I had the same realisation without any thought the GPS became my primairy navigation method. Ofcourse I still bring maps. For back-up and they give me joy in evening and mornings planning the day and looking ahead. The screen of a GPS is still way too small for a nice oversight.
gps has been my main navigation for some time now. once you get the idea that the map on the screen isn't the same as a paper one the screen size becomes much less of a "problem".
just like a paper map & compass you have to learn how to use a gps effectively. when you've got to grips with it you realise that it's rather more than you thought it was.
i still take a compass and two maps - one in my pocket or somewhere easily accessible and one in my pack - never know when that might blow away or get rearranged to make it useless.
I used my mapping PDA for the first time 'in anger' at the DofE practice a couple of weeks ago, although I've used it once or twice before.
Even though the GPS was showing the location perfectly, I still found myself looking out for all the usual navigation clues. This might have been so that I could check the girls were following them, or using them, or it could just have been force of habit. The GPS was, effectively 'auto-thumbing' the map for me. I still had to set it correctly.
So, GPS in one hand, compass in the other. Oh, and a printed map in my third hand, marked up with their planned route... Must get around to adding route planning to the PDA mapping app, but that would be quite a bit of work for a digital hardware engineer...
I used the PDA in Scotland at the end of Feb, but generally used it just to confirm I was where I was (I turned the GPS off most of the time, and just used the mapping manually, and then turned the GPS on when I wanted a fix). Upland navigation, going uphill, is a lot easier than lowland navigation in woodland and farmland; you just keep going up. the tricky bit is finding the route up when there are some 'interesting' geological features in the way...
Interesting that Jon realised that the gps was primary for him during planning for a bike ride. I've recently gone to a mapping gps (etrex 30) and while I expect to get some use from it for walking and ski touring, it's the cycling use that really swayed me towards it. It's so much more convenient to have the immediate surroundings available to glance down at on your handlebars, and have the map pan as you travel. I've used handlebar mapcases but they're far less easy to refer to on the move and more faff to change the visible map quite regularly. And a map or print out in your pocket forces you to stop to check a turn. Add to that I'm much more likely to computer-plan a bike route and load the track to follow than I am a walk, so the gps scores again with its panning display of your route and advance warning of upcoming turns.
I don't find any of those features so helpful at walking speeds and, even with the map available on it, I'm still much more likely to use the gps for confirmation only but walk primarily with paper map (and occasionally compass).
99% of my walking is done in the Peaks and always has been, so it's rare i bother carrying a map now, there's just no point really.
I always carry my gps but it's mostly used to get a GR on archaelogical sites that i can later pass onto others via my website.
When i'm in new teritiry i wouldn't dream of not having the relevant map, though i'll refer to my gps mostly and the map stays in the pack.
Include a little history in your walks. Pecsaetan - Ancient Derbyshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire - http://pecsaetan.weebly.com/
UKJeeper wrote (see)
Paper maps have their place, but for those who prefer a more up to date option, and know how to use their equipment correctly, GPS is the future.
Aye - but by your own admission it looks like most of those thousands of miles without a map have been in familiar, non-remote places in the company of others.
On those occassions you are somewhere more likely to be frequented by the average OM'er you have a map with you as well so are no different from most GPS users here anyway.
I'm a recent adopter of map-enabled GPS & great as it is for position location I find I prefer a map as primary tool for navigating in unfamiliar areas as the screens not big enough to give me the overview in the detail I like. In familiar areas or on the bike the maps are more of a backup.
A) Where did you decide i was calling you or anyone else a Luddite? If anything i tried to say that NOT knowing how to use modern navigation options DOESN'T make one a Luddite. By your own admission you use GPS, so you are niot even included in that sentence. Re-read my post again.
B) While re-reading my post, look again at 'up to date option'. Its fairly clear to see that the context of that sentence refers to paper maps (getting close to) having had their day, and nothing to do with when they are printed, which is the tangent you went off on, for no discernible reason.
B)Buy an updated SD card? Why do you think that is required? Perhaps you are buying your digital maps the wrong way. Map files can be purchased individually or by sections, providing you're using a device that is able to do so (and if you're not, perhaps you should) and updated or added to a device.
c) Again, not sure where you buy your (apparently over priced) digital maps as you didn't mention which device you use, but i think you may be doing it wrong. Example:
Complete paper map OS 1:50k of UK: £998:17
Complete digital Memory map OS 1:50k £199-£499
Complete Viewranger OS 1:50k £90
GB National Parks OS 1:50k £10
YourMap (Map tile chooser) OS 1:50k (up to 11,000sq km) £20
YourMap (Map tile chooser) OS 1:25k (up to 800 sq km)
(Let me know where you can buy that much coverage of paper maps for £20)
98% of my miles are alone. Some are in familar settings, some are not. So unless the dog is secretly Magellen re-incarnated (doubtful), its just me doing all the navigation by reading a map (on a screen).
End of the day, horses for courses. I have my chosen map methods, others have theirs.
People will be getting lost and rescue teams will be called out to help, as they have for 100's of years. Whether they have no maps, paper maps, or digital maps.
People will fail to correctly use the equipment they have, if they have the right equipment at all.
Pointing out faults in newer technology proves nothing. And thats all i'm contributing to this thread as further discussion is futile.
getting an overview is much easier on a mapping gps if you get the idea that it is a paper map out of your head - it takes quite a while and much conscious effort. once you get round that obstacle it's much less of a problem than you may think.
a gps becomes easier to use when you get rid of the notions of route and track.
just another technique for learning how to use what you're looking at effectively.
i don't think anyone was referred to as a luddite kate. just an assertion that things move on and unltimately gps is the way of the future. until that is there will be a transition period where both paper and gps exist in happy harmony. it seems that most people take a paper map with them (except for twiglegs who shall die most horribly for daring to venture from his front door without the correct equipment - i bet he doesn't wear sensible boots either) as a backup for their gps. how many paper map people take a backup map or compass?
i believe that if you take kit with you you should know how to use it at a simple level. if you prefer paper and it goes awol having a gps is a bit pointless if you can't use it.
Whilst you claim in the bulk of your post that you are not calling people Luddites, in your final sentence, you imply this - 'for those who prefer a more up to date option'. Paper maps are just as up to date as the mapping on SD cards - or just as out of date. As a means of navigating, map and compass is as 'up to date' a method as GPS. My preference (paper maps) is just as up to date as yours.
And thank you for the advice about buying digital mapping.
"Besides, the danger in the outdoors is it's all very well when it works. But if you do find that you have to switch over to map and compass, not only do you need to know how to use it but you need a starting position, and your GPS has just failed, remember? So you have to use it FROM THE START. In which case, why take a GPS at all... "
you should try it and see what happens. i can only believe this if you wander about totally ignoring your surroundings, where you've been and have no vague idea where you are.
then again, some take a spare gps...
UKJeeper - I must have read your post wrong - I took it that the rare situations you'd carry a map are more akin to the regular situations for me.
Parky - the gps is not a paper map - got that. I'm not sure if you're saying it's easier to get an overview on a GPS or just less than a problem than I think? I'm not really aware of notions of route and track. I can plan a route & will use a GPS with & without one.
I can absorb more about the topography of the area I'm in from a quick glance at an A4 sized area of map than I can on a screen of a GPS. I can get the same overview on the gps but it involves scrolling &/or zooming so takes more time & my brain processing power required to piece those screen sized bits into an overview seems more than that required with the scan of a paper map. I do have memory issues so that may aggravate the situation.
If there's a method I've overlooked that will make that overview easier to get on GPS than paper I'd be happy to know how.
Parky Again wrote (see)
getting an overview is much easier on a mapping gps if you get the idea that it is a paper map out of your head...a gps becomes easier to use when you get rid of the notions of route and track.
getting an overview is much easier on a mapping gps if you get the idea that it is a paper map out of your head...
Parky, can you elaborate on both those statements - they sound interesting but I don't really get them.
I got my first gps in 1997, started 'playing' with mapping gps about 5 years ago on my smartphone, and just got a mapping Garmin earlier this year. So I've used a mix of both paper map and gps (with or without map display) for 15 years now, for walking, cycling and ski-touring, and I reckon I know how to use them pretty well. But I would still say that getting an overview on a mapping gps is pretty difficult, and the notions of route and track are pretty handy, although it helps not to get hung up on them but simply to appreciate how they each behave and use the most appropriate one for the specific task.
If I'm missing some useful little technique it'd be good to know....
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