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Given the relative affordability of and easy access to reliable GPS technology today, is it still a good idea for outdoorsmen/women to own and know how to use a compass?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by land_cruiser_73 View Post
    I would have to vote that a map is more important than a compass. By using a map and terrain assosiation you can determine aproximately where you are and where you need to go. Knowing which way is north does no good at all if you don't know where you are.
    That's true. I do use a map frequently when in unfamiliar territory.

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    • #17
      When I was a kid my father would frequently ask my brother and I what direction we were heading or point and ask the direction. He did this as we travelled to remote drilling rig sites, explored the family farm, vacationed, hiked, fished and hunted. To this day I am unconsciously making note of points of the compass all the time. I feel uneasy when I lose my sense of direction, get me turned around when visiting Maui and such and my inner compass is shot. It truly bugs me! I once got lost in heavy bush in Alaska and that inner compass served me well. Nevertheless, that episode scared the heck out of me, I was doubting myself and prepared to turn around 180 degrees moments before we got squared away. So, I value a compass and of equal importance, I look to landmarks as points of reference in several different directions. Getting lost is one scary situation and certainly one that panic can make a bad situation worse. Having a basic emergency kit and your favourite rifle in your hand can provide those few but precious moments of calm that are required to make good choices in a tough situation.

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      • #18
        Hi...


        Yes, DO carry a map of the area, and DO carry a compass...Then if you don't already know how to use them together...have an experienced outdoors man teach you...!! There are also books on the subject...and in rare instances, classes that you can take re: using same. You Tube may also have further info on same...!!


        Regarding GPS devices...they are also good to have with you...making sure that #1) you know how to use them...and #2)that you carry spare batteries for them. Spare batteries should be kept in a warm place...in a button-down inner shirt pocket, for example...!!

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        • #19
          I carry a compass with me when hunting. I also know the general direction to the nearest rode from my maps. I rarely take the maps with me though.

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          • #20
            I have been "lost" twice in the last 40 years. Both times were when I "knew" where I was going and wouldn't need a compass. Obviously,I made it back okay,but on one of those occasions, I completely lost my bearings when I had to walk through some trees, the sky was completely overcast and I lost my sense of direction forcing me to walk in one direction until I finally found a familiar landmark. The other time I was with a friend walking in heavily wooded terrain. We couldn't believe that the right direction was the direction that the GPS indicated. We finally decided to believe it and found our way home. I will NOT go out into the wilds without a compass, even if I know the place I am going. As far as a GPS, if the battery dies, you are in deep doo-doo. My compass doesn't need batteries.

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            • #21
              I have been "lost" twice in the last 40 years. Both times were when I "knew" where I was going and wouldn't need a compass. Obviously,I made it back okay,but on one of those occasions, I completely lost my bearings when I had to walk through some trees, the sky was completely overcast and I lost my sense of direction forcing me to walk in one direction until I finally found a familiar landmark. The other time I was with a friend walking in heavily wooded terrain. We couldn't believe that the right direction was the direction that the GPS indicated. We finally decided to believe it and found our way home. I will NOT go out into the wilds without a compass, even if I know the place I am going. As far as a GPS, if the battery dies, you are in deep doo-doo. My compass doesn't need batteries.

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