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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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  #1  
Old 27 Aug 2006
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The Art of Navigation

OK, maybe 'Art' is the wrong description.

Where has it gone?
Travelers now have use of affordable GPS units with 'puter maps loaded giving restaurant, sleeping, recreation and so much more information, all while on-the-fly. Less thought and planning needed.

Maybe less-than-accurate paper maps are now adequate for journeys into unknown lands.
Maybe maps aren't needed at all.
No need to carry a sextant.
Has the compass gone the way of the rotary dial phone?
Has map plotting gone the way of 30w oil?
Maybe call a friend back home on your Sat phone and ask him/her whether you should take the right or left fork?
Is becoming lost now a warranty issue?

I agree that color is more nifty than B&W, but are we losing something else in the process?
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  #2  
Old 27 Aug 2006
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And of course no longer a need to travel by the stars and the sun either. Progress...

Until your GPS quits...
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  #3  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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uh those were the days...

dear lone rider...

how i miss the days when we used to sit in our cave and plan our anual mamot hunt, my wife used to pick bugs out of my hair ...not really...
we hear it all the time in all aspects of life... it is the human nature to look back at the past and remeber how good it was (was it?).
on 1991 i had a six month enfild trip in india, i had a 1:4mil scale map, now one of the great advice you hear every where is -ask the locals- not really highly recomended in india, try navagaiting through the traffic of delhi mombay or even smaller city around that region...
the gps is just a tool like your bike ecu or phone or t.v... and the list relly go on...and on.
i am practicing heavy equipment agricalture mechanic for more then 20 years, the elctronics began replacing the mechanical devices on the early 90s and every body said it is not reliable and to coplicated and that nobody will know how to fix it, guess what... they where all wrong, by the way i see pepole say that about the can bus systm on the bmw, well in few years all the bikes will be can bus... and pepole will say how good where the old bikes...
regarding navagation, inorder to navagate really good you need a 1:20,000
topo map, now try to imagine buying one and useing it for every trip, and yes in know you can do a good trip nava.. on a 1:2mil road map, but on a moderen trip, i use the map to plan the route and the gps to exacute it...while all the time remembering the bigger map in mind...
a lot of pepole are finding it relly hard using a map, including my better half, and turn by turn instractions from a gps is a great help for them, and i dont mean crossing the sahara or the gobi, i mean on daily base...
gps dosent eliminate the map and the compass it just complete them.

ah that was longer ten i intended, anyway have fun and keep your eyes on the view...or was it on the road...
sorry for the spelling mistakes
guy
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  #4  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guygolan
............
the gps is just a tool like your bike ecu or phone or t.v... and the list relly go on...and on...........

...........and pepole will say how good where the old bikes...
..........

gps dosent eliminate the map and the compass it just complete them.
..................
My post was only meant to relative towards navigation, which I truly enjoy. There's a simple challenge in it that is enjoyed....by some travelers.

No, I have no wish to sharpen my spearhead after a day's hunt.
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  #5  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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me too

i am really sorry if was misunderstood i love navigate, i love being out there, and nothing is more fun for me then being in the desert, i was just adding an opinion, nothing against no one...
and the mamoot wasnt really that good...

guy
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  #6  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guygolan
....
and the mamoot wasnt really that good...

guy


I understood you.
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  #7  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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Nowt wrong with a map and compass, or any of the more traditional methods of navigation. Have to say, round Europe, Morocco, and over to Iran the only time I used my GPS ( a basic 'type in the waypoints' one designed for trekking) was in the desert in Morrocco. Felt no need of it at any other time. From what I hear the base maps for less developed regions are completely crap anyway, so why bother?
And as to the idea all travellers are now using GPS well, maybe everyone in the Touratech catalogue. I reckon a lot of people still just use a paper map.
Matt
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  #8  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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I'm from the "winging it" school of navigation. The only time the map comes out is if I can't find a road sign to my destination. The best part of travelling sometimes is the getting lost. Some people panic, but, as you've got all your stuff with you, what's to worry about? You can always pitch up where you stop anyway (unless you're in Europe or the USA). I find maps and GPS systems make people too destination orientated (the old target fixation) and they start to worry about where they are, how long it's going to take to get there and miss out on the meeting people and asking directions and enjoying the view aspects of travel. Relax, you'll get there eventually. The only time the winging it school of navigation runs into trouble is when you're trying to specifically avoid somewhere.

How to "wing it":
1. Each night, get a large map (not too detailed or you'll need too many) and try to memorise all the towns on your rough route. These do not have to be in order. Do not get drunk until after you've done this. And do not spend too long on it because a) you'll start memorising the names of towns not on your route (I do this all the time) and b) you waste drinking time.
2. In the morning, pack your stuff, ensuring the map is on the top of your stuff (y'know, near the gaffer tape and waterproofs).
3. Set off, trying not to let your hangover ruin your morning. It should be morning, so you don't really need the compass yet. That big yellow thing that's hurting your eyes, well, that's in the east. If you need to go that way, sorry.
4. Look for road signs. Follow the ones to the towns you recognise the names of. If there are no road signs, keep following the road you're on until you find one. If you still don't find one, find a person. They work like road signs, but they're more hit and miss. Don't forget to ask where you are and use the map as a pointing aid.
5. If you can't find a person or a road sign, you're in a desert. Winging it does not work in deserts. Bad person. Use common sense next time.

Simple rules to follow when winging it:
1. Make sure your tank is full as often as possible.
2. Do not get obsessed with where you're going. There is a good chance you won't get there and an even better chance you'll end up somewhere more interesting. Remember that most roads go somewhere, that's why they were built.
3. Road signs are your friend. Do not ignore them.
4. Do not wing it in deserts (no people or road signs) or war zones. War zones have people who shoot strangers and often road signs are taken down to confuse invaders. You fall under both these categories.
5. Do not expect to do 400+ miles days. Winging it is not for people who are trying to go fast. 200 - 300 miles a day is achievable in well populated areas.
6. Stop frequently. I smoke, so I like to stop for fag breaks every hour or so to enjoy the scenery, have a little drink of water and check my progress.
7. Relax, you're on holiday.
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  #9  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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Talking Winging it is fun

I have to agree with the previous post although I do have a gps unit with me. My gps unit has failed on this trip so I went and bought a map. With no where to put it other than on the back of my bike in a bag, it rarely came out except to find a campsite. Pick a direction, find some roads, and head in that general direction. Some days it will work, some days it wont. The next time I plan to use my gps is to find my way home from Turkey via the Motogp in Assen and into England.

I now have maps for central and south america, the jury is still out on how much use they will be, but I have them so I have a small advantage.

Just riding my bike and not working every day is just a dream

Ride safe

Paul
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