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weedavie
2007-05-30 12:00:38
Ned Ludd gu bràth
Jaysus, Luddite, I like that after all my attempts to lead the flock to righteousness.

GPS, as Simon says, is already the dominant technology on the hills of these isles. I prefer map and compass, a highly developed mature technology, for a number of reasons. Probably the most important of these is that the thinking mostly takes place on my side of the man-machine interface. This has lots of benefits including a more immediate relationship with and understanding of the ground I travel over. Another major one is its transferability. The only thing I need to do if I'm walking in Greece or Spain is pick up some sort of local map then I'm launched.

I'm not against GPS. I can see me ending up with one at the bottom of my bag along with the head-torch, the survival bag and other things I hope not to use. I do laugh at the correspondence in MV on advanced usage. It's all real hobbyist stuff, overlays, underlays and a deep pile carpet. I'm reminded of a bunch of Morris Minor drivers in the 1960s deliberating the optimum greasing cycle for the nipple thingies they'd to lubricate or their wheels fell off.

I think you've more freedom on the hill with map and compass, although I think that may be just a factor of personality. There are days when you don't know where you're going to walk until you get there and even when you start moving you're still undecided on the chosen hill.

I'd not push the safety factor of compasses too far. I demagnetised a compass this year (though my best bet is I had it too close to my phone, another accursed device.) But after the worst weekend of accidents this winter, the only aspect that mountain rescue really warned about was GPS. Here's the quote and I've referenced the article below.

'However, Mr Ingram said an over-reliance on new technology was becoming an increasingly worrying factor.

He said: "This is a really important point.

"If you have something new learn to use it before going out on to the hill and not go out and then try to learn how to use it. Modern technology is also dependent on batteries.

"It is important to learn to use a bog-standard compass and map and learn to read the features of a hill by looking at the map.

"Modern technology such as GPS should be used as a complement to basic map and compass." '

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/6353559.stm
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