On Sat, 13 Oct 2001, Laurie & Leanne Knight wrote:
> If you want to learn how to navigate, take up orienteering, or if you
> are after night birds, rogaining.
> An interesting thread for bushwalkers to follow. We normally navigate by
> sight when out in the open, and then emphasis is more on route-finding
> when we burrow through the bush like a scrub bird / cassowary.
> Generally we are following a ridge or water line, and when we aren't we
> often keep our bearings in relation to a ridge or water line.
> We rarely venture into mallee for the purpose of bushwalking, and when
> we can't see where we are going [because of the vegetation blocking the
> view] a GPS is generally as useful as hot beer ...
Early this year, I tried chasing frogs on rainy nights off-the-track in
reasonably rugged country in the Blue Mountains. My navigation skills
could be better, but I'd navigated these areas easily in daylight just
using the topography. But in the rain at night I found it much more
The vegetation might not be as heavy as where Laurie walks - but I could
get GPS fixes intermittantly with my Garmin 12XL. It was great for saving
the locations of frog breeding locations that I might want return to,
and generally very comforting to confirm where I was.
Even as a technophile, I agree with recommendations to also carry a
compass. When walking I always have a compass in my a pocket (tagged to
a belt loop) - convenient so it takes only a few seconds to glance at it.
I also have one of those little combination compass/thermometers (with
wind chill table on back) sold by the Australian Geographic store,
attached to my daypack. It seems like a useful emergency backup - I
haven't had to use it but its a few years old and the compass still works.
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