Don`t rely on your electronic toys !
Yesterday I took in a couple of munros in Glen Lyon, and it was the first time I’d ever taken just a GPS alone (although I did have the relevant section of OS map saved to my phone just in case). Both hills were easy to navigate and the conditions were perfect, in either case if I did manage to get lost I just have to head down to a loch and trudge along the shore. I didn’t like being without a paper map though, in future I’ll go back to taking both.Posted 4 years agofranksinatraSubscriber
The problem isn’t technology. The problem is idiots.
Well said. GPS is great but you need a back-up, even if that back-up is just a healthy does of initiative and common sense.
I’ve broken half a dozen compasses
What on earth are you doing to them, in 20 years of being out inthe hills I have never broken a compass.
A friend of mine (very experienced ML) used to carry a ‘Hills of The Lake District’ tea towel around with him. When asked for directions in the hills he would produce the tea towel and use it to describe to people where they were! (usually just between the tea stain and the marmalade stain)Posted 4 years agoIvanDobskiMember
Nothing spectacular, capsules randomly dropped out of a couple, one got a stuck needle which wouldn’t free and one ‘de-magnetised’ mid walk. I’ve only smashed 1 and that was through a hefty impact with the ground for me and the compass.
But I’m fairly cack-handed at the best of times though, if it’s got moving parts I’ll break it eventually.Posted 4 years agobadllamaMember
The thing is these days you can just go on the web print off maps and it cost bugger all if you know what to do 😉
Laminate them throw them in the back pack jobs a goodun.
We do this with all our new rides now as it saves pulling out and unfolding a bloody OS map every time we need to check our location. 🙂
I would never rely just on electronics 😯Posted 4 years agomuppetWranglerMember
On a normal day in the hills I’d have a paper map an compass, gps (with 2spare AA batteries) because it’s easier to follow the trail on than keep getting out the paper map or wearing it round my neck in its little laminated sleeve. But then I also have a smart phone which has maps, compass and gps coordinates on it as a third reserve option.
I’ve occasionally used the map to confirm something on the gps but so far haven’t needed to resort to using the phone.Posted 4 years agoavdave2Member
There was an interesting program on radio 4 the other day highlighting just how easy it is to block and disrupt gps. It appears such units are popular with drivers whose employers fit gps tracking units to their vehicles so they know where they are at all times. I think I might have to get one for the bike. 🙂Posted 4 years agoir_banditoSubscriber
One group was taking part in a Welsh 3,000 ft peaks challenge and was again depending on GPS when their battery ran out and they were still on the mountain.
I did the 3000s a couple of years ago. As we were walking with zero visibility in the dark, in the cloud, it was great having the GPS to backup our navigation using a map and compass 🙂
That said, I prefer to navigate using GPS only on the bike, damn sight easier than stopping at every junction to check directions. (but I do carry a paper map with me if I’m in an area I don’t know)Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
gps (with 2spare AA batteries) because it’s easier to follow the trail on than keep getting out the paper map
The problem with that is the GPS knows where you are, but you don’t. Good practice when on a boat is to fill the log book in every time you change direction, or hourly, or some other interval. Even with the ubiquity of GPS and electronics it’s still a manual job to write down position, heading, speed, wind/weather etc in the book. Now that’d be OTT on a bike ride to fill in a log every corner, but the act of getting the map out to find where you are would at least save time in the event of a problem or emergency as you’d know where you were at the last junction and can quickly guess where you are now. It’s not that the GPS will be wrong, it’s that despite your best intentions sticking to the dotted line on the screen, if it goes blank you won’t have a clue where you are!Posted 4 years agobullandbladderMember
Northwind – have you ever been in the mountains in poor visibility? (IME, visibility is generally quite poor when it’s DARK). If you don’t know the terrain (and even if you do) it’s not always as straightforward as retracing your steps 🙄
You should always have map and compass (and know how to use them).
GPS is a luxury.Posted 4 years ago
GPS is an option. Same as map and compass. You can argue the toss about which is most reliable but as per examples in this thread, neither is perfect.
If you’re anywhere where genuine safety risk exist then you’re pretty stupid to rely on only one item of safety critical equipment with no backup.Posted 4 years agojohnellisonMember
in general think a fair number of people can’t actually read a map so carrying one is pointless for them
Which begs the question, why are they out in the sticks in the first place?
It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who I meet in the middle of nowhere, who have no idea where they are and aren’t carrying a map or other means of navigation.
Absolute folly to be out and about when you can’t navigate yourself around.Posted 4 years agoantigeeMember
maybe there should be compulsory insurance to cover the cost of mountain rescue
can you imagine the questions some questions to ensure the policy could be appropriately loaded? here’s an effort
Have you ever been in area that has no mobile phone coverage other than just outside the toilets in a shopping mall?
Do you consider it life threatening if it is raining when you get out of the car at a filling station?
Have you ever felt a panic attack coming on because the lights in the pub car park weren’t working?
Do you actually know what happens when the sun goes down?
Do you know what happens if you turn down the thermostat at home or the climate control in your car?
If you walk to point A from point B will it always take you some time to get back from B to A?
Do marathon runners carry packets of fags for energy when competing?
How many times did you walk round the rugby club playing field and did all the money go to charity?Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
bullandbladder – Member
Northwind – have you ever been in the mountains in poor visibility? (IME, visibility is generally quite poor when it’s DARK).
Yup. Which is why I ask the question- if he got up, he should have been able to get down, if he’s halfway competent. And if he’s not, he shouldn’t have been up there at night with or without a map.Posted 4 years agocorsairMember
just how easy it is to block and disrupt gps
From time to time the MOD run exercises where they block GPS operation in a specific area for testing and training purposes. These are announced in NOTAMS (the notices that go out to pilots to warn them about potential problems), because of the obvious danger of going badly wrong if you rely solely on GPS (something you’re trained not to do, but pilots get this wrong too sometimes). I don’t know whether they tell anyone else, e.g. walkers/climbers/650b-ers. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been in parts of Wales or Scotland in sparsely populated areas, so just the sort of place someone might be off in the wilds and relying on GPS. 😯Posted 4 years agoioloMember
This story reminds me of the family who walked up Snowdon in December with a 3 year old in minus crazy numbers in the worst storm ever. They were going to catch the train down 🙄Posted 4 years ago
Next thing mountain rescue, helicpoters. Should have saved the kid and left them there. Darwin and all that.
Speaking of apps, I was delighted (well, pleasantly surprised) to find that my fancy new phone has a barometer! Alimeter app installed, and it’s been accurate so far – as measured against the altitude at the displayed position in the OS Atlas App, obvs.
I’ve found the compass not to be too hot though, but SunDroid, showing the position in the sky of the sun (or moon, or other celestial body) at your current time & location is a very nice check.Posted 4 years ago
The topic ‘Don`t rely on your electronic toys !’ is closed to new replies.