Sunday, February 27, 2011

Outdoor Quest: GPS Presentation

Outdoor Quest: GPS Presentation: "For those of you living in Central Oregon I will be hosting GPS seminars at the Central Oregon Sportsman Show, Deschutes County Fair Grounds..."

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tune Up Your Magnetic Compass For Navigation Safety

Staying found can keep you from getting lost and in trouble!
There is no substitute for a good compass, and the ability to use it. Since getting lost is generally the causal factor in most wilderness emergencies, it just makes sense to stay found to stay out of trouble!
In this article, navigation expert Blake Miller tells you how to check out and make sure your magnetic compass is safe and ready to go. For more info, click here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Death By GPS: Can Too Much Technology Kill You?

Any GPS can be wrong and provide inacurate information.
Can too much technology in the backcountry be dangerous? Can you depend on GPS and other electronic devices and technology  to the point of  it becoming deadly?
That seems to be an increasingly recurrent pattern of  behavior in some parts of the country, as the following story: “Death By GPS’  indicates.
Whenever I see a particularly interesting or, in this case, disturbing story related to land navigation, I forward it for comment and analysis to land navigation expert Blake Miller.
Here are Blake’s thoughts on  “Death By GPS” by Tom Knudson, and published in the Jan. 30, 2011 “Sacramento Bee.” (To read the rest of the story, click here.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Survival Myth Busted! Finding Directions By the Moss on Trees

Moss grew on the west side of this stump.
One of the pervasive folk legends about finding directions  in the wilderness or woods, is that moss grows on a certain side of a tree or rock.
Just find your way by observing where the moss is,  according to this theory, and you won’t get lost. According to this traditional old “wisdom,” the moss is thickest on the north side of a tree in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, the moss is thickest on the south side. Or so the story goes. I took my compass, and went to several different ecosystems; desert, rain forests, conifer forests and deciduous forests in the southeast to test this theory.
Here is what I found.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Three Maps You Should Carry

Great minds (apparently) think alike. I was working on a story about what maps to take into the wilderness to stay found, when Lucas from posted a related story.
The circumstances we’re writing  about are a little different, and so are our map choices, but I’ll weigh in later. (I will put my two cents’ worth: A map is just one part of the staying-found equation. Also have a compass along, and a GPS with spare batteries. None of these tools are worth anything if you don’t know how to use them!)
To read the story, click here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simple Survival Tips For Using a Map and Compass

It isn't hard to get lost.
The point was to get out in the woods and relax, and who can unwind when you have to fool around with land navigation tasks? Besides, you’re well prepared, with survival knife, a survival kit, tarp  and…all that stuff.
But then it starts to get dark, or the weather changes, and you don’t remember which of the forks in the trail you took. At this point, many people will start to panic, and when that happens, you can’t reason.
But in this situation, remembering some common sense land navigation memory aides and acronyms will help calm you down. Once you can correctly orient the map, you can figure out where you are and where to go. To read the complete story, click here.

Selecting a Magnetic Compass

A quality compass should be part of your Ten Essentials and included in every urban and wilderness survival kit. 
In this article, navigation expert Blake Miller shows you how to pick a good, usable one. 
To read the story, click here.

Navigating a Topographical Map

Do topographical maps seem confusing? Do you view most maps as a mass of squiggles, color splotches and undecipherable gibberish, with terms like: datum, UTM,  WGS84 and NAD27?
In this article, land navigation expert Blake Miller explains how to make sense of your topo map!