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16 Dec '17

GPS or Compass? The best choice when hunting.

Posted by S. Sosa

Modern hunters tend to use GPS or mobile phones to get oriented out in the field; however regardless the enormous accuracy and reliability of such devices, there's still a big debate about the best option for hunters; the traditional compass or electronic devices.

The fact is that modern, electronic devices are more accurate, easy to use and reliable; making of them a very good option; especially if we don't have remarkable navigation skills; however if you are planning to stay several days hunting on remote, unknown areas, perhaps you should carry on also a regular compass.

On such conditions the main problem with electronic devices is batteries exhaustion; then, just when you need it most, your navigation device could not work because of lack of batteries. Many people would prevent this situation by carrying Hunter's prefered navigation deviceson an extra set of batteries, however  for long expeditions several replacements would be necessary which implies a considerable extra weight.

On the other hand, electronic devices tend to be affected by weather more than classic compasses, thus rain, cold, snow and other climatological conditions could affect their performance. In the case of of mobile phones integrated GPS; lack of coverage on remote areas is another problem.

With the above in mind, it must be said that despite of all their advantages, electronic navigation systems also have negative issues; same as a traditional compass have; thus deciding about the best one is not an easy task and will depend not only of hunter's preferences but also of the type of expedition.

Then if you are planning to hunt on a well known area where you have been before or if your trip is a matter of one or two days; you might trust on your GPS or cell phone. But if your hunting expedition will be far away, longer than a couple of days or will be on new lands; you still can use navigation electronic devices, but it will be a good idea to count with a backup regular compass, just in case you need it.

On this regard, a classic compass should be part of every hunter's basic gear; since it could represent the difference among life and dead. Of course electronic devices are more convenient, but counting with a non-electronic backup (and know how to properly use it) is a plus that will keep you safer.


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