Map, Compass & GPS

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dead Reckoning - An Important Navigation Tool

It is time to return to base camp.  Navigation during this trip has been by map and compass alone; no GPS.  During the three days of the outing, navigation was straightforward and simple.  Visibility was excellent and compass triangulation worked well.  Now as the return trip is about to begin, fog has rolled in, masking terrain features.  The absence of a reliable trail system will make the return trip challenging as well; travel will be overland.
A process called Dead Reckoning (DR) can be used to navigate and partially compensate for the loss of terrain features and important visual cues. DR is a method used to determine one’s estimated present and future position. Dead Reckoning can be done during periods of darkness, bad weather, in featureless terrain (e.g., the desert, whiteout conditions) or equipment failure (e.g., dead GPS batteries.)
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