loves and loses his GPSMAP 76S...
recall at the end of our last lost-GPS episode,
one unit had gone missing on the Peel River in the middle of the winter
and it was replaced by a Map76S.
The Map76S was fantastic, giving
position and elevation just like it was supposed to ... and I was loving
it. From time to time, doing research for my writing projects, I end
up following northerners across great tracts of open ground with no
real idea of where we are or where we are going. Above the treeline,
especially in winter, to an uneducated eye, everything starts to have
a certain sameness to it. I'm always a little worried about getting
lost or separated from my hosts, so having a GPS along provides a measure
of peace-of-mind", as on this "fishing trip" last winter with Frank
and Margaret Ipakohak from Kugluktuk, Nunavut'"
one of the reasons why the MAP76S
worked so well, and gave such long battery life in the serious arctic
cold was that I was able to keep the unit in an inside pocket, while an
external antenna, velcroed to the
shoulder of my parka, kept the unit communicating with enough satellites
to keep a fix on where we were."
figures out James' GPSMAP
for larger view
unit worked equally well plotting position and progress on a canoe trip
last summer with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society on the Berens
River ... although
my buddy Cathy
Jones from This Hour Has 22 Minutes (one of the Canadian celebrities
who had volunteered to help CPAWS raise awareness about the importance
of the Boreal Forest), had a devil of a time trying to figure out how
the @#$%^& thing worked!
you'd like to know more about this project you can check out the
CPAWS site, or the splendid new book (with contributions from Ms.
Jones among many others) called Rendezvous
with the Wild."
goes geocaching near Loch Ness
for larger view
everything was going very smoothly with MAP76S.
I even got bold and took it to the United Kingdom to do some research
for my next book ... and that's when my next GPS disaster happened. The
unit was working spectacularly. I even hooked up with a couple of friends
in the Great Glen, overlooking Loch Ness...."
Click for larger view
and found my first geocache!
is Miles Davis, GIS Wizard for the Scottish Deer Commission, digging out
the actual cache)"
loss of James' GPSMAP 76S
for larger view
down in London, on the trail of Sir
George Simpson, colourful head of the Hudson's Bay Company here in
Canada from 1820-1860 (subject of this next book project)
I got waylaid in Simpson's Tavern. Had a great time doing "research" in
Simpson's Tavern (which hasn't changed,
or so it seemed, since the heyday of the furtrade). Simpson's Tavern is
a bit of a culinary legend in London Town, which put a
whole new slant on the GPS idea.
next day, I took a train to the docks at Landsend (where HBC ships used
to depart for Canada)--when trouble struck ... Having had one too many
of these in the name of "research"
the night before ... I fell asleep on the train from London to Gravesend
and woke up one GPSMAP76S and
one digital camera lighter, both of them having been lifted from the seat
beside me during the siesta.
kind of a long story.... " [Click here for more of James' Shaggy
"But thanks to the untiring unerring assistance of
GPS Central, I was able to move on quickly and without undue
pain to the wallet for a Third GPS Unit in as many years.
GPSMAP 60CS is easier
to hold and seems faster than the Map76S.
It takes the same antenna,
which is nice (although I wish Garmin would figure out a
more secure connection between the antenna cable and the
unit--at the moment, it's just a friction fit, which can
disconnect at the most inopportune times). And it's actually
easier on batteries than either of the previous two.
with this unit, I've been trying out the TOPO
Canada Map Series, which makes the whole GPS experience
even more fun. Here is a quick tale about how the 60CS
for larger view
winter, I joined a group on a 16-day north/south walk across Algonquin
Park on snowshoes.
surprised me to see that the Garmin
map product had some (but not all) of the main logging roads marked
(the ones that never turn up on maps produced by the park).
was travelling with a group using hand-hauled toboggans and sleds, camping
in a 10X12 Egyptian cotton wall tent heated by a tin stove you drag
along with you (back of last sled in this
shot)--low tech camping with high tech navigation ... pretty too!
this was the first time this north/south trans-Algonquin route has
been done in a long time (if ever), and so we were cutting trail
for parts of the route.
Ontario Parks people were very interested in knowing exactly where
these new trails were. So, with the new 60CS and its tracking capability,
in conjunction with TOPO Canada, I was able to record exactly where
we went and then print out maps to send to Ontario Parks for them
to include in their master trail map.
the elevation profiles of these trails was very cool.
it wasn't quite so cold on this trip as it has been
farther north, I was able to use the little clippie
thing that comes with the 60CS
to affix the unit right to the front of my clothing
(underneath the leather tump strap of my sled) and
collect the route data without having to use the
external antenna. You'll notice, Jo, that in addition
to the clip, I've also got the lanyard firmly tied
around my neck so as not to lose this third unit
any faster than the previous two.
far, so good. I'm back on the trail and know more
or less where I'm going. Thanks GPS Central for
all your help in keeping me outfitted and on track!Cheers,