Friday, October 18, 2013

Could you navigate in this?

Imagine the scene:

It's the 4th section of The Spine.

You're on top of Cross Fell. It's bitterly cold. The light is failing.

Your GPS, which should last 24 hours on a set of batteries, is only lasting 6 hours in the cold, and has just died. You've used all your spare batteries.

You are cold, you are tired and you are beginning to shut down. Your thought processes aren't quite what they should be.

So could you?

This was yesterday on the Kinder Plateau. It was sunny in the valley. Within about 500m, I had strayed at least 150m off line. I know this area really well having spent my formative years in the Peak District and fortunately I recognise some of the more minor features. However, 150m error in 500m equates to 300m in 1 km, 1.5 km in 5km........

Do not expect to rely on GPS because they will fail. 

Map and compass should always be your primary method of navigation

1 comment:

Paul Shorrock said... [Reply to comment]

Well said Richard - any device that runs on batteries WILL fail one day. If only we could pick the time ...
Two nights ago my Petzl Myo RXP failed totally when I was out with my mountain rescue team - fortunately it was a training session 200 metres from base, and I had a spare hand torch.
Things with batteries WILL fail one day. If only we could pick the time!

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