Wot! No GPS

To: bird <>
Subject: Wot! No GPS
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 21:29:46 +1000

> From: "David Cameron" <>
> Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 17:53:27 +1000
> To: <>
> Subject: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] GPS and birding
> What would we do if
> the GPS gets damaged or it's batteries expire etc?

What we always did before GPS was available!  Practice appropriate

In the 1960s I spent a few very interesting days tramping in the rainforest
on top of the McIllwraith Range (C. York Peninsula).  Alone.  No map or
compass.  But the sun is reliably in the east in the morning and in the west
in the afternoon, even if it's not quite so much help in the middle of the
day up there in the tropics.

Important to note one's route and be sure to be able to retrace one's steps
if necessary.  Leaning a stick against a tree provides a simple temporary
route marker.  Or break a small branch on a shrub, if no other option.  (And
if no trees or shrubs?  No point in going there, is there!)

If following a creek upstream fine - at any time you can simply return
downstream; but if the initial route is downstream, and there are any
joining creeks, note very carefully so that if returning you know which fork
to take.

That sort of thing.

Sun navigation: away from the tropics, the sun is to the north in the middle
of the day ... IF YOU ARE IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE!  I found it took me
about six weeks to adjust to the northern hemisphere so that south 'feels'
south.  Until then I had to mentally work out where south is.

Perhaps it's fortunate that Australia is very dry country.  Not much
rainforest.  My understanding is that your wonderful GPS gadgets can't pick
up their satellite signals from beneath the closed canopy of a rainforest.
If I'm wrong and there is a GPS unit that can do so, I'd sure like to hear
of it.  Be great for mapping Albert's Lyrebird territories.


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