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Thread: Busy F&G weekend

  1. #16
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Yes! I realize I have a bit more time in the woods than them but how do they not see a trail that looks like a highway to me.
    This group is certainly the choir, I've really only had trouble momentarily finding the trail when starting before sunrise in hardwood forests after all the leaves have come down. The leaves cover the obvious footpath and if it's a busy trail, blazes may be spread out as in normal summer conditions in the light, the trail is obvious. (My first time up Windham High Peak from the back, in the dark, early December, no snow)

    Relocations occur, side trails to brooks and vistas can turn people away. When the snow flies, we change the trails too. Valley Way in some years misses the turn near treeline and continues to the hut in the drainage, bad early and late but no issue in mid-winter. The upper section of Ammo isn't followed that well in winter and some have lost the trail at Gem Pool, as the more open option is along the water not up the narrower opening of the trail.

    Some trails have junctions with narrower trails and are at hard angles. Mizpah Cut-off near teh but is easy to miss in the dark or rain. The South loop of the Shenipsit Connector in CT was relocated and the old trail is still very visible and not blocked as roadside parking continues to use the old trail to access the trail and avoid walking on the road. In some state lands, Gas lines are buried underground but the ROW is kept clear. (Similar to picking up the Huntington Ravine Trail when it crosses the tote road up to the Cabin. Any place with recent or current logging will have logging roads make things harder also.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  2. #17
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Water bars and run-offs, bootleg switchbacks and herd paths, etc. have gotten me before. I've taken 4-5 steps before I've noticed my error dozens of times. It couldn't take much for someone not as confident in the woods to take another 10 steps in the wrong direction and be completely lost not 20 yards from a trail.

  3. #18
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    Was watching one of my 'local' news sources on cable last night and saw this story related to this. Col. Kevin Jordan being interviewed by a VT reporter on the limitations of electronic maps and other dependencies on them devices. I think many of us in Northern NH have to stich together a few news sources from the edges of our region to get a full picture. Personally the VT stations do a lot better for my area.

    https://www.mychamplainvalley.com/vi...rails/6083529/

    Nothing new or too detailed but a relevant story for the masses.
    Last edited by Andrew; 12-03-2020 at 05:13 PM. Reason: wrong link= sorry

  4. #19
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Yes! I realize I have a bit more time in the woods than them but how do they not see a trail that looks like a highway to me.
    It's a skill you learn with experience. Some people can look up at the night sky and pick out constellations at will. I on the other hand, can spot the Big Dipper, Orion's Belt and maybe the Pleiades and of course the North Star.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Hopefully today's weather keep most people home....
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  6. #21
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I question whether or not the app is really to blame. I have fantastic luck with Gaia, but I also have some experience with paper maps.

    Tim
    Me too. Gaia has been amazing in the town conservation areas closer to my house too. It's quite remarkable how accurate it is, really. That said, my iPhone battery is nearly useless if it gets below 20 degrees, so Gaia season has ended for me.
    Sure. Why not.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Me too. Gaia has been amazing in the town conservation areas closer to my house too. It's quite remarkable how accurate it is, really. That said, my iPhone battery is nearly useless if it gets below 20 degrees, so Gaia season has ended for me.
    I think these people are using something like AllTrails that often gives an incomplete picture of what is actually happening on the ground. It's crowdsourced and marketed towards the less experienced so the crowd it's sourced from isn't reliable. There is no standard in the written descriptions and perceived difficulty is entirely subjective. Gaia and CalTopo are much more powerful tools that give a much more complete picture of what is going on without the noise of the hivemind.

  8. #23
    Senior Member HockeyPuck's Avatar
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    It brings up a great conversation about the use of a cell phone as a valid source for mapping data (perhaps someone should start a new thread). We've all seen several news articles stating lost hikers were using a cell phone as their navigational device. I used to think "what a bonehead" but have recently changed my views on this subject.

    I carry paper maps** and compass as my emergency source of navigation. They rarely come out of my backpack. I carry a GPSr as my (previous) primary source of navigation and found the TOPO maps I purchased (in 2004-2005) are severely outdated. It doesn't contain updated trailhead information or trail rerouting. This has frustrated me on several occasions with all the AT rerouting in Maine as my GPSr maps show the old trail location.

    I've began using the free version of GaiaGPS and I found the maps much more accurate than both my paper copies and GPS however the free version was dependent on cell reception. I paid for a basic membership which allowed me to download multiple map sources to my phone (Apple) and doesn't rely on cell reception to pinpoint my location on the map(s). I've found it extremely accurate and it's surprisingly become my primary navigational aid.

    Nothing is better than the self-reliance of understanding how to use a map and compass. However, the cell phone (as long as the battery is charged) is a really convenient and reliable navigational aid.

    Note** My paper maps are printed from a free on-line resource such as CalTOPO or Acme Mapper and are not the maps provided in the AMC guide.

    Now when I read an article that states a lost hiker was using a cell phone as their primary mapping source, I'm not so quick to eye roll at how unprepared they might be...

  9. #24
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyPuck View Post
    Note** My paper maps are printed from a free on-line resource such as CalTOPO or Acme Mapper and are not the maps provided in the AMC guide.

    Now when I read an article that states a lost hiker was using a cell phone as their primary mapping source, I'm not so quick to eye roll at how unprepared they might be...
    It's basically the old "garbage in, garbage out" adage from the computer industry. If the user doesn't understand the concepts of reading and using a map and compass then the value of a GPS unit or app is greatly diminished.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  10. #25
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyPuck View Post
    I paid for a basic membership which allowed me to download multiple map sources to my phone (Apple) and doesn't rely on cell reception to pinpoint my location on the map(s). I've found it extremely accurate and it's surprisingly become my primary navigational aid.
    Does the app interface with your GPS to locate you on a map when there is no cell phone signal?
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
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  11. #26
    Member JToll's Avatar
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    When I upload a Caltopo map to Avenza it does show my location without using a cell phone signal.
    NH 4K: 48/48, VT 4K: 5/5, NY 4K: 2/46

  12. #27
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Does the app interface with your GPS to locate you on a map when there is no cell phone signal?
    Typically, the GPS knows where you are and can always give you lat/lon/elevation. It can't draw it on a map if it cannot download the map from the internet (unless it had previously done so and is the cache.)

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  13. #28
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Does the app interface with your GPS to locate you on a map when there is no cell phone signal?
    All popular hiking-oriented mapping apps that I am aware of utilize smartphone built-in gps and have some (perhaps paid) option to pre-download maps prior to hiking. Hence with a little planning ahead of the hike there should be no need for cell phone signal. I think the primary issues are accuracy of available maps, cell phone battery life (especially when it's very cold), reliability in challenging weather conditions (is your phone waterproof? is touch screen working ok when wet? do you need to take the gloves off to operate it?), ruggedness (what if you drop your phone on a rock or into a stream?) Advantage over a hiking gps is a bigger screen size with higher resolution.

    Personally, I prefer to keep my phone available for emergencies and use my hand-held gps instead. For the record, I also carry paper maps but most of the time they stay in my pack.

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