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Thread: Watch the GPS or the Trail

  1. #46
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    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
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 02-21-2019 at 11:56 AM.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  2. #47
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    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

    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

  3. #48
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 02-21-2019 at 01:07 PM.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  4. #49
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    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.

  5. #50
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    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.

  6. #51
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    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-Whit.../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.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Remix; 02-21-2019 at 03:05 PM.

  8. #53
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remix View Post
    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

  9. #54
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    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.
    Steve H.
    NH4000 1976-1984
    NE4000 1984-1991

  10. #55
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    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.

  11. #56
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    to be precise.
    I see what you did there
    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  12. #57
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srhigham View Post
    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

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    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 (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...

  14. #59
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    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
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 02-22-2019 at 09:06 AM.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by LavaFalls View Post
    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.

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