You've decided to go high tech and get a GPS receiver but are bewildered by the huge array of models. Here are some things to consider before you buy:
THINGS YOU DON'T NEED IN A GPS
Tip: Alkaline batteries don't work in sub-zero weather. Choose lithium batteries instead. Lithium's are lighter than alkalines and they last much longer too
TIPS AND CONCERNS
If you have a computer online, you can use the "UTM Converter" (www.cellspark.com/utmconverter.html) to convert UTM values to Latitude/Longitude and vice versa.
For units that don't have this feature, do this: 1) Set your GPS to read "True North" bearings, then set a "go to" heading to any waypoint. Write down the bearing to this waypoint (example, 40 degrees). 2) Next, go back into the set-up menu and set your GPS to read "Magnetic North bearings, then set a "go to" heading to the same waypoint. Read the magnetic bearing (example 60 degrees). The magnetic declination for your area is 20 degrees west. Note: the declination is west if the magnetic bearing is greater than the true bearing. The declination is east if the magnetic bearing is less than the true bearing. Most GPS units round off the declination value to the nearest whole number, which is plenty accurate for compass navigation.
Example: Nad 27 /16U / 332,300E / 5,849,500N.
Cliff Jacobson is a professional canoe guide and outfitter for the Science Museum of Minnesota, a wilderness canoeing consultant, and the author of more than a dozen top-selling books on camping and canoeing. www.cliffcanoe.com
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