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For all high tech electronic equipment including GPS, PLB, chargers, phones, computers, software. Discussion of simple electrical devices such as torches, belongs in the main 'Equipment' forum.
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Phone Apps

Sat 23 Feb, 2019 9:50 am

Some of you may have seen this article re the use of an App that led to a rescue situation in the US. Obviously an understanding of map and compass skills is essential when venturing out into the bush but if one is to rely on an electronic means of nav, then I would suggest that a GPS, with say Andrews maps loaded is a much better option.


Re: Phone Apps

Sat 23 Feb, 2019 9:56 am

Apologies re the missing link but here it is. ... g-with-app

Re: Phone Apps

Sat 23 Feb, 2019 10:06 am

The above link is to a phone app that lead 3 teenagers the wrong way.

A map or an app does require some thought rather than just following it.

(That particular app is based on google, but it could have been anything).

Message: engage brain.

Re: Phone Apps

Mon 15 Apr, 2019 11:11 pm


Re: Phone Apps

Mon 15 Apr, 2019 11:32 pm

I've had my phone do weird things just recently and once a couple of years ago. It had me a good 3-4klms from where I was actually standing and thought North was West.

Gaia and Google Maps were both out but strangely, the mapping of my trip on Gaia was accurate, so go figure how that works.
I still take a compass and always pay attention to my surroundings just in case.

I don't trust my phone.
Last edited by crollsurf on Tue 16 Apr, 2019 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Phone Apps

Tue 16 Apr, 2019 9:09 am

crollsurf wrote:I don't trust my phone.

A wise attitude.

I don't trust compasses either. I've seen compasses that become remagnetized and point the opposite way. I've seen compasses with sticking needles. I've seen demagnetized needles that just spin round and round. I've seen people trying to use northern hemisphere compasses in the southern hemisphere, or equatorial compasses in temperate zones. I've had the inner capsule pop out of my compass somewhere along my walk, making the compass useless when I needed it. I've seen compasses that have lost their fluid, making the needle stick. And, of course, a local magnetic anomaly (e.g. due to rock with a high iron content) can make a compass needle deviate from magnetic north.

So, as you say, always pay attention to your surroundings. Know how to get back to safety without any navigation assistance - this could involve retracing your steps, or pre-planning how to reach an area you know well, or knowing the "safety bearing" that will get you back to an unambiguous linear feature (such as a road) from anywhere in your vicinity.

For me, phone apps have now reached the point where they surpass the utility and reliability of a compass, but I still assume that the app (or the phone) could fail at any moment.
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