25682Re: Conventional Wisdom Regarding GPS on JMT
- Nov 5, 2012Darryl--
I join the "no GPS" group for a JMT trip. We had no trouble finding our way on the trail when we did our thru hike. If I were planning off-trail travel or it was early in a heavy snow year then I would more seriously consider taking a GPS.
If you have limited experience with the unit and don't like the idea of messing with a gadget on the trail, it will likely be a piece of gear you just dead-head for 210+ miles anyway. Take good maps and peak at them often while hiking and when you get to verified landmarks, such as trail junctions and lakes. It will keep you oriented and is far more interesting then looking at a dot on a screen. Track your time between known distances and you will have a sense of how where you should be based on your last verified map check. Chat up other hikers heading in the opposite direction for what is up ahead. Doing those things you will not get lost, or at least not for long.
--- In email@example.com, "jmt_2013" <dabrahms@...> wrote:
> I feel privileged to be a member of this group as there are so many knowledgeable and experienced people here that I can learn from.
> I plan on solo thru-hiking the JMT next summer.
> I have a Garmin eTrex 20 GPS which I took with me while hiking a portion of the PCT in Washington a couple of months ago. I found that I hardly used the GPS because:
> 1) I have limited skills with GPS. For example I was unable to find the distance between my current location and the next way-point without having to scroll through some screens and toggle my cursor around. When I did get a reading, I had to fiddle around to determine whether it was a line-of-sight or trail distance. It was quite a cumbersome and convoluted process.
> 2) there didn't seem to be a big need as the trails were fairly well signposted and I had a map.
> My question is whether the benefits of a GPS are worth the extra weight when hiking the JMT, and if so, in practical terms what are they?
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