High Tech Could Get You Dead!
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:33 AM   #1
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Default High Tech Could Get You Dead!

Just a warning for those who relie so heavily on Googling Maps and using GPS to find the easiest routes to get you where you want to go. After a husband lost his life on Bear Camp Road about two years ago trying to go for help (I think he Googled a map for a easy route to the coast from I-5 not too many miles south of where I live) again a family followed a map this time from his GPS, they could have lost their lives if the atmospherics hadn't changed and he was able to contact help on his cell phone. They lucked out, quite a number of others haven't. It's time people start going back to maps, calling the state police or talk to locals and find out what safe routes are available and quit putting trust in electronic do-dads. This time of year the logging roads here in Oregon, though in most cases not over 4000 ft. elev., can have over three feet in shady areas.

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Old 12-29-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
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You're exactly right. Never go into an area you're not very familiar with unless you have detailed maps (preferably topo maps), a compass, and the knowledge to use them.

Lots of areas have orienteering clubs. It's great for kids and can teach adults a thing or two, particularly grown-ups who are hooked on gadgets.

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Old 12-29-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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I've found google and GPS to be completely wrong more then once. I don't own a GPS but have used them and ended up on the wrong side of town more then once trying to find a dealership to pick up some transfer bikes.

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Old 12-31-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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I will agree that relying solely on GPS is not a safe thing.

Being a total techie-myself I do a lot of geocaching for entertainment and use them for hunting. I have several, including the usual Magellan in the truck, two hand held Garmins, and the one on my BB storm. Useful for finding a street address and whatnot but when in an area you are not familiar with you can get yourself in trouble. I have followed proposed routes and ended up in "Deliverance-style" places that probably should have been left to the locals.

Are we losing survival skills on a whole? I grew up with guns, hunting, being taught map reading skills, but many of the folks I meet wouldn't be able find there way out of a paper bag without some help... and some of these people I am thinking of are my friends so I am not putting them down by any means.

I work with kids and see effects that technology is having on skills like writing by HAND, not understanding how to read maps, basic math without an electronic device, etc.

I do love my GPS gadgets but I won't jump off a cliff to reach a waypoint just because my turn by turn tells me too lol!

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Old 12-31-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
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As a frequent user of Oregon logging roads and a GPS (Garmin) user, I can say that when your GPS tells you that you're taking a shortcut to I-5 (or whatever) in your yuppie-mobile, but your ass tells you that you are on a logging road, TURN AROUND!

There is no substitute for common sense.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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I bought a Magellan basic model GPS a couple of years ago but I use it in reverse, I use it in conjuction with Nevada or Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer Detailed Topographic Maps to find readings for roads I want to be on. Especially in Nevada where I'm not familiar with the areas. My wife and I go gold detecting west of Winnemucca and most roads are not numbered like here in Oregon. When used properly and with common sense (which seems rare these days), they can be a very useful tool. It's hard to figure what kind of thinking is going on for people to keep driving where there is little or no other traffic and the snow is getting deeper and not think, "I'd better turn around before I get stuck." I've been on some of these roads with a good 4X4 with chains and I've turned around, except for one time elk hunting in a 1978 Bronco we used to own and the snow was powder and did not pack under the vehicle. When we lived at 8,000 ft. in Aspen Park, Colorado I stuck the Bronco in front of the garage door. When I drove into the driveway and stopped The Bronco settled into the 3 ft. snow drift and I had to dig the snow out from underneath before I could move it. Any time we go anywhere we carry food, water and blankets, if we are out on logging roads I carry chains, come-along and a shovel. Some of the people that have died out on these roads were wearing town cloths and shoes. Relatives of one family blamed officals for not having a gate closed, not even taking into account locals hunting or firewood collecting or the grand one of all, The Sign at the beginning of the road warning of possible road conditions.

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Old 12-31-2009, 07:38 PM   #7
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Nothing beats a compass and a good book of maps. I like the DeLorme map books found here Atlas / Map / Chart The Great Outdoors, Accessories At Sportsman's Guide

Buy one or two per month and in a couple of years you'll have enough maping information to get you around the areas within 6,000 miles of home.

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Old 12-31-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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Once upon a time, decent topographical maps were cheaper than the touristy street maps and map books. You could cover most the country for a modest outlay.

Now, they're a lot more costly - but still well worth the money. A decent compass (my preference is the Silva) and experience with orienteering is a must.

Topographical maps and a compass still cost a lot less than a GPS.

Also, though, so many people lack the intelligent survival skills - how to read the land and the conditions, failing to take even the most basic safety equipment and clothes (how anyone who lives here, and knows how changeable our weather can be, can go off the beaten track without spare clothes for inclement weather, is totally beyond my comprehension. They must be totally brain-damaged!)

The one bit of "survival kit" you must never fail to use is the chunk of pink and grey stuff located between your ears.

No map or compass and on foot? At least locate a stream and follow it down. It will eventually lead you to civilisation or a coast. If you know what you're doing, have decent clothes and basic survival gear and can make shelter, start fire and live off the land, you can survive to get to civilisation.

So many people go out and buy off-road vehicles that don't have the faintest clue of how to look after themselves for a night (or a few) should the unforeseen happen and they get stuck/lost miles off the beaten track.

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