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Which is better: Map and Compass versus GPS?

Started by QuestionsGPS, November 08, 2012, 02:35:01 PM

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Indrid Cold

Между «есть бог» и «нет бога» лежит целое громадное поле, которое проходит с большим трудом истинный мудрец. Русский [же] человек знает какую-либо одну из этих двух крайностей, середина же между ними не интересует его; и потому обыкновенно он не знает ничего или очень мало.

Антон Чехов, Дневниковые записи: 1897 г.


Nice to know that somebody on this site can quote Chekov in the original :).


Dan Blomberg
Administrator - GPSFileDepot
GPS Units: Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMap 60csx, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 250W, ForeRunner 110, Fenix 2, Tactix Bravo, Foretrex 401
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A. Jacob

Quote from: popej on February 04, 2013, 06:58:32 AM
GPS is like flashlight. Convenient, easy to use but depends on batteries, can be broken and dulls your senses at night.

Do you take a flashlight with you? ;)

Quite interesting comparison, I love to take a flashlight on when i am on for a long hike.. hehehe :D


I did geological mapping with a sighting Brunton compass (about $500 in 1978), and navigated 8 wihiteouts by map and compass alone. I always carry backup map and compass with me.

And I find the GPS is superior and vastly more convenient.  I have this vivid memory from a whiteout in 1983, with blowing snow and 50 mph winds. I got the map, carefully folded it into a small rectangle inside my pack, took it out in the light, and had the wind mercilessly rip it to shreds.  I have navigated two whiteouts by GPS since, and it seems so vastly safer and easier.

I carry the gps very high on my body, so I get better signals in canyons... but if you are in a very deep canyon, you don't really have a lot of choices where to go, do you?

I often get asked the question "but what do you do when the batteries run out?"  Well, I generally don't start out unless the unit has freshly-charged 2900 mAh NiMH; and when it does run low,  I take out the 2 Li metal batteries that I always carry in my pack, and replace the old batteries.  The need for field replacement has occurred 4 times in over 800 trips with the GPS.  Li metal has a long shelf life and operates well in cold.

Sometimes when I'm in the outdoors, a person will start to wax poetic about the superiority of the compass. I ask that person a simple question: do you know what the declination is here?  Now, in this year?  I've never had anyone able to answer that question correctly.  Most people simply don't know how to use a compass, except to get a vague feeling of where north is.  If you know how to use a compass well, good on ya; you are in a minority.