PageRob wrote:There's no reason for anyone, either GPS or map/compass camp, to try and push their particular method of self-orienting on others - its an un-winnable proposition. People who like maps and compasses are unlikely to switch, and GPSers are equally unlikely to revert to map/compass hikers.
In my case, I originally learned with map(7.5 purchased topo) and a compass. While living In southern CALIF I would take refresher orienting courses every 2 years. This was a number of years ago. Now I can't remember when the last time I purchased a 7.5 topo to use for the area I was planning to hike.. I think mainly due to the now increased costs and the lack of local, convenient availability of topo's. I still always take various maps and
my compass on all my dayhikes- remote and otherwise, but in all honesty I really question how much they will help me in a dire situation due to my present "rusty" orienting skills and not having an official 7.5 topo to orient-ire on. Since hiking in AZ over the past four years, I can think of at least 3-4 remote dayhikes I have been on that were turning bad (due too loss of trail, route finding problems, loss of daylight, etc..). In all these cases, my hiking partners GPS unit with
my maps got us out safely later that day/night.
For me, I have decided that my maps, a new GPS unit (and a commitment to learn how to use it correctly), and
a compass will now be part of my essential backcountry hiking. I took the plunge last night and purchased that new Garmin 60CSx GPS unit with accessories. In my mind, the more safety devices the better.. things can and do go wrong in the wilderness: "never say never & never assume anything"!!