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Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby al78 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:47 am

It is not just map and compass skills, it is knowing where you are on the map. Taking a bearing is not much use if you don't know where to take it from. The one thing that makes me anxious in thick clag is not being able to walk in the right direction, it is being able to pinpoint exactly where I am on a map, and estimating how far I am going in a given time interval. Technology such as GPS solves that problem, if it is working properly when I want to use it. I was hoping I could use the OS maps app on my phone to do the same thing, which has the additional nice benefit of locating my position over an OS map, but I need to get to grips with storing OS maps offline for that to work. If I try and use the app in its default mode of using online OS mapping, it frequently can't access the map, even in SE England, so it is not going to work if I wanted to use it to see if I have found the summit of Beinn Bhreac (Atholl).
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby Kinshusrst Kid » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:27 am

al78 wrote:It is not just map and compass skills, it is knowing where you are on the map.


Knowing where you are on a map is an essential part of map and compass skills and is not something separate. You should always know where or whereabouts you are on the map. You have to keep taking bearings and check your position on the map before you get into poor conditions. Once in poor conditions you can use other skills of navigation. I will not go into them here, but a good navigation course will teach you them. How do you thing we used to manage before GPS devices were available? Many of us, very successfully , even in real whiteouts ( not heavy snow storms).
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby Spade » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:26 am

Yes both previous posts are correct. I use gps equipment mearly as a backup, but never as a primary. The Map and compass skills - are first and foremost as are all of your points, both well made. Thus my point I eluded to in my last post - regular practice and execrcises in map reading are vital. GPS devices are handy add ons that have a place but should never be solely used.
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby Gareth Harper » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:37 pm

Knowing where you are on a map is an essential part of map and compass skills and is not something separate. You should always know where or whereabouts you are on the map. You have to keep taking bearings and check your position on the map before you get into poor conditions. Once in poor conditions you can use other skills of navigation. I will not go into them here, but a good navigation course will teach you them. How do you thing we used to manage before GPS devices were available? Many of us, very successfully , even in real whiteouts ( not heavy snow storms).

Knowing where you are on a map in poor conditions without GPS will always be an estimation.
A GPS will tell you where you are on the map.
The one thing that makes me anxious in thick clag is not being able to walk in the right direction, it is being able to pinpoint exactly where I am on a map, and estimating how far I am going in a given time interval. Technology such as GPS solves that problem, if it is working properly when I want to use it.

Absolutely. Yup, in poor conditions GPS is reassuring. It is accurate, it will tell you exactly where you are, and it will when combined with a compass (and map as required) give you confidence in heading in the right direction. In winter you can use it to steer clear of cornice in poor conditions etc.
I was hoping I could use the OS maps app on my phone to do the same thing, which has the additional nice benefit of locating my position over an OS map, but I need to get to grips with storing OS maps offline for that to work. If I try and use the app in its default mode of using online OS mapping, it frequently can't access the map, even in SE England, so it is not going to work if I wanted to use it to see if I have found the summit of Beinn Bhreac (Atholl).

I’ve not used mobile phone apps for navigation. Been using a Satmap Active 10 for over ten years now. If it eventually lets me down I’ll buy another GPS unit.
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby mynthdd2 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:06 pm

is everyone aware that in times of international tension the GPS network is deliberately reset as much as100m 'off'? It certainly happened during the Gulf War at random times.....

PS not a conspiracy theory!!!
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:49 pm

GPS is often used broadly meaning any and all satellite tracking, but the correct broad term is GNSS. GPS is the specific US run system, formerly known as Navstar. The US certainly degraded the signal during the Gulf War, a practice known as Selective Availability. That's true and on the record.

However, these days there is also Glonass (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China). So what we often call "GPS systems" are usually GNSS systems as they can track the satellites of GPS, Glonass, Galileo, and BeiDou. If all of them go haywire it's likely going to be a very big thing happening. Five minute warnings and duck & cover stuff.
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby dav2930 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:10 pm

Gareth Harper wrote:Knowing where you are on a map in poor conditions without GPS will always be an estimation.
A GPS will tell you where you are on the map.

Absolutely. The poorer visibility becomes, the fewer clues you have on the ground for estimating your position. In a whiteout, without a GPS, all you have is a bearing and pace-counting. What if you lose count, or your paces are erratic due to uneven terrain? The worse the conditions are, the more likely it is that mistakes will be made. Once doubt about your position creeps in, you have no means of verifying your estimated position without a GPS, and that will create a stressful and potentially dangerous situation. Another important consideration is time. It's time consuming to keep checking bearings and counting paces etc., which on short winter days could lead to benightment. Checking your position with a GPS is relatively quick.

That said, a GPS is certainly not a substitute for map and compass skills; it's best used only for positioning, not for navigating. Using it only occasionally and briefly for positioning will preserve battery power for when it's needed most. But I'd say a GPS is an essential piece of kit for serious winter hill walking, however nostalgic one wants to be about the days before their existence. However good you think you are at estimating where you are on the map, using a GPS to verify your estimated position could be a life-saver.
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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:34 pm

I prefer to just know where I am. Living in Scotland is handy because I can wander about and get to know places, then when I am there again, I know where I am. Especially the Cairngorms, where I mispent my youth, and know the rocks by anecdote - "this is where Wee Mad Tony The Pyromaniac nearly drowned in a puddle", "This is where I threw up that time", "This is where Toddy tried to kill me", etc. :shock:

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Re: Glencoe hillwalkers fined for travel violation.

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:44 pm

Caberfeidh knows where the bodies are buried... and why.
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