Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: navigation

A Lesson In Having Navigational Gear Close At Hand

Evinrude 30 HP outboard motor on the Neches River near Jasper, Texas

While my son and I were fishing on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas, I learned a lesson on having navigational gear close at hand. What happened was, we followed a slough until it came to a main waterway.

There were a couple of issues:

  • The waterway was overgrown with lily pads.
  • There were several connecting paths.
  • We needed a certain path to get back to the boat launch.
  • Using Google Earth I knew we needed to head East.
  • The time was 1:00 pm and shadows were straight down.
  • Neither my backpack, or the boat survival kit had a compass.
  • All I needed was a simple compass to know which direction was East.

My son and I were at an intersection with around five routes we could take. Due to the lily pads the boat had limited mobility. The motor had to be pulled up every few minutes to clean the lily pads off.

What we ended up doing was driving the boat in one direction, then checking Google earth with my phone. Eventually I was put on the correct path and back to the boat launch we went.

Navigational Gear

Real Map VS Electronic Map

Which do you prefer, a real map or a electronic map? Call me old school, call me old fashioned, call me out of date, or even not keeping up with the times – but give me a real map over an electronic map any day. Heck, I’ll even take a hand drawn map over an electronic map.

Ok, so why the hatred for electronic maps? Its not that I “hate” electronic maps, there are just too many points of failure.

Electronic Maps

Lets take a GPS and has a built in map feature:

  • Require to batteries.
  • May not work well without clear view of the sky.
  • GPS satellites are under government control, and can be turned off at anytime.

I dont know about you, but sometimes I go hiking / camping in places that have a dense tree canopy, which can block the GPS signal. My GPS is a Garmin Etrex. Its a fairly inexpensive model, and a fairly old model – but it gets the job done (most of the time.)

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018