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Location: Midwest
Joined: 12/17/2007
Posts: 64
GPS vs. Compass in the Mountains

What do you think works the best in the mountains? Aside from brining along extra batteries for your GPS - I've heard it is worth it's weight in gold for hunting in the west.

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Location: Arlington wa.
Joined: 10/06/2007
Posts: 31
GPS vs. Compass in the Mountains

You should allways carry both,GPS can tell you which heading to go, A compass will quickly tell you where that heading is Thumbs up

Location: TORINGTON,WY
Joined: 01/03/2008
Posts: 3
GPS vs. Compass in the Mountains

A good map, GPS, and a compass. Use all three togather and you wont get lost!

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Location: Midwest
Joined: 12/17/2007
Posts: 64
GPS vs. Compass in the Mountains

Is it best to have a compass that can set declination? How about iron deposits throwing it off?

With mountains in the way are there dead spots for the GPS?

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Moderator
Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1744
GPS vs. Compass in the Mountains

I carry a compass along with my GPS and have a map of the area in my pack. When in black timber it's hard for those GPS to pick up a good signal.

Location: TORINGTON,WY
Joined: 01/03/2008
Posts: 3
GPS vs. Compass in the Mountains

A good book for anyone who wants to learn more about navigation with maps, compasses, and GPS is Wilderness Navigation by Bob Burns & Mike Burns.

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Joined: 06/18/2004
Posts: 66
GPS versus Compass in mountains

Take both the GPS and the map and compass.

The GPS is very useful and handy. Don't assume you have to buy a very expensive GPS to get the job done, either. I bought a Garmin eTrex for about $120 in 2006 for a wilderness DIY elk hunt. Such a simple GPS can do a number of things for you: (1) inform you of the sunrise/sunset time at your exact location, (2) inform you of the altitude of your location, (3) set a way point which you can later select to navigate to -- for example, set a way point on your camp before leaving it in the morning and select to navigate to it on your way back home, and the GPS will give you a pointer in the direction of your camp and an indication of how far (10 miles, 1 mile, 400 feet). This can be particularly useful when it gets dark -- for example returning to camp after boning out your downed elk that you shot in the last minutes of shooting light. The GPS gives you some confidence that you wouldn't otherwise have, I think, to get after it and focus on your hunting.

Of course, you want a back-up in case the GPS fails -- map and compass. Additionally, the GPS may not work well under forest canopy or under very heavy clouds/precipitation. There is no substitute for the benefits of remaining generally oriented to your landscape (my truck is downhill, on the road, if I walk downhill -- on the correct side of the ridge -- I have to hit the road and hence my truck is either up or down the road from where I intersect the road).

Additionally, the GPS can be very handy in marking a kill site or a water hole you want to return to later.

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