Enhance your hunting or hiking experience with a portable GPS navigation system
Adventurous hunters and hikers will often trek through forests, plains, valleys and tundra that they have never travelled through before, for the sheer joy of making their way through unknown territory.
If you are an old-timer when it comes to hunting or hiking, you know that maps, a compass and the stars are indispensable to a successful and safe experience for such excursions.
Learning to use these tools competently takes time, and unless you master their usage, you’re taking your own life into your hands.
Many people consider path finding with these tools an essential part of the hunting or hiking experience and would consider such resources as a guide, a degradation of the activity.
For other hunters and hikers, it’s not the primitive, frontier challenge that brings them out into unknown territory – for the hunter, the prey, and for the hiker, the scenery and challenges of the terrain. For these hunters and hikers, maps, a compass and the stars are distractions and time-consuming activities they would rather do without.
The possibility of making a mistake and getting lost haunts them throughout the expedition and detracts them from their purpose. For them, modern technology answers with the portable GPS navigation system.
Even the purist may find a portable GPS navigation system a handy backup when they suddenly find themselves totally disoriented in the middle of the bush, when the night sky is clouded, or the their maps are mired and unreadable after having fallen into a creek.
A portable GPS navigation system (GPS stands for global positioning system) is an electronic device that communicates with a satellite.
The device sends a signal to the satellite which triangulates on the signal’s origin and responds with a map image that displays on a small screen of the device. An arrowhead or a circle will represent the actual signal location. Hand-held, these devices easily fit into a pocket.
The map a portable GPS navigation system displays may indicate the topography, a lake, a stream, a creek, but all of them will show the roads in the signal’s vicinity.
The best portable GPS systems can display a straight line from the signal’s current position to some destination the user specifies. A straight line implies the shortest distance between two points, but this means it will ignore such obstacles as streams, creeks and drops.
You might have to change your destinations as you encounter these obstacles and take other routes to get around insurmountable obstacles. There’s still some adventure in using these devices after all.
Some portable GPS systems will record your route as you move along and will play it back for you. This is useful when you’re trying to find your way back. In an emergency situation, you can relay this information to rescue parties and increase your chance of survival by giving them precise coordinates.
Portable GPS systems vary according to the features they provide. Some provide plain maps, while others provide topographical maps.
You can get one with a flashlight, another with an altimeter, and yet another with an electronic compass. Some even combine a digital camera. You can get them with even more features, but expect to pay extra for these.
If you’ve wanted to hunt or hike but was always leery of finding your way, especially if you’re taking your children with you, a portable GPS navigation system might be just the thing for you.