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The GPS: A Fatally Misleading Travel Companion

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bushflyr, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA
  2. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Ain't that the truth. My GPS generally gets a good cussing about 1 out of 4 trips. And that's in LA where there's always another route you can take. Death Valley? Fu-ged-a-bou-dit.

  3. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    A GPS is not an end all be all. There are routing preferences.. Generally speaking they are not for off-roading. They are not topo maps. If these people had said do not use seasonal roads, or use main highways as much as possible, or, or. My TomTom has a lot of choices. Do you want to avoid dirt roads? Short Route? Quickest Route? Aoid tolls? Avoid Ferries. It will calculate alternate routes. I can mark a temporary road cahnge, i can upload corrections, such as a road does not exist. I can download other peole's corrections, such as this Death Valley road does not exist. My maps are updated quarterly. I watch the road and use common sense.

    A map may not have helped them. They could be using outdated maps too. Lots of people get lost with maps.

    The fault is not that of the GPS. It is an I.O. error. Idiot Operator. You have to be aware of your surrounding. If it does not seem like a good idea to go down that narrow rutted sand covered road, DON'T. No matter what the GPS or Map says. Oh and if you are going to wildeness areas, have survival gear, signaling equipment, fire starting gear, food and PLENTY of water, and fuel (and a siphon pump and container).
    wingryder likes this.
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I refuse to buy one. Aside from on our rigs within the township they have been a PITA for everyone I've ever ridden with to the point they shut them off.

  5. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    I've said this a million times,get a map/compass and learn how ta use them.'08.
    wingryder likes this.
  6. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA

    Your 110% correct! I noticed in my 22 years in the military that the younger soldiers were so dependent on GPS and fewer and fewer could navigate by topo map and compass. Don't misunderstand me I had to use a GPS as well but never trusted them. I always doulble checked myself with a map and compass when they were availible.
  7. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    This raises another concern I have for either the production or complication of a SHTF situation. TECHNOLOGY/Electronics. Today people of almost all walks of life and all vocations are so dependant on things that take batteries and or electricity that, should neither be available for some reason they will be screwed because of the skill that was lost due to technology making our lives "easier"(lazier). Just look at today's kids...some can't read a clock if it is not digital!!

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  8. People have been going into the desert unprepared and dieing for a LONG time... blaming the GPS for a lack of common sense and planning is stupid.

    We use them. But you have to have common sense.. If it says there is a road there, and it doesn't look like it, or it looks impassable, don't turn. Go back. Use your noggin.

    My wife travels for work. She is in a different city 2-3 times a month. She has over the years had the GPS mislead her. She has not gotten lost in the wilderness yet. The biggest upside to a GPS is it's ability to have a street/topo map of the entire continent in the palm of your hand. Lots of people will scream about using a map and compass (many of them can't themselves) But having had to work with 1:50k maps of large areas, I can tell you it is difficult, and now that I would have to BUY them, expensive, to have usable topos of even some counties, let alone whole states or regions.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  9. mes228


    Dec 23, 2006
    I have an early Etrex that I had used many times perfectly in the field.Then the most lost I've been was using the same GPS. I got entangled in a huge (like miles huge) Laurel thicket grouse hunting. Practically crawling, could see nothing, I was using the GPS like a compass. That was a BIG BIG mistake with the early ones. For the darn thing to "update" correctly you had to move out of the "circle of error". If I had moved a few hundred yards and then updated it would have worked correctly. I found this out after surviving and calling Etrex. New ones now can now be used like a compass ie continuously.

    That being said. The one I use in my vehicle is priceless for strange cities and complex highway systems. Tells you upcoming turns, which lane to be in, etc. I travel to many cities a month and it makes things much easier. At times though, it will try to send you into an ares or direct you where you do not wish to go.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  10. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    My various gps devices have been pretty good except for the occasional glitch where it will make me go down a street just to tell me to make right then an u-turn when I could have just made a left turn.
  11. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    Technology in the hands of retards is never a good idea.
    Budqweiser likes this.
  12. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    It's a piece of gear, people. No different from anything else. Idiots will be idiots, regardless.

    I've been mislead by GPS info a few times. But how many times would I have gotten lost or taken longer to find places if I HADN'T had it? Countless.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  13. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    Technology can be friend or foe. Either way don't completely trust it! Common sense has to kick in.
  14. Raiden

    Raiden C&R Fun!

    Despite not being wild about their obtuse-feeling GUI and the paltry 48 favorites limit, TomTom brand GPSes have been the most accurate in my experience. After years of casual use, they haven't gotten me lost. However, I never go anywhere without some familiarization using some other map, and a healthy dose of common sense. I'm sure the latter is the most important - the component most folks seem to leave behind.
  15. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    I'm in my mid 40s and just got a GPS last Christmas. Until then, all my hunting and hiking navigation was done using a lensatic compass and maps. Even today, I still keep my compass and maps in my equipment.
  16. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Yep,no batts ta die or any number of things ta go bad with the unit.'08.
  17. vikingsoftpaw

    vikingsoftpaw DEPLORABLE ME!

    Aug 29, 2009
    Willoughby, Ohio USA
    Solar storms can do a number on GPS systems too. Always check for conditions.
  18. ARP


    Jan 29, 2012
    Commercial bus driver, navigate all over US and Canada via GPS. Don't leave home without it.

    If I were using paper maps to navigate these days, I would be reported as a dangerous driver.

    As far as someone getting lost using a GPS, they call it pilot error for a reason. It is just a phenomenal piece of safety gear.
  19. callihan_44

    callihan_44 INFIDEL

    Aug 19, 2010
    I use a topo map and handheld gps out hiking, mark interesting locations on the gps
  20. PhotoFeller


    Nov 18, 2010
    SW Florida
    My Garmin GPS has saved me countless hours looking for addresses far and near. I'd say its been 99.8% accurate. It has never led me into a dangerous situation or location because 'situational awareness' applies to unfamiliar travel destinations just like it applies to local shopping trips.

    Garmin gives me the speed limit wherever I am. It gives me ETA if I'm driving accross town or to a location hundreds of miles away. It shows me the correct lane to be in when approaching confusing intersections, especially on unfamiliar interstate routes. It helps me find gas, food, and lodging wherever I travel.

    I don't own street or highway maps anymore because Garmin is so accurate. My GPS has free map updates for the unit's lifetime. I'm not technically astute, but I don't need to be with Garmin; its functions are super simple.