What To Know When Buying A GPSWritten by Chuck Fitzgerald
Why are GPS units showing up everywhere? You might find one in your rental car, on your wristwatch or even built into your wireless phone. Anti-theft systems use one, heavy construction equipment might use one and having one on your boat now seems to be a requirement. Anytime we want to know our exact location on face of Earth, GPS becomes indispensable. Like many other technologies, feature rich GPS units are now affordable for average person. So how do you know which one to purchase? Letís look at few things to consider prior to buying your next GPS unit, but first, what is a GPS unit?
A GPS (Global Positioning System) unit has primary function of calculating its own location on land or water by using satellite signals. Once GPS unit knows its own location, it can help user determine direction and distance to other known locations. For instance, a GPS on a boat can tell captain how far it is to shoreline or how far it is to a favorite fishing spot. For outdoor sportsman a GPS can help with finding your campsite, your vehicle or your next geocache. Popular outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, trail running, backpacking, rock climbing, canyoneering and canoeing are all made more enjoyable and safer when you take along your GPS.
When buying a GPS system first thing to consider is how you intend to use it. If you plan on using it while on foot, youíll want a GPS that is lightweight, compact, weather resistant and that is equipped with features important to foot travel. WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) is one such feature. WAAS greatly increases accuracy of your GPS, in most cases to within 10 feet. Accuracy within a few meters is important for outdoor enthusiast but not nearly as important for navigating through town in your rental car. Next, be sure your GPS has at least 12 channels of reception too. Since your GPS will only work when it receives signals from satellites orbiting Earth, less than 12 receiving channels will not get job done in wooded areas or in steep terrain. If you plan on using your GPS to navigate while driving in your car, its weight is not nearly as important as its ability to display street maps. The GPS mounted to dash of your truck probably doesnít need to be weatherproof, but one on your boat better be.
My Perfect CampsiteWritten by Chuck Fitzgerald
Itís time of year to beat heat and head for higher elevation. For many people that means loading up RV, grabbing boat and finding a campground by lake. My idea for perfect getaway means loading truck with our camping gear and our two Labrador Retrievers and getting as far away from pavement as we can get. While these two styles are quite different, they are both perfect. Letís take a look at what makes a campsite perfect for meóand perhaps for you.
To start with, there are two general types of campsites, first being established campsites. These campgrounds exist for all sorts of campers and their camping equipment ranging from large motor homes to small designated patches of grass for bicyclists. Finding this type of campsite is fairly easy to do. On internet, one can find hundreds of informational websites with campground information for virtually any area on planet. Favorite campgrounds are typically found in national, state and county park systems and are available for a nominal daily fee. They are usually found near natural features such as lakes, rivers and scenic areas. Campgrounds often cater to specific types of campers, for instance some campgrounds are kid and pet friendly while others are not. There are many advantages to established campgrounds such as running water, electricity, activities and other modern conveniences. With minimal research, you should be able to find perfect campground for you or your group.
A second general type of campsite is referred to as a primitive campsite. As name implies, you wonít find any of todayís modern conveniences at a primitive site and to those who prefer this type of camping, thatís whole point. Primitive camping is my favorite way to camp. Some primitive campers carry everything on their backs and set up camp when they are done hiking for day. I like to drive right up to my primitive camp site so that I can take along a few of my favorite things. In either case here are few things I consider when looking for perfect primitive site. Number one is shelter. Shelter from wind, rain, sun, noise and other campers are important to me. I also want a spot that is elevated, level, durable and clean. I donít care much for insects and I enjoy a nice fire in evenings.