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New Approach to Maps


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For geocaching, I use the same combination of map/compass/GPS techniques I’ve long used for backpacking and other back-country travel and navigation. (I also train law enforcement, search & rescue, firefighters, and outdoor recreationists generally in land navigation.)


Instead of the standard large-sheet 7½ - minute topographic quadrangles, though, I use MapTech Terrain Navigator to produce what I call “MiniTopos,” which are the same quadrangles reduced in size to 8½” x 11" at a military scale of 1-50,000 instead of the standard 1-24,000. I print these out on either water-resistant paper or water-proof synthetic sheets and grid them for UTM. Thus no romer scale or other device is necessary to plot a GPS coordinate on the map; you can make your plot with your fingertip or even just a glance. Scaled down, the maps are much smaller and easier to deal with then the original, large-sheet topos - though they have identical detail - and they’re much more durable in bad weather. An added plus is that the good, sharp lines provided by the UTM grid make for excellent compass triangulation plotting.


In a compass I favor a British Francis Barker prismatic, Brunton Eclipse, or Brunton/Silva Model 54. All three offer outstanding accuracy and precision not only in plotting map triangulations, but in plotting courses of travel (‘lines of march,’ as the Brits say), as well. In addition, due to its tritium lamps, the Francis Barker is 100% functional under even the darkest conditions.


Far and away, regardless of conditions, I’ve had the best results in obtaining a bearing to the cache - or whatever the navigational target is - with the GPS, then following that bearing to the ‘target’ with a good compass, with map consultation part of the process from beginning to end.


This is my first time in a geocaching forum, and look forward to exchanging ideas.

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Originally posted by rcblust:


This is my first time in a geocaching forum, and look forward to exchanging ideas.

Since it's your first post, I hate to bust on you. But this forum is for the discussion of the actual functionality of the geocache.com website and related systems. You'll get a better response if you post this in the General forum.


On the main Groundspeak Forums page, you'll see the list of all available forums, with a brief description of each below the name.



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