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Author Topic: To GPS or not to GPS  (Read 2892 times)

Offline andrew_in_idaho

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2017, 12:52:59 PM »
Onx maps updated a few months back and now you can save maps with high and low detail, meaning save maps for the core area you will be hunting in high detail, and use low detail for the greater area around in case you end up wandering a little farther than expected. Put your phone in a good case, use airplane mode to save battery and you can do everything a gps can do plus make calls home if you hit a patch of service.


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Offline Alpine Mojo

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2017, 06:44:39 PM »
A 7.5 quad sheet and Silva compass is all you need.

Bingo!!

Unfortunately, with the instant gratification of the internet and smartphones today, I don't think the younger generation will ever develop the skills required to enjoy the simplicity of paper map navigation.
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Offline dscubame

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2017, 09:45:20 PM »
We get it.  And some people still enjoy communicating via morse code and ham radio.  It's all good.  Why be so cynical.
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Offline Stein

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2017, 10:01:29 PM »
What is the absolute best resolution you can get with a paper map?  My daughter ended up shooting her buck 25 yards from the boundary of the unit, no fence or ridgeline to show where it was. We knew exactly where we were as well as how to get in and out of there without trespassing.

Paper is great for general direction finding, but like a scope compared with iron sights, you will get more opportunities at legal animals if you bring out a few more tools.

Offline Bob33

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2017, 10:14:48 PM »
My suspicion is that most people who don't like GPS and favor maps have never mastered the use of a GPS. :twocents:
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Offline Alpine Mojo

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2017, 06:33:17 PM »
My suspicion is that most people who don't like maps and favor GPS have never mastered the use of a map. :twocents:

Fixed it for ya.   :hello:
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Offline Dhoey07

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2017, 07:58:23 AM »
My suspicion is that most people who don't like maps and favor GPS have never mastered the use of a map. :twocents:

Fixed it for ya.   :hello:
A handheld GPS is a map.  It is a compass.  It is a pen.  It's a notepad. It is a altimeter.  It has a back light.  You can shoot an azimuth.  You can measure a distance.  It is many tools folded into one. 

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2017, 08:12:47 AM »
GPS is not a replacement for map and compass skills. It's an excellent and easy tool to be used with the understanding that it can fail. Know how to use a map and compass, how to triangulate and account for declination and keep a map in your pack and a compass around your neck. But, as long as it runs, a good quality, strong GPS is hard to beat for hunting hard all day and knowing exactly where your are when it's time to go home. I always have all three on me in the woods. I rarely use the map and compass anymore.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2017, 08:13:11 AM »
I canít think of any function a map can do that a GPS canít; I can think of plenty of things a GPS can do that a map canít.
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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2017, 08:20:37 AM »
I like using UTM coordinates for getting a quick fix on my map, and otherwise, I like using the GPS to find a bearing between waypoints.  But otherwise, a map and compass are indispensable.

For people looking to improve their map and compass skills, I recommend this book.

https://www.amazon.com/Wilderness-Navigation-Finding-Altimeter-Mountaineers/dp/1594859450/

REI offers orienteering courses, and last I checked, they use this book.


Teaching kids maps reading and orienteering is also a fun activity while out camping.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2017, 08:26:15 AM »
Assuming you have orienteering skills and keep a map and compass on you, why would someone not use a good GPS all the time? I can use an abacus, but I much prefer to do payroll using a computer.  :dunno:
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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2017, 08:34:55 AM »
Assuming you have orienteering skills and keep a map and compass on you, why would someone not use a good GPS all the time? I can use an abacus, but I much prefer to do payroll using a computer.  :dunno:

And you probably wear boots, too.  :chuckle:

Think of a map as a wide screen GPS that you don't have to go through clunky menus to see exactly what you want. 

Offline boneaddict

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2017, 08:37:42 AM »
Assuming you have orienteering skills and keep a map and compass on you, why would someone not use a good GPS all the time? I can use an abacus, but I much prefer to do payroll using a computer.  :dunno:

Weight and loss of "experience"
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Offline Bob33

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2017, 08:42:35 AM »
Assuming you have orienteering skills and keep a map and compass on you, why would someone not use a good GPS all the time? I can use an abacus, but I much prefer to do payroll using a computer.  :dunno:

Weight and loss of "experience"
Ah yes - the experience of not being able to find my truck in the dark with just a map. I forget that fun part. ;)
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Offline boneaddict

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2017, 08:44:23 AM »
Does add flavor to a story :chuckle:
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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 08:45:57 AM »
Assuming you have orienteering skills and keep a map and compass on you, why would someone not use a good GPS all the time? I can use an abacus, but I much prefer to do payroll using a computer.  :dunno:

Weight and loss of "experience"


Then there is the loss of signal in the deep and dark areas or areas blocking southerly exposure.

I don't always get a signal, but I can follow along exactly where I am with map in hand, mostly.  That's why it's nice to check UTM coordinates, once I am back in the clear, for a quick fix on the map.

But the GPS is a nice comfort in a white out, even if you are still completely disoriented with the GPS.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 08:54:07 AM »
That's a short version of what happened to me.  The one time I relied on the gps.   Lost signal then was in trouble.  If I had my head in the game or would have had a compass in my pocket, all would have been fine.   Lesson learned. One less gadget I had to buy or carry. 
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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2017, 09:01:52 AM »
It's amazing how quickly things can go from light and wide open to dark and completely socked in like pea soup.  I had to look at my GPS (with signal) several times in disbelief, because I was so disoriented and in disbelief about where I was, everything looked foreign, and I had no trust in my ability to determine my location.  It was surreal. 

GPS is nice and convenient. Compass and map are convenient and good insurance.  Both are a good complement.

Offline Bob33

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2017, 09:06:01 AM »
Something Iíve used a GPS for on multiple occasions is creating a waypoint for an animal Iím hunting, and making a blind stalk. I range the animal, take a bearing on it, and plug the waypoint into my GPS. I can then ďgo toĒ the animalís waypoint staying completely out of sight. The GPS tells me the distance to the animal as I stalk it. When I get to a shootable distance, I can start looking for a good spot to shoot from.  Iíve done that innumerable times with antelope, and a couple times with elk.  The last elk I did it with was 1360 yards away when I started. I blind-stalked within 115 yards before peeking over a ridge to see and shoot it; it never knew I was there.

With mapping programs I know exactly where I am, and where the boundaries are of the property Iím on. I can see landowner information for private land. I can find access to public properties that have just a tiny sliver accessible that I wouldnít be able to do otherwise.

I know which GMU Iím in, which deer area Iím in, which elk area Iím in.

I can mark my dead animal and easily find it without flagging tape when making multiple retrievals. I can leave a bread crumb track of the path I walked out, so if I need to return in the dark I can follow it.

Sunrise/sunset information is available for my location, and any location I choose. Iíve hunted some special hunts in February and March. When does the regulation pamphlet indicate that legal shooting time ends on February 15?

If I get lost or injured I can give my exact location. With RINO models the information is transmitted automatically.

I do use maps to see the ďlarge pictureĒ sometimes, but just canít understand why someone wouldnít want to also take advantage of the many functions a tool that weighs half a pound offers.

To each his own.

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Offline Crunchy

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2017, 09:06:33 AM »
I carry a GPS because when I am exhausted and in the thick nasty stuff it is nice to look at the GPS and see the shortest route to the trial.  I have never had one fail, but they do allow you to take your head out of the game and not pay attention to your surroundings.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2017, 09:07:03 AM »
Assuming you have orienteering skills and keep a map and compass on you, why would someone not use a good GPS all the time? I can use an abacus, but I much prefer to do payroll using a computer.  :dunno:

Weight and loss of "experience"

I teach map skills to kids. I'll never lose the experience. I can't imagine that anyone would forget to know how to use a map and compass once they know how.  :dunno: Weight? Not a big factor for me. If it gets to be, I shouldn't have any trouble losing another 12 oz!  :)
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2017, 09:08:12 AM »
Something Iíve used a GPS for on multiple occasions is creating a waypoint for an animal Iím hunting, and making a blind stalk. I range the animal, take a bearing on it, and plug the waypoint into my GPS. I can then ďgo toĒ the animalís waypoint staying completely out of sight. The GPS tells me the distance to the animal as I stalk it. When I get to a shootable distance, I can start looking for a good spot to shoot from.  Iíve done that innumerable times with antelope, and a couple times with elk.  The last elk I did it with was 1360 yards away when I started. I blind-stalked within 115 yards before peeking over a ridge to see and shoot it; it never knew I was there.

With mapping programs I know exactly where I am, and where the boundaries are of the property Iím on. I can see landowner information for private land. I can find access to public properties that have just a tiny sliver accessible that I wouldnít be able to do otherwise.

I know which GMU Iím in, which deer area Iím in, which elk area Iím in.

I can mark my dead animal and easily find it without flagging tape when making multiple retrievals. I can leave a bread crumb track of the path I walked out, so if I need to return in the dark I can follow it.

Sunrise/sunset information is available for my location, and any location I choose. Iíve hunted some special hunts in February and March. When does the regulation pamphlet indicate that legal shooting time ends on February 15?

If I get lost or injured I can give my exact location. With RINO models the information is transmitted automatically.

I do use maps to see the ďlarge pictureĒ sometimes, but just canít understand why someone wouldnít want to also take advantage of the many functions a tool that weighs half a pound offers.

To each his own.

All of the above.
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2017, 09:08:39 AM »
Something Iíve used a GPS for on multiple occasions is creating a waypoint for an animal Iím hunting, and making a blind stalk. I range the animal, take a bearing on it, and plug the waypoint into my GPS. I can then ďgo toĒ the animalís waypoint staying completely out of sight. The GPS tells me the distance to the animal as I stalk it. When I get to a shootable distance, I can start looking for a good spot to shoot from.  Iíve done that innumerable times with antelope, and a couple times with elk.  The last elk I did it with was 1360 yards away when I started. I blind-stalked within 115 yards before peeking over a ridge to see and shoot it; it never knew I was there.

Nice.

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2017, 09:10:59 AM »
The Ops original question was GPS vs. Phone map.   My vote is GPS.  While newer phones have GPS receivers these days, a dedicated GPS has a much more powerful receiver. 

That said, I always carry a compass and topography map for the specific wilderness I'm hunting.  And have done multiple scouting trips to learn the general topography.  I love my GPS for finding backcountry camp in the dark at night after hunting, even though it never gets signal in the dark timber I can always get to a clearing for it to work.  But I still check it against a map and compass, as my GPS is an older unit whose compass feature really sucks unless I'm moving.  :-)  (learned that the hard way once). 


Offline Taco280AI

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Re: To GPS or not to GPS
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2017, 09:26:56 AM »
What do you all use your GPS for? I just get out and hike, hunt, evaluate the terrain while I'm there. Beforehand I do look at aerial images and get an idea where I'm going, but after that I just go out and do it. Sometimes I use my phone to mark a point, but thats it.