GPS: Finding Your Way Back to Camp
The Global Positioning System, or GPS is a small hand-held device that enables the user to navigate and find their way, anywhere in the world. This tool will help hunters keep from getting “turned around” or lost as they navigate hunting grounds and is designed to capture signals from 24 satellites that orbit Earth. Each of the satellites has their own unique identification code that will send signals and calculate the distance from the device to the satellites. The user will be able to determine his exact location or position on Earth.
The information gathered from this device can be used to pinpoint your location on a map or used by itself to find your way, even in the dark, or in bad weather with limited visibility.
The most common way hunters use this device is to mark their starting location; whether it is from a tent, the hunting camp,atv or truck; THE STARTING WAYPOINT MUST ALWAYS BE LOGGED INTO THE UNIT BEFORE SETTING OUT TO HUNT!!
Remember, in a heavily wooded area with dark timber, there are no street signs telling you where you are; every tree looks the same. As you walk and hike your way through the woods, you are going to find deer and elk sign or points of interest in which you can log and mark as a “way-point”. This way you can electronically “bread-crumb” your way to and from points of interest with amazing accuracy.
Common signs, points of interest, and method of use are...
1. "ALWAYS MARK" your STARTING POINT (Base Camp, Truck, ATV. Do Not Forget to "Delete" Old Parking Spots to avoid confusion.
2. Marking a location where you saw trophy game.
3. Estimate travel time to and from your tree stand or hunting spot.
4. You can mark boundaries, ranger stations, water holes.
5. Lock in the location of animal movement, game tracks, rubs, wallows, feeding areas, scrapes, beds, etc.
6. Recover your trophy animal: Mark the point where shot from, also the Blood Trail, marking each good blood spot to get a good direction animal traveled. Use your range finder to get a distance to downed animal (or last known spot), then get a compass heading to that spot. Mark the position of the Recovered animal, field dress, hang the game-bags, then get back to camp for help.
7. Calculate the distance to the downed animal. Be able to tell how far your downed animal is from camp.
8. Some units (RINO) have 2-way radio capability; to communicate your location to your fellow hunters with similar units (to track-back to you), if the need arises.
9. These devices have a back-light feature to help you read it in the dark, so as not to alert game animals by having to use a flash-light constantly to and from your hunting area.
10. Most units have “map capabilities”, and can give the user dimensional, real-time, location and navigation. So you are not just looking at a screen with an arrow pointing you in the right direction, you can see your position on Earth, as it relates to a map of the area you are in. Important waypoints already marked in a map-capable unit, such as ranger stations, rest stops, water, etc.
Rifle Accuracy Reports recommends the following top of the line GPS Units: Garmin, Magellan, and Lowrance.
To use your GPS in a remote or heavily wooded area, you must be in a clearing where you can see the sky. Turn the unit on and point unit up towards the north sky to acquire satellite tracking. The unit will need at least four satellites to lock in your present position. Its a good Idea to leave the unit ON in dense areas. ALWAYS CARRY EXTRA BATTERIES WITH YOU to Keep the Unit Operational. Batteries will last 15 to 22 hours.
Rifle Accuracy Reports recommends that GPS users "Back Up their Back Up" By carrying Two GPS Units (such as the Rino and Etrex) And Carry Map and Compass and know how to use them.
Effective use of GPS navigation can help keep you from getting lost, help create a game plan that will increase your odds of having a successful hunt.
HERE IS A VIDEO ON GPS USE!!
GARMIN TUTORIAL INFORMATION
HOW TO USE YOUR GPS TUTORIAL
GARMIN RHINO TUTORIAL
GARMIN RINO SURVIVAL STORY
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