Nav Man - Make Sure You Have A Backup Satnav
For those using a high-end mapping satnav it makes sense to carry a reliable basic satnav as backup
Posted: 30 November 2011
by Lyle Brotherton
Lyle Brotherton is a search and rescue instructor and navigation professional. He trains search and rescue teams and special forces worldwide in the intricacies of finding their way in the wilderness and more. He's passionate about navigation and about helping to keep people safe in the outdoors.
And the good news is that Lyle is contributing regular, often thought-provoking tips to OM to help keep you on your chosen course. Lyle is the author of the new Ultimate Navigation Manual and has his own web site at www.micronavigation.com where you can find out more about him and check out some sample pages from the book.
Backup Satnav (GPS)
Tucked at the bottom of my rucksack is my old military Silva Type 54 compass, always there as a backup should my all singing and dancing Suunto M3 Explorer get damaged or lost.
The reality is that today is that I use a high-end mapping satnav as my primary navigational tool everywhere, so it makes sense to similarly carry a basic satnav backup.
I have an old Etrex H and have seen these sell on EBay, this month, for a little as £35.20 inc del.
Heading down to Lake Unterseein the Gruber Mountains of East Antarctica, the screen on my 60Csx (terrific predecessor to the 62 series) stopped functioning as the liquid crystal had become too cold: hence my advice in UNM about keeping it inside your jacket. At the time I did not know what the problem was, so I reached into my Arctic survival bag (a sealed, insulated kit bag, not a bivvy) and pulled out my Etrex H and got a fix; worth £32 of anybody’s money!
I recommend either use your old satnav or consider spending £32 on one. Update its firmware, FOC, at the manufacturer’s website. Buy Energizer Lithium batteries, sell-by date should be somewhere around 2024, place them into your unit, but with a small strip of plastic (not paper) blocking their connection with the +ve, seal in a waterproof bag and store it with your back up compass.
The basic Etrex was superseded in 2007 by the far superior Etrex series (H stands for high-sensitivity), yet these sell for little more than the basic model. The way to distinguish them is that printed in red at the top of the screen is 12 CHANNEL GPS on the basic model and HIGH SENSITIVITY on the H series, check the photo - and make sure it is not a stock photo.
Discuss this story
And just to be absolutely sure, don't leave your hoose in the first place.
Posted: 30/11/2011 at 12:53
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that didn't make sense to me. i assume to go with the map you carry as the back up?
a basic gps is useless to navigate with unless you pre loaded your route into it and not using it in lowland until you've devised a proper way for it to direct you and most importantly that you can be arsed to go and learn how to use it properly. and too tough if you've decided to wander off and go take a look see at what's over there.
Posted: 30/11/2011 at 13:56