Orientation

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What do you use for orienteering?

GPS
27
20%
Map and/or Compass
46
34%
Both GPS and M&C
51
38%
Neither GPS nor M&C
12
9%
 
Total votes: 136

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mttgilbert
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City, State: Denver, CO

Orientation

Post by mttgilbert » Nov 01 2003 4:00 pm

This poll's for you hegstrom.
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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ajcanable
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City, State: Apache Jct., Az.

Post by ajcanable » Nov 01 2003 6:03 pm

I voted for both! but lately use my gpsr a lot more than a compass. but batteries do fail so i always have one.

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Daryl
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City, State: Lake Stevens, WA

Post by Daryl » Nov 02 2003 1:00 pm

FYI: The Garmin Gecko 101 is on sale at Target for $78. It's a great little GPS about the size of an open matchbook. It's the smallest/lightest GPS unit I've seen. Normally it's about $100.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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bzachar
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City, State: Mesa, AZ

Post by bzachar » Nov 02 2003 9:38 pm

ajcanable wrote:...but batteries do fail so i always have one.
I carry two sets of fully-charged NiMH batteries: one set in the GPSR and the other in my pack. The other reason to carry a compass is the GPSR can lose lock in narrow canyons... but then you only have two directions to choose from! ;)

Bill

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Lizard
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City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Lizard » Nov 03 2003 11:31 am

I was given a GPS as a gift shortly after they emerged on the consumer market. I've messed around w/ it a couple of times but mostly it just stays in my closet. I can get around just fine with a map and compass, GPS seems superfluous to me. I could see using it if you are on a boat or somewhere else equally featureless, but on land I don't really see the point.
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."

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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert » Nov 03 2003 12:29 pm

I use a map and compass to do the actuall orientation, but I still carry a gps. I use the gps for calculating my actual distance covered, the speed at wich I covered it, and I use the waypoint feature to pinpoint interesting locales. I hardly ever use the gps for actually finding my way. Mainly I just like to be able to download the route and waypoints after a hike and compare them to what I thought it should be according to the map.
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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te_wa
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gps gone bad

Post by te_wa » Nov 07 2003 8:28 am

It is my feeling that GPS units have gotten in the way of experiencing the true nature of "getting lost". I think that there is nothing more pleasurable than bieng in the backcountry, even on improved trails, when you wonder "where the heck am I". KNOW how to use maps, it is more fun and gives one a feeling of accomplishment. Luckily for me, I have never been stranded/lost but I think I would have to be next to hosed (real low on food/water etc..) before I used a GPS. : rambo : Remember the movie First Blood? Rambo didnt need no stinkin trendy toys! lol!
:D

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Daryl
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City, State: Lake Stevens, WA

Post by Daryl » Nov 07 2003 9:15 am

The GPS is kind of like the calculator when it first came out. Who needs one of those - people should be able to do the math on paper - you should use a slide rule or an abacus (that thing with the beads you slide back and forth)... How many people still feel that way about calculators? Who still uses the slide rule or abacus?
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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bzachar
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Joined: Dec 10 2002 10:35 pm
City, State: Mesa, AZ

Post by bzachar » Nov 07 2003 10:04 am

I'm sure that when the *sextant* was invented there were purists saying,"who needs that new-fangled device, I can navigate by compass".

I'm sure that when the *compass* was invented there were purists saying,"who needs that new-fangled device, I can navigate by the stars".

There are Pacific islanders that even today can do blue-water navigation using only wave patterns and the stars... no maps, no nautical charts.

You can also use your watch to find North.

COMPASS??? HAH! :)

Bill
Navaids: GPSR, map, compass and sun.

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kiddiehawk
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 25 2003 10:14 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Post by kiddiehawk » Nov 16 2003 7:11 pm

map or map/compass. neither if i'm playing around in south mtn since it seems hard to get too lost, esp from the Baseline/48th St side of it, where I go almost daily for quick hikes/runs due to proximity to home.

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big_load
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Post by big_load » Dec 18 2003 3:33 pm

I always carry M&C, but for on-trail travel in most AZ terrain I find an altimeter much more useful than a compass. If you check a few times an hour and track your progress, you can usually pinpoint location with a single, easy observation. It weighs less than a GPS and the battery is good for years. Unless you spend a lot of time cross-fixing landmarks, an altimeter usually gives earlier indication than a compass of being lost. Of course, once you are sufficiently "lost" (insert your own definition here), you darn well better have a compass and know how to use it.

When applicable, the altimeter navigation approach also requires minimal cognitive abilities, which can help if you're fatigued, hypothermic, dehydrated, in panic, or not that bright to begin with. :wink:

I can't compare with GPS since I've never used one, but I suppose it would be just as convenient. I'd like to try one sometime. However, I would never trust anything electronic as my sole means of navigation (and yes, I usually carry a small, cheap backup compass).

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PaleoRob
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Post by PaleoRob » Jun 25 2006 7:09 pm

I always carry a map and GPS, and will often plan my route in advance with the map, but I hardly ever use either when I'm hiking. I have a good sense of direction and can memorize landmarks, and it hasn't failed me...yet. But, that's what I have the GPS and map for.

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Jim_H
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Re: Orientation

Post by Jim_H » Oct 12 2008 10:40 am

I guess the survey is closed, but I would vote for neither. I use my wits. I never seem to be in areas that I would need a device to aid me. Granted, I have not been off trail very much, but as a forester out in the woods (not tree plantations) of Florida (but not Virginia) I was pretty good at knowing where I was. Aerial photos are a great help, too.

Around here I do some off trail hiking and seem to do quite well. I am usually going for a peak which is very obvious, so that is a big help. Still, come winter there will be some articles in the paper about people who went out of bounds on the Peaks and called search and rescue for help. That I don't understand. Its a volcano, just go down, or find your tracks and follow them back to your car.
I did some off trail hiking to woody mountain in the spring. It was mostly through dense vegetation, yet I still managed. I guess if I know an area I am fine, but its up in the air for unfamiliar terrain. Maybe I should get a compass. Of course, the compass is the easy part, its the pacing that is tricky.
:o

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JoelHazelton
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Re: Orientation

Post by JoelHazelton » Oct 14 2008 3:44 pm

The only times I've ever had problems is when I'm on the trail in the dark. Then map is essentially useless, but GPS is GREAT! And it's saved my butt a few times in those situations.
"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com

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RickVincent
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City, State: Mesa, AZ

Re: Orientation

Post by RickVincent » Oct 08 2009 10:48 am

Google Earth has proven quite effective for pre-hike scouting of an area. I feel like I've already been there.
This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.

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snakemarks
Posts: 136
Joined: Oct 31 2007 12:55 pm
City, State: Apache Junction, AZ

Re: Orientation

Post by snakemarks » Oct 09 2009 9:36 am

I use Angela (tibber)... Her sense of direction is much better than mine! :lol:

Seriously...
I carry all three. Google Earth is a fabulous tool for the most part. Unfortunately, their coverage of wilderness areas is really lacking in detail. GPS has saved me a lot of grief when a map has been too vague, and it has also caused tremendous confusion when I should have ignored it and just followed the map. There are several areas in the Supes where GPS not only fails routinely, but gives erroneous and very misleading readouts (the vortex? ;) ). I have learned (the hard way - naturally!) that a GPS is just another opinion to consider, not the only opinion and not necessarily the right answer.

That said, I shall continue to get lost every single time I leave the house! :sl:
I'm at home in the wilderness... it's civilization I have problems with! ](*,)

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scorpion scus
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Re: Orientation

Post by scorpion scus » Oct 16 2009 5:22 pm

when going down the moody trail off bucks ridge in sedona as part of a long day loop hike it was verydark when i got down to the maze of roads that eventually bring you out to 525c to dogie t.h., and found my gps w/a topo to be very useful. so i usually bring multiple navigational devices.i use them all depending on cicumstances. gps and topo came in very handy when swimming down wet beaver creek to pin point our exact location. compass is useless in that situation, constant monitoring of a map would have worked too, but would have been a hassel when you are rockhopping and swimming all day long. so to me a gps is a good tool to have.

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Grasshopper
Posts: 1652
Joined: Dec 28 2006 5:06 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Orientation

Post by Grasshopper » Oct 16 2009 5:37 pm

scorpion scus wrote:so to me a gps is a good tool to have.
(certainly not the only navigation tool to consider, but a good one to have & to know how to use)
as gpsjoe says: "Become a skilled GPS user and it will set you free!" :DANCE:
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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andy_ellarby
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City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Orientation

Post by andy_ellarby » Oct 20 2009 5:16 am

I primarily try to use a map and compass, but always have the GPS ready to bail me out!

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Pathfinder Aaron
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City, State: MESA, AZ

Re: Orientation

Post by Pathfinder Aaron » Feb 25 2010 7:55 pm

Being an Eagle Scout and prior military, I had to learn how to use a compass. I always carry M&C with me. However I like to use my GPS for the fun of it, and also for it's usefulness. Set waypoints, and track travel data, speeds, averages, download route altitude profiles, save routes, etc. I just enjoy being able to get home and download all that information and see it overlayed on my mapping programs and have that data for future reference. I am definately a proponent of carrying a map and compass and practicing with it so you know how to use it when you need to. But I love my GPS unit for what information it can give me. I agree with the comment about emergent technologies and how there are always people that have something negative to say about it or resist the change. Eventually, like most forms of technology, everyone will use it and the old style will become obsolete. In my opinion, the major thing keeping people from using them besides cost, is there reliance on battery power and the trouble you can get into when you don't have a back up. For a birthday present though, I was given the 3-blade Solio solar charger, and I strap that on my pack out in the sun when I'm hiking hooked up to my gps unit and as long as there is some sun out, I can keep that gps unit on all day long without having to use any of it's battery, so really, the battery itself has become the backup. Plus I keep two batteries on me anyway just to be safe.

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