Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 85
  1. #41
    Kilted Thru-Hiker AT'04, PCT'06, CDT'07 Haiku's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-03-2003
    Location
    Cambridge, MA
    Age
    44
    Posts
    155

    Default

    A map and compass are fairly useless in a forest - or a "green tunnel," if you will. You need to be able to see landmarks in order to orient the map. Sure, you can tell which direction you're going, but not where you are on the map. I attempted to use just a map and compass when I hiked the CDT, and got a GPS at the first outfitter in Colorado (I hiked north). I know how to use a map and compass, but they just aren't that useful unless you have good sight lines (ironically, just the map and compass would have been more useful in Colorado and Wyoming because of the incredible sight lines).

    Haiku.

  2. #42
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    57
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haiku View Post
    A map and compass are fairly useless in a forest - or a "green tunnel," if you will. You need to be able to see landmarks in order to orient the map. Sure, you can tell which direction you're going, but not where you are on the map. I attempted to use just a map and compass when I hiked the CDT, and got a GPS at the first outfitter in Colorado (I hiked north). I know how to use a map and compass, but they just aren't that useful unless you have good sight lines (ironically, just the map and compass would have been more useful in Colorado and Wyoming because of the incredible sight lines).

    Haiku.
    Geez what did all those folks do before GPS, and how do I get around bushwacking in the New Brunswick woods with just a map and compass and watch? Well, truth is not very well but I get by, lol, but there is more to using a map and compass than what you are describing. Dead reckoning for one. Yeah it gets interesting when the trees are really close together, but its lot of fun, and good practice. Good way to develop your sense of direction and speed and distance and and to get to know yourself and your own natural tendencies. I'm sure you learn alot with a GPS also, but reckon people should dead reckon more often.

  3. #43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Geez what did all those folks do before GPS, and how do I get around bushwacking in the New Brunswick woods with just a map and compass and watch? Well, truth is not very well but I get by, lol, but there is more to using a map and compass than what you are describing. Dead reckoning for one. Yeah it gets interesting when the trees are really close together, but its lot of fun, and good practice. Good way to develop your sense of direction and speed and distance and and to get to know yourself and your own natural tendencies. I'm sure you learn alot with a GPS also, but reckon people should dead reckon more often.
    Good advice, even with a GPS I still navigate with map and compass, I only use the GPS to fix positions. I will admit that trac-back feature is awesome, especially at night.

  4. #44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haiku View Post
    A map and compass are fairly useless in a forest - or a "green tunnel," if you will. You need to be able to see landmarks in order to orient the map. Sure, you can tell which direction you're going, but not where you are on the map. I attempted to use just a map and compass when I hiked the CDT, and got a GPS at the first outfitter in Colorado (I hiked north). I know how to use a map and compass, but they just aren't that useful unless you have good sight lines (ironically, just the map and compass would have been more useful in Colorado and Wyoming because of the incredible sight lines).

    Haiku.
    sure a map and compass is hard if you don't know where you are. that's why you need to keep track of where you are... a map and compass can help here.

  5. #45
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    57
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    Even if you lost track or discover you must have made some errors and are not where you thought you were you should be able to stop and have some tea and make a plan to find your way out by making some assumptions and testing those assumptions while dead reckoning your way out. It's really a blast and you learn alot. Practice within a contained area or have a GPS as a backup if you feel you really need one. If I had a GPS I would still bring a map and compass and watch.

  6. #46
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    57
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    If you learn to get yourself lost and found again with a map and compass and watch by dead reckoning and other map and compass skills you will have much better skills for getting yourself found if you get yourself lost without them, than if you are used to using a GPS and find yourself lost without one.

  7. #47

    Default

    with a gps you have 8 hours more or less until the batteries run out, with a compass you have until the food runs out or you figure out what is edible and keep going

  8. #48
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    57
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    I would like to get a wind up watch.

  9. #49

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
    with a gps you have 8 hours more or less until the batteries run out, with a compass you have until the food runs out or you figure out what is edible and keep going

    Excellent point.

  10. #50

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haiku View Post
    A map and compass are fairly useless in a forest - or a "green tunnel," if you will. You need to be able to see landmarks in order to orient the map. Sure, you can tell which direction you're going, but not where you are on the map. I attempted to use just a map and compass when I hiked the CDT, and got a GPS at the first outfitter in Colorado (I hiked north). I know how to use a map and compass, but they just aren't that useful unless you have good sight lines (ironically, just the map and compass would have been more useful in Colorado and Wyoming because of the incredible sight lines).

    Haiku.
    Once you get beyond the Texaco maps, topographic features- things like streams, gullys, hills are pretty good land marks.
    You find your self in creek bed oriented from NW to SE, it's not to hard to find on a map, not a pinpoint fix but a start.
    You can be completely under the canopy and still know you are knee deep in a fast moving stream. You might want to rethink your confidence in map and compass skills.

  11. #51

    Default

    I always carry a compass, and though I rarely need it for navigation, I figure the mirror is worth having for the (very) occasional grooming, or possibly for use as a signal mirror if rescue is needed.

    If you take side trails off of the AT, the mirror is probably worth having. The AT, as many know, has been followed by a guide dog who began to recognize the white blazes after a few days of guiding his owner, Bill Irwin through the mountains of Georgia.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  12. #52
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-12-2008
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Age
    54
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Haiku View Post
    A map and compass are fairly useless in a forest - or a "green tunnel," if you will. You need to be able to see landmarks in order to orient the map. Sure, you can tell which direction you're going, but not where you are on the map. I attempted to use just a map and compass when I hiked the CDT, and got a GPS at the first outfitter in Colorado (I hiked north). I know how to use a map and compass, but they just aren't that useful unless you have good sight lines (ironically, just the map and compass would have been more useful in Colorado and Wyoming because of the incredible sight lines).

    Haiku.
    not trying to be mean but you do not know how to use a map and compass, like so many others on this site who claim they have nav. skills, and then prove they don't by their own statements.

    You orient the map with the compass.
    To determine your position on the map, which you should have been keeping up with,
    you use the terrain markers you studied on the map that morning,.. Oh, you didn't do that.
    In that case you use the compass and your altimeter to fix your location the old fashioned way. For details, take an orienteering course, or at least read a book like the ones from the Sierra Club or NOLS.
    A GPSR will only tell you where you are, and where you have been IF you enter the info correctly. It can not pick a negotiable route for you. Even if you have your forward waypoints or your destination coords. a GPSR can only tell you how to get there as the crow flies. Even the GPSR's with map tech are only useful if you already have good map and nav. skills.

    There are no short cuts unless you are just going to follow someone.
    Granted the AT is easy to follow, that is exactly what makes it the perfect place to carry and use a map and compass, to build the skills!
    It has been said that a journey begins with a single step. I say hogwash! It starts with a dream.

  13. #53
    Registered User weary's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-15-2003
    Location
    Phippsburg, Maine, United States
    Posts
    10,115
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    "The next person who asks, How much farther? has to eat the freeze dried food!".....By: trouthunter
    When my three kids were little, we spent a lot of time walking on trails. My wife and I would discuss among ourselves the length of the trails. Our conversations were loaded with expressions like: "three point nine," and "five point six."

    So many, in fact, that the kids stopped asking "how much farther?" and began asking, "How many more points?"

    Weary

  14. #54
    Registered User Macallister Vagabond's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-26-2008
    Location
    Ware, Massachusetts
    Age
    36
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I am in the habit of carrying a compass. I do a lot of winter climbing and there have been times when it has damn well saved my life. It's usefulness on the AT is certainly questionable, though. The only place I can ever imagine you'd get into serious trouble would be in Maine. It might be a good idea to bring one with you on your way to the 100 mile wilderness.
    Facebook "So dawn goes down to day -- Nothing gold can stay."

  15. #55
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-12-2008
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Age
    54
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    When my three kids were little, we spent a lot of time walking on trails. My wife and I would discuss among ourselves the length of the trails. Our conversations were loaded with expressions like: "three point nine," and "five point six."

    So many, in fact, that the kids stopped asking "how much farther?" and began asking, "How many more points?"

    Weary
    HaHa, same thing used to happen to me, kids always asked "How much farther?"
    I would show them on the map where we started, where we were, and where the campsite was. I thought I did good!

    Five minutes later, "How much farther is it?"

    I really miss those days.
    It has been said that a journey begins with a single step. I say hogwash! It starts with a dream.

  16. #56
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-09-2006
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,619
    Images
    79

    Default

    Most trails in the south are so well blazed/used that a compass is really not needed. Besides, there is not much wilderness left. I can usually see the houses and farms from the ridge tops. There have been only 2 times that I felt the need for a compass in the past 3 years.
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  17. #57
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-12-2004
    Location
    Mobile, AL
    Age
    67
    Posts
    689
    Images
    17

    Default

    I just bought an inexpensive map compass and learned how to use it. I will be taking my maps with me when I hike. Not so much to find my way, but to tell me what I am looking at way off in the distance. Plus, it can help you to find streams and such that are not marked on the trail.
    Papa John


  18. #58
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-18-2007
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,610
    Images
    36

    Default

    I have started leaving mine at home. It is not so much the weight, it is just one more thing I find that I do not use or need. If you get spun around a lot maybe, the AT is extremely well marked, with maps and knowinig where you are, compass is not needed. And knowing how to really use map & compass is something most do not know how to do. Found that out on a Search & Rescue team, it takes practice!

  19. #59
    Registered User canoehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-04-2005
    Location
    Mass, Berkshires near AT
    Age
    57
    Posts
    411

    Default

    Good Luck

  20. #60

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gator 65 View Post
    I have heard different opinions on whether or not a compass is a necessity on the AT. I will be starting a thru hike in March 2009 and obviously want to go as light as possible. I would like some feed back on items that should or could be left at home.
    My pack weight now is 24 lbs with 5 days of food and 2 liters of water. Any suggestions on which trail book is the more practical.

    you are going to live in the woods. i think it is your personal responsibility to be able to resonably get your ownself out of certain sticky situations you are more than likely going to encounter on the trail, and that includes carrying a map and a compass. i don't think i've ever been on a trail, except maybe the botanical gardens, where i didn't at least once just stop for a second and go "huh?" yes, the at is well-marked, but there are millions of places where suddenly the trail isn't there anymore and you have to turn around and look (up, down, sideways) to locate where it went. say you do it on a nasty drizzle day where the temps are around 40 and you cant' see past 20 ft. you're cold, you're wet, you're exhausted, and you look up to see where you are and you get disoriented. you could turn around and a shelter's right there or you could get yourself into trouble. i'm not saying the map and compass will fix all that, but you've got one more thing on your side then.

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •