates for turn locations, landmarks, and other info, so would like to know if hikers would prefer such waypoints expressed in UTM, Lat/Long, or both. In laying out the route, I’ve encountered few people, some times none for several days, great if you like wilderness solitude; but stopovers right on the route would be mentioned. This would not be a ‘guidebook’, just info shared as succinctly as possible, but with maybe a few photos for flavor, and done in succeeding posts, each one representing roughly 7-10 days or less of hiking.Jan 18, 2020 at 1:02 am #3627690
would like to know if hikers would prefer such waypoints expressed in UTM, Lat/Long, or both
I imagine that would depend on what grid is to be found on the maps.
Here in Oz the topo maps have a 1km or 500 m grid based on the Aus Datum, and I think it is UTM. But the edges of our maps do also have Lat/long marked, albeit with a very coarse grid. No-one here ever uses the lat/long.
CheersJan 18, 2020 at 6:19 am #3627695
Sure, under certain conditions GPS can be misleading. I’ve also met people who were using maps and were on the wrong mountain, never mind the wrong path. Both are tools that require skill to use correctly.
I think that the problem people are having with your argument is that you are focusing 100% on the upside of map and compass while ignoring the downsides.
And you are focusing 100% on the downsides of GPS (to the point of actually inventing disadvantages that don’t exist) while ignoring the upsides.
No-one has the slightest problem with you choosing not to use GPS – HYOH.
But we do have an issue with you misrepresenting the proven benefits of GPS in a way that may put people off from learning how to use a tool that adds convenience and safety in many scenarios.
Here’s a partial list of the hundreds of SAR teams around the world that use ViewRanger – just one of the many GPS apps available. I guess it’s possible that they are all incompetent and deluded in using such a useless tool. But then again, maybe they know something that you are too stubborn to acknowledge?Jan 18, 2020 at 6:27 am #3627696
Oh – and here’s the view of one the busiest SAR teams in the UK:
(the edit feature here seems to be broken…)Jan 18, 2020 at 8:35 am #3627702
this is a funny thread, fine that no posts were deleted
Convincing other people that I’m right or that other people should change their opinion and adopt mine is annoying
Identifying all the characteristics so that someone can make up their own mine is useful. Each person has their own situation so a different solution may be optimum. That’s where I try to come from.
Looking at their phone adoringly – that’s funny, maybe some truth to that. I’ve read that people can have a fear of missing out on something so they’ll constantly check their phone. Yeah, it’s odd when people are at a table at a restaurant and everyone’s staring at a phone, poking at it with their thumbs. I wonder who they’re talking to. Maybe they’re talking to each other?
I used to be a cigarette addict. There’s something about fiddling with a cigarette with your fingers. It seems like phones are a little like that but you don’t get lung cancer so it’s not so bad.Jan 18, 2020 at 11:25 am #3627717
And people say we can’t agree….Jan 18, 2020 at 11:35 am #3627718MJ HBPL Member
Not that this is applicable to the trail, but when I use my phone in a restaurant, I find that it works to say, “Excuse me. I just need to answer a question from the office” and that it doesn’t work if you say, “Yes, you’ve told that story three times now.”Jan 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm #3627723jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
meofcourse…you seem a little obsessed with Roger. Hmmm…Jan 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm #3627727
jscott…you seem a little obsessed with me. Hmmmm…..Jan 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm #3627735
obx – “If you’ve ever tried to use the up /down arrows and so forth on the InReach to create a message you can see how that is a strong incentive to keep things short and simple!”
Yeah, I’ve sent a few messages but it’s a pain. If it takes 5 minutes to compose a message that would take 5 seconds with a keyboard, oh well….
You get 3 preset messages
One of mine is to request a weather report
Two are to Brenda telling her everything’s okay. Only need one but I have two with slightly different text
95% of the time I use one of the preset messages. They’re free, but the reply costs $0.50. You only have to hit a few buttons on the inreach to do this.
You can pair the inreach with a smartphone, then you can compose messages with your phone keyboard which is easier. Also, the display of sent and received messages is better. With my wireless earbud it connects to bluetooth automatically. With the inreach it’s weird how it connects to bluetooth, I think I figured it out, again.Jan 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm #3627742
“You get 3 preset messages”
You can actually ‘preset’ a bunch of messages, much more than 3. The difference is you send the 3 presets for free, regardless of how many times you send them. The other pre-written messages count against your message plan.Jan 18, 2020 at 2:05 pm #3627745
Seems to me that a lot of this discussion is a bit unfocused. Are we discussing using a GPS for a position check on a topo map, which I have done, or are we discussing relying on a tiny screen showing a little subset of a topo map for all the navigation?
If someone wants to use a GPS with a topo map, that’s fine by me. Been here done that twice myself.
If someone wants to rely entirely on a mobile phone for their navigation – well, that’s up to them as well. If they are traveling on a known, marked trail, the phone may be good enough – with or without GPS coordinates. I have seen people doing day walks on marked trails with nothing more than a tourist centre handout. Had to sort them out a few times …
Where I worry is when a novice relies solely on a mobile phone for off-trail navigation in difficult country. To be sure, with a bit of experience and navigation skill, you can do it OK. It’s just that I feel that it is a bit more risky. Sure, a GPS can tell them that they are HERE, but then what?
CheersJan 18, 2020 at 2:55 pm #3627749
I thought you can only have three preset messages, I’ll have to check that out, thanksJan 18, 2020 at 3:03 pm #3627751
Three that are called ‘presets’, yes. But you can also load a bunch of other messages under “Quick Text Messages”. Those count against your message plan.Jan 18, 2020 at 3:05 pm #3627752
we’re talking “relying on a tiny screen showing a little subset of a topo map for all the navigation”
or at least I am
that tiny screen is actually quite useful. for example you can see a 2 mile x 3 mile area with 40 foot contours. And zoom out if you want to see larger scales. Good enough for figuring out where to go.Jan 18, 2020 at 7:57 pm #3627838
If you’re going to be using a GPS app as your primary tool, you would typically be creating a route on a laptop or desktop and importing it into the app. This gives you far more screen to play with. People will often use a paper map as well at the planning stage. If there may be a need for escape routes, you can plan and import those too.
There’s easily enough context on the screen to enable you to walk the route, even if it’s off-trail. The app shows you your position relative to your planned route and points out the direction of travel. You don’t need much screen space in the field – many SARs make extensive use of GPS watches and find them very useful.
But if you really feel the need for space, smartphone screens aren’t so tiny any more – a typical inexpensive rugged phone will give you 1080 x 2246 pixels of 24 bit colour. That will show you a lot of country, and you can easily zoom and pan for context.
And of course you’ll normally be carrying a paper map for backup as well.Jan 18, 2020 at 8:21 pm #3627848Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Thank you for your response to my inquiry. UTM it is.
Here is something from Sandy Stott, former editor of Appalachia, a journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club in the 2016 summer/fall issue:
“Here is a moment of cautionary pause. Many of us devise a net of knowing and safety with our devices; precise marking of location seems, at times, a miracle brought to us by an unseen by all-seeing satellite eye above. But before we assign our devices a divine infallibility, it’s good to consider how and when they may err. As use of locator technology has grown more prevalent in the Whites, so do stories of its sometimes wild variability.” There follow several incidents related by the author, who at the time was the Accidents Editor for the journal.
OMG, BPL just allowed me to go back and make a second edit.Jan 18, 2020 at 8:37 pm #3627850Mike MBPL Member
bottom line is I’ll never be caught in the field without a map and compass, but I’ll never be caught out in the field without a map enabled gps either- tough to navigate off trail at night w/o one, tough to stay on a trail when it’s buried in 6’+ of snow, tough when it’s fogged in and you can’t see an identifiable landmark, the list goes on and on
survey the folks that compete in the Alaska Wilderness Classic or the Bob Marshall Wilderness Open and see what percentage of folks carry a gps in addition to a map/compass- I’ll give you a hint, it starts with a 1 and ends with two 0’s :)Jan 18, 2020 at 9:47 pm #3627859
I don’t think I have ever said a GPS cannot be useful as a supplement to a topo map. I have even said I own one and have used it a couple of times. Once to resolve an error in a topo map of known deficiencies (on the 3rd or 4th try), and once in a howling snow storm with about 2 m visibility. I was kicking up ‘snowballs’ with my snowshoes that time to see which way they rolled.
It is relying on a tiny phone screen that I question, with or without a GPS. It is all very well saying you would typically be creating a route on a laptop or desktop and importing it into the app, but in some country that simply does not work.
In this sort of country you don’t ‘plan’ a route. You take several day’s food and start exploring. A GPS is unreliable here because of the cliffs. Trying to plan from the topo map is useless because the topo map is either wrong, misleading, or missing key features like cliffs. Instead we have to probe and then relate that back to the topo map.
Now, if you had something the size of a Kindle with good resolution, then maybe that would work. But a paper map is a lot cheaper and lighter. If you are going to do something with a good track like the AT or the C2C, then a smartphone might be enough.
I have lots of older pics of even more ‘interesting’ country, but I would have to dig them out.
OK, OK, that is just my preferred country.
CheersJan 19, 2020 at 6:27 am #3627877
Perhaps you really are trolling, because it’s hard to take your argument seriously.
It is all very well saying you would typically be creating a route on a laptop or desktop and importing it into the app, but in some country that simply does not work.
So your logic boils down to this – I can think of an extreme and unusual scenario where GPS isn’t ideal, therefore GPS is useless.
Back in the real world, in the vast majority of country we have a pretty good idea of the route we’re going to take. Indeed – in many alpine areas any other route may be fatal. And for most of that route GPS will be accurate, though we do have to be aware of the limitations. So for most people most of the time GPS tracks have a potentially useful role to play.
Last time I walked in the Spanish Sierra Nevada, the map overlooked a few minor features such as a 1000m cliff, a substantial stream and a mature plantation of trees. You wouldn’t be very convinced if I argued that this meant all maps are useless all of the time, but that’s the logic of your argument against GPS.
If you review this thread, no proponent of GPS has even remotely suggested that everyone should rely on GPS exclusively in all scenarios. It’s a tool with pros and cons, in just the same way as map and compass is a tool with pros and cons. The complete modern navigator will have a good understanding of both and will choose the right balance between them for the particular situation in hand.
I can’t see why this is even remotely controversial. As I posted above, pretty much every SAR team in the world uses GPS this way, as does every military. And every serious mountain leadership course offers training in GPS navigation. If it’s your position that all these professionals are wrong, you’re going to have to come up with a rather more convincing argument…Jan 19, 2020 at 6:47 am #3627878
PS – talking of the military, lack of understanding of GPS was the primary reason the Iraqi army performed so poorly in the 1st Gulf War.
They were assuming it was impossible to navigate through the featureless desert to the west of their defences, and were surprised when the US forces used GPS to emerge from the desert and hit them on their flank.
US strategists attribute much of their startling success to their innovative use of GPS for desert navigation:Jan 19, 2020 at 7:28 am #3627880
Good article, thanks
“Signal issues aside, GPS receivers were also in short supply. For starters, there were only 550 PSN-8 Manpack GPS receivers to go around. Troops fortunate enough to be issued Manpacks mounted these eight-kilogram devices—which cost $45,000 apiece—to their vehicles. A second, more portable option was the 1.8-kilogram AN/PSN-10 Small Lightweight GPS Receiver (SLGR), or “slugger.” The military had about 3,500 of the Trimble Navigation–made SLGR devices available for use in the Gulf War. “You would hear stories about Air Force, Navy and Army personnel having mom and dad send them civilian GPS receivers so they could find their way out there,” says Drake, who currently serves as a space vehicle operations support manager at Schriever. They would fasten the devices to their Humvees or tanks using Velcro, screws or duct tape as they maneuvered through unfamiliar territory. One of the most popular was the $3,000 NAV 1000M Receiver, which Magellan Corp. had been selling to boaters, hikers and other adventurers since the late 1980s.”
Today you can get a better gps for $500, plus it’s a more powerful computer than the huge xxx they had at the time, plus a decent camera, cell phone,… Was that back when they had “brick” phones that gave you brain cancer?
And we can argue about it endlessly on the internetJan 19, 2020 at 8:46 am #3627891Larry SwearingenBPL Member
@larry_swearingenLocale: NE Indiana
>>And we can argue about it endlessly on the internet<<
And apparently you’re going to.
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