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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious as to how many of you have ever come to the realization that you just might be lost. What were your thoughts, and what emotions went through your mind. With the benefit of hindsight, what, if anything would you have done differently. What advise can you give to minimize the chance of it happening again.
 

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I have been lost a couple times hunting but fortunately they were small properties and I kept walking and got out, then made my way back to my vehicle. I am admittedly the absolute worse person in the world when it comes to this subject, I have a couple gps and compasses but to be honest I barely know how to use them. In some areas I hunt the gps won't work anyways. So my approach is sticking to small properties and when I do go elk hunting in huge remote areas I always go with a buddy who should have a tv show on this stuff. He can find our way out of the thickest crappiest most remote areas possible every time, that is a skill and talent I wish I had. I guess common sense though is always let someone know where you are going, gps, compass, map, cell phone if it works in the area, trail tape or markers, and don't panic.
 

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clawj said:
In some areas I hunt the gps won't work anyways.
I don't get this statement! :? The only place my GPS doesn't work is in a house or under thick foliage in the forest! The latter is always corrected when I enter sparser tree leaf cover.

Using a GPS for returning to your vehicle, trail head or other access point is ssssoooo easy that I'm surprised by your other statement re: difficulty in using GPS.

In response to the original post, I got lost when I was a kid. Horrible, horrible feeling! And I was in a K-Mart at the time!

Then at about 12 years old I was hunting rabbits with my Dad when I wandered off. Sheer panic when I realized that Dad wasn't with me any more. Good thing he heard the .22 shots that I fired and responded with his shotgun.

I learned to trust compasses when I worked fisheries on Lake Winnipeg. We set a gang of nets "somewhere", chart the course (compass bearing) for the nearest harbour and kept track of our speed and time of travel. The next morning, clear or foggy, we'd fire up, reverse the bearing and head out into the open.

One time the fog was so thick that we stopped and dropped anchor after traveling the required time. We must have sat there for close to an hour peering into the fog all around us, looking for one of the buoys that marked our nets. The fog finally cleared enough that I spotted one of the two buoys within a couple hundred yards of us.

Compass or GPS, the operator just needs to trust the apparatus! TRUST IT! They work!
 

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Nothing to trust when it doesn't work, where you hunt it may work where I hunt in some areas it is so thick there is no signal. As for it being ssssoooo easy, it's just not my thing using a gps. I never seemed to properly learn to use the thing, it's ssssooooo easy to do other things but admittedly gps use is not my expertise. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is though, I appreciate your advice and almighty wisdom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
clawj said:
Nothing to trust when it doesn't work, where you hunt it may work where I hunt in some areas it is so thick there is no signal. As for it being ssssoooo easy, it's just not my thing using a gps. I never seemed to properly learn to use the thing, it's ssssooooo easy to do other things but admittedly gps use is not my expertise. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is though, I appreciate your advice and almighty wisdom.
Andre did mention in his post that one can't get a signal in thick brush...so on that point you are in complete agreement. As for whether or not it's easy, well, for some, electronic gadgets are easy to learn how to use. Aparently, you and I fall into the category of what I'll call "electronically challenged"l. :lol: If you're like me, the more I try to follow an instruction manual, the more confused and frustrated I get. I'm the same way when someone tries to tell me how to use something. However, what does work for me is having someone take the time to show me how to use something. You should have seen me when they got us computers at work! OMG! Talk about panic time. It scared the bejeepers out of me. For days I was going crazy trying to figure out how to use it. I'm an older person (old fart) no kids, so I didn't have the benefit of having someone at home show me how to use it, unlike the rest of the people in the office. Finally, I asked my sales assistant for help, and she agreed to come in on a Saturday and she spent the day showing me how it worked. For Christmas this year, my wife got me one of those KINDLE Readers...until 5 weeks ago it was stored in my desk, because after trying to figure it out for several hours, I just got pissed and put it away. Then my boss got one from his wife for his birthday...he couldn't figure it out, so he called his college age daughter up, and she came over to help him. I asked her for help with mine and she just laughed and was more than happy to help. I pretty much had the hang of it in about 15 minutes. Sorry for taking the long way to get to my point, but maybe you're a bit like me, and if you have a friend whose up to speed on using a GPS, he'll help you out, or, maybe you could take it into the store where you got it and ask for a tutorial. Just trying to help out.
 

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I think I'll try to find a college aged girl to give me private lessons like you suggested Mike, great idea! :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:D Good man! By the way, I sent you a PM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
By the way, just so you all know, I can honestly say that in all the years I've been hunting, I have never, ever been lost. I knew at all times where I was. I knew exactly where I was standing. My car and camp, on the other hand, well, they've been misplaced from time to time. :lol:
 

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I have been "turned around" only once. It wasn't pleasant. I did have a compass and knew the direction to come back out on the highway. It took me most of the afternoon with compass in hand. You can never head in a straight line where I hunt. I didn't recognize any of the terrain coming out until I saw the hydro wires. Taking a quick look about the familiar features of the area seemed to pop out of nowhere. I was less than 100 yards from where I went in.
The nice part about a GPS is being able to leave a track. You can always get back to that and will have the easy way back - the way you came in. It is always possible to get injured or otherwise delayed and after dark there is nothing that will look familiar except that track on your GPS. Always carry enough spare batteries for 24-48 hours use and one of the headlamps or cap lights is very welcome at a time like that too. You don't even need a mapping GPS to do this but it is nice too.
 

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Jamie, I wasn't criticizing or belittling your experience with GPS. Just the opposite actually as I detected a reluctance to put faith in this truly outdoor life changing instrument. I was trying to reassure you and anyone reading this thread that GPS and compasses WORK! One only needs to trust them!

I've been hunting moose and elk in Manitoba for 30 years so I assure you that I've wandered into the same kinds of hunting areas that you've been to. My GPS screen showing that the signal was lost because of thick foliage. All one has to do is keep walking in any direction until the foliage opens up enough to get a signal and that bearing will put you on the right course again...100% of the time.

As for compasses, 25 years ago a friend of mine walked about 5 miles cross country after dark and ended up right at my camper door. He had a compass, flashlight and aerial photo of the area. But his most important tool was CONFIDENCE in the compass. Working in forested areas for a living gives a person the confidence in compasses and GPS. 32 years of experience with various forms of navigational instruments under a variety of weather and geographical influences does give me credibility to discuss compasses and GPS.

I cut my GPS teeth on a Garmin 12. And yes, it was easy to learn and use. To this day, if anyone is looking for a simple GPS then hunt down a Garmin 12. Enter your access point, wander around anywhere and "go to" your access point to return. Nothing fancy...just shows you the way back to your access point.

Start by using a GPS in a small woodlot where you know there is no way to get lost. A wood lot inside a square mile of rural road for example. Stick to the simple marking of access point or where your vehicle is parked. Walk into the bush and even flag your trail if you're not confident. Find the waypoint for your vehicle and "go to". Start walking and that GPS will take you straight to your vehicle.

GPS is used extensively when fighting forest fires. Lightning strike coordinates are recorded and conveyed to the aerial attack crews. They enter those coordinates into their on board GPS and head straight for the lightning strike location. Asking dispatch for coordinates is one of the first communications between the aircraft and dispatcher.

On large fires, fire line perimeter hot spots are identified by GPS coordinates from a helicopter. These coordinates are given to ground crews to guide them into these hot spots. Some of these hot spots don't even produce smoke. Ground crew personnel literally stick their hands in the ground to feel out the hot spot.

Maybe I went down the wrong road with these posts but hopefully I've answered some questions or alleviated concerns that some people may have with navigational instruments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Andre: excellent post on navigation, and the use of a compass and GPS. Thank you. Do you happen to know if any of the sporting goods stores in the area conduct seminars in using a GPS.? I'm sure Jamie isn't the only one who has issues with them from time to time. I believe a seminar would be well attended. Your thoughts please...
 

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Hey Jan, i know how you feel... that bush we hunt is sooo thick and can look insanely different on a little ways away that its easy to get turned around. i found that with the Energizer lithium batteries, i can get over 30hrs of straight run time, and my GPS floats with them in it, won't float with standard batteries. I've tested this!
 

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Good point Mike. I don't know if our major sporting goods stores have GPS seminars. There was a time when they did. One could also take evening seminars at schools back in the day.

GPS is so prevalent nowadays that people probably take it for granted that NOT everyone knows how to use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just started a poll to see if there's any interest.
 

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X2 on the 12 Andre. That was my first one as well. The 60 csx I use now has much better battery life and is a bit lighter too.
 

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snomad said:
X2 on the 12 Andre. That was my first one as well. The 60 csx I use now has much better battery life and is a bit lighter too.
Very interesting Jan. I have the 60 CS. Very nice little GPS. :) My work GPS is a Map 76 CSX.
 

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I got a garmin legend. I too have been "Turned around" I still get a little freaked out if it is taking me longer to get out of the boonies then I think it should.
 

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I have definately been turned around in the bush...but generally I get the most confused in Airports. I can never find the most efficent way around in those places.
 

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:lmao: Having a map chip for the airport in Toronto might be nice. I've had nightmares about running for flights in that airport, never mind the real episodes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have the same nightmares about Minneapolis and Los Angeles. :evil:
 
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