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Hi to all you compass oficianados. This is a test but you have to be able to use Google Earth. If you don't have google earth download it, then go the "fly to" box in the upper left corner and type or copy and paste and then click on the magnifying glass. It will zoom into that spot.
44 11 09.51 n 121 38 27.98 w
I was sitting at that spot the other night at sunset. I had about one gallon of gas in my truck and it was dropping below freezing. You can zoom in and out using the rolly thingy on your mouse or you can go to vertical bar on the upper right that has a + on the top and a - on the bottom. Zoom out about 25 miles high viewing altitude - read off a digital display on the lower right corner of the screen. At that height you should be able to see the Three Sisters volcanoes and the town of Sisters on the screen at the same time. To make it really easy on you lets say you happen to have a clear view of the mountains (you don't actually its in forest).
Now zoom in to about 12,000' to 14,000' so you have a clear picture of the roads in the area, theyre all dirt and they aren't exactly as pictured because the data for the map is old. Now back out to about 18,000' and all you know is that you are someplace on the screen because you've been 4wheeling for a while and all know is that you are on one of those roads in that area, you don't know that you are at that spot because you don't have a GPS. But you have this awesome map and a normal backpacking compass. You need to locate a road that goes back to Sisters and you don't have the gas to make many errors. You take a bearing on those peaks or you measure the direction the road goes where you are but there are too many trees to actually see where the roads go, all you have is a compass and this map that you can zoom in and out.
oh and the roads toward the mountains are getting higher and have more snow, enough that you are concerned about driving in it.
Tell me how you will determine where you are? Without traveling in a straight line north or east, (which would take the truck cross country) how will you get back to Sisters with your remaining gas?
I simply turned on the light, zommed in on my GPS display and drove. I could see that I was not going in the same direction that I came in on because my GPS showed that my track was getting longer so I turned around. As I drove I could see that my "location" was moving along the prerecorded track that I made coming in. Every couple miles I looked and sure enough the center of my screen showed the prerecorded entry path. Soon I was back home in Sisters and entered the coordinates into google earth to see where I had been - you see - I didn't even have a map in the truck, all I new was that I was in the mountains, it was getting dark and cold and that I was following the exact track that I followed to get in.
Thats why I carry GPS and neither a compass or a map.
Or assume your truck is parked exactly at that point and youve been hiking for a while along the twisted roads and then gone cross country for a ways so you don't have a simple compass bearing and you're maybe a mile up hill from the truck - find it before dark.
Thanks for your indulgence. Jim S