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LavaFalls
02-18-2019, 06:59 PM
Last Saturday six of us started up the "Ammo" trail towards clouds hut with the goal of getting Monroe and maybe Washington. We were in snow shoes for the start. I was on the Ammo two weeks ago and recognized landmarks. The lead/trail breaker had the gps/garmin, etc., He also said he likes to bushwhack. That was the first warning sign. We get past Monroe Brook and at a spot where there was a steep narrow ravine in front of us and below us an open pool that I recognized as crossing two weeks earlier I saw to the right of where we were standing a slight depression and churned up snow. I said this is the trail "to the right!" No the bushwhacker said the gps says got this way...up the ravine. So we followed. We lost close to a good hour pushing through the trees and DEEP snow. We finally got back to the trail and headed straight up to the hut. The hike leader and I were leading at this point.
Okay, gps has it good points, but when one get's so focused on the screen and ignores clues/ signs along the way...then you have given up all common sense, brains to a machine that can quit on you with no notice or fall into the spruce trap, or into the water after the snow bridge collapses on you. Use your skills, your eyes/Observe, look for clues, your experience because those will be there, once the battery on the gps goes out you could be s.o.l. And don't ever give the gps to an guy who loves to bushwhack.
LavaFalls

TCD
02-18-2019, 08:42 PM
Hiking behavior is a microcosm of behavior in overall life. The same people, lost in their screens, are walking into tables at work, and crashing their cars. Sad to say, I think we have to get used to it. Be careful to stay out of their way, and hope Big Brother doesn't make you pay for their idiocy.

Nessmuk
02-18-2019, 08:53 PM
I have long taught backcountry land navigation. I rarely if ever use a GPS when I hike for recreation, preferring for pleasure and experience to use traditional navigation methods. On the other hand, when I am crew boss during a SAR mission, I definitely use a GPS as required for logging and tracking of coverage area. In my land nav training presentation, I have a video showing a line of young people hiking a trail, boys and girls. All except for one girl is staring at the device in their hand and nothing else, not paying attention to anything else around them. The one girl is the only one with her head on a swivel, gazing left and right and ahead, no device is occupying her hand. The caption is "which one is aware of their surroundings and where they are and enjoying the hike?"

srhigham
02-18-2019, 09:41 PM
A consumer GPS is not the correct tool for micro navigating a trail. It doesn't have the accuracy, and the trails if shown are often misplaced.

Raven
02-19-2019, 06:17 AM
Ammonoosuc Ravine often has numerous rogue trails leading to ski routes. The few tenths between the hut and treeline can also be confusing in low visibility. Followers beware.

Personally, I don't lead hikes on trails with which I'm not familiar. YMMV.

peakbagger
02-19-2019, 07:06 AM
IMO, some folks are hiking to go to a destination and some are going hiking for the journey. If the goal is to cover the shortest trail distance in the least amount of time, go with the electronics. If the goal is to enjoy the territory and keep the skills sharp, then leave the electronics in the pack.

Last year while on my friends redlining hikes east of RT 113, it was handy to have someone with GPS track to confirm some trails that seemed to be more suggested routes in the guide than actual maintained trails. We were not lost as we knew where we were and where we had to go but it was handy to realize that if we shifted out direction of travel slightly we could intersect what was at one time the maintained route and pick up some easier hiking conditions. I expect as the lesser trails in the wilderness areas get intentionally undermaintained that these situations will increase.


The upper part of Ammo can really be problem after a snow storm or when a good track is not established. Folks tend to follow snowshoe tracks like lemmings. The somewhat infamous example of this is the Black Pond bushwhack, there have been some years that the established track is in no way the best path of least resistance yet once established it gets repeated use and become the default track.

CaptCaper
02-19-2019, 07:46 AM
Last Saturday six of us started up the "Ammo" trail towards clouds hut with the goal of getting Monroe and maybe Washington. We were in snow shoes for the start. I was on the Ammo two weeks ago and recognized landmarks. The lead/trail breaker had the gps/garmin, etc., He also said he likes to bushwhack. That was the first warning sign. We get past Monroe Brook and at a spot where there was a steep narrow ravine in front of us and below us an open pool that I recognized as crossing two weeks earlier I saw to the right of where we were standing a slight depression and churned up snow. I said this is the trail "to the right!" No the bushwhacker said the gps says got this way...up the ravine. So we followed. We lost close to a good hour pushing through the trees and DEEP snow. We finally got back to the trail and headed straight up to the hut. The hike leader and I were leading at this point.
Okay, gps has it good points, but when one get's so focused on the screen and ignores clues/ signs along the way...then you have given up all common sense, brains to a machine that can quit on you with no notice or fall into the spruce trap, or into the water after the snow bridge collapses on you. Use your skills, your eyes/Observe, look for clues, your experience because those will be there, once the battery on the gps goes out you could be s.o.l. And don't ever give the gps to an guy who loves to bushwhack.
LavaFalls

As a licensed USCG Master Captain and Commerical Fisherman I've relied on GPS as well as maps since day one owned first gps in 1995. A GPS is a must for people today to have in the tool kit and use every hike. There would be many many alive today if they only owned and knew how to use even a cheaper gps. Know it's up to you on what I meant and what actions to take. I don't have all day to teach and show you how I use it in conjunction with maps. But in short wife and I turn on our gps's first thing in a hike and at the end. Track on all the time.
I would never follow any one hiking but myself especially using a gps as a guide. I know few who really know how to use it in diverse conditions. They all drop the ball. As far as electronics. Maybe the Shuttle can use a hand held map to fly it into space for those opposed to gps's and electronics on land ,sea or air. I love my Garmin Montana with Glonass tuck it in my pouch in front of chest and go. I don't hike temps well below zero so a touch screen is fine. I have hiked in -13 below and had no issues with it running in the pouch that helps keep the heat while running all day. If you can't get it to run all day you don't know what your doing.
Don't be one of those who has perished or lost cause they wouldn't learn or buy even a low budget gps. Garmin is the best on handhelds.

Barkingcat
02-19-2019, 08:04 AM
I saw to the right of where we were standing a slight depression and churned up snow. I said this is the trail "to the right!" No the bushwhacker said the gps says got this way...up the ravine. So we followed....once the battery on the gps goes out you could be s.o.l.

We know that exact spot -- and stay to the right, as well, to avoid floundering in that ravine. There are blazes on trees near there, too, if one knows to look for them. About batteries on the GPS going out: bring back-up batteries, naturally.


If the goal is to enjoy the territory and keep the skills sharp, then leave the electronics in the pack...I expect as the lesser trails in the wilderness areas get intentionally undermaintained that these situations will increase.

Yes -- the electronics stay in the pack, used as back-up if all else fails, which doesn't happen often -- in the winter mainly, or when we hike in the open desert (very useful then, especially for out-and-back treks where there are not many identifying landmarks for normal navigation).

About wilderness areas, in NH and anywhere where there's snow: I've found the GPS useful for navigating some of these sections in winter, when the woods are open, the snow is deep, everything appears to be a corridor, and any remaining navigational skills are not panning out. But, 99 percent of the time, the unit stays in the pack.

Brambor
02-19-2019, 08:30 AM
I would not have followed. Just my 2 cents.

jrbren
02-19-2019, 08:56 AM
... I was on the Ammo two weeks ago and recognized landmarks. ... I said this is the trail "to the right!" No the bushwhacker said the gps says got this way...up the ravine. So we followed. ...
LavaFalls

Wasn't it Obi-Wan Kenobi who asked, Who is the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows him ? Like Brambor, I would not have followed.

JoshandBaron
02-19-2019, 09:58 AM
Folks tend to follow snowshoe tracks like lemmings.

Had several groups follow my tracks up not-Greenleaf this weekend. Hope they enjoyed the scenic route.

peakbagger
02-19-2019, 10:44 AM
One factor in following the wrong route is in winter the wrong route can have twice the traffic. I have in the past in the winter followed a track where the trail was not evident and ended up outside someone's tent set up away from the trail. I and my group then head back to where we lost the trail and proceed onwards. Anyone coming to the junction now has a choice. The path to the tent has been traveled twice by us and the actual trail is the lesser used route.

jrbren
02-19-2019, 10:53 AM
I have done it many times myself, just yesterday I was on Wachusett and followed somone's boot tracks off the trail & into the brush on a trail I have been on many times and should know better. No harm no foul, I wanted to walk in the woods, so the error allowed me to do more if it ;-).

Remix
02-19-2019, 11:20 AM
GPS is not a threat to everyone in the woods--sounds to me that if one of the parties had a compass the other party would disagree because he was looking at land features and his own memory.

As an aside, so many watches these days have magnets to hold the watch to the charger...or they have large quantities of metal.. took me 5 minutes to realize why my baseplate compass would not sight correctly as I was headed to Garfield. Oddly, I took out my GPS and used its compass to try and figure out what could possibly be wrong, including a bad memory problem. Sure enough, somebody came along and started the GPS lecture.

As an aside, many kayakers like to put a big carabiner on the release loop of their spray skirt. When you are underwater, its useful to have a sturdy motionless visible grab hook to pull the skirt off. The heaviest ones are made of ferrous iron, and by virtue of their position, they can end up near a deck compass...that was also an interesting lesson in Maine.

LavaFalls
02-19-2019, 01:03 PM
Wasn't it Obi-Wan Kenobi who asked, Who is the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows him ? Like Brambor, I would not have followed.

I agree with you. I was close to following the trail I pointed out. But..as always, but, there was one slow/weak member in the group and six of us and the hike leader was strong on holding the group together, I agree with that.

TomK
02-19-2019, 03:37 PM
Here are a bunch of tracks from a place I've obviously hiked a bunch of times. Which track should I follow? Two are 180 feet from each other. Trying to follow pretty much any of them is going to put me off trail, not on it. GPS is helpful for a bunch of things, but if staying on a trail is one of them, I have yet to figure out how to do it.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6140&d=1550611702

6140


TomK

CaptCaper
02-19-2019, 04:06 PM
We know that exact spot -- and stay to the right, as well, to avoid floundering in that ravine. There are blazes on trees near there, too, if one knows to look for them. About batteries on the GPS going out: bring back-up batteries, naturally.



Yes -- the electronics stay in the pack, used as back-up if all else fails, which doesn't happen often -- in the winter mainly, or when we hike in the open desert (very useful then, especially for out-and-back treks where there are not many identifying landmarks for normal navigation).

About wilderness areas, in NH and anywhere where there's snow: I've found the GPS useful for navigating some of these sections in winter, when the woods are open, the snow is deep, everything appears to be a corridor, and any remaining navigational skills are not panning out. But, 99 percent of the time, the unit stays in the pack.

Some of the reasons I will never leave my gps in my pack even on known trails is to stay sharp with it and to perfect tracks for future hikes in any conditions that may arise. Also a plus is to save the data to a PC and be able to see and go over at any given time the hike statistics now and future. I compare same hikes at different times or years (since I save every track since 1998) in my every changing life and conditions.

At least I haven't seen people saying GPS's are toys like so many said years ago when I first laid it out here on how well they work and the uses. Now people are using them .

Again many would be alive today all over the world if they had one running with a track showing and followed it back down or had a a route laid out in it to keep from falling off the side or freezing to death. Leaving it in a pack on a hike in the Whites is dangerous being one isn't using all the tools available. DeaD reckoning ( wind blowing the map away or not seeing a single landmark) isn't my cup of Tea during a white out or fogged in. No track to fall back on when one encounters in those conditions suddenly can be fatal.

I don't hike with die hard map only people anymore. Very limited in their skills.

CaptCaper
02-19-2019, 04:40 PM
Here are a bunch of tracks from a place I've obviously hiked a bunch of times. Which track should I follow? Two are 180 feet from each other. Trying to follow pretty much any of them is going to put me off trail, not on it. GPS is helpful for a bunch of things, but if staying on a trail is one of them, I have yet to figure out how to do it.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6140&d=1550611702

6140


TomK

Your not tracking right. You haven't figured how to gain accuracy with your gps or you need another model that will keep it during hikes. Then you'll have a track that's much closer. Do that then come back and talk.

iAmKrzys
02-19-2019, 04:51 PM
Here are a bunch of tracks from a place I've obviously hiked a bunch of times. Which track should I follow?

I think any of those tracks mixed with a small dose of common sense would be just fine to follow.

Nessmuk
02-19-2019, 05:06 PM
IMO, some folks are hiking to go to a destination and some are going hiking for the journey. If the goal is to cover the shortest trail distance in the least amount of time, go with the electronics. If the goal is to enjoy the territory and keep the skills sharp, then leave the electronics in the pack. Absolutely :)

I learned how to navigate effectively more than 40 years ago. I've been teaching the craft for more than half of that time, long before anyone could spell GPS. How did I learn? by getting out there, practicing techniques that I learned from others, but mostly from myself. By making the mistakes that I swore I would never make again. By getting" confused", "lost", "mixed up", and figuring out how and why I did the things I did and what I should have done to make my life easier on the way to my destination. I learned to navigate, not to reach a required destination but rather to lean how to navigate in the woods, that was my enjoyment, the journey in itself. Hitting that corner of the lake I was aiming for was my drug rush. Eventually it took little effort to do it with precision every time, and, even more importantly, to be able to put my finger on the exact spot I was standing at any intermediate point.

So then came GPS. Well, ok, nice tool when it is required. As a NYSDEC certified SAR crew boss, I learned the necessary functions (and many not-so-necessary functions) to operate a SAR mission.

I have from time to time put a GPS in my pack when recreationally hiking, going off trail. What I hate is the extreme temptation to turn it on when "confused", "lost", or "mixed up". As I mentioned above, I learned to navigate by myself in detail when I had those feelings and had to figure out for myself how to get out of the situation. That is my joy.

As a canoe racer, I will usually have a GPS mounted in front of me. Since I know most of the local canoe routes, its only purpose is for spoed monitoring. The big exception is when I race on the Yukon River, when I have two GPS units mounted in front of me with different displays showing. These show me not only current and average speed made, but which way to go in my preplanned route around the next island and where I know the fastest current lies.

So I dont' treat the GPS as a toy, it is a tool. One to be used in specific cases where it is most needed. Otherwise my overland journey pleasure is to go without electronic aid. Everyone knows from experience and instructors will tell students that land navigation is a "perishable skill". The only cure is to practice, practice, practice.

skiguy
02-19-2019, 07:29 PM
Here are a bunch of tracks from a place I've obviously hiked a bunch of times. Which track should I follow? Two are 180 feet from each other. Trying to follow pretty much any of them is going to put me off trail, not on it. GPS is helpful for a bunch of things, but if staying on a trail is one of them, I have yet to figure out how to do it.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6140&d=1550611702. In hopes of trying to be supportive and helpful this may give some insight. https://www.brighthub.com/electronics/gps/articles/43189.aspx

6140


TomK In hopes of being helpful and supportive this article may give some insight. https://www.brighthub.com/electronics/gps/articles/43189.aspx

bikehikeskifish
02-19-2019, 07:39 PM
https://www.gps.gov/systems/gps/performance/accuracy/

There are many things that contribute to accuracy of GPS, only some of which relate to the device and some of which relate to the user. Even in what I consider the most controlled circumstances that I can provide, there is considerable variability.

Use Case 1 - Stem Mounted, Garmin 520 Cycling GPS and my last 100 bicycle commutes to work, all following the same route. I zoomed in on a corner as that had the largest amount of visible deviation.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6141

Use Case 2 - Pocket Mounted Apple iPhone 6s and my last 100 times walking my dog in the neighborhood. Again I zoomed in on a corner.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6142

There aren't walls or cliffs or other obstructions in these corners. There are leafs and ice and snow and other seasonal changes.

Use Case 3 - Backpack mounted Garmin 76CSx, Out-and-Back in a snowshoe track.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6143


FWIW,
Tim

TJsName
02-19-2019, 09:38 PM
Given the choice, I'd probably follow the trail in this circumstance. But I'd also read the guidebook and study the map ahead of time. The turn at Gem Pool is well noted.

I had a friend lead a group astray while attempting to do Isolation at night via Glen Boulder. We ended up hiking the Avalanche Brook Ski trail all the way down to the Rocky Branch trail. This was the last time I went on a hike just following-the-leader. We chastised him at the time, but I didn't know there was a ski trail either, so I was no better (I did become skeptical, pointing out that hiking trails aren't typically marked with plastic markings).

While leaders should be held to a higher standard, some don't (or can't) rise to the occasion. Hopefully we live and learn and move on. Just like with gear, one should try to avoid a single point of failure with the "brain" stuff. :)

Remix
02-19-2019, 11:44 PM
Weren't all the AMC White Mountain maps generated by an employee hiking with a GPS?

What gear did he use?

Raven
02-20-2019, 04:50 AM
Given the choice, I'd probably follow the trail in this circumstance. But I'd also read the guidebook and study the map ahead of time. The turn at Gem Pool is well noted.


This is a key point becoming less obvious to hikers all the time it appears. Read the trail description from a guide book, note the features, distances, and changes in elevation. People have successfully hiked the Whites for over 100 years. GPS doesn't replace reading about the terrain one is covering.

I understand people who like the cool features of GPS technology. To each his own. Personally, I don't carry electronics in the woods. Once in awhile I'll take a cell phone. I go to the woods to leave those facades behind. GPS will come and go as all technology does. The mountains will still be here.

I also think they're a bit overkill for recreational trail hiking. Again personal opinion. I can clearly see the value for S&R as mistakes are too costly to risk, but a GPS can lead a person home in the dark in the northern Atlantic with no visuals in sight. That's a very different environment than being on solid ground, marked trail system, map and compass, feature recognition, and elevation changes. Am I one of the few that thinks GPS takes a bit of the fun and adventure out of being in the woods?

peakbagger
02-20-2019, 05:24 AM
Guy Waterman for one was not a fan of electronics in the woods and has a chapter in one of his books about the impact. It was written before GPS and cell phones were readily available and refers to the use of a short wave radio but the commentary still applies.

jniehof
02-20-2019, 06:04 AM
We chastised him at the time, but I didn't know there was a ski trail either
The WMG maps used to include a few of the major ski trails, including Avalanche Brook. They removed them a few editions ago, which I think was a mistake. Mapmakers in general should mark junctions with "this used to be a major trail" or "this is a trail but you shouldn't take it" as they're very obvious landmarks. Just put a little cross and don't have it go anywhere.

Barkingcat
02-20-2019, 06:23 AM
Some of the reasons I will never leave my gps in my pack even on known trails is to stay sharp with it and to perfect tracks for future hikes in any conditions that may arise.

Simply because I leave the GPS in the pack doesn't mean that it's not turned on and recording a track; it is. I believe that one of OP's concerns was that some folks tend to do nothing but look at their GPS while hiking, instead of honing navigational skills based on visual cues from surroundings, and I can empathize.

dug
02-20-2019, 06:59 AM
Hmmm....Never hiked with a GPS. Don't even own one.

Oh well, another reason why I've become a hiking community outlaw I suppose...

Tom_Murphy
02-20-2019, 07:25 AM
Some of the reasons I will never leave my gps in my pack .....

I agree that on the water without the benefit of land features, a GPS is essential.

But my map and compass don't need electricity.

Mike P.
02-20-2019, 09:04 AM
What's a GPS? (and yes, my initials are MAP)

FWIW, I do very little actual bushwhacking, closest winter bushwhacking I do is walking through the woods often within earshot of ski trails on Pat's Peak in Henniker, I'll be doing it again for the 3rd time this weekend.

Sticking on marked trails, following brooks from time to time (Cowboy Brook bushwhack before taking the logging road into the back of Camp Dodge when doing Carter Dome, South & Middle Carter and limiting the road walk when you have just one car)

At this point, I'm rarely looking at the maps anymore during the trip. Afterall, that's part of pre-trip planning, map and trail guide reading. (I guess if you drive north without knowing where your hiking in the Whites or the ADKs or wherever, then yes, you better be looking at all the maps and electronics you need) A featureless ocean is another story altogether....

bikehikeskifish
02-20-2019, 10:59 AM
The thing about ocean navigation (and to be clear - I do not have a USCG license (I do have a NH State Boating License), but have been a mate on a charter boat on/off for 30 years) is that you're not relying solely on the GPS either. You have a general compass bearing back to port. You often have radar to identify inlets (in addition to hazards). You often have sonar to read bottom structure (fish) and/or to find the channel. You have buoys (Red, Right, Return). You have lighthouses and other visual landmarks. You have maps and charts and a compass. What you don't have is a visible trail. It's kind of like bushwhacking in a giant open field where the local, micro navigation is less important than the gross, macro navigation.

You could suffer complete electrical failure on the boat and have to rely on the chart(s) and the compass to get home. Maybe in pea soup fog.

Tim

iAmKrzys
02-20-2019, 11:50 AM
Hmmm....Never hiked with a GPS. Don't even own one.

Oh well, another reason why I've become a hiking community outlaw I suppose...
Do you own a smartphone? If you do then it is almost certain that it has a built in GPS and you carry it on your hikes.

If you don't then you have a life free of electronic chains. It's kind of a modern version of leading a hermit life (not judging anything here, just making a statement.)

skiguy
02-20-2019, 11:55 AM
6144
What's a GPS? (and yes, my initials are MAP)
I personally find a GPS to be a distraction from the real reason I am in the woods. I have used one occasionally but usually only to collect data about my hike.

dug
02-20-2019, 12:21 PM
Do you own a smartphone? If you do then it is almost certain that it has a built in GPS and you carry it on your hikes.

If you don't then you have a life free of electronic chains. It's kind of a modern version of leading a hermit life (not judging anything here, just making a statement.)

I do; it sits buried in the bottom of my pack along with all other forms of electronics. It's the reason why I do go out.

So, sure, I guess you got me on a technicality. I own a GPS, although never used it as such.

DayTrip
02-20-2019, 12:38 PM
I don't understand why everyone looks at this as an "either/or" conversation. Using a map/compass together with a GPS seems to be the most efficient way to navigate. There are things that are easier on a map like overall visualization of where you are against the terrain and landmarks and there are things the GPS is way easier for, like knowing your precise altitude (very useful finding yourself on a paper map) and getting quick, precise bearings to landmarks via way points, which can be pre-plotted or added on the map for calculations versus holding a compass to a map (especially in bad weather). Using each item for what they are best at makes for smooth, efficient navigating to me as opposed to being a die-hard purist of one over the other.

Based on many "debates" I have had on Facebook about this I think the big issue nowadays is people just take off hiking or wandering around and make no effort to keep track of where they are for hours on end. Then suddenly they loose track of turns or the weather gets bad and obscures landmarks and now they start from scratch trying to figure out where they are. That certainly puts the pressure on when you can't see where you are going, it's getting dark, wind has obscured a snow shoe track, etc. This seems to be what is regarded as "navigating" now and why so many people think you must have a GPS to "navigate". They're starting in the middle.

Mike P.
02-20-2019, 12:39 PM
Do you own a smartphone? If you do then it is almost certain that it has a built in GPS and you carry it on your hikes.

If you don't then you have a life free of electronic chains. It's kind of a modern version of leading a hermit life (not judging anything here, just making a statement.)

Smart phone, dumb user, I am sure I don't know how to use it. If I am not hiking solo, my 15 year old is likely with me and he loves telling Google what his current location is, I always select no on my phone when asked. I love the Jack Links ad, some run with Sasquatch, some run from Sasquatch..... (Depending on how long you've been out, Sasquatch may run from you.....:D:eek::eek:)

Mike P.
02-20-2019, 12:49 PM
Based on many "debates" I have had on Facebook about this I think the big issue nowadays is people just take off hiking or wandering around and make no effort to keep track of where they are for hours on end. Then suddenly they loose track of turns or the weather gets bad and obscures landmarks and now they start from scratch trying to figure out where they are. That certainly puts the pressure on when you can't see where you are going, it's getting dark, wind has obscured a snow shoe track, etc. This seems to be what is regarded as "navigating" now and why so many people think you must have a GPS to "navigate". They're starting in the middle.

That would explain some of the dumb@$$ rescues, I left the car, took trails with names that began with vowels and the snow and ice on the rocks above treeline covered up the paint on the rocks. So many piles of rocks up above treeline too, I wonder why someone stacked some of them up but left so many others.... Then again, they only found the trailhead because their car's Navigation system got them there. Any chance that the HAL 9000 can be modified for automobiles..:D

Nessmuk
02-20-2019, 01:28 PM
IUsing a map/compass together with a GPS seems to be the most efficient way to navigate. It may be the most efficient if you are involved with doing a job where the goal is that you absolutely must arrive at X, Y, and Z without deviation or error. That is what I must do by using the most definitive tools (GPS plus M&C) during a SAR incident, surveying property, or while canoe racing. But for this dinosaur it is not necessarily the most enjoyable or personally rewarding way to travel in the backcountry. What percentage of time is spent staring at the little GPS screen instead of observing the landscape? I keep being drawn to the video I show during training where a string of young boys and girls is following a trail through the woods and fields. All except for one girl are walking while staring down at the device in their hand. The one girl has her head on a swivel, looking at the landscape in all directions around her. Which person do you think is getting the most total enjoyment and memory out of their hike?

Several Years ago I was hiking with a long time senior land navigation instructor in a favorite remote off trail area deep in the Adirondacks. He was an early hand held GPS and other gadget adaptor and couldn't leave the thing alone. Every time we stopped he would declare where we were by looking at the screen. Finally at one point I said "no, we are really here", pointing to a place on my paper topo map somewhat removed from his declared position. "Just look at the shape of that nearby sloping ridge line end, and the bay of the lake is coming upon us. You are missing all of this." With that he put his "toy" away (up to that point he had been treating it as a toy), and didn't take it out again. Better to be saved for use on his hot air balloon (he was a balloon pilot/owner) with his ground recovery crew.

DayTrip
02-20-2019, 05:47 PM
But for this dinosaur it is not necessarily the most enjoyable or personally rewarding way to travel in the backcountry. What percentage of time is spent staring at the little GPS screen instead of observing the landscape?

I agree. Nothing makes me crazier than seeing a group of people on a summit all drooling on their phones, posting selfies and generally missing the whole experience. Totally missing the point in my opinion but to each their own. Of course people do that everywhere now, not just the mountains. Sad really.

I really enjoy the planning part of hikes and spend a lot of time looking at the maps, studying routes, printing my own CalTopo maps with notes, etc. When I'm actually out on the trail the hike is usually embedded enough in my memory that I don't even refer to the maps or GPS. The GPS on 99% of my hikes is for time and record keeping really, with some waypoint marking for reference in case its needed later. I've started to bushwhack more and find that even then I don't refer to map or GPS much because I've researched where I intend to go and have a feel for the terrain. I usually use the GPS more for "how far am I" questions rather than "where am I" questions. Navigating off trail really is an enjoyable and rewarding process. Always feels good improvising a route to meet an objective.

TJsName
02-20-2019, 10:36 PM
I agree. Nothing makes me crazier than seeing a group of people on a summit all drooling on their phones, posting selfies and generally missing the whole experience. Totally missing the point in my opinion but to each their own. Of course people do that everywhere now, not just the mountains. Sad really.


Counterpoint: https://xkcd.com/1314/ :)

CaptCaper
02-21-2019, 01:41 AM
I agree. Nothing makes me crazier than seeing a group of people on a summit all drooling on their phones, posting selfies and generally missing the whole experience. Totally missing the point in my opinion but to each their own. Of course people do that everywhere now, not just the mountains. Sad really.

I really enjoy the planning part of hikes and spend a lot of time looking at the maps, studying routes, printing my own CalTopo maps with notes, etc. When I'm actually out on the trail the hike is usually embedded enough in my memory that I don't even refer to the maps or GPS. The GPS on 99% of my hikes is for time and record keeping really, with some waypoint marking for reference in case its needed later. I've started to bushwhack more and find that even then I don't refer to map or GPS much because I've researched where I intend to go and have a feel for the terrain. I usually use the GPS more for "how far am I" questions rather than "where am I" questions. Navigating off trail really is an enjoyable and rewarding process. Always feels good improvising a route to meet an objective.

I don't agree. I enjoy the hike even more. I stay longer to take time to photo shoot or check the emails. Can't get a better place to see the world we come from then looking into the phone on a summit. Or capturing the moment. Fool on the hill I guess. Your missing out in my opinion.

This is just one thing we do with the GPS at the summit. Your missing many more. We sit down with the gps and use the many mountain summit waypoints and other points in it to see the distance and bearing and enjoy every summit we find because of it. I doubt you can name every summit and hill all over NH and USA with just your eyes and brain.

Raven
02-21-2019, 05:45 AM
I find myself grateful that I began hiking at a time before gps, cell phones, and other screen technology. There was something pure about seeking the address to request NEHH info and getting a manila envelope filled with scratchy photocopies of route notes.

It was a slow, deliberate, enjoyable process. Finding USGS maps, marking routes, then eventually using the descriptions and terrain features along with map and compass to find the summits. Those experiences cannot be matched using a screen. It had meaning. It was authentic.

Now a phone with an arrow will show you where to go while you shut your mind off. The skill set has left the person and been placed into the phone. So the question then is, what do you have, if you don't have your screen?

If your head is buried in a phone, please look up periodically so you don't run into the hikers.

DayTrip
02-21-2019, 06:41 AM
I don't agree. I enjoy the hike even more. I stay longer to take time to photo shoot or check the emails. Can't get a better place to see the world we come from then looking into the phone on a summit. Or capturing the moment. Fool on the hill I guess. Your missing out in my opinion.

This is just one thing we do with the GPS at the summit. Your missing many more. We sit down with the gps and use the many mountain summit waypoints and other points in it to see the distance and bearing and enjoy every summit we find because of it. I doubt you can name every summit and hill all over NH and USA with just your eyes and brain.

I get that perspective and I probably did more of that when I first started hiking or when I am in a new area (although even then I have usually researched the hike thoroughly and don't need the map/GPS at least for what is around me). In the Whites I've been up there enough that I do indeed recognize everything I'm looking at from just about whatever summit I am on. I don't need the reference.

I tend to do what you describe much more at home when I pull my track up in CalTopo and review on the map on a nice big screen (I use a 47 inch TV as my computer monitor), look at terrain, toggle in and out of satellite view, etc. When I am actually on the trail I want to take in the views and take pictures. I take a ridiculous amount of pictures on most hikes. I have the whole work week to enjoy the "stats" of the hike and relive it through picture and videos. I find as I get older that the memory of the hikes fades so fast that I don't want to waste the actual in the moment enjoyment of it doing "homework". Bottom line is whatever you enjoy is what you should be doing. Doesn't matter what I'm doing.

CaptCaper
02-21-2019, 08:42 AM
I get that perspective and I probably did more of that when I first started hiking or when I am in a new area (although even then I have usually researched the hike thoroughly and don't need the map/GPS at least for what is around me). In the Whites I've been up there enough that I do indeed recognize everything I'm looking at from just about whatever summit I am on. I don't need the reference.

I tend to do what you describe much more at home when I pull my track up in CalTopo and review on the map on a nice big screen (I use a 47 inch TV as my computer monitor), look at terrain, toggle in and out of satellite view, etc. When I am actually on the trail I want to take in the views and take pictures. I take a ridiculous amount of pictures on most hikes. I have the whole work week to enjoy the "stats" of the hike and relive it through picture and videos. I find as I get older that the memory of the hikes fades so fast that I don't want to waste the actual in the moment enjoyment of it doing "homework". Bottom line is whatever you enjoy is what you should be doing. Doesn't matter what I'm doing.

I agree but I just have time to do both on hikes and after plus enjoy hiking even more then years before the gps or phones came into it because of what they do. But that's me I have always been ahead of most in doing what I have had passion for in my life. From being a Master craftsman,PADI Divemaster, Snowmachines,Hiking,Building Boats and few other's. How do I know this? Let's say being 70yrs old I've seen a lot from this hill.

I really doubt you really know all the landmarks names precise distance's and bearings But I know what you mean.

Nessmuk
02-21-2019, 10:52 AM
This is just one thing we do with the GPS at the summit. Your missing many more. We sit down with the gps and use the many mountain summit waypoints and other points in it to see the distance and bearing and enjoy every summit we find because of it. I doubt you can name every summit and hill all over NH and USA with just your eyes and brain.What makes you think that people haven't been doing that for more than 150 years already with printed maps and a compass? In the northeast US you don't get many true long distance vista views unless you are on an open peak with a view. A compass and a map positioned such that the map is oriented to the earth will allow you to identify and enjoy every summit in view and find. When I guide a group to any location with a view, we enjoy using a bit of brainpower thought with study and observation of landscape and map, then putting the information together for identification. it's a fun thing to do and to realize that it can be done today by anyone just as it was done 100+ years ago by early surveyors and explorers. When my students learn how to do resection (triangulation) from distant visible points to pinpoint their current exact location, I often hear "hey this stuff really works" just as it did with early explorers. No batteries required :D

CaptCaper
02-21-2019, 11:43 AM
What makes you think that people haven't been doing that for more than 150 years already with printed maps and a compass? In the northeast US you don't get many true long distance vista views unless you are on an open peak with a view. A compass and a map positioned such that the map is oriented to the earth will allow you to identify and enjoy every summit in view and find. When I guide a group to any location with a view, we enjoy using a bit of brainpower thought with study and observation of landscape and map, then putting the information together for identification. it's a fun thing to do and to realize that it can be done today by anyone just as it was done 100+ years ago by early surveyors and explorers. When my students learn how to do resection (triangulation) from distant visible points to pinpoint their current exact location, I often hear "hey this stuff really works" just as it did with early explorers. No batteries required :D


Is that so.Gee I didn't know that. I hope you have maps for every state you go near. Unless your are the one who just hikes Mt Washington and Lafayette every time. And yes to each his own. I use and do both. Depending on the day. Again at least hikers are starting to use them vs years ago when I tried to teach and many said it's a toy I only will use the compass and map. Yea right. I wouldn't hike with that buddy for a million bucks.

Cheer's

Nessmuk
02-21-2019, 12:01 PM
Is that so.Gee I didn't know that. I hope you have maps for every state you go near. Unless your are the one who just hikes Mt Washington and Lafayette every time. And yes to each his own. I use and do both. Depending on the day. Again at least hikers are starting to use them vs years ago when I tried to teach and many said it's a toy I only will use the compass and map. Yea right. I wouldn't hike with that buddy for a million bucks. I happen to have more than 200 USGS topo maps just of NY State that I use for personal hiking and SAR. Several Dozens of others where I have been or plan to go including the SW US, California, Hawaii, Guam, Alaska and Canada. When I plan to go someplace new, I get the appropriate maps for study and to carry. When I have an unplanned trip, such as a for a SAR callout, I use Caltopo, NGTopo or another download that I can print to paper (or load into a GPS for SAR). It is not difficult to get a real map to use which I do for SAR and canoe racing as mentioned earlier. DEC rangers distribute paper maps of the assigned search area and may or may not have GPS coordinates available, if not then I use the maps to manually calculate UTM coordinates to load into my GPS. GPS is Not toy, it is a tool. Use it if you prefer. i do not prefer unless I need it as a professional tool. I have surveyor friends who depend on the tool to do their job with centimeter precision. I don't need that level for what I do. And yes to each his own.
I personally would not have a hiking partner who knew nothing about how to read a map and compass or hadn't practiced in recent times, for 10 million bucks. My life might depend upon their knowledge and ability to with confidence navigate to safety without a battery.

dug
02-21-2019, 12:20 PM
I agree but I just have time to do both on hikes and after plus enjoy hiking even more then years before the gps or phones came into it because of what they do. But that's me I have always been ahead of most in doing what I have had passion for in my life. From being a Master craftsman,PADI Divemaster, Snowmachines,Hiking,Building Boats and few other's. How do I know this? Let's say being 70yrs old I've seen a lot from this hill.

I really doubt you really know all the landmarks names precise distance's and bearings But I know what you mean.

Careful. Might pop your shoulder patting yourself on the back there.

richard
02-21-2019, 01:03 PM
Do you own a smartphone? If you do then it is almost certain that it has a built in GPS and you carry it on your hikes.

If you don't then you have a life free of electronic chains. It's kind of a modern version of leading a hermit life (not judging anything here, just making a statement.)

Mr Hermit here. I donít even own a cell phone ! ! ! 😱. I donít need the aggravation.

peakbagger
02-21-2019, 01:59 PM
Scudders Viewing Guide was the resource for figuring out what you were looking at in the pre digital map database era. https://www.amazon.com/Scudders-White-Mountain-Viewing-Guide/dp/0964585693

Its worth the money for the one or two page description of how to predict when the weather will be the best on the summits for long distance views. He was supposed to come out with Maine edition but never did.

I have some copies from the Maine Forest Service of maps that were developed for use with a Osbourne firefinder https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_Fire_Finder. They were tower specific and were based on USGS 1921 topo except all the place name lettering was radially oriented from the center and surrounding the map was a hand drawn profile of the surrounding peaks out to the horizon with each summit named and special indicators for the location of other fire towers. I have the Aziscohos map and the Mt Speck map and they also indicate what state or nationality the visible towers were as from either tower, Maine, NH, VT and Canadian towers might be visible.

Remix
02-21-2019, 02:03 PM
Mr Hermit here. I don’t even own a cell phone ! ! ! ��. I don’t need the aggravation.

Going back to the OP OT, it looks like there was a disagreement between which way to go based on the difference between terrain features and a GPS. Its not even clear that there would be agreement if that GPS was a compass. Then things went south, south being the direction of strong opinions about the GPS versus map and compass.

FWIW there is nothing more powerful than having all instruments available to you. Just look at the logic.

1) Reduces risk of losing position due to miscalculations or misuse

Misuse of GPS can be detected with map and compass. Misuse of map/compass (I have listed 2 incidents that occurred to me over the 18+ years I have been navigating with a compass). Although I never needed a compass while hiking in the Mojave, I took it with me without checking to see if there magnetic analogies from all the ore mines in the area. I reasoned that I could depend on terrain and the GPS so I went out anyway.

2) Enhances Practice with Map and Compass.

Sitting around in a class or in the comfort of many people on a short training hike and doing map/compass exercises is a good start, but you really don't have any skin to lose if someone points out your mistake before you start to move. And, if its very, very important to know your position, there is a good chance that anxiety is in the mix. Anxiety provokes errors.

In the ethic of self-reliance, skills have to be practiced and executed on your own. Practice is most effective when you can get good feedback from a GPS that your map/compass determination is off or when you can actually get a good feel for how far "off" you are. This builds confidence.


As I had suggested, AMC WMNF maps were indeed redrawn using a high end GPS/antenna system by a hiker. So there is a chicken/egg situation if you bring a map into the equation. Or perhaps, if you are adamant, you may want to question the accuracy of the GPS-drawn maps....

3) Ancillary Benefits

Are people still bringing nitrogen-charged pens and rite-in-the rain pads with them? I have used my GPS to mark water seeps and rattlesnake sightings (on Tongue Mountain Range), unusual birds or tracks, good places to camp, other sources of water, presence of beavers, whatever.... Its sort of a travel diary that does not cost anything, with nothing lost if it fails. The data is up in the cloud, is easy to share, gives unambiguous location information, and looking at it still brings fond memories back of some old hikes through Pharoah Wilderness for me.

Salty
02-21-2019, 07:15 PM
Weren't all the AMC White Mountain maps generated by an employee hiking with a GPS?

What gear did he use?

Yep, Larry Garland to be precise. You can see his setup is a bit more professional grade. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=x_NvGK_p7cc

srhigham
02-21-2019, 09:32 PM
Larry Garland was using differential GPS. Per Wikipedia:

Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS) are enhancements to the Global Positioning System (GPS) which provide improved location accuracy, in the range of operations of each system, from the 15-meter
nominal GPS accuracy to about 10 cm in case of the best implementations.

Each DGPS uses a network of fixed ground-based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the GPS satellite system and known fixed positions. These stations broadcast the difference between the measured satellite pseudoranges and actual (internally computed) pseudoranges, and receiver stations may correct their pseudoranges by the same amount. The digital correction signal is typically broadcast locally over ground-based transmitters of shorter range.

iAmKrzys
02-21-2019, 09:40 PM
GPS is Not toy, it is a tool.
For some tools and some people (myself included) the line between a tool and a toy gets very, very blurry! :)

It's definitely one of the tools in my hiking toolbox and I do carry paper maps and compass. I did loose a map mid-hike not that long ago, so it's good to have options.

bikehikeskifish
02-21-2019, 10:06 PM
to be precise.

I see what you did there ;)
Tim

DougPaul
02-21-2019, 10:47 PM
Larry Garland was using differential GPS. Per Wikipedia:

Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS) are enhancements to the Global Positioning System (GPS) which provide improved location accuracy, in the range of operations of each system, from the 15-meter
nominal GPS accuracy to about 10 cm in case of the best implementations.

Each DGPS uses a network of fixed ground-based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the GPS satellite system and known fixed positions. These stations broadcast the difference between the measured satellite pseudoranges and actual (internally computed) pseudoranges, and receiver stations may correct their pseudoranges by the same amount. The digital correction signal is typically broadcast locally over ground-based transmitters of shorter range.
DGPS corrections can also be applied in post-processing. Some of the trail locations might not have been allowed reception of the DGPS signal preventing real-time corrections. If one records the pseudo-ranges received at both the reference location and the rover, the corrections can be applied later. (This is what is often done for the highest accuracy surveying. The highest accuracy surveying can also use measured satellite orbits rather than the predicted orbits used for real-time location.)

The accuracy of DGPS depends on a number of things, including the distance between the reference and the rover. (Closer is more accurate.)

Doug

Remix
02-21-2019, 11:16 PM
DGPS corrections can also be applied in post-processing. Some of the trail locations might not have been allowed reception of the DGPS signal preventing real-time corrections. If one records the pseudo-ranges received at both the reference location and the rover, the corrections can be applied later. (This is what is often done for the highest accuracy surveying. The highest accuracy surveying can also use measured satellite orbits rather than the predicted orbits used for real-time location.)

The accuracy of DGPS depends on a number of things, including the distance between the reference and the rover. (Closer is more accurate.)

Doug

I think Doug is right.

Larry's receiver was probably not receiving the correction signals. However, some server on the interwebz was recording the correction data. Larry probably uploaded his data to a service like OPUS (https://www.ngs.noaa.gov/OPUS/) (free), OPUS figured out what the best reference station was based on distance and satellite constellation, OPUS did the math and applied corrections to Larry's data , and then OPUS emailed Larry with the superaccurate tracks

I just did some checking...and no, unfortunately, we cannot submit our past GPX files to Opus and have them post processed to highly accurate tracks...OPUS only accepts data from survey grade receivers...

Nessmuk
02-22-2019, 07:02 AM
For some tools and some people (myself included) the line between a tool and a toy gets very, very blurry! :)

It's definitely one of the tools in my hiking toolbox and I do carry paper maps and compass. I did loose a map mid-hike not that long ago, so it's good to have options.One of these may help. I have several different sizes and I never go afield without carrying my map(s) in one. Windproof and waterproof. Infinitely more durable than a zip lock bag while traveling through heavy brush. Difficult to leave behind while bushwhacking after a rest stop, as you refer to it to continue on your route.
https://www.seallinegear.com/map-case

jfb
02-22-2019, 08:03 AM
No the bushwhacker said the gps says got this way...up the ravine. So we followed. We lost close to a good hour pushing through the trees and DEEP snow.

I'll bet the bushwhacker learned something about following trails as a result of this trip. Y'all did well by sticking together and staying out of trouble. If I were the leader, I would not let him break trail in the future.

Nessmuk
02-22-2019, 08:33 AM
Snow covered trails can be difficult to follow, but even in summer mistakes are made that can lead one astray on what should be easy to follow trails.

I was instructing an annual wilderness guide training course when hiking on the way into an area for an overnight stay we came upon an intersecting trail coming in at an angle to the main trail in a "Y". I stopped the group to specifically point out a misshapen birch tree at the "Y" intersection. Note also that the main route is a well traveled canoe trail.

Normally I follow the group at the end of the line and a designated student as group leader makes all the decisions (the students take turns being "leader of the day"). I only intervene in case of impending safety issues, but not for navigation errors. I let those errors play out with whatever consequence follows. The next day on the way out, sure enough the student guide by passed by that birch on the wrong side, heading down the wrong trail. Now this odd diverging trail ran offset but semi-parallel to the desired trail, but with a spruce swamp in between. So on what is supposed to be a canoe carry trail, we are walking through muddy spots with no previous tracks (such as ours from the day before), and there are low hanging trees that would make overhead canoe carrying impossible. No one seemed to notice these facts or to remember the details of the correct trail which had curves and small hills. I just let this go on for as far as they would take us. Finally after about a half mile one of the students thought something was wrong. A discussion, not quite an argument ensued with the leader and other students. I just shrugged my shoulders when they looked at me. Looking at the map, some wanted to cut across the swamp to reach the right trail and where we left our canoes. Ultimately, we backtracked to the missed intersection as was the correct decision. I had to remind them of that odd tree, and why I always turn around to observe the reverse view whenever I come across an intersection or other location of note. All ended up well, everyone passed the course that year, but not without a strong critique.

I'm glad they made this mistake ( and several others during the week of training). When I was learning the craft, I made many mistakes, but learned good things from each one and resolved to never let that happen again. Luckily none were fatal or extremely serious, but had I continued and not recognized some of the worst mistakes early, they could have been. Learning by mistake, and analyzing how and why the mistake was made, IMO was the best way to learn. I never forgot what my Air Force instructor navigator once told me so many years ago. I can still hear him while standing over my shoulder saying: "Every navigator will make mistakes. The difference between a new navigator and an experienced one is how quickly the mistake is recognized and corrected." I have lived by that advice ever since in my air and land navigation endeavors.

Grey J
02-22-2019, 08:57 AM
"I always turn around to observe the reverse view whenever I come across an intersection or other location of note." Nessmuk

Possibly the best piece of advice contained in this entire thread.

autonomy
02-22-2019, 03:07 PM
https://www.gps.gov/systems/gps/performance/accuracy/

There are many things that contribute to accuracy of GPS, only some of which relate to the device and some of which relate to the user. Even in what I consider the most controlled circumstances that I can provide, there is considerable variability.

Use Case 1 - Stem Mounted, Garmin 520 Cycling GPS and my last 100 bicycle commutes to work, all following the same route. I zoomed in on a corner as that had the largest amount of visible deviation.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6141

Use Case 2 - Pocket Mounted Apple iPhone 6s and my last 100 times walking my dog in the neighborhood. Again I zoomed in on a corner.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6142

There aren't walls or cliffs or other obstructions in these corners. There are leafs and ice and snow and other seasonal changes.

Use Case 3 - Backpack mounted Garmin 76CSx, Out-and-Back in a snowshoe track.

https://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=6143


FWIW,
Tim

While I don't feel very qualified to talk about most of everything else discussed in this thread, I know a thing or two about GPS. What you see above, especially the last image, are very typical of consumer-level GPS units (a lot of which use the same SIRFstar chip) - 1Hz update rate, tracks all over the place. Even on multiple outings your tracks will not overlap. Accuracy depends on where you are in the world, how many satellites are overhead, where they are in the sky, what the tree canopy looks like, what the cloud layer looks like, what's going on in the troposphere/ionosphere... so - accuracy of several meters (<7.8 with 95% probability).

If - like already mentioned - you can get a signal from a differential station (DGPS), you can bring that down to 10-15cm.

If you have several thousand $ to burn and you can get an internet signal in the mountains, you can get an RTK (real-time kinematics) correction that brings you down to 1cm. Yes, survey-grade 1 centimeter! And you can pay to get updates more often than 1Hz. Having most of my experience with jumpy consumer-level devices, it was kind of amazing and unbelievable to see how steady and precise RTK-DGPS can be.

DougPaul
02-23-2019, 11:30 PM
I just did some checking...and no, unfortunately, we cannot submit our past GPX files to Opus and have them post processed to highly accurate tracks...OPUS only accepts data from survey grade receivers...
A GPX file does not contain the information required to perform the correction. You need the pseudo-ranges. DGPS corrects errors in the pseudo-ranges before using them to compute the location, velocity, and time.

There are also techniques (eg dual frequency) not used in typical hiking GPSes that can increase the accuracy.

Doug

Mike P.
02-25-2019, 02:38 PM
On a prior page, their was some discussion on knowing bearings and names of points out in the field. Like others here, I am comfortable identifying the prominent features from bare summits that I care about. (Am I getting Big Attitash and Tremont right? Am I missing a few of the hills north Cannon or Lafayette, looking towards VT but not all the way to Mansfield, liek Hunger and the Worcester range, probably, however I don't really care either.) We all hike our own hike.


I've brought a map out on a good day and oriented it with a compass, what I can't do is get teens (mostly scouts) to take the time and effort. If you can see the general area of your home, that might be nice. However, if you are a tourist from 150 -240 miles away....

We were on Eisenhower a few years ago & most of the group saw all they cared to see, a wide open vista and where we planned to stop for lunch. They could Identify the Mt. Washington by the Red Roof, Monroe and Washington were easy enough and the near by notch beyond Pierce was Crawford Notch. None of them, except maybe my son will get to Tom, Field & Willey and highly unlikely they will get there in the future unless a SO is part of the UNH or Dartmouth Outing Club. I'll personally buy my son a GPS if one day he honestly says, I'd like to climb Mt. Dartmouth and The Captain nest weekend.