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Thread: Bread Crumbs

  1. #101

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    I think finding your way back to trail is a lot of things. Using what you need to assist you is smart. Identifying a need and ignoring it is stupid. I don't NEED it but I can leave a hiking pole or 2 to mark my way. I actually painted the bottom part a bright orange so they can be seen in the woods. Also, makes them less likely to be stolen as it makes them kind of ugly.

    Some of us have an innate sense of direction. MOST of us DON'T. I do. Many years ago coming back from a backpacking trip I fell asleep as #theotherhalf was driving. This was a trip we had done several times and the first time I fell asleep for him to navigate on his own. He woke me up at one point and asked me where we were! I quickly figured it out. We had diverted to NH "somehow" from western MA to Boston. (yep, pretty hard to screw that up). Without any road signs around, and on a highway I had probably been on less than 3 times headed north, I looked around and instantly knew we were either just north or south of Concord. We were south and saw an exit sign in a few minutes. Turns out we were on 93 but since we were living in Boston/Quincy we had always gone up through North Conway to hike in the Whites. This was back more than 23 years ago where people generally used maps or POSSIBLY used a set of google directions you would print out.

    I haven't hiked in a couple of years now unfortunately except at the local nature preserve which is way too hard to get lost in. I hope my sense of direction holds true.
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    hose your hiking partners carefuy
    Oh no them birds should have gone with the "string theory ".

  3. #103

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    Confession is good for the soul.My brother and were in Arizona in a rental car and got on the interstate highway headed in the wrong direction and it took a while to realize the exit signs for unfamiliar towns just didn't seem right!
    This was about 30 years ago,no cell phone,gps,social medai,email.Nothing but Rand McNally and I didn't have one!

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Confession is good for the soul.My brother and were in Arizona in a rental car and got on the interstate highway headed in the wrong direction and it took a while to realize the exit signs for unfamiliar towns just didn't seem right!
    This was about 30 years ago,no cell phone,gps,social medai,email.Nothing but Rand McNally and I didn't have one!
    About 15 years ago we left East Tennessee headed to Arkansas. It was evening, my husband was driving as I napped. I opened my eyes and saw a double-digit mile marker. Interstate 40 goes east-west straight through Tennessee and Arkansas and beyond. Mile markers start at the west end, and increase as they go east. We should have been in the high 300s, not a 2-digit!

    He had taken I-75 south. Why, I'll never know.

  5. #105

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    I have an uncanny sense of direction, I really do. Unfortunately I also have a condition that when extreme fatigue sets in, so does any mental acuity or focus. Case in point:

    Drove to NJ to meet up with a friend for a hike from MOC to DWG. I left home at 3am to get there for a 7:30 meet at DWG, and we had a wonderful 10 mile hike finishing up around 5pm. From there we stopped at Hot Dog Johnny's to refuel, and parted ways....her to home in eastern NJ and me to southern NJ to visit friends.

    I started feeling the effects of the long day about halfway to Trenton, but since it was a pretty straight shot, I just continued on these familiar, often-travelled roads. It wasn't until I was less than 2 miles from my destination that the "fog" hit. I had absolutely no idea where I was. I pulled over, called my friend, told him what I could see in front of me, and he spoon-fed me directions to the house. (I was sent to bed immediately upon arrival...no unpacking, no greeting, just rest).

    A few hours later I was fine and we laughed over my senior moment and I was chastised accordingly for allowing it to occur.

    So, I claim again that I have a great sense of direction, but if tired enough, I can get lost crossing the street. Rote behavior and personal emergency training (and little things like bread crumbs) represent lifelines for me when there's no one to call. I would not have the faculties to interpret GPS or read a map. I rely on methods that do not require analysis, just obedience.

    Either that or I give up hiking, and we know THAT'S not going to happen.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    You had your own ball of string, your footprints/track in the snow. Plus you were following a ski track, which doesn't typically wind its way through heavy bushes. With all the leaves off the trees and less vegetation too. It's not surprising that at 100-150ft off the trail you were able to determine you weren't on the trail according to the GPS. But yeah, tracks in the snow are about as good as a ball of string.

    People seem to be thinking the map layer they are using is going to be correct. Besides what I mentioned about national map standards, trails data is often not up to date. Big trail like the AT, the centerline yes, but national forest and wilderness trails not so much. On a national forest, you could get swapped onto a logging road that's not on the map layer your gps is using or even a deer track. Trails often follow old logging roads until they don't, even the AT will do that on you. The AT will be blazed but a more local trail probably not so much.
    The tracks in the snow did help get us back to where we should have been. Of course, if there were no snow we probably wouldn't have lost the trail in the first place. My partner generally has the ALLTRIALS route loaded into her phone and it will beep if you get off route. It has saved us from going to far the wrong way a couple of times when not paying attention to trail junctions. It is pretty darn accurate. For some reason the trail we were on was not in the database for a preprogrammed route, but the trail was on the map.

    I have a free map on my phone and I have yet to find a trail it doesn't track very closely. Of course, there is the possibility of encountering a trail with a recent relocation which hasn't found it's way onto the digital maps yet, but that is fairly rare.
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  7. #107
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    String theory can go bad for chicken, really...
    http://www.davidgorman.com/maxundmor...Erster_Streich

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    ...Either that or I give up hiking, and we know THAT'S not going to happen.
    Sure nobody (at least not me) wanted to distract you from hiking, and doing it your way.

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    I have an uncanny sense of direction, I really do. Unfortunately I also have a condition that when extreme fatigue sets in, so does any mental acuity or focus. Case in point:

    Drove to NJ to meet up with a friend for a hike from MOC to DWG. I left home at 3am to get there for a 7:30 meet at DWG, and we had a wonderful 10 mile hike finishing up around 5pm. From there we stopped at Hot Dog Johnny's to refuel, and parted ways....her to home in eastern NJ and me to southern NJ to visit friends.

    I started feeling the effects of the long day about halfway to Trenton, but since it was a pretty straight shot, I just continued on these familiar, often-travelled roads. It wasn't until I was less than 2 miles from my destination that the "fog" hit. I had absolutely no idea where I was. I pulled over, called my friend, told him what I could see in front of me, and he spoon-fed me directions to the house. (I was sent to bed immediately upon arrival...no unpacking, no greeting, just rest).

    A few hours later I was fine and we laughed over my senior moment and I was chastised accordingly for allowing it to occur.

    So, I claim again that I have a great sense of direction, but if tired enough, I can get lost crossing the street. Rote behavior and personal emergency training (and little things like bread crumbs) represent lifelines for me when there's no one to call. I would not have the faculties to interpret GPS or read a map. I rely on methods that do not require analysis, just obedience.

    Either that or I give up hiking, and we know THAT'S not going to happen.

    If you have not seen a doctor about your condition I would like to urge you to do so.Sounds like low blood sugar issues to me but I have no medical knowledge or training...........

  10. #110

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    I have Lupus, diagnosed almost 30 years ago. Like many autoimmune disorders, It relapses and remits, and the “fog” is a common and annoying symptom and result of extreme fatigue during periods of relapse.

    Yes, it is similar in effect to a blood sugar issue, but much more easily controlled unless I’m stupid and forget my limitations. Just to be on the safe side, I work out “just in case” provisions to deal with some of the problems.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  11. #111

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    Teacher, I admire your innovation! If it works for you, keep doing it. I have had a scare or two when bushwhacking to get water. It’s very easy to get turned around, even with a good sense of direction. The scariest part is being 100% sure that you’re following the exact route back to the trail, only to find out that you’re wrong. It’s very disorienting.

  12. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Sure nobody (at least not me) wanted to distract you from hiking, and doing it your way.
    Actually, on a different forum, I was told that if I couldn’t pay attention then I had no business being on the trail. Not everyone plays nice. But to those who have offered encouragement and support along the way, and there have been very, very many, I extend all my thanks. Overall, I’ve had a fine time..
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    Actually, on a different forum, I was told that if I couldn’t pay attention then I had no business being on the trail.
    lol! They are the hikers who think they’re doing something “unique” and “dangerous”...that they alone have the particular skills and knowledge to survive the outdoors. Oh my, if they knew half the stuff that I’ve done yet managed to survive...

    People never fail to amuse me.

    Hike on, Teacher.

  14. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The tracks in the snow did help get us back to where we should have been. Of course, if there were no snow we probably wouldn't have lost the trail in the first place. My partner generally has the ALLTRIALS route loaded into her phone and it will beep if you get off route. It has saved us from going to far the wrong way a couple of times when not paying attention to trail junctions. It is pretty darn accurate. For some reason the trail we were on was not in the database for a preprogrammed route, but the trail was on the map.

    I have a free map on my phone and I have yet to find a trail it doesn't track very closely. Of course, there is the possibility of encountering a trail with a recent relocation which hasn't found it's way onto the digital maps yet, but that is fairly rare.
    I know for a fact that for the forest I worked for two summers there were hiking trails not digitized and hiking trails not delineated on the regular published maps. Even forest roads are not aways digitized or shown on the map layer. Sometimes even the forest roads that are shown and/or digitized aren't actually there anymore. Some really old maps are digitized and imported into GIS. The level of infallibility you are claiming simply doesn't exist. Essentially you are claiming that trails on all public lands are mapped and digitized as well as every trail showing on your map layer is accurately portrayed everywhere within like a foot or two as well as forest and other improved/unimproved roads are too. That's nonsense.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  15. #115
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    I think the discussion about accuracy and relieability of maps and GPS is drifting off a bit here.
    The point where this thread started was, to have a means of finding the way back to the trail after doing your off-trail business.
    I'm 100% sure that, no matter how accurate your map is, or if you even use any, your GPS will bring you back to the exit point within a few yards - and that should be good enough to find the trail by your eyes.

    In the given case of T&S, having some known disorder issue occassionally, I would highly recommend to let the GPS run in tracking mode and just carry it in the pocket.
    Then use any other means of orientation, be it breadcrumbs or whatever, for your convenience - but still have the GPS as a backup system hot and running.
    If ever your other system fails on you, you still have the backup of GPS.

    This is what I'm doing on all my hikes, basically:
    I have a pretty decent sense of orientation and know my position on my imaginary map at all time.
    I consider the GPS I'm carrying as a means of backup.

    Life is too worthy to gamle and put it on risk.
    We only have one life in this real world.

  16. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    I think the discussion about accuracy and relieability of maps and GPS is drifting off a bit here.
    The point where this thread started was, to have a means of finding the way back to the trail after doing your off-trail business.
    I'm 100% sure that, no matter how accurate your map is, or if you even use any, your GPS will bring you back to the exit point within a few yards - and that should be good enough to find the trail by your eyes.

    ...
    You keep making statements like that last statement even after I provided you with real data points and truthful testimony regarding inaccurate way point resolution. I have had several graduate level GIS courses and periodically take continued trainings in GIS. There is not 100% certainty in what you say, not with a consumer unit. Your unit will record a point cloud when stationary and every once in a while an outlier will get recorded. (Look up statistical outlier). If an outlier gets recorded as your waypoint, you won't be going back to where you left. When you don't have a good understanding of the tool you are using, that's a good way to get hurt.

    I've done grid searches with up to 20 people in open but sloped terrain. In a grid search people space evenly and and walk in parallel lines. Invariably there are people who can't walk a straight line. I've done point to point sampling in heavy vegetation using a mirrored compass where points were spread a little farther (hundreds of yards) and visibility is limited to the bushes and saplings in your face and arrived more than 10 yards deflected. (I also hit points spot on). Numerous times I have homed in on a waypoint where no straight line was reasonably possible without unnecessary effort, requiring circling around. I've followed directly behind people and shorty ducks under a branch and I step right and suddenly the two of us are separated because the available pathways change. A straight line isn't always possible and a series of small turns may put you someplace unexpected.

    A big factor for this potential issue is heavy vegetation which I recommend avoiding if possible but sometimes you just have to go.

    Best bet is to leave the unit on at all times but that's battery intensive, particularly on a multi-day hike. Even then, do you know the interval for recording points? How well is the unit set up for what you are doing. Do you know what map layers it has and where that data comes from how old it might be? Or do you just turn it on and since nothing bad ever happened nothing bad ever will?
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  17. #117

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    Okay, but I would hazard to say the vast majority of us are hiking on well documented and mapped trails. Definitely the case for the AT, all the White Mountain trails and the parts of the CDT and CT I've been on.

    If you get off trail for some reason, either on purpose or accidently, all you really need to know is in which direction to head to get back to where your suppose to be.
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  18. #118
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  19. #119
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    Alligator,

    Obviously you are way better educated in this respect than I'm, me only having personal experience and no dedicated education (aside of reading popular articles about it, occasionally).
    You know way more about things that can go wrong while using GPS - I know, by 6 years of using my flimsy smartphone GPS extensively, how surprisingly well it works.
    I just was out for an overnighter in difficult terrain (difficult for hiking, difficult conditions, and hard on the GPS) and I tried and tested, having this thread in mind, my smartphone's GPS several times.
    Every time the blue dot, as well as the mapped trail route, the scarce blazes and an older track from a previous hike were within at least a 20 meters range (most of the time, much closer). Good enough to find the way in the night on just a small headlamps beam.

    So while GPS is not something I would easily hang my life on, if I had to chose whether to rely on breadcumbs or my GPS, the decision would be an easy one for me.

    Obviously we have different opinions, I'll leave this now for good.

  20. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Alligator,

    Obviously you are way better educated in this respect than I'm, me only having personal experience and no dedicated education (aside of reading popular articles about it, occasionally).
    You know way more about things that can go wrong while using GPS - I know, by 6 years of using my flimsy smartphone GPS extensively, how surprisingly well it works.
    I just was out for an overnighter in difficult terrain (difficult for hiking, difficult conditions, and hard on the GPS) and I tried and tested, having this thread in mind, my smartphone's GPS several times.
    Every time the blue dot, as well as the mapped trail route, the scarce blazes and an older track from a previous hike were within at least a 20 meters range (most of the time, much closer). Good enough to find the way in the night on just a small headlamps beam.

    So while GPS is not something I would easily hang my life on, if I had to chose whether to rely on breadcumbs or my GPS, the decision would be an easy one for me.

    Obviously we have different opinions, I'll leave this now for good.
    You're right, I did bring up multiple ways your unit could be "off". You keep claiming your experience is valid and then when I offer my experience you ignore it. I'm not saying your past experience is incorrect. I said, GPS (GIS) data is not as accurate as you might think. Then you tell me that being off 20 meters is just fine. Lot of hubris there. Twenty meters is not very close at all. Twenty meters of thick vegetation, people will simply try to walk around, which is how the whole process of getting lost starts. This problem is limited to about 65 meters to begin with. It's often a series of small errors that get people lost, from a little to a lot.

    You could slip and crack your screen on a rock. I have never broken my phone screen. Should I expect it to never happen? Keep putting your faith in a device where all varieties are not rugged. I don't care if you do. I only care that you represent it's functionality honestly.

    It's like telling a car driver to be careful of black ice, which is clear ice over asphalt which makes the ice hard to see. They might have 10 years of driving experience in Texas. I mean look at what happens when it snows in the south, it's a disaster. I would say to people visiting in Maine, watch out for black ice. The road might look just fine, but if you don't know it could be there, you might be in for a big surprise. But whatever Leo, if you want to be Florida man be Florida man!
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

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