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There is nothing like being in the woods, in the pitch black, to make you appreciate your GPS. And makin you wish you would have practiced with it in the dark. Using a GPS in the daytime is pretty easy, but trying to find a specific hunting spot in the dark even with a flashlite can be a real eye opener. And what I found out is that the magnification level that you have your screen on is critical for being able to follow a previous track.

Now I am just a new born at this whole GPS thing, but trying to follow a track with the magnification too far out is close to impossible. Talk about walking in circles . . . and by the way, at least for me, if I am lost/confused I always circle to the left. Is that normal for all people? But I was attempting to locate my blind, using the GPS, and the screen pic kept rotating, the location arrow kept pointing all over the place and it was a real learning experience. Things that are not a problem in the daylite can sure look a lot different at dark. I can see I still have a lot to learn about how GPS units work because when you have nothing else to follow but your GPS you'd better understand those little things like why is the screen rotating and why is the arrow(that signifies me) pointing the opposite direction than I think I am facing?

If this post seems confused . . . yes I was. But things are getting a little clearer.

Long
 

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Use the unit frequently, and use it in an area you know. IMO you need to build your confidence in the GPS.

Use it driving....

Use it every chance you get.....

Familiarization with the equipment builds confidence in the equipment.
 

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Confidence thru experience is the key. Trusting it is crucial, and knowing what it is doing and why is also a biggie.

Long
 

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I have spent a lot of time working and trying different things with my gps units. But I still carry a compass as a backup. It is not normal for me to become disorientated, but one day I did not trusted what I was seeing on the map screen of the gps. A check showed the gps was correct.

MapSource City Navigator is a good tool, but it’s job, is more difficult because a listed business may move. Plus it is irritating tracking down business in large shopping centers because the location found in the program might stick you in the middle of an intersection next to the center. Or in some cases I have found the location in the program puts you on the sign out on the street. Garmin buys its map products from a vendor that inserts it’s map code so they will operate on Garmin units.

The big box, sporting good stores treat outdoorsmen right, because they provide the lat/long to their store on the web page.

When out hiking I play with the Points of Interest (POI) option a lot. It helps me learn the country, and gives me alternative location to explorer. One option I am considering is creating some of my own POI. While Garmin provides support for custom POI, a user does it his own risk, and may have to send his unit back to Garmin for repair. If I were going to tie in with Longwinters at N46°13”.415 X W86°34”.246 I would create a waypoint for that location and also check the POI for that area for orientation purposes.

Here is a tough challenge, let your wife do the driving and you monitor the gps. It is more interesting when you have a waypoint you are navigating to. It might be best if this is done in a silent mode. This summer I went on a half-day road trip with some friends. I was riding in the back seat of this nice vehicle. The trip took us up the Interstate then off on a Forest Service road to our destination. I did not take my own advice and made little remarks, like we are going 80 in and 65 mph zone. The vehicle was a nice ride and I would not have know the speed if I did not have a gps.

This summer my grandson and I made a trip to the University of California at Berkeley. According to the gps we walked nine miles around the campus. Using City Navigator I was able to find a great hamburger joint for our breakfast-lunch, and a neat coffee shop later. We could have done without the gps, but it was an opportunity to use and practice with it.

Another neat thing using City Navigator while traveling was finding a motel in the City we were going to visit. I found a selection of motels, when I found the one I wanted I selected it and it gave me the name, address, and phone number. I was able to phone ahead and reserve a room. I then auto routed to the motel.

Practice, practice and more practice will make it familiar. If you have a question or if you find something of interest please post it.
 

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UC Berkeley is correct, and he loves it. The school only takes the top high school students in the state. Other Universities around the country recruited him, but he selected Berkeley because he wants two majors, one in architecture and the other in engineering. He received inquires from University of Miami, West Point, the Naval Academy, and others. He received these un-solicited inquires based on his academic achievements since elementary school.

His school district setup a special classroom for high achievers, and moved students into it from the other schools. He was one of two students to be accepted at Berkeley, he did not apply, and he was accepted based on his test scores. When he graduated from high school he received a Governors Gold Seal diploma which is an honor given to very few graduates.

He does not like trolling for fishing, he would much rather stream fish. He likes target practicing with a .22 rifle, but does not hunt because of his mother’s wishes. He loves my Jungle Carbine. When I took him out geocaching it took him a short time to get the knack of the Garmin Legend and start finding caches. When he started high school he found a part-time job his freshman year, after that he held down two part-time jobs, and maintained his grades.

He has read my x-marine brothers extensive library on the Vietnam War, and has spent hours discussing history with me. It is not a debate, but a discussion what we enjoy, and other family member drift away from. History is not everybodys bag of tea.

I am sure the family had a meeting on how to deal with grandpa, and how to break the news regarding his acceptance to Berkeley. Berkeley created a bad test in my mouth back in the 60’s and so did a lot of other institutions. One of the big differences was that Berkeley was in a major media market. And many people do not realize the leader in the Berkeley protest was not a student. Of course there was a lot of student involvement.

During the same period of time a friend of mine graduate from UC Berkeley Forestry School. His first duty was as an US Army Captain. He was a tank commander. And there are a lot of guys like him forgotten.

I have called Berkeley, Bez-Erk-Ley for years. The family provided me counseling on how to properly pronounce Berkeley. It liked to have tore a hole in my tongue. I am surprised they did not have a blood pressure cuff on me. He had already announced that he was going to attend UCD, University of California at Davis. But when the offer from Berkeley came he accepted it because it offered the architecture program that he wanted.

He dealt with me in the manner I expected. First he told the family to back off and he called me, told me he was going to Berkeley, and made a joke about Bez-Erk-Ley. He also told me it was the top school for his educational goals.

I offered to make a car and train trip to Berkeley after he graduated from high school, during the summer. We had a good time, and admittedly I must have committed a time or two that it looked like a great place to meet girls. All he did was smile, and turn red. We spent the day using the gps unit to track our movements, and to locate places of interest. Before and since then he has also used his fathers Tom-Tom to navigate to certain events. He likes hockey and was planning to take a to San Jose, I believe the team is the Sharks?
 

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Does not look like your grandson "licked it off of the grass" concerning his intellect and being very motivated. I am sure you are rightfully proud of him and I hope he does very well. Maybe down the road he will chose to go hunting with you as he decides what is important to him (as an adult). I am sure his mother will appreciate that all of our kids have to make and be responsible for their own decisions and I bet he will make good ones . . . even if he does not chose to hunt.

Long
 

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Oh well, at least it's not the university of Alabama....... ;D
 

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Longwinters: The chances of me taking him hunting are improving slightly. Which is better then zero. His mothers fear of something happening to him is very difficult to over come. His parents were luck to have him, and as a result they are protective. So time will tell. If alive I am sure my mother would have wanted him to go to Alabama, and Dad would have want him to attend Ann Arbor. I was raised on the Civil War, and Alabama and Michigan football.(lol)

A big surprise came this year when my daughter-in-law told me that I could take “her” dog hunting. That is a major positive change, from being told a couple years ago not to train the dog to hunt. I almost ran out and bought the Garmin gps Astro dog tracking system. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=8576&tab=astro


Admittedly this came about because they needed a dog sitter while they went on a cruise.

I should note the use of the system is illegal in California. The houndsmen hunting bears and using tracking system is a big issue.

It would be a good tool to keep from having a lost dog. But the dog kept good track of me in the woods, and he has had obedience training.

I watch the dog closely because his nose is ten thousand time better then mind. And I notice that he kept track of me. I started working him with simple hand signals. I did have to rap his dog tags with pink survey tape to keep them from rattling. The next day I used duct tape on the tags.




But the Astro tracking system has me thinking about other uses. By far the biggest killer of hunters in California is heart attacks in senior hunters. A senior hunter can be an asset to a hunting partner, but at the same time a responsibility, and concern.

When my wife and I were first married she had an older Uncle who hit it off with me. He was a gray haired old man when I first met him. In his retirement he ran a shooting range, was a knowledgeable reloader, collected firearms, and liked to hunt. We took him hunting but I was always concerned about his well-being. He tried to be back at the rig in a timely manner, but it is the nature of what were doing to be late once and a while. And then the worrying would start. I rather doubt that he would have objected to having a small transmitter fastened to his suspenders. While portable two-way radios are nice you have to be conscious to transmit.

I have a diabetic brother who they will have to look for some day.

Mother Nature is not kind to those who go down in the woods, you could still be alive and Mr. Coyote will be eating you hind end.
 
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