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Thread: Smartphones put hikers in danger. What a surprise

  1. #31
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    While I'm sweating as much as I normally do when bushwhacking in heavy brush between ponds and climbing ridges and peaks, as I try to hydrate as much as I can, I don't worry too much about temporary higher than normal sodium intake.
    "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. #32
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cragway View Post
    Hope your not consuming the whole can........at just under a 1,000 mg of sodium per serv. @ 2.5 servings per can...well,
    you do the math
    Sodium (chloride = table salt) is the primary electrolyte in electrolyte drinks. Some salt at dinner (along with water) is often helpful in restoring one's hydration level.

    Doug

  3. #33
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    As a NYT subscriber, wasn't aware the link I posted had a paywall for viewers. Apologies.
    "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

  4. #34
    Senior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    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.
    Had the same thing happen visiting my cousins in near Mt Pilatus Switzerland in 2006. Garmin took straight up single farmpath mountain roads with 2,000 ft drop-offs one side and no room to pass, but only to back up to wider passing pull-offs - fortunately only came upon a farm tractor. We decided to stay on it because it was an adventure, but it was both exhilarating and terrifying at once. I then later learned to deselect "dirt roads" and "most direct route"
    Rick

  5. #35
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    The Gaia Ap now comes up on my Android Auto options on my Toyota. It comes up with a default Gaia map that shows all the roads plus all sorts of trails and off road features. Far more interesting than a boring Google map. I wonder when the first news article comes up about someone following the Gaia Ap on their car leading to someone going really off road pops up.

    Vermont has numerous roads that I have seen marked with "Your GPS is wrong, dead end or road closed in winter. The problem is that they are usually way out in the woods so that turning around means a major detour by the time the driver sees the sign, rarely are the road gated so the temptation is to keep going.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The Gaia Ap now comes up on my Android Auto options on my Toyota. It comes up with a default Gaia map that shows all the roads plus all sorts of trails and off road features. Far more interesting than a boring Google map. I wonder when the first news article comes up about someone following the Gaia Ap on their car leading to someone going really off road pops up.

    Vermont has numerous roads that I have seen marked with "Your GPS is wrong, dead end or road closed in winter. The problem is that they are usually way out in the woods so that turning around means a major detour by the time the driver sees the sign, rarely are the road gated so the temptation is to keep going.

    That's great news! Now I can take my phone off my dash. Going really off road is the best part about that layer. When in the NMW, that layer was the most useful map in my arsenal, being more accurate than the most recent gazetteer. Between that layer with all the class VI and IV roads and the MVUM layer you can pretty much drive from CT to Canada through MA, VT, NH, and ME and barely touch pavement.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Speaking of Vermont, we used our GPS to follow a road that got worse and worse until we came to a bridge with a hand-painted sign that said:

    "Bridge not known to be safe for car traffic"

    We got out and took a look, and decided to chance it, as there were recent tracks on both sides. We made it.

    The local problem is Spruceton Road, which is a long dead-end access road for the Devil's Path, North Dome, Sherrill, Westkill, Leavitt, Rusk, and most importantly, Hunter Mountain. Countless skiers have gotten to the end of the road and asked how to get to the ski center.
    Tom Rankin
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    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
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  8. #38
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    I will not hike without a gps running all day. And I won't hike with someone who doesn't have and or use them.
    You wouldn't hike with someone skilled at map & compass navigation? If you have one, what would be the point of their carrying one?

    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    The use of analog devices exercises a different part of my brain than digital devices. I find a certain purging cognitively that this provides. Like the old saying goes.¬”Time to get away from it all¬”.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    On the other hand, when I am hiking for my own recreation pleasure in the wilderness, I gain no better joy and satisfaction than when I leave the GPS at home and use my vision and cranial thought processes to succeed with map and compass. Do I get occasionally confused? Sure, but I find there has been no better way to learn and improve than to make a mistake and learn from recovery. Mistakes become increasing rare with experience.
    I couldn't agree more. It's especially rewarding when (a) you find yourself unsure of where you are and you have to figure out how to get to a place where you will know where you are, the satisfaction is multiplied when you're solo; (b) you pop out of the woods exactly where you intended, e.g. the trunk of your car or a specific spot on a trail; (c) both.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    For the past 30 years I have been on an instructor tream training and certifying young (typically college age) folks as Adirondack wilderness guides who are applying to work for BSA resident camps as tek leaders, guiding 5 day wilderness camping/canoeing trips for scouts and their adult leaders. Those lucky enough to get me as their trek instructor on their field exercise will get to visit a number of interesting remote locations that few others will ever see. That is, if they have learned map and compass as I had taught them in a previous class and practice training session. I know I am doing a good job when, as TEO implies, the "leader of the day" student shows that the light is on in their head and as a destination is exactly reached, then he or she says "hey, this really works". It makes me feel proud. In contast, I have been forced to recommend failure of some students who just couldn't get the concept and would likely be a danger to themselves and others in the backcountry. In particular, I caught one student cheating by using a hidden GPS. Instant failure. You want to learn how to use a GPS? I can do that for you, but lets talk about it in another session that does not include the map and compass only portion of the training exercise.

    Whatever happened to the guidance concept that I learned under.... well before anyone could even spell GPS. When something in what you observe in your surroundings does make sense with everything else you see or expect to see and confuision sets in, that is when you sit down on a log or rock, pull out a sandwich and a drink as you ponder the map and what you have done to get to where you are now. Chances are in a very few minutes you will realize a mistake has been made and you will figure out where you are and how to proceed from there.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 08-02-2021 at 10:53 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]

  10. #40
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned noting the sun's position in the sky as another point of orientation. Very handy to use when going gets thick.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  11. #41
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    No one has mentioned noting the sun's position in the sky as another point of orientation. Very handy to use when going gets thick.
    Natural clues to navigation. The Sun ( the direction of your shadow on the ground does not change much over the course of a half hour or so, but it may change rapidly around local noon, moreso when in low latitudes). Learn to recognize the stars and brighter planet positions at night. The normal regional prevailing wind direction (note the misshapen character of pine tree branch growth on windblown ridges, high peaks, and islands will be directred by the prevailing wind direction, even when the wind is not now blowing), the weathervane effect. What direction was the wind blowing in the morning (if the weather is not due to change for a couple of days, wind direction probably does not change direction much at all during a day of travel, but watch out for the influence of ridges and saddle cuts on wind direction) On clear high pressure blue sky days with mid altitude puffy clouds, the clouds will most likely be moving in the direction of the prevailing wind all day (toward E/NE in my part of the country).
    Some areas, like the Adirondacks, had ancient glaciers flow in a particular direction (southwest), so most ridges and longish lakes are aligned SW/NE due to past glaciation. Which way are rivers and streams flowing, does this direction make sense with what you know of the region from your pre-trip map study? You did study the map earlier, right?

    If you look around there are many natural clues to direction finding. The commonly heard clue of moss growth being always on the north side of trees, is not reliable so much, unless you note a preferential direction of growth in the area you are in as you enter the region on that day.
    It all works if you pay attention. Most important, if you note some clues that do not match with other clues in the landscape you are in, take the time to figure out a reasonable rationale of why this is.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 08-03-2021 at 10:17 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]

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    No one has mentioned noting the sun's position in the sky as another point of orientation. Very handy to use when going gets thick.
    Also, when hiking at night with no lights, it can be useful to throw small stones in the path ahead to locate steep drops that should be avoided.

  13. #43
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Here's another good use of a cellphone in the backcountry...

    You can listen to the NOAA weather broadcast from the Summit of Mount Washington, including the very useful Higher Summits Forecast, anytime you have cell service in da woods.

    Use a browser to access: https://noaaweatherradio.org and scroll in the station list to New Hampshire Mount Washington 162.500.

    The latest weather broadcast loop will begin to play. Use sparingly (once a day?) as this will burn battery time.

    There is a NOAA feed from Middleville NY that might be useful for the Dacks.

    Your phone's headlamp is not nearly as useful, unfortunately.
    Last edited by ChrisB; 08-09-2021 at 07:02 PM.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  14. #44
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The Gaia Ap now comes up on my Android Auto options on my Toyota. It comes up with a default Gaia map that shows all the roads plus all sorts of trails and off road features. Far more interesting than a boring Google map. I wonder when the first news article comes up about someone following the Gaia Ap on their car leading to someone going really off road pops up.
    Drivers have been getting in trouble with GPS for years...

    https://www.boston.com/news/local-ne...charlton-lake/

  15. #45
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Here's another good use of a cellphone in the backcountry...

    You can listen to the NOAA weather broadcast from the Summit of Mount Washington, including the very useful Higher Summits Forecast, anytime you have cell service in da woods.

    Use a browser to access: https://noaaweatherradio.org and scroll in the station list to New Hampshire Mount Washington 162.500.

    The latest weather broadcast loop will begin to play. Use sparingly (once a day?) as this will burn battery time.

    There is a NOAA feed from Middleville NY that might be useful for the Dacks.

    Your phone's headlamp is not nearly as useful, unfortunately.
    You can also carry a small NOAA weather radio. Some of them are pretty compact and give you lots of listening time on batteries.

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