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31685Request for Strategy Comments (Maps, Guide & Data Book)

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  • Mark Liechty
    Jun 17, 2013
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      On Jun 16, 2013, at 10:12 PM, <ned@...> <ned@...> wrote:

      We do not put a lot of faith in nor rely heavily on electronics in the backcountry, especially when you will be back there for, perhaps, a week or more at a time.
      Don’t forget, electronic devices do not do well in the wet and cold. Battery life diminishes quickly in cold weather. Electronics are affected by magnetic fields like old lava flows (and you will be on many while in the midst of the old volcanoes of the PNW).

      My suggestions may be to basic for most of the readers of this list but they work well for people getting started and looking for confidence and toolsets.

      I have never ever been lost.  Maybe misplaced but never lost.   I always know ... What Planet I am on, What continent I am on, what Country I am in, What state I am in (mostly there have been times I have been on border)  and within 20-30 miles of my last fixed point.  Knowing these things helps settle the mind to further pinpoint locations.

      A couple of weeks ago i was delivering basic Outdoor leader training to some new Scout Leaders.  As was to be expected ALL of us had Compass apps on our phones.  

      I had them take them out and orient themselves to 180 degrees.  None of them were pointing in the exact direction.  Variations from 1-15 degrees.    Nothing significant in a 100 yard compass course but enough to get you in serious trouble in the wilderness when you are not really confident with your map reading skills.    

      We then brought out standard boring old compasses and the same group of men all ended up pointing in the same direction.   It did not make them experts at orienteering but if you find yourselves just a bit disoriented it helps to know your tools will be working on your side.    My cell phone compass is good enough when I have a map and solid peaks, rivers, valleys to confirm my location.  Other than that it is a toy that I love to carry but it is still just a toy.  

      Mark "Blankie" Liechty

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