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Device integration - are devices that merge any good?

Discussion in 'Brights, Gizmo's & toys' started by Paul_B, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    You mean you don't use a digital watch? ;)

    I agree with the map and compass. It's a good technology to learn how to use. However since I tend to do most of my outdoors stuff in the lakes I've reached the point where I don't tend to bother with maps and compass. I've learnt the area so well. Most of the places I go to I can picture the paths in my mind. Think of a Google earth 3D map of paths in your head. Beats a map and compass! However my walks are kind of more about who I'm with and the variables such as weather, other walkers, wildlife, etc.

    I also think there's more to using a GPS than most think. IIRC there's a really good outdoor education centre in the UK that used to run a GPS training course. It wasn't a short course so there's a lot more to it I suspect.

    Right now I tend to walk with a smartphone. Camera, GPS, viewranger mapping, clock, timer, etc. In a day trip battery is rarely an issue. Waterproof bag it can be used and doesn't get wet. If I don't really need a map then it's often all I need. If I need a map it's still there for photos and phone calls.
     
  2. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I guess most gps’ have loads of ‘hidden’ features somebody as non technical as myself misses.
     
  3. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    Having a map is good,
    having a good map is even better
    and knowing exactly where you are on it is awesome, but there is more to navigation.
    Today we describe it as situational awareness, our ancestors called it common sense.
    It's a feature currently absent from digital devices and underdeveloped in some modern humans.

    For example take the ford due south of the Moel Prysgau bothy on the Strata Florida to Dolgoch bunkhouse trail. A well defined gravel road in a sheltered valley, relatively level going, easy on the feet, simple to follow and an good day hike for somebody travelling light.

    Here it is in good/average weather. Refreshing on the feet and pretty safe.
    Mp-ford-2.jpg

    This is it after heavy rain.
    MP-ford-1.jpg

    Now to reach this point from either direction involves negotiating several smaller crossings and upon seeing the first one any sane person would get out the map and look for a drier route. Yet twice now I have had walkers stagger into the bothy visibly shaken following repeated dunking's.
     
  4. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Aaah! The lack of common sense. It's a prevalent condition in the hills in afraid. Even ppl with qualifications in outdoor leadership I've found lacking. I think you must be born with it.

    Example, the walking group I used to go out with (and lead walks on at times) had a friend of a member who had walk leader qualifications but needed quality hours leading groups to get the international leader qualification. She had a route planned and was going to complete it no matter how bad the weather. She picked the most incompetent person as back marker (a guy with the coordination that books him regular beds in A&E). Then she had up climbing over a relatively narrow ridgeline at the head of two adjacent valleys just where it is obvious the gale force plus winds would blow over. An experienced collie dog in the group refused to go over the top. We did and ended up lying flat gripping the rocks. I have never experienced wind like it. I was hanging on by my hands to rocks while the wind was tugging at my legs.

    Seriously intelligent ppl can be very incompetent in the outdoors simply through lack of common sense. I also believe the strength to turn back due to conditions is something that's an important part of common sense. Turning back before an epic becomes a disaster.
     
  5. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    BTW common sense is absent from maps too. Just because it's got no batteries doesn't mean it's a life saver. That's common sense, knowledge and experience. IMHO the three most important tools to carry. Quite possibly in that order.

    You can get knowledge which then can lead to in experience but you sure can't get common sense from a book or time served. It's a trait you're born with I reckon. A recessive gene is controlling it I reckon because it seems to be dying out!
     
  6. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    OT:
    I think the less time we spend in Nature, the less understanding we have for how variable Nature can be.

    No amount of books or internet time can replace experience and respect of it.

    I hope none of you guys gets the idea to go to the Scandinavian mountains with handheld electronics, specially wintertime!
    Or if you do, have at least a backup papermap/compass and the knowledge..
     
  7. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I don't think I'd go into Scandi mountains on my own anyway at first. I think I'd always go to places I've absolutely no experience of with someone who has. At least until I gain an insight or experience of the place. I believe in learning from ppl with knowledge and experience of the potentially risky places I want to visit in the place itself.

    It's how I learnt British hills. I am not naive to expect my experience of them to make me safe in other, different places.

    One point to make that I would like to know the answer to. Indigenous peoples seem to manage without map and compass, why?

    Native Americans or first nations I doubt used maps and compass to navigate. What about Indian tribes in South America? Bushman in Africa and aboriginal peoples in Australia.

    You could argue that maps and compass marks a degree of separation from our own lands. Kind of inferior to the skills once held to navigate in the environment without tools. It's kind of how traditionalists view using electronic navigation devices such as GPS compared to map and compass.
     
  8. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Navigating without tools is easy if you know the landscape.

    I believe that most pre industrial people or pre agricultural moved between specific areas within the lands the tribe inhabited.
    They learned it from childhood by following the adults.
     
  9. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Kind of how I learnt the lakes. Maps are for incomers!;)
     
    Janne likes this.
  10. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Maybe Joe Tak.. our resident First Nationer can chime in? I am sure he knows.
     
  11. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    It would be interesting to hear the views from a first nation member with the traditional skills, approaches and views towards navigation. Since this thread seems to be focusing on navigation tools like maps, GPS, etc.

    I reckon it's generations since the bulk of western Europeans (and their progeny in the americas) did anything in the outdoors without tools such as those.
     
  12. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I think our problem is that we tend to either move to new areas, or venture into new areas, so we do not really get to know ‘our area’ that well.

    I know that the Same move for maximum a hundred, hundred fifty kilometers in length, and maybe fifty kilometers in width.
    They do this trek twice a year, spring from the forested winter area up into the summer area, then back in autumn.

    First they follow dad, then when daddy retires they take over. So maybe 20-30 years of following dad and learning the area.
     
  13. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    It will be a similar process the world over among peoples connected to the land they live in. Aboriginal peoples from Australia, as I'm sure you know, have their (not the right word) tales that tell the story of their landscape like a memory map.

    I think other cultures employ similar tracks around their part of the world. Just like the Sami have their regular migration routes. First nations too I think. I wouldn't be surprised if bushmen in Africa hunt on certain routes. South American Indians too I reckon.

    However the modern world doesn't have that. When was the last time you went out without a plan just a vague direction out and just follow what you find. Without a map for added fun!

    I'll admit that as a family we always walk in the lakes with only a vague idea to reach the top. We only do that of there's little choice in paths. Mostly we get sidetracked by interesting paths and trails we find along the way. Hunting out interesting things to see. Maps don't give you that IMHO. Neither do GPS units.

    I think there's a word for that beginning with a letter T.
     
  14. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    There are a couple of are
    I do own a couple. Two Omega LED's from mid 1970's, one Omega Seamaster Montreal Olympic, from 1976 ( has a digital chrono function but analog dial for time). Plus one of the Breitlings has a second timezone small Quartz (analog dial) attached to the case.They are the only quartz watches I own.

    The rest are analog and mechanical.

    (I have been collecting watches for about 35 years. WW1 -WW2 aviators time pieces and watches with inhouse movements. :) My latest find is a verge fusee pw from approx. 1690's made by Jacques Rousseau London workshop, cool piece, chimes every hour. )
     
    #54 Janne, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  15. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    source; LA Times

    I wonder how close the flames have to be before people disregard what the sat-nav tells them?
     
  16. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I think a lot of the classic satnav incidents you read about are more about the unit being used without any common sense. That happens with a lot of things.

    For example I was walking with two friends who I thought was at least half competent with navigation. One was more so indeed he made out he was good with a map and compass. The other wasn't as good and you don't rely on her. Anyway I had to have a very heated argument with them for a rather cold 15 minutes (it was winter or late autumn). The argument? Well they didn't believe me when I said they were holding the map the wrong way. Seriously, 180° out. The slope rose behind us but the map showed it rising in front. Two hills behind to the left and to the right. The map as they orientated it was the opposite. In front on the ground was a valley with obvious features to orient the map to.

    The best bit was they got a compass out and lined it up to a feature and read the bearing on the compass. Wrong direction in their view so they turned the compass the wrong way and lost and behold the bearing was right to the feature. So that proved them right! That got me angry but I eventually convinced them the compass was being used wrongly. So they turned it the right way.

    It was broken! Out comes the other person's compass. Repeat the process, that compass was wrong. OK!

    I turned around and started to walk the right way on my own to hear the guy I thought could read a map have the penny drop. No he didn't say I was right but turned the map around and confidently said loudly so I could hear that it was that way pointing towards me. He made out he'd worked it out. I just shook my head and carried on.

    My point is navigation using any method is only as good as the person using it. No matter what device or technology used (maps are technology too) without commonsense and appropriate skills / knowledge they're useless.

    BTW I laugh at those two ppl now but banging your head against a metaphorical wall on a cold hillside isn't fun.
     

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