Rationale for a Minimalist Backcountry GPS

Rationale for a Minimalist Backcountry GPS

The purpose of the GPS is to:

– supplement map and compass as the primary means of navigation.
– as a measure of safety when my skill or mental state might be good enough for the circumstances.

I will always be carrying maps appropriate to my planned and alternate route(s), a compass, and know the current magnetic declination.

Skurka’s note: http://andrewskurka.com/2012/why-backcountry-gps-units-are-overrated/
http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/compass.html

Desired GPS Features:

– Display location such that I can find it on the map.
– Pre-load waypoints for route(s) and landmarks.
– Store breadcrumb waypoints so I can backtrack, either manually or backtrack.
– Tell me the heading and distance to a waypoint.
– Log/display distance travelled, time spent moving/stopped and various speed metrics.

Possible other features?

– Barometer/altimeter
– Thermometer

Universal Goals for All Gear:
GPS-Goals

– Minimize weight
– Conserve power to prolong life (Which might mean fewer features?)
– Open hardware and open source to the greatest degree possible.

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