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Thread: Smartphones put hikers in danger. What a surprise

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    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    Smartphones put hikers in danger. What a surprise

    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

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    I advised a hiker planning a presi traverse that dropping down in Great Gulf via Sphinx to camp and up the Great Gulf Headwall was not a time saver. I dont know what media he was using but he had heard that it might be a bit steep

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    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    I saw a similar article on how naughty Google is for telling people to go up that way on Ben Nevis. Maybe it's just me, but I saw the line between the parking and summit, and it's so obviously not meant to depict a trail - it's a perfect arc. Even so, how far could you get before you realized, "hey, this is getting nasty, and doesn't look like a trail at all! Oh well, my smartphone (being smarter than me obviously!) says it is so I'll just keep going!"

    If you're truly that daft, well, Darwin had some thoughts about that...

    Guess I should change my screen name to Saltmudgeon.

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Wow, some people are misled by their phones. Definitely a news flash. As PT Barnum allegedly said, "There's a sucker born every minute," and in terms of route finding, he once put up signs saying "This way to the egress," which people followed looking for his latest attraction. They sooon found themselves outside. Duh.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    On the other hand, crowdsourcing can lead to very accurate and timely trail/route information.

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

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    On the other hand, crowdsourcing can lead to very accurate and timely trail/route information.

    Tim
    Not sure if you are talking about AllTrails, but around here, it has a bad rep.
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Speaking of Scotland.... I was there with my family a couple of years ago. We had a large rented van and my son, a US Air Force fighter pilot was driving. I had a Garmin auto GPS, recently updated with maps of Europe. We were looking for a route from one town to the next that happened to be directly east of a village at our current location. The map showed the main highway looping north, then around to the south to our intended destination. But the GPS immediately took us to a nearby farmhouse yard, then through a gate onto an undulaitng hilly curvy farm road with the fighter pilot driving at his 'normal' speed and his mother hanging on with white knuckles. No other traffic, but it was spring lambing season with sheep, lambs, and highland cattle all watching us from the side of the road. In a few miles we made it to the destination village, through another farmer's yard and driveway on the other side. In all it was the one of the most memorable parts of our entire visit.

    Similarly in Germany, we were headed from one WWII memorial to another in a somewhat remote rural location. The GPS took us through a farm gate on a dirt path through a pasture directly to the monument we wanted to visit.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 07-20-2021 at 08:53 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]

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    Not sure if you are talking about AllTrails, but around here, it has a bad rep.
    I meant in a more general sense. Like, routes people are actually recording/traveling via GPS (GAIA, Strava, Waze, ...) And note I said can. Not does or always...

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

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I meant in a more general sense. Like, routes people are actually recording/traveling via GPS (GAIA, Strava, Waze, ...) And note I said can. Not does or always...

    Tim
    What I am finding with Gaia is their Gaia Topo map is more accurate and complete than my 5-10 year-old paper maps and guidebooks!

    I donít know how they gather trail data but itís obviously very up to date.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post

    I donít know how they gather trail data but itís obviously very up to date.
    https://www.openstreetmap.org/about

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    What I am finding with Gaia is their Gaia Topo map is more accurate and complete than my 5-10 year-old paper maps and guidebooks!

    I donít know how they gather trail data but itís obviously very up to date.
    I have Gaia on my phone but rarely use. It's more for local hikes and biking. But even they have some misinformation. Someone on ab FB group said they were doing the Sugarloaf's loop and was looking for more info. I said it's an out an back. They referenced Gaia. I no the trail in purple is there because the Sugarloaf Trail crosses it. It's a snowmobile corridor. But the one in green doesn't exist. At least not anymore. Perhaps years ago it was a snowmobile trail but was abandoned. At any rate, it's simple things like this that can get people completely lost. And I've seen the phantom trails in many other place with Gaia.

    Joe

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    If you need a cellphone with a GPS app you should stay out of the woods.

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    Member JToll's Avatar
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    I have noticed many phantom trails on the Caltopo maps.
    NH 4K: 48/48, VT 4K: 5/5, NY 4K: 2/46

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