budget sighting compass

General letterboxing discussion.

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Dartymoor
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#16 Post by Dartymoor » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:07 am

I think that's a little insulting, Nik.

What you describe may be how some use a gps, just like some people drive into a river by following their car's satnav, but it's not how everyone uses it.

And what course? Just like a compass, a gps gives you a direction. It may also give you a map including footpaths. Finding a good route from A to B still involves skill and experience.

I don't rely on a gps when I'm walking the moor - I use my brain to navigate using all the tools available to me. A GPSr tells me where I am with total confidence, and I fail to understand why that makes it a bad thing under any circumstances.

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#17 Post by Nik - KOTM » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:48 am

Sorry if you misinterpreted my meaning there, no offence was intended.
I meant anyone who relies upon a GPS as a sole navigation tool is a fool. You need to be able to use a compass and a map as a GPS relies upon complicated technology as well as batteries.

A compass is waterproof! A GPS isn't, though the manufacturer might claim it is, and it might be when it leaves the factory, but as soon as the user opens the battery compartment it is no longer waterproof, and the seal cannot be guaranteed when it is reassembled.

The other problem with a GPS is the person operating it, you could forget to put in fresh batteries, you could forget spare batteries, seen that and done it myself, it can be dropped, a wrong digit entered into the system and a whole host of other things to boot.

This is not an attack on any individual, but an attack upon the reliance of fallible technology.
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#18 Post by teignmouth trampers » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:55 am

Each to their own really. But I don't think there is anything wrong with using GPS, most letterboxers now use it, even if they suggest otherwise, and frankly I think if the hobby is to grow it is vitally necessary. Without GPS it would eventually wither and die. If you disagree,ask yourself why all the charity walks give GPS grids? The problem is it makes the perverted behaviour of the Letterbox Thief easier. Thats why i think that most boxes on the moor are WOM and not in the book, a lot of people believe that if you put it in the book its more likely to disapear.
Lyn, Arth and Millie the Jack Russell.

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#19 Post by Nik - KOTM » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:37 pm

teignmouth trampers wrote:ask yourself why all the charity walks give GPS grids?
The answer I think is "Look how we sited our walk... we used a GPS!"

That I have no problem with... none whatsoever. Yes it does make it very easy to find, but, what I am campaigning for is that the clues are published with only 6 figure references.
There is no fun in looking in a 1 metre square area, no challenge.
A couple of years ago I did a charity walk in 45 minutes, but unfortunately on the day of release one of the boxes had been stolen. I didn't need a compass to check bearings, I went straight to site to site, it wasn't much fun.

Well that is my opinion... do you agree or not?
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budget sighting compass

#20 Post by The Wandering Artist » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:36 pm

My twopence worth to add, such as it is:

In some respects I see the Gps helping the boxer to a site and within a short distance from the box may to some degree prevent unnecessary disturbance of the area.
From my point of view it also helps in particular those of us getting older in years and not so gamely on our legs by reducing a not inconsiderable distance walked and amount of 'to and froing' lining up bearings; being on the wrong side of a deep ravine, or river, or bog. Thus it has the reward of achieving more boxes, in less time, covering an area greater than by compass alone.

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#21 Post by Dartymoor » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:29 am

To answer Nik's point: Not everyone might enjoy the physical act of searching for a box. For me, it's more about the walk, history and view than crawling about on all fours searching for tupperware. For others, it's the stamps, supporting the charity or whatever. Maybe there's an idea for a poll there?

( Oh, and to reply to an earlier email, compasses are not indestructable either. I have very thoroughly smashed a quite expensive sighting compass beyond use through the simple act of leaning back against some granite whilst it was in my pocket. )

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#22 Post by teignmouth trampers » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:19 pm

The thing is Nick, your GPS must be very sophisticated because ours only takes us to within 5 meters or if you square it a fair area to search, sometimes we still can't find it!!!!! so its not just a question of just going to the box. And if its in clitter our hearts sink, you know the type of thing, 141 and 5 paces from crocodile/seal shaped/dinosaur/cat shaped etc etc, lets not forget that my whale looks to you like a triangular/bat/house shaped rock. So a plea to you clitter lovers, less flowery description of rocks. :lol: :lol:
Lyn, Arth and Millie the Jack Russell.

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#23 Post by Adam Ant » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:23 pm

Personally, Michelle and I never use a GPS as we think it removes a major part of the challenge - the satisfaction of finding boxes solely by the use of map and compass must be greater than being directed to a much smaller locale by technology. However, as we are only in our 30s, I appreciate that more 'seasoned' or 'mature' letterboxers would prefer not to have to sweep large areas in the hope of finding what they're looking for. From our point of view, as long as people are enjoying letterboxing and making use of the incomparable resource that is Dartmoor, each to their own. One plea to those siting boxes/walks: please remember that there are those of us that don't use GPS so clues (especially bearings) need to be as accurate as possible as this is the only way we have of getting into the correct area where the box should be.

Thank you,
Adam Ant and Milty on the Moor

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#24 Post by Nik - KOTM » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:57 pm

There is one other bonus for the old compass technique, and that is finding other boxes boxes whilst looking for the one you were originally looking for
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budget sighting compass

#25 Post by The Wandering Artist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:06 pm

Whilst using the GPS we still scour the area as we pass for 'Freebies' and have found quite a few! (a lot of years experience of looking for boxes does help though!!!!)

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