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For those of you who either own a GPS unit or are serious about getting one, I recommend the following book.

GPS Land Navigation
(A Complete Guidebook for Backcountry Users of the NAVSTAR GPS System)
by Michael Ferguson
ISBN: 0-9652202-5-7
SRP: $19.95


This is one of the best books I've found on utilizing GPS systems for land navigation. It covers the history of GPS briefly (so you understand how it works); explains how a GPS locates a given point (landmark/waypoint); explains the different methods of recording these locations in both Latitude and Longitude and the UTM coordinate sytems; and it explains how to use the GPS along with a compass and map to accurately navigate to within feet of a known coordinate. It explains the limitations of using the GPS under varying adverse conditions and when it CAN and CANNOT be relied on for accurate navigation. The MOST IMPORTANT thing it does is to explain that a GPS (at least the ones most of us can afford and use) are NOT MEANT for precise, pinpoint navigation ALONE. When used in conjunction with a topographical map and a compass, they will give you the capability to locate VERY PRECISE POSITION and AZIMUTH/BEARING INFORMATION to that position (or any known coordinates you wish to use). Not all units, mainly the older ones, give accurate guidance (HEADING) information while moving at very slow walking speeds. This is where the compass comes in to allow you to precisely follow the VERY ACCURATE AZIMUTH/BEARING info given by the GPS. The book explains in detail, using layman terms anyone can understand, how to do this (using either Lat/Long or UTM systems).

I use my computer to download and print topographical maps FREE from various map server web sites on the internet for any area I plan to hunt in, especially when it is a NEW AREA I haven't scouted or hunted before.
I carry a compass with me AT ALL TIMES, along with my GPS and topo map folded into a pocket size map of the immediate area I'm located in.
The first thing I do when arriving is to get a position fix for where my vehicle is parked. I locate this coordinate position on my UPM-MGRS map and note its relation to the E/W path of SUN travel. I'll then check the magnetic declination for that area and compensate for it on my compass before ever leaving the vehicle. Using your topo UTM-MGRS map, you can estimate the coordinates of locations you wish to travel to and enter them into your GPS before you even start (or at home before you leave).
My GPS, an older Magellan ColorTrak, shows the approximate location of the sun or moon in relation to the compass rose as it travels across the sky. If the sun is shining and not obscurred by clouds, I can use this to orient my GPS and utilize it alone for most navigation. If it is obscured, I use the compass to determine my ACCURATE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL.
The main use of the GPS is to provide VERY PRECISE POSITION COORDINATES and AZIMUTH/BEARING readings in relation to them.

The main limitation of most GPS units is in locating TRUE NORTH or the DIRECTION YOU ARE FACING when STANDING STILL. Some of the newer GPS units can be purchased with an "electronic compass" built into them. If you can afford them, they may be easier to use, but I'd still carry a good magnetic compass with me AS A BACKUP. Always carry SPARE BATTERIES for your GPS and flashlight with you.... they may make the difference between survival or death should you become injured or stranded due to changing weather conditions. I often teach the SURVIVAL portion of our Hunter Education Program so I'm a little more aware of it.

Here is a website that gives a lot of information on GPS types and use. Some of the info is old, but still informative for novice/beginner users.

http://www.jesseshuntingpage.com/gps.html

The HOME PAGE provides info on a lot of various subjects of interest too, much like the Graybeard Outdoors web site. Jesse posts here too, but is courteous enough not to promote his website while here. See if you can figure out what his screen name is here? I recognized it quickly.

8) :lol: :) :D

BTW: Selective Availability has been turned off for SEVERAL YEARS NOW, and it does make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in GPS accuracy and precision.
 
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