Sunday, March 18, 2012

10 ways to get lost with a GPS

  1. Don’t try it out at home first
  2. Don’t add waypoints before leaving home
  3. Enter coordinates by hand instead of transferring them from a computer
  4. Don’t bring along spare batteries
  5. Don’t bring a map and compass as backup
  6. Don’t mark your trailhead before hitting the trail
  7. Overestimate its capabilities in dense canopy
  8. Follow the compass arrow blindly (without realizing you need to go around an obstacle (like a mountain)
  9. Drop it in a river or off a mountain-side
  10. Think that you can’t get lost because you have a GPS

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Hog Hunter says:

    A friend of mine and I were tromping around in the swamps of central Florida a few years ago. We both had GPS devices and we could see some cypress tress on the other side of a swamp that was about the size of a super Wal-Mart. We figured there would be hogs on that side of the swamp, so we headed there. (We were hunting wild boars) After trying to get there for an hour and a half and circling around three times, we gave up. As we left the swamp, my buddy looked at me and said “Mark that in your GPS and name it “Stay the Heck Out!” The canopy and the having to constantly change course because of vines and roots all combined to overwhelm our navigation skills even with two different GPS devices.
    We were both skilled and experienced in using our devices. We had batteries and we even had ways of carry the devices so either an antenna was exposed or the device was stored in a clear plastic bag attached to the shoulder of my web gear. The trees got in the way frequently, so we would alk over to a place where the signal got stronger. Then we wouldtake a bearing towards another spot. However, we never made it across the swamp.

  2. Great example of how mother nature can triumph over our technology.
    Reminds me of some of the places I’ve tried to navigate before. Canyons, rhododendron thickets, etc. Sometimes you just can’t get there from here!

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