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18

You need to know if you are in Northern Hemisphere or in Southern Hemisphere or nearby the Equator. If you are in Northern Hemisphere: First locate the Polaris. Its the last star in The Ursa Minor. I've had trouble in locating it sometimes. Many people do. So, if you are in such a situation, try locating The Ursa Major. The Ursa Major is located just to ...


15

I'd give them whatever my device or map provided me, and let them convert to whatever their devices or maps use. Anyone used to receiving lat/lon coordinates regularly should be able to convert from various formats to whatever they use internally. You're the one in trouble with limited resources. You're out there with a broken leg, lost, in the cold or ...


12

The simplest way (assuming you are in the Northern hemisphere) is to first find the Great Bear / Ursa Major / the Big Dipper / The Plough, and use the two end stars as a sight line. The star in Ursa Minor that they point to is Polaris, which is currently our Pole Star. This does change, but not noticeably in our lifetimes. (from ...


11

I think you already answered your own question. Most dedicated GPS devices are more rugged, have better battery life, and don't require a data connection to work well. A phone has a lot of power overhead and is fragile. There are a few possible advantages to a phone. If you're already going to be carrying one, it reduces the total weight required. It's ...


10

Yep! If you store your compass near objects that have strong magnets in them (such as your car speakers) it can demagnetize over extended periods of time. There are a few other issues your compass can run into that makes it less reliable as well. Air getting into the compass housing (in excess) Bubbles can form within the compass housing when doing big ...


10

Adding this mainly because it's a different kind of approach. The other ones are usually more practical, but this is an alternative that does not require remembering any constellations. If you have a rough idea and a camera, you can take a long exposure (30s minimum, more is better) and check which star in photo is the only one that does not move / stays a ...


8

Most GPS receivers in phones work not nearly as good as stand-alone GPS devices. Usually, one wouldn't notice this because phones use assisted GPS where they get the orbital data and/or almanac of the GPS satellites as well as the exact time from the GSM network. Also, they have a average position of the device. Without that data, phones are very slow ...


7

I would recommend UTM coordinates; it avoids the formatting uncertainty of lat/long and is better suited for ground operations. (Easy to translate to paper maps, define search areas, and calculate distances.) If you use the WGS84 datum, the numerical portions are also identical with the military grid reference system (MGRS) and the national grid (USNG). ...


7

Source: John Baldwin: Slope Angles from Map Contours View this page for a refresher on how to do the maths to calculate slope on a topographic map.


5

I use Timble GPS Hunt Pro on my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. You can download topo, BLM boundaries, private property and other types of maps that work just fine without a cell signal. The maps I use are incredibly detailed. If you do have cell coverage, you can add weather overlays. Map prices are reasonable, and you can buy a subscription that lets you ...


5

It depends a lot on the terrain. I wear a pedometer throughout the week (health program for work), and I use a GPS when hiking. From experience - on level terrain - I know that I get between 2100 and 2200 steps per mile. I walk between work and the coffee shop (a round trip of about 1.25 miles) each day, and this is fairly consistent. If you calibrate ...


5

Here's the theory: at noon, if you're in the northern hemisphere, the sun is due south of you. At 6am it's due east of you and at 6pm, due west. (Day length may tweak this a little if you're far enough north, but this is not a precise technique, it just needs to beat looking for which side of the tree is mossy etc. That said, you should un-daylight-savings ...


4

On mobile devices, the Gaia GPS app allows creating a waypoint using whichever format is currently selected (which includes UTM). From your computer, you can enter UTM coordinates into CalTopo; this is convenient if you are printing out paper maps. (It also has some ability to annotate maps and save them to KMZ/KML files for use with Google Earth or your ...


4

There are many devices that will let you enter in UTM and LatLong coordinates interchangeably. be sure to bring a waterproof map with you too though. http://www.rei.com/product/869473/garmin-gpsmap-64-gps http://www.magellangps.com/Store/eXploristSeries/eXplorist-510


3

For your situation I strongly advice against relying on your phone. It's a great backup but to much of a risk to use as a main device. Three reasons to get a dedicated gps: Batteries: A gps mostly works on standard AA batteries which can be bought anywhere and rechargeable ones are easily charged on solar energy. (look up goal-zero for instance). ...


2

Let's go through the different aspects of phone versus dedicated GPS device point by point (however, quite surely without being complete). Basically you have to decide which points apply in your situation and how you weigh them. GPS reception and accuracy When the first smartphones with GPS units hit the market, there was the saying that their GPS ...


2

There is another way that was taught to me in the Boy Scouts. You need a watch with traditional hour and minute hands, make sure it is showing the accurate time Take a small stick, like a toothpick, and stand it up vertically in the center of the watch. Make the shadow of the stick fall on the current HOUR hand When the shadow is on hour hand, then the ...


2

Always have a water proof map of the area you're traveling in ( one with coordinates on each side if you can help it ), and a compass you can use to triangulate your position with. You'll be better prepared in an emergency and more confident outdoors in general if you practice triangulating your position until it comes naturally: ...


1

In the marine environment, it's often a little easier if you reference a known location. Offshore, you want to use lat/lon coordinates for sure. But if you're a mile from the coast (or less), it's a lot easier for people to find you if you say "We're a hundred yards south of buoy three, looking at the hotel with the red roof." I worked for a water rescue ...


1

Pedometers seem to be calibrated for use on flat ground. Rough or difficult terrain can cause you to take more steps and it is this mechanism which pedometers use to determine their output. If you have a known pace length and can compensate for it using some measure for it to be diminished when walking a route that isnt flat then id say it could be mildly ...



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