Ruger Forum banner
21 - 31 of 31 Posts

Registered
Joined
3,743 Posts
They are like Politicians ... some work at times , some work well and some should be beat with a large stick .
Before buying one read all the user reviews .

I had one that didn't know where it was most days and would send you in the wrong direction ... I beat it to death with with a large stick .

Keep map and compass in coat pocket . Compass hardley ever tells you a lie and the sun usually rises in the East and sets in the West .
Gary
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pull-1

Registered
Joined
3,455 Posts
Work great. However, the entered address must be exact. Last summer, a skeet shooting buddy and I went looking for a recently opened sporting clays range. We entered the address, and ended up in the driveway of the owner. !! 馃槅
 

Registered
Joined
22 Posts
I'm still in the dark ages. I don't have GPS when I go into the woods. I still go with maps, compass and old fashion methods like the location of the sun. My wife was considering getting me a GPS for Christmas, but was wondering how good are they in the woods. Are they good, and are they worth it? What kind is good, and how much do you need to spend for a good one? Do they work everywhere, or do they have dead spots?
My cabin in Vermont is located in the middle of nowhere. Hikers love it until the battery
in their GPS runs out. A GPS is great but don't forget to bring your compass and up to date
maps.
 

Registered
Joined
720 Posts
20 years ago civilian GPS had 卤 3 Meter accuracy. If you walked in a 1 mile circle you might find that your end was 50 yds away from your start, but good enough for civilian work. That has improved and now even my cell phone will put me within a meter or so. Heavy foliage will block satellites so it is nice to have map and compass for back up. Recent veterans have told me that the military still teaches map and compass.
 

Registered
Joined
1,811 Posts
OP, since you are already proficient with a map and compass, I would recommend you use the GPS as a confirmation device, only.

I grew up in the Army using a 1:50,000 map, compass and protractor to plot points and navigate. Later, when the PLGR became routinely distributed, I would use the PLGR to confirm my location along the route if terrain features were less than prominent. That was particularly necessary in the box out at NTC, where you have hundreds of square miles of maneuver area, and the most prominent terrain features might be 20 miles away in some areas.

If you are in heavy brush, you might find your terrain features to be obscured as you have probably experienced, and using the GPS along your route to confirm what you are already calculating for your route progress brings a lot of peace of mind.
 

Premium Member
Joined
65 Posts
The sat receiver is very accurate BUT the data base it feeds/overlays is where $=accuracy. $200 Garmon with a current database (there are updates) and UNRESTRICTED OVERHEAD signals will give the published 3 feet accuracy. The key is unrestricted signals. Deep in the woods will give poor or no position. This is why GPS systems work so well in airplanes and on the water. ps/ SAT Phones do not work underground, in parking garages or in the shadow of a building. SAT phones are not fed by as many assets as GPS. Coverage is poor. GPS assets are plentiful if you are in the wide open spaces. You are in great shape in Joshua Tree NP, but forests with thick canopies block signals.
 

Registered
Joined
606 Posts
They are a big help if you have a signal, as others mentioned and if you do not forget old ways as well. Have used them on land, on water.

Another thing that helps is it will tell you speed you are covering.

Anything can go wrong in reading, using one. But I walked years ago in high mountain woods along power lines one time in rain, sleet, where I had not been before. Was going in and out of woods looking for deer. Was getting late, was in the wooded area, sat for a nap and with a compass messed up my 180 reverse compass path. I ended up at a cliff and knew I messed up. Had to double time back to the power lines as I was leaving with others.

Not part of the question but in boating there are several dangers including setting a course with GPS without looking at if there is enough water in between!
 

Registered
Joined
1,742 Posts
I use survey grade GPS in my work. Precision-wise, it trumps anything handheld, yada yada. Today's technology puts your position on the rock in the palm of your hand. It does however rely on satellite strength/service all the way down to hot batteries in whatever. Me, I'm a map geek. I've got my maps printed and on hand before I go in the woods, force of habit. Plan ahead. A good USGS quad map and compass, I can't get but so lost.
 

Registered
Joined
6,596 Posts
Back in the 1980s, GPS signals were 鈥渄ithered鈥 (electronically mildly scrambled) to limit their accuracy to about +/- 100 yards unless you had the top secret military 鈥渦nscramblers鈥. After the Soviets put up their system, the US stopped dithering the signal so civilian GPS receivers (single band) were able to be accurate to within a 10-20 yards.

The sophisticated two band GPS receivers can use the difference in timing between signals from the same satellites to calculate the refraction of the signal through the ionosphere, and so are accurate to within a foot.

HOWEVER.... that鈥檚 true only if you have four or more satellites 鈥渋n view鈥 and are out in the open. If your GPS receiver (or cellphone app) has it, look at the 鈥渆rror circle鈥 of your position. I鈥檝e seen it be big enough to take up half the county (and I don鈥檛 live in a small county) when I was in heavy brush or was near a cliff or other obstruction.

GPS uses highly precise timing to give the distance between you and each satellite. If you have only one satellite 鈥渧isible鈥, your GPS has a spherical position for you. If you can receive another satellite, that gives two position spheres, so your position is somewhere on the intersection of those two spheres (a really big circle. Add in a third satellite, and the intersection (ideally) is two points, one of which will be either in space or beneath the earth鈥檚 surface. Most civilian (non-aviation) GPS 鈥渁ssume鈥 that you鈥檙e on the surface of the earth, which gives another sphere, so your position is assumed to be the point that is closest to the earth鈥檚 surface.

But, in real life, the positions spheres won鈥檛 line up perfectly and you鈥檒l end up with a lopsided triangle of a position. And if all the 鈥渧isible鈥 satellites are in one direction, that triangle will be long in one direction, giving a lot of 鈥渟lop鈥 in your position.

Bottom line, GPS can be a huge help, but it shouldn鈥檛 be your only navigation tool. Maps, compass and even keeping an eye out for road or trail signs can keep you from ending up needing rescue. In my neck of the woods, people die every year because they followed their GPS map down roads or trails that were unsuitable (or nonexistent) and ended up stranded.
 

Registered
SS security six
Joined
23 Posts
I had (still have, but its all F'd up) a Garmin eTrex handheld GPS. Bought another recently to replace it, didn't realize the new to me unit was OLDER than my dead one. Both fail to find satellites in tree covered bush. Out in field with clear line of sight to the sky, your good.

I downloaded an app on my phone, GAIA GPS. Free to boot. Has upgrades you can buy if you wish. Its all I use on my 105ac now. Mapped out specific points of interest, lot markers etc. Lasts as long as your batteries in the phone hold out. I DONT keep it running 100% of the time, only when I'm somewhere new or find something I want to be able to find again

+-15ft location, so its far from exact, but close enough for my purposes.
 
21 - 31 of 31 Posts
Top