Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Technology Preparedness

Are you and your electronics ready for a natural disaster??

Here is an article from last summer that was featured in the Chicago Sun Times.

The article is a bit "chatty" at first so jump to the middle to get to the heart of the matter.

by Andy Ihnatko

If I complain about how Hurricane Irene has left me without power or Internet access for the past three days, please do be assured that I’m keeping it all in perspective. Brattleboro, Vermont -- which has been one of my favorite road trip destinations for years, and the place I will most definitely recommend if you’re visiting this part of the country and want to feel as though you’ve really seen New England -- got absolutely clobbered.

Many residents lost their homes; some lost their lives.

In the face of that . . . yeah, losing a week of productivity and a fridge full of food is just an inconvenience.

Thanks to Irene, I’ve had three consecutive nights of monastic contemplation, free from the distractions of sinful extravagances like television, Internet, interior lighting, and food or drink that’s noticeably hotter or colder than room temperature. During that time, I’ve been thinking about the various preparations I made when the storm alerts started popping up last week. Common household storm advice can be found pretty much anywhere, and it’s all good stuff. But there’s a modern layer of preparation that incorporates the digital dimension of your life. If you need to evacuate, then really all you care about is getting yourself and your loved ones to safety. Second on the list are those preparations for being stuck in the house for days, or without access to the grid.

To read the rest of the article go here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Understanding The Scale Of A Map

Maps come in various scales, sizes and variety.  This post makes sense of map scale and what that means to the hiker. defines map scale as:

“A ratio which compares a measurement on a map to the actual distance between locations identified on the map.”

A topographic (topo) map’s scale information is located at the bottom center of the map.  Other maps will generally have scale information in the large map key that outlines many of the features and data printed on the map.

The map scale for a United States Geologic Survey (USGS) 7.5 topo minute map is highlighted below.

A closer look of the scale information:

The area circled in red is the ratio discussed by  Note that the ratio has no units of measurement assigned (e.g., feet, meters, acres.)

To read the rest of the post go here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Refresh Your GPS Skills

 The hunting season is almost a wrap!  Let's take the time to take another look at your GPS skills.

Now is the perfect time to practice and improve your GPS skills  to get “dialed-in” with your receiver.

GPS will get you back to the truck or help you return to your favorite spot.   Confident use of the receiver comes with practice and frequent use.

Here are some simple recommendations to try in the field.

  • Dump those old AA batteries, put in new ones, and replace them again in 4 months.  If you leave your GPS on all day in the field expect to change the batteries nightly.  Consider using lithium AA’s, they last longer and work better in cold temperatures.

  • Verify that you are receiving enough satellite signals.  Check this on the satellite status screen.  Four satellites are the minimum. 
To read the rest of the post go here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thank You!

I really appreciate the recognition that my post "Navigating a Topographical Map" received on the Survival Mom's website.  A big thank you to Leon for posting the article on!

There are dozens of survival blogs, websites, and forums out there, and it's impossible to stay on top of them all. I did a little research and here are the #1 articles from the summer season from some of my favorite survival and preparedness blogs, as well as the Top 5 from The Survival Mom.
I also have a coupon code from a new advertiser, Pantry Paratus ("prepared pantry"), just for my newsletter readers! Get $25 off any purchase of $75 or more* with this code: MOMOCT. This offer expires November 12.
Happy reading!
* * * * * *
Canadian Doomer: "How the very poor live"
Survival Common Sense: "Navigating a Topographical Map"
New Life on a Homestead: "Natural Treatment for Poison Ivy Rash"
And the Top 5 stories from the summer season at The Survival Mom blog:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Water Purification

Kummerfeldt's review of water purification.

There are still far too many people using iodine tablets to disinfect their water when there is a much better product on the market - chlorine dioxide. There are also too many people drinking water that has not been disinfected simply because they don't like the taste of iodine not knowing that there is a new product on the market that doesn't leave an after taste.
Chlorine dioxide tablets made available by the Katadyn Company and also by Potable Aqua have been around for several years now but have not been embraced enthusiastically by those who recreate or work in the outdoors. Old habits die hard I guess. Or perhaps it's just ignorance! Either way you are putting your health at risk by drinking water that has not been disinfected.

If for no other reason you should consider using tablets that release chlorine dioxide because of its effectiveness in killing cryptosporidium, an organism commonly found in water - something that iodine was never able to do effectively.

Regardless of the manufacturer the tablets are individually packaged in sheets of ten tablets per sheet and are sold in containers of twenty or thirty tablets for $10 - $13.

Disinfecting your water is easy. Simply drop a tablet into a quart or liter of water and the chemical will destroy viruses, bacteria, Giardia and Cryptosporidium leaving no chlorine after taste.

For more information on Micropur tablets go to