[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
2. Is it worth buying a GPS for hiking?
>> Purists would say no. If it increases your enjoyment, go for
it! (I love navigation; it's been a hobby since I encountered topo
maps at age 10.) As with instrument flying, one should not rely
upon a single system.
No wing and a prayer for me either. Purists long ago
probably said "all I need the sun and stars, don't need none of
this compass stuff!" Some guy said "I only need my compass, don't
need any directional gryo." Just because you up-step, doesn't mean
you shouldn't forget you must know the basics first. Up-steps
should be a natural thing, like man first wrote on rocks, then
parpus, paper, then typewriters, then word processors. I've only
hiked in a few whiteouts, on the trails I've been on could have
used an ILS approach!
>>Map and compass are of course adequate but GPS offers unique
capabilities. With GPS and a two-way radio you can in theory call
down a medical helicopter to carry away sick or injured people.
(Quartz crystals actually do have healing powers)
With GPS you can be a Technobuddhist: If you encounter spiritual
enlightenment, you can erect an environmnetally-correct virtual
shrine simply by pushing a button to record the location.
Doubt if I'll be using for SAR stuff, except for myself,
but you never know..........
M & C is the only way, if that's all you got!
4. What's the best way for a hiker to program waypoints, ie,
Latitude & Long, UTM, etc?
>> UTM is easiest to measure from topo maps: Units are decimal
and scale is constant ("grid north" is neither true nor magnetic,
but close enough).
If they have the tic marks, I understand some don't. I got
an interesting comment on this from Brick Robbins, off the PCT
Mailist. He seems to be saying, don't even bother using a GPS.
Would like your comments on his thoughts, as follows, quote:
BR>>"One other interesting complaint, was echoed by Jeff Schaffer,
one of the authors of the PCT trail guides. The USGS topos are not
accurate, so when you get a good GPS fix, you cant place yourself
on the map. The topos are based on aerial photos, and some features
may be off by as much as 1/2 mile or more. This presented problems
to the PCT cartographers when they made the
maps for the guidebooks, because their ground surveys turned up the
errors. They chose, for example, to show the PCT crossing a pass at
the col on the map, even though the col was in the wrong place. The
typical user will compare the map with what he sees, and head for
the col, instead of using surveying tools. They did this to make
the guidebook maps useable for the hiker -- and they did a great
>> I'm used to lat/lon; I use aeronautical sectional charts for
roadmaps,especially "out west." BTW, new sectional charts cost
about $7 but they become obsolete for air navigation every 6
months, so used ones can be found inexpensively or free.
Do you mean for just road driving, or walking to? I used to
empty my Jepp case to, wish I kept the maps!
5.What map computer program is most useful to get waypoints from,
to preprogram the GPS?
6.Are there anymore specfic GPS 'puter programs...
>> GPS web site: http://www.tech.net/technotes/gps
>> The FAQ on Garmin products includes software reviews.
Will look, the site is strickly Garmon? You didn't say if
you have used the other GPS 'puter prgs I mentioned?
7.What are the best distances apart to use for waypoints, for
hiking? (5, 10, 30, etc?)
>> Use personal preference. Perhaps set significant destinations,
or just turn the unit on occasionally to check progress and record
present position each time. On a well-marked north-south trail,
latitude alone is sufficient for a fix.
Not clear what you mean, marked on the map or stored in
the GPS, or both? Like I said in my post, not going on a well
marked tail, starting on CDT in NM, were there isn't much marked
trail, and a lot of cross country.
8.What measured unit, statue, nautical miles, or kilometers, is
best to use? ...
>> I use statute miles because they're most familiar. Meters are
>> when using UTM coordinates. Nautical miles are good for lat/lon
navigation by sea or air where there are no landmarks: A nautical
mile is one arc-minute of latitude, 6076 feet. It is very nearly
2000 yards or 2 kilometers.
Like I said, don't know which would be best for me. Would
it be simpler to use a aero plotter and maps, then program the legs
into GPS? Is this one way you do? Its true course, as I'm not
going to have compinstate
for wind drift!
>> GPS altitude is nearly worthless due to "selective availability"
error which may be removed someday if the vote-getting potential of
promising to remove it wears thin.) GPS altitude is not referenced
to sea level, but to the the center of mass of the earth around
which the satellites orbit. The earth is not perfectly spherical
and has gravitational anomalies; maps are available showing
variation between sea level and GPS zero altitude (about
40m max in continental US).
Very interesting..............I don't need to worry about
crashing into a mtn, ie, adjusting my altimeter for sea level
barometric pressure, just worry about the strain of getting up and
A rule of thumb for estimating walking speed: The number of paces
walked in 36 seconds, divided by 10, is your speed in miles per
hour. A pace is one full cycle of the legs, i.e., two steps. The
original definition of a mile was 1000 paces as marched by the
Roman Army; he word comes from Latin "mille," meaning 1000. One
pace is 1/1000 mile, 36 seconds is 1/100 hour. Calculate the
appropriate time period if your pace is significantly
>> different from 5.28 feet. It doesn't work on rough terrain.
This is good info, I use now, the old pace method, a 100 ft
3 times and average it out for my pediometer set. Me with this GPS
thing is what do I do now? Like the guy approaching a tower:
Tower, Tower, this is Tango Lima 112, my engine's on fire! What do
Tango Lima 112, this is tower, repeat, Tower, repeat after me, Our
father, who art in................
PS I'm posting my answers to you on the mailist, cause I got
bounced mail when I sent to your private e-mail address, read
----- Transcript of session follows -----
554 Too many hops 18 (17 max): from <firstname.lastname@example.org> via
hamlet.ucs.indiana.edu, to <email@example.com>