Why Your Phone is More Useful Than a Map and Compass

Last week I came across an article from the Washington Post discussing the flaws of relying on the use of GPS to navigate and so proclaimed “lost art of map and compass skills”. While at first I found myself agreeing with the author, I quickly became lost by the argument that a GPS unit (or more likely, a smartphone GPS) isn’t as useful or powerful as a standard map and compass. While the main argument of the author was that more and more hikers are becoming lost due to failure to utilize the appropriate tools to navigate, I couldn’t help but returning to the argument of usefulness.

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I've fallen and I can't get up - an accident on the Cog Railroad

I've fallen and I can't get up - an accident on the Cog Railroad

At 11:25 on Friday, February 17th Jacob and I started skinning up the Cog Railroad, a popular, mellow, backcountry ski line on the west side of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. It was an absolutely stunning day. It had been snowing through the morning, but by the time we started skinning, the sun was shining, it was 25 degrees and there was no wind at the lower elevations. The icing on the cake however, was the foot of fresh, light powder that covered the landscape. The Cog was in amazing shape.

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