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Thread: gps or maps?

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    which is best? or is it wise to have both of them when out wlaking. i have asked about compass in another thread and have been directed to a book i should purchase for t map reading etc. anyone help with the GPS sid eof things

  2. #2
    Übermensch john fitzpatrick 2's Avatar
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    You need both.Mine's a Venture,it's fine for my needs and i got a good deal on it.

    You can get GPS with built in maps an so on but you only need a basic one with multiple routes and tracks,a lot of people on here like the Geko range,look in reviews for more info.


  3. #3
    Goon Ghastly Rubberfeet's Avatar
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    I would argue about needing both!

    A GPS is useful, but I have managed for 32 years in the hills without using one.

    A map is useful, but even then not always essential!

    Having either of the above is pointless without the knowledge of how to use them correctly.

    By all means get the book and practice, but even better, get some training, it will be money well spent.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Maps are best. You can read adventures into maps. With a GPS, you'd have to put the adventure into it first - from a map!

    One of my pals, who I hope doesn't read OM, has a habit of not believing his GPS, and wandering off at strange tangents. I've never really understood why, since my map-reading agrees with what his GPS says, but when I follow my map, he doesn't always follow his GPS. He sometimes twists and turns it in his hand as if willing it to point him in the direction he thinks is best, which later turns out to be wrong.

    I think those who get the best out of a GPS are those who can already read maps. Putting a GPS into the hands of a non-map-reader is like putting a calculator into the hands of someone who can't count.

  5. #5
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    Agree with GR.. you definitely do not need both! However although a map and compass isn't always used I would suggest you shouldn't go out without them (with, as GR says, the knowledge of how to use them).

    On the other hand although a GPS is useful at the most basic level for getting a grid ref for use with aforementioned map, and the fancier ones will let you set routes etc, it is not essential.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon
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    I think the knowledge of being able to read map and compass should be your first objective, after all, they were around long before gps.
    Gps is good as a back up ie if you are in a white out and you cant see any features what so ever, then the gps will give you (within a few metres) your location so you can see where you are on a map.
    The down side of relying on a gps (without inbuilt maps) is that if you us the "GOTO" facility to go to your next "WAYPOINT" it could take you over a cliff as they work "AS the crow flies"

    To sum up I would say that they compliment each other.

    A good book on navigation iis "mountain navigation" by cyril cliff

    Bushy

  7. #7
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    ...even a GPS with inbuilt maps rely on batteries...a map and compass do not!

  8. #8
    Mini Goon
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    good point! but then I make sure I have spares.

    Bushy

  9. #9
    Übermensch john fitzpatrick 2's Avatar
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    I've picked up people on the hill who were totally lost, and seemingly couldn't read a map to save their lives but still insisted on telling me the path we should be taking even though GPS clearly pointed the way for us.

  10. #10
    Goon
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    A map is most important, but useless if you can't read it properly, and be honest with yourself, if you can't then learn!
    GPS is a secondary consideration but very useful.
    I don't hold with the "GPS will take you over a cliff" rubbish though, use it as a guide for direction in conjunction with a map. If you go over a cliff you should've opened your eyes! This is unless visibility is hideously bad, in which case either you shouldn't have gone out or if conditions are sudden then retrace your steps - and retracing steps is where a GPS is unbeatable.

  11. #11
    Mini Goon Jon Peterson's Avatar
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    A GPS is useless without a map. A map is useful without a GPS.

    A GPS is useful as an emergency tool, and to save time in very poor visibility. There's great satisfaction to be gained from finding your way across features moors in the fog by map and compass alone, but there are also times where you just want to get home.

    I fear that if I carried a GPS I'd start to use it more and more. On the other hand, I can see how it's a useful training tool if you have the discipline not to cheat.

    The GPS has pretty much replaced celestial navigation for sailors, but it certainly hasn't replaced charts and tide tables. In hill walking a GPS may replace pace counting, back bearings, triangulation, catching features, aiming off etc, but it won't replace maps and compasses.

  12. #12
    Übermensch
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    I am beginning to wonder: is there a new school of Aesthetism in Hillwalking?!

    If I had a gizmo that superimposed a line of white dots across a featureless hillside I'd use it. Walter Poucher obviously thought it would a be useful aid to routefinding long before the GPS was invented.

  13. #13
    Übermensch Lindsay Boyd's Avatar
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    Map and the skill to use it.

    I also have a GPS but haven't mastered how to use it other than to give a grid refernce. It lies in the bottom of my sack but I should try and learn a bit more about it.

  14. #14
    Übermensch RaR's Avatar
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    I always use the map + compass. I carry GPS after getting lost once. It is usefull for giving your location if you do, (as i idioticly did), get lost.

    Other than that, it is just a gimmick.

    Do not rely on GPS, use it as one of several tools.

    Apparently there is a river somwhere where GPS says there is a road. People are frequently rescued from it after following the GPS. (In Car version)!

  15. #15
    Übermensch jonno's Avatar
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    a gps would be nice to have but it is not essential . a map is always needed, a compass is often needed, but a gps .....well I guess the majority of people on this web site have coped for years without one without falling of
    . f
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  16. #16
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    It's part of my job to wander off over hilld to come up with routes for writing. Another part of my job is to write reviews on GPS for magazines. This of course is where the two nicely meet. So when I go out in the Lakes this weekend I'll be taking my iPaq, complete with on screen map and Bluetooth GPS. Not only will it show exactly where I am at any time I choose to look at it, but I can make marks where i take photographs. Most of the time it'll stay in the pack and just keep track of distance and ascent for future reference and not be used as a navigational tool. When I've used it for navigation it's always been accurate, and I can zoom in much easier with these ageing eyes than with a paper map.

    Despite playing with some of the best gadgets for a living, and having what I feel to be the best tool on the market, I will still be taking a map and compass. Electronic gadgets are great when they work, but you never know when something's going to go wrong with them, but a map will always work. It may not be high tech, but can always be relied upon, and the knowledge of how to use map and compass is a vital hill skill.

  17. #17
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    A map IS high tech when you consider what goes into making them these days. Even when they print them, they take into account things like 'paper stretch'.

  18. #18
    Goon
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    Maps are works of art, beautiful things that you can sit at home with and plan youre next adventure.
    Dont and probably never will own a g.p.s.

  19. #19
    Übermensch
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    The first useful book on the GPS for British readers has just been published. I have posted a review of ?Getting to Grips with GPS? by Peter Judd & Simon Brown on the parallel OM thread ?GPS waypoint?.

    Bushy: I believe that the book to which you are referring is ?Mountain Navigation? by Peter Cliff published by the author at Ardenbeg, Grant Road, Grantown-on-Spey PH26 3LD.

    The best book on map reading that I know of is ?Land Navigation; Routefinding with Map & Compass? by Wally Keay published by the Duke of Edinburgh?s Award.

    Another excellent book is ?Navigation for Walkers? by Julian Tippett published by Cordee.

    Finally, the best introduction to map-reading in lowland countryside is ?Navigation and Leadership; a Manual for Walkers? by Colin Saunders 2nd ed. edited by Julian Tippett, published by the Ramblers? Association.

  20. #20
    Übermensch
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    I should have mentioned that 'Navigation and Leadership' by Colin Saunders is an older publication and bases its 1:25,000 examples on 'Pathfinder' maps. However, except for the sheet size and the sheet numbering system there is little difference between 'Pathfinders' and 'Explorers'.

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