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25663Re: Conventional Wisdom Regarding GPS on JMT

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  • scriv.ener
    Nov 4, 2012

      My experience with GPS differs from the others.

      I have found the JMT so well-trod that to follow that navigation is truly a matter for - at most - a map and compass. I daresay that a full set of Mr. Harrison's maps and a quality compass weigh less than the Garmin, especially when considering the necessity of back-up batteries, and of course on the JMT base weight is everything.

      Now, if there is snowfall perhaps that is another issue, but if snowfall is sufficient to obscure the trail then I'd be either "hunkering down" or taking one of those laterals on a "bail out.."

      Now, where I did find a GPS useful was in locating the bear boxes.
      If you're doing a through-hike the use of bear boxes can provide a light-weight alternative to bear cans. Too, the box locations provide way-points generally useful as stopping places. In that sense a GPS could easily justify leaving the bear can behind, a net savings.

      In short, I don't think you need the Garmin. Since base weight is so important, I'd leave it behind.

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "jmt_2013" <dabrahms@...> wrote:
      > ...
      > I plan on solo thru-hiking the JMT next summer.
      > I have a Garmin eTrex 20 GPS ...
      > ...
      > My question is whether the benefits of a GPS are worth the
      > extra weight when hiking the JMT ...?
      > Thanks,
      > Darryl
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