Sarge and the GPS
For those that do not know what a GPS is I will explain. It stands for Global Positioning System. First used by the Armed Forces it now has hit the civilian market with a big splash. The prices are going down on the units and they even put them into cars now.
Sarge being an expert on survival (an expert on survival means that when you get lost you find your way home eventually) thought he should get a GPS unit to compliment his outstanding Survival Chapter in his Hunter Safety Classes. Also the thought crossed his mind that it just might be a way for him to keep from getting lost so much. So when the package came he anxiously opened it up. Unfortunately the thing looked very much like a TV remote, a instrument that Sarge has never been able to master. But forging ahead he read the book and it had some surprises. First of all the GPS is not going to tell you a darn thing until you tell it where it is. Sarge thought this was a little bass akwards but read on. It refered the owner to the last chapter. There was a list of places all over the world. There were continents listed there that Sarge's World History teacher never even mentioned. Or possible knew about. Checking the list Sarge found one that sounded familiar.
"The America's" Obviously the Oriental that translated that one just grouped the good old USA into one catagory. Going down the list, lo and behold there he found Denver, USA.
"I'll be darn, we are on the list!" he exclaimed, so this has got to be easy. Going outside to the driveway, he typed in the coordinates for Denver and the elevation. Then because this was an early unit it took several minutes for the unit to locate and lock on the satelites. So here Sarge stands out in the middle of his driveway holding this little box up in the air. And Sarge's neighbors that have always wondered about him, are looking out the windows.
"What is he doing now?" asked the husband. "I don't know, it looks like he is standing out there pointing a TV remote control at the sky." answered the wife. Phones ring up and down the block and soon curtains are ruffling in several houses, with eyeballs peeking thought the cracks. A collective sigh goes up and down the block. That crazy Sarge is at it again.
Soon the GPS responded and Sarge looked at the display and was happy to see that it had indeed figured out that Sarge was in Denver. "WOW this is going to be great!" Thought Sarge, "No more being lost." Quickly he typed in HOME and initiated the GPS again. Sure enough it accepted that as Waypost # 2
The next day, he left for work and took the new GPS along. When he arrived at the parking lot of the big Gas Works company he took his GPS out and standing in the parking lot he proceded to type in the words, "Work" and designate it as Waypost 3. Then he stood outside the Van and held the GPS up to allow it to notify the satelites that he was at a new coordinate. And his co-workers began to pull into the parking lot.... And there stood Sarge with his TV remote held in hand pointing at the sky.
"What is he doing now?" one co-worker whispered. "Who knows, just walk fast and ignore him." another replied.
Soon at a distance there was a loose half circle of employee's shaking their heads and looking questionly at each other. Finally the GPS beeped and Sarge exclaimed loudly,
"HOT DOG, it worked, now I can find my way to work." Oblivious to the scurrying of running feet, and small screams from the more sensative members of the workforce he put the GPS back in the Van and bounced up the stairs to work.
That night he ran out to the parking lot, got the GPS out and aimed it at the sky. The he told it to "GO TO" "HOME" When it had initialized it told Sarge that he needed to go to "Denver."
"DENVER? I don't live in Denver you stupid thing, I live in a town outside of Denver." Sarge gave the device a good shake and talking too. But the GPS was adamant that he should go to Denver. Undaunted Sarge had a camping trip planned for that very weekend so the GPS was packed in the camping box.
"Now Pvt. Trent we are going to test the GPS out in real wilderness where all the buildings and electrical interference will not mess it up." So He initialized it and typed in "CAMP," waited the required time and sure enough the instrument told him he was a XXX latitude YYY longitude and at 9,005 ft. above sea level.
"It's working,now lets test it to see if it will bring us back to this waypoint." Sarge told Pvt Trent. Marching directly East by his pocket compass he stopped at approximately 600 yards from the CAMP. Hitting the buttons he told the instument to "GO TO" "CAMP". And waited for it to respond. A few beeps later Sarge looked at the arrow display and it said "GO NORTH"
"NORTH? YOU STUPID MACHINE!" "What do you mean NORTH, can't you tell that we are East of the camp?" Holding the miscreant GPS up he pointed it at the barely visible camp to the west.
"LOOK YOU DUMB BAG OF CIRCUITS, THERE IS THE CAMP, SEE IT, AND IT IS WEST!"
"Calm down Dad," said Pvt. Trent, let's go North and see what happens. So they went North, and then West and then South and then East and then North, and for a couple of hours the GPS led them around in a circle around the camp, but never closer than 100 yards.
"What are you going to do to this one, Sanso?" asked the Oriental electronics worker?"
"I think I will make this one get some dumb American all the way into a forest and then go blank and clear all his wayposts out." chuckled the other Oriental electronics worker.
Have compass; will git lost :)
Sir; haha; for what-its-worth lolol; I have one too:eek::) lolol
Well sarge for what its worth. I dont get lost in the woods much (knocks on wood) but I think i just may need a GPS as well. you know for when you kill that big elk right at last light and have to hang it in the tree for the night and then find your way back to it the next day. just so you can drop the thing in the creek and have it gone for good...
no matter how good the technology is you cant make the people that are using it any less clumzy or more capable of using it.
not saying that your arent good with technology or anything.;)
Was stationed in Alaska in 1970, when the major part of the state was as yet unmapped.
Compass? Sure. 28.5 degree magnetic declination. Your compass does NOT point to the North.
GPS ? We did not have, but some areas are so far North that you can't hit 3 satellites. Then there was the other minor problem in the winter- batteries and -60 air temps. They freeze.
I have a couple of GPS units, but taught the kids (and grandkids) to read a map, use pace counts, and use a decent Silva to supplement that. When oldest son enlisted in the Corps, and came home on his first leave, he told me "You know, I am such a dummy, I thought EVERYONE had a dad that taught them to read a map and compass."
Don't get me wrong- when I am trying to figure out EXACTLY how far from that house our blast will be- HELL-O Garmin! Just remember, as Sarge demonstrated in his first post- technology can have a charming habit of suddenly turning, and sinking its teeth into your ankle.
when i was in highschool i was in the JROTC. I was in Orienteering and actually commander of our team. senior year i wont the regional competition. took first out of about 150 people. not to brag or anything but i would agree technology can be great but you must learn the basics and how to read a map and navigate with a compass.
C3 I lived up in Alaska for a year (2007) We were warned that we never went outside alone. And compasses, HA! We were never given any. But most of the time we were in our nice warm office in Anchorage. The times we were on the North slope we were well supervised.
depends on how many numbers your longitude and latitude are.... 6 digits will only get you about 100 meters from your objective (not a huge problem you can generally see that far)
10 digits will get you in a one meter square, we used 10 digits in the corps and never had that problem with OUR GPS units....
and i swear by my garmin nuvi, chicago is a confusing place to drive in
A word on Nuvis, tom-Toms, and ANY nav system-
Rule 1. If you find that the map and the terrain disagree, you should assume that the terrain is the correct one. I don't care if the map says there is no lake there- if you are looking at water, let's just assume that no one told the lake. We recently had a case of a woman that came to a T- instersection, and drove through it, into the woods. When asked why she drove off the road, it was because her GPS told her to "keep straight".
Shallow end of the gene pool.
Sarge- I would have loved to have stayed indoors. But we were either rescuing (read that as recovering the bodies) folks that did NOT stay indoors, or preparing to defend against the 98th Godless Horde (Augmented) sitting on the other side of the Bering. (They wanted to stay inside and drink vodka)
The good part about having spent time in the Yukon- besides the scenery- when you were sitting around the club at Benning or Bragg, and someone started talking about how cold it was in Germany, or Korea....:rolleyes:
(Coldest I have worked in was about -65 F, we could not calculate wind chill, because the chart only goes to -150. :eek: That is cold enough that a CO2 fire extinguisher will not work)
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