If you know where you are and have a compass
, you should be okay.
If you know where you are and need to get to an island, head
for a large, unmoving cloud bank. Watch the birds if you see any.
If you can find the Big Dipper, you can find Polaris.
The sun will give you roughly east and west early and late in the day.
You can use the sun at any time of day and an analog wrist watch to determine South fairly accurately.
But you really need to know where you are. And you need a mental image of your relationship to the planet around you. and one of the biggest potential problems I see in myself when navigating via GPS alone is that with GPS I typically don't know where I am. Oh, I mean, I know in general terms, but not to any precision. I glance at that symbol on the screen
and see that it needs to go a few more inches to get to that other blob on the screen
, but this is definitely not the same as when navigating with charts
or maps. Even driving, it's the same. I used to be monitoring my position on a map when looking for something. And I knew very accurately where I was. I was at the intersection of this and that street, or I was five point six miles from the turnoff.
With a paper chart or map, I have a constant spatial orientation and know, for example, that if I miss this turn, I can go about x distance and make the next left, etc. I have that image in my mind from studying the map, or marine
or aeronautical chart.
The last few years we've been using a Garmin
GPS to navigate when we're driving during our visits to the USA. And I've noticed that when using the GPS to direct our every move, we really don't know where we are. Oh, we could take a moment to look at the map on the GPS and orient ourselves if we wanted to, of course. It's not difficult. But the thing is, we don't do it. We don't need to. We have "Jack" ( the voice) to tell us when to turn next. And if we miss that turn, I suddenly realize just for a second, that I do NOT know where I am. It's not a panic, because I know that I will very shortly hear "Recalculating..." and then "Jack" will tell me what to do.
My typica situation is driving along, my mind totally on something other than navigation
and relying on the GPS to tell me my next move, and I am so disconnected from the navigation
mentally that I miss the turn even after being told three times that it was coming up. Now, at that point, just as I drove by the turn without making it, if the GPS went dead, would I know what to do? Would I have the mental image of the area right there clearly in my mind? Nope. Probably not.
If You ( and not your GPS) don't really know where you are to start with, it's going to be a little tougher to get where you're going.
Does anybody else still put pencil dots on their charts to keep track of where they are?
I was reduced to doing this again a couple years ago.