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Lost in the woods..again


dunderhead
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Yet again I'm lost, it's one thing not finding the GZ, but a BIGGER problem finding my way out. I have a 60CS, tried every setting with the compass, but have to fall back on the magnetic. I only know that I should be heading in a general direction, and I'm not walking but scrambling and hacking EVERY step, so cannot watch any instrument unless I stop. I believe (wrongly ?) the Garmin should ALWAYS, when on BEARING setting point to the waypoint in question, but does it rely on a good signal?

What's all this about it switching on/off at different speeds..I'm completely bewildered..Will the x series be any better or should I stay out of the woods/jungle?

 

Of course this begs the question.."How was the cache placed ?".. Well it's called "City View" and I've been within 20 metres of the GZ and am just surrounded by dense vegetation..I think the co-ords are wrong, but as we all know, a cache can be placed very easily, but as we don't know the route taken, a 1 can easily become a 5

Edited by dunderhead
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Yet again I'm lost, it's one thing not finding the GZ, but a BIGGER problem finding my way out. I have a 60CS, tried every setting with the compass, but have to fall back on the magnetic. I only know that I should be heading in a general direction, and I'm not walking but scrambling and hacking EVERY step, so cannot watch any instrument unless I stop. I believe (wrongly ?) the Garmin should ALWAYS, when on BEARING setting point to the waypoint in question, but does it rely on a good signal?

What's all this about it switching on/off at different speeds..I'm completely bewildered..Will the x series be any better or should I stay out of the woods/jungle?

 

Of course this begs the question.."How was the cache placed ?".. Well it's called "City View" and I've been within 20 metres of the GZ and am just surrounded by dense vegetation..I think the co-ords are wrong, but as we all know, a cache can be placed very easily, but as we don't know the route taken, a 1 can easily become a 5

 

my 60cs has problems under tree cover often, I have a magellan eXplorist 210 that I keep in my cache bag that seems to have a lot less problems under cover, but it doesn't have the great bells and whistles that the garmin does, my friend picked up a 76cx and he loves it (might be the csx) and it also has no problems with sattelite reception under tree cover, heck, he can get a signal standing in the center of his house.

 

I am sorely tempted to get a Csx for myself for the improved reception, but they are pricy!

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You do waypoint your car, right?

 

 

 

This has saved my butt a number of times. Only problem is remembering to do it. :laughing: You might also use the track back feature. I've done this a number of times in thick vegitation where taking many alternate routes, (some that are dead ends) are possible. This will not only get your back to your car, but get you back along the same route.

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I only ask because I have made that mistake myself. I was caching over the border in Canada with my wife. She didn't want to go into the thick woods that day so stayed in the car to work her puzzles. I proceeded to get myself turned around in the woods and it took me three hours to find my way back. She was just getting ready to call for help just as I walked up to the car. I was very new at this GPS stuff and still didn't know how to work the thing properly, another mistake. Stick to the easier terrain till you know your unit.

 

The hard part isn't remembering to waypoint the car but rather deciding ahead of time when it is needed. I don't do it for every postage stamp park I go to. On occasion I will start in to what I think is going to be an easy "Stroll in the park" only to find that things can change fast once you leave the pavement. When this happens I mark a waypoint as soon as things start to get thick. I have even gone back a hundred or more feet while I could still see the way to mark a spot I knew I could find the car from.

 

Even if you are having trouble with sat lock you can head in the direction you think is right and look for an opening in the tree cover. Get yourself a new bearing and head that way till you find another opening. It may take a while but you will get there, if you have waypointed your car.

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My Garmin leaves a trail of dots on the screen for where I just came from... I just follow it back up the trail of dots until I'm back at the car. Better than bread crumbs (birds eat them). My new Garmin is a model that has a compass which works even when not moving... it helps a lot. My older $100 Garmin was a pain for not having the compass feature (except when moving). I didn't realize how much it'd help until I did the upgrade.

 

Oh, and bring extra batteries. The track is useless if I lose power. :laughing:

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This has been a trouble for me too.

I always make a point to bring extra batteries as well as a secondary form of navigation.

One trick I have used that works well in dense cover is to "triangulate".

To do this, I get an idea of where a location is geodetically speaking, and then I try walking towards it from about 50 paces out in a generally triangular shape.

Then even if I can't get a good reading in one spot, I can sort of figure out the location by zeroing in from three different angles.

This works better for me in tree cover than trying to stand still.

Best of luck and happy caching !

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It also helps to watch where you are going on the way in. Make note of certain rocks and funny trees, anything for a landmark. Don't depend totally on your GPS or you'll walk smack into a tree. Believe me, I know. Try to remember the color of the blazes on the trails you take, especially if you switch trails. Use the 'bread crumb trail' feature on your GPS. Mark the car, carry extra batteries, plenty of water, and a flashlight. Most importantly, pay attention.

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I'm not walking but scrambling and hacking EVERY step, so cannot watch any instrument unless I stop.

 

The trick is to look along your bearing and note a feature (tree, rock, clearing, whatever) and proceed towards it. When you reach it, you take another bearing on your destination, lather, rinse, repeat. (It does take practice to master.)

Edited by Elde
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Of course this begs the question.."How was the cache placed ?".. Well it's called "City View" and I've been within 20 metres of the GZ and am just surrounded by dense vegetation..I think the co-ords are wrong, but as we all know, a cache can be placed very easily, but as we don't know the route taken, a 1 can easily become a 5

If possiable try plotting the supposed cache location on a topo or aerial. Perhaps this is one of those caches in which the indirect route of following a creek bed or ridge will get you close and be much easier than crawling threw the brush?

 

And also to repeat what Planet and others have said, take batteries, mark you car (and maybe other things on the way) or become familar with your units 'backtrack' feature. AND think about where your going / where you came from. Try and keep mental track of your relationship to the cache and your vechical... when you left the which direction did you go? about how far? did you keep going that direction or change (heading) direction? if so what direction is the car now? GPSr are really cool, but if the batteries die, you break the screen, or the unit has some other problem and can't function, it won't be able to help you!

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I'll sometimes mark on my GPSr a fork or intersection of trails or even game trails while hiking in the woods. When you take note of the features, be sure to look at them from many angles as possible. Some features will look quite different on the way back and you might not recognize them.

 

You can always go back to the old fashioned way, leaving cairns and stick piles to mark your progress.

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Unfortunately I have had similar issues with my Garmin 60CS. that is why I just purchased a new 60CX. I do carry a real compass and find that it is superior to the built in electronic compass. I try to remember to mark my car, though often it is right after one of those adventure mentioned above where they did not mark their car first. It also does not really help to mark your car if the vegitation is so dense that you cannot get a signal. I have had this happen to me, but luckily I new that if I kept going in a straight line in any direction I would encounter the trail. Still more than a little scary though. I will be testing the new 60Cx to see if it is as good as they say.

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my 2 cents: Nothing beats a regular old compass and a map. I always take a compass with me anytime I am in the woods.

 

I am sorry guys...but this may sound really silly....but if we bring our compass and map with us...how do we use it to get us out of the woods? I dont really know how to read a compass and what are we suppose to use it for. sorryy...and my 60csx...how do i use the compass?? i dont know...it is pointing in all directions...what am i suppose to do with all the directions turning they giving? B)

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I'm not walking but scrambling and hacking EVERY step, so cannot watch any instrument unless I stop.

 

The trick is to look along your bearing and note a feature (tree, rock, clearing, whatever) and proceed towards it. When you reach it, you take another bearing on your destination, lather, rinse, repeat. (It does take practice to master.)

 

Now this is a good idea. Tried it today, it makes treking out of the woods a lot easier...for me anyway. Thanks for the tip!

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I am new to GC but am an old time map and compass guy. My advice to all is never rely totally on the electronics until you are comfortable with the manual way of doing things. Applies to calculators and GPS. I still check everything as if the GPS will fail and it is a great comfort. Been lost overnight before and its no fun, but got out in the daylight with compass.

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I am sorry guys...but this may sound really silly....but if we bring our compass and map with us...how do we use it to get us out of the woods? I dont really know how to read a compass and what are we suppose to use it for. sorryy...and my 60csx...how do i use the compass?? i dont know...it is pointing in all directions...what am i suppose to do with all the directions turning they giving? :laughing:

 

A compass is easy to read... the arrow points to magnetic north. The trick is then figuring out what to do with that data. It helps a lot if you have some idea about the general area that you're in, and even better if you know about where on the map you are. For example, suppose you know there's a major road that runs north/south that you pull over to the parking area on the east side of it and you start wandering around in the woods (such as in some town forest). If you're lost, and you have a compass, at the very least you can tell that the road is WEST of you. It HAS TO be west of you because you know its a long straight north/south road and you started off into the woods on the east side of it and you haven't crossed back over it yet. So, if you can somehow get back to that road, you can then walk the road back to the parking lot. (But, it also helps if you can figure out whether you return to the road north or south of that parking lot... otherwise you could end up going the wrong way along the road.)

 

Even better, if you know the woods you're in is only 1/2 a square mile triangle shape and you know the 3 roads that border it on each side, there's only so lost that you can get... eventually you'll end up on a road and know where you are. The compass can tell you which way you're going so that you can tell which of the roads you're ending up on.

 

These are rather simplistic uses of a compass, but its a start.

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And another thing, the most likely way that I ever get myself confused in the woods is because a path intersection may only be easily visible going in one direction but not the other. OK, I'm wandering out into the woods... and I come across a "reverse fork" where another path is merging into the path that I'm on. But I'm staring at my GPS and don't readily notice it. When I'm returning, I'm surprised to find a fork that I don't recall being there, and then I wonder which way to take.

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And another thing, the most likely way that I ever get myself confused in the woods is because a path intersection may only be easily visible going in one direction but not the other. OK, I'm wandering out into the woods... and I come across a "reverse fork" where another path is merging into the path that I'm on. But I'm staring at my GPS and don't readily notice it. When I'm returning, I'm surprised to find a fork that I don't recall being there, and then I wonder which way to take.

 

That's where using the track log and routing back to the beginning would help.

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