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Re: [BackpackGearTest] Re: OOP - Monday May 27, 2005

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  • Andrew Priest
    ... Thanks Coy Boy, I think :-) Had a good walk, even if we got into camp just on dark after having to do some unplanned off-track (reading bush bashing
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2 9:18 AM
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      At 11:03 AM 29/05/2005, you wrote:
      >I didn't think BGT let you take breaks...go back and read your
      >contract. in any case, have a good one.

      Thanks Coy Boy, I think :-) Had a good walk, even if we got into camp just
      on dark after having to do some unplanned off-track (reading bush bashing
      through serious undergrowth) as we took a track which we thought was the
      one marked on the map but turned out to go nowhere. Decided off-track was a
      better option than retracing our steps .... of course the bush look good at
      the decision time!

      The joys of navigating :-)

      Andrew


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    • edwardripleyduggan
      Andrew. Just curious. Do you navigate the bush using pure map and compass, or with GPS thrown in as well? And is this primarily flatland navigation (which
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 2 12:37 PM
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        Andrew.

        Just curious. Do you navigate the bush using pure map and compass, or
        with GPS thrown in as well? And is this primarily "flatland"
        navigation (which can be very tricky if there are few features), or
        are there hills and canyons to negotiate (which can also make the
        navigator's life fun)<g>?

        Ted.


        > The joys of navigating :-)
        >
        >
      • Andrew Priest
        ... AP: Map and compass. However, we did have a GPSr with us on this trip which when we did hit a track that was unexpected during the off-track section was
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 2 5:17 PM
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          At 03:37 AM 3/06/2005, you wrote:
          >Andrew.
          >
          >Just curious. Do you navigate the bush using pure map and compass, or
          >with GPS thrown in as well?

          AP:> Map and compass. However, we did have a GPSr with us on this trip
          which when we did hit a track that was unexpected during the off-track
          section was pulled out and fired up to help pinpoint where we where. I
          generally only use my GPSr bushwalking when I am geocaching or looking for
          Trig Points when on backpacks.

          >And is this primarily "flatland"
          >navigation (which can be very tricky if there are few features), or
          >are there hills and canyons to negotiate (which can also make the
          >navigator's life fun)<g>?

          Thick bush (particularly near water), hills and creeks. Little to no
          long-distance visibility and therefore no ability to locate "horizon"
          features to use as reference points, so very much reliant on contours,
          hopefully marked creeks, hopefully marked tracks etc. We use 1:50 000 maps.
          Nothing larger available for the area which is reasonably up to date. Not
          that the maps we use are that great. Lots of old logging tracks marked but
          which often can't be found on the ground.

          On this trip we realised we were on a unmarked track when it started to
          descend into a steep gully and we where heading to far south. The map was
          showing the track we thought we were on was heading more south-west and
          contouring.

          The "mistake" we made (I was not leading, so I can plead innocent on this
          one ;-)) was that we did not then retrace our steps to our last known point
          which was a Reference Tree. Reference Trees are trees marked with grid
          references based on the old mile grid system. The trees are also marked on
          the current maps, providing when they are correct (not always the case) a
          pretty good indication of where you are.

          We had a "reasonable" idea of our locality, well sufficient enough to make
          the reasonable call to head in a westerly direction as our camp site was on
          the Bibbulmun Track which is on the Murray River and in the area we where,
          it is aligned in a north-south direction. Heading in a westerly direction
          therefore would have resulted in our intersecting of the Track and/or River.

          As it turned out we headed west, entered a creek valley which was not
          expected (it turns out we where further east than we expected) and then the
          track we thought we where on. Pulled out the GPSr confirmed our position
          then headed off on the correct track to find it subsequently overgrown, so
          a short downhill bush-bash resulted anyway before we intersected the
          Bibbulmun Track.

          This all came about because we decided to take a "short cut" ... :-)

          Added some excitement to the day, but just made us late getting into camp.
          Not a big issue for most of us on the walk but some of the less experienced
          members where a bit concerned.

          BTW 98% of that days walk was not on marked walking trails. We don't do a
          lot of marked trail walking, but we do often make use of campsites on the
          Bibbulmun Track due to very poor water availability. Often take circuits
          which lead to the campsites, but avoid the Track.

          The Track goes through some our better walking areas in reasonably close
          proximity to Perth (1 to 3 hours drive).

          Regards
          Andrew






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        • edwardripleyduggan
          Andrew, Sounds like a bushwhack. The term perhaps has other connotations in Australia, I believe, dating from the days of Ned Kelly. I prefer these over
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 3 7:46 AM
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            Andrew,

            Sounds like a "bushwhack." The term perhaps has other connotations in
            Australia, I believe, dating from the days of Ned Kelly.<g> I prefer
            these over trail hiking, as there's a sense of exploration involved.
            Having said that, I hike trails too, as some (especially in this part
            of the country) can be pretty rugged and demanding.

            GPS is handy for those problem moments, I must say, provided its use
            is leavened with common sense. It's true that one would work it out
            eventually with map and compass, but it often makes for an easier
            recovery after a navigational error (of which I make my fair share).
            The issue in leaf season is that usually any landmarks (peaks, etc.)
            are obscured by the canopy, so hikers in this region are in a not
            dissimilar situation to yours.

            I find the "reference tree" concept interesting. There are USGS survey
            markers (and others) here and there, but they are frequently almost
            impossible to find, unless on a peak. Those near trails tend to get
            totally overgrown, and since they are just small metal plates inset in
            a rock, there's no obvious indication.

            Aah, I love those "short cuts"...

            Ted.
          • Ralph Ditton
            G day again Ted, The reference trees are quite common in this part of the world. The surveyors who did this would remove a piece of bark, usually chest high on
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 3 8:18 AM
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              G'day again Ted,



              The reference trees are quite common in this part of the world.

              The surveyors who did this would remove a piece of bark, usually chest high
              on an average adult, chisel out the reference letters and numbers then paint
              them white, or if they were lazy just paint the information on the tree. I
              think most of the referencing was done in the 30's and 40's but Andrew may
              have more on that.

              I am off tomorrow for my bush bash, Dwellingup to Mount Wells and return and
              it is raining. What fun.

              Cheers

              Ralph



              _____

              From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of edwardripleyduggan
              Sent: Friday, 3 June 2005 10:47 PM
              To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: OOP - Monday May 27, 2005



              Andrew,

              Sounds like a "bushwhack." The term perhaps has other connotations in
              Australia, I believe, dating from the days of Ned Kelly.<g> I prefer
              these over trail hiking, as there's a sense of exploration involved.
              Having said that, I hike trails too, as some (especially in this part
              of the country) can be pretty rugged and demanding.

              GPS is handy for those problem moments, I must say, provided its use
              is leavened with common sense. It's true that one would work it out
              eventually with map and compass, but it often makes for an easier
              recovery after a navigational error (of which I make my fair share).
              The issue in leaf season is that usually any landmarks (peaks, etc.)
              are obscured by the canopy, so hikers in this region are in a not
              dissimilar situation to yours.

              I find the "reference tree" concept interesting. There are USGS survey
              markers (and others) here and there, but they are frequently almost
              impossible to find, unless on a peak. Those near trails tend to get
              totally overgrown, and since they are just small metal plates inset in
              a rock, there's no obvious indication.

              Aah, I love those "short cuts"...

              Ted.





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            • Andrew Priest
              ... Hi Ted If you go to http://aushiker.com/mount_dale_assault_photos.htm and the first photo on the second row you will see a Reference Tree. This one is easy
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 4 2:38 AM
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                At 10:46 PM 3/06/2005, you wrote:
                >I find the "reference tree" concept interesting. There are USGS survey
                >markers (and others) here and there, but they are frequently almost
                >impossible to find, unless on a peak. Those near trails tend to get
                >totally overgrown, and since they are just small metal plates inset in
                >a rock, there's no obvious indication.

                Hi Ted

                If you go to http://aushiker.com/mount_dale_assault_photos.htm and the
                first photo on the second row you will see a Reference Tree. This one is
                easy to find, being located on the edge of the road. Sometimes the road has
                moved, sometimes the tree maybe off the road (I know of one which is no
                longer near a road or track - the track is long gone), sometimes the tree
                has long gone, so whilst they are good, they are not something that can be
                relied on.

                Regards
                Andrew


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