July 6, 2009

GPS vs. Map and Compass

When people hike into the woods for a day hike, sometimes the choice is not as critical, but when you are hiking, let's say into the White Mountains, or any back country area, you need to be able to rely on your navigation tools. I always carry a couple of sets of extra batteries to back up what I think I will need for my expected trip, and a paper map just in case. It's a system that hasn't failed me yet.

The AMC did a little run-off on the Map and Compass vs. the GPS in a nice little head to head exercise that helps set the stage for why you might want to bring both, while also pointing out the obvious: the GPS is a nice step forward in technology.

I will say that before you get a new GPS and carry it into the wilderness, you need to take the time to rely on it's capabilities and learn to use them to locate where you are, where you want to go and how to get there as fast as possible. There's a big difference between having a GPS, so that you know where you are versus having a GPS and being able to navigate with it.

Check out the AMCs head to head of a GPS vs. a Map and Compass

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Posted by Scott Martin at July 6, 2009 6:16 PM

Recent Comments

The AMC articel lost credibility when the gps user got confused by the direction given in his "electronic compass." That little digg at the gps showed that the user was not familiar with the equipment.

Anyone who is familiar with a gps unit that does not have a true electronic compass would know that you don't take a reading of direction while standing still. Having a "runoff" with a person who is unfamiliar with the basic operation of the equipment is not really a valid comparison. It would be like comparing an experienced gps user to someone who thinks you can get a magnetic compass reading while holding the compass in a verticle position.

They should have had an experienced gps user armed with a garmin vista hcx or 60csx challenge a map and compass only user. I'll bet neither would come out on top, as each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Posted by: nogods at November 16, 2009 2:39 PM
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