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mainmanwalkin
09-16-2007, 11:00 AM
What are your thoughts on using GPS when ghost town hunting? Personally, I prefer not too, as I think it takes away from the "hunt" aspect of it. If I can just plug in the location coordinates and show when I'm at the exact spot, to me it kills the whole adventure.

I can equate it to going to gem panning locations on a trip to North Carolina many years ago. One spot was pure luck if you found anything, the other one was "seeded" with gems to insure people found something.

I'd rather find something because I found it instead of because I was told I'd find it if I went there.

I can see using GPS to get close to the location, but a good road atlas should do that anyway.

Anyone else have an opinion?

bad bob
09-16-2007, 05:41 PM
What are your thoughts on using GPS when ghost town hunting? Personally, I prefer not too, as I think it takes away from the "hunt" aspect of it. If I can just plug in the location coordinates and show when I'm at the exact spot, to me it kills the whole adventure.

I can equate it to going to gem panning locations on a trip to North Carolina many years ago. One spot was pure luck if you found anything, the other one was "seeded" with gems to insure people found something.

I'd rather find something because I found it instead of because I was told I'd find it if I went there.

I can see using GPS to get close to the location, but a good road atlas should do that anyway.

Anyone else have an opinion?


You pretty much covered my opinion verbatim. Also age may play a large role. For the most part, I believe the younger gt'ers are more apt to use GPS.
My younger brother has one in his pickup, but I was with him on at least 2 occasions, when it told him to go a certain direction, and the place we were heading was in the opposite direction. Not only that, it often drastically miscalibrates the distances of off ramps or turns.

Human error is not likely, since he is somewhat of an experienced "techie", and only has to power it up, then input the intended destination.

I've always used Rand McNAlly and have never been "physically" lost. :D

GaryB
09-16-2007, 07:02 PM
I usually scout out spots on maps, then create a route to them using my GPS and mapping software. Even though all my mapping software has most mine/town locations, I still carry 3 or 4 different maps when I go out. I use the GPS more to log in things I have found, and to record my tracks since mother nature tends to move the roads now and then. I have had all my maps and the GPS show roads that were no longer used or even just plain out dated as to where I was.

It also comes in handy when I pre-run a club run to a site. I can explore all the side spots, see if they're worth it, and when I'm done, weed out the unnecessary stuff. Then I can go back out, follow my old tracks in the GPS and act like I know where I'm going :rolleyes:

I went a long time without a GPS, but I really like having it. It's nice being able to come across a deserted mine and be able to look at the GPS and see the name of it, without having to dig through my maps and books for ten minutes.

ghost_town_huntress
09-16-2007, 09:36 PM
Well considering I don't have a GPS yet I kind of have to go the atlas route. I also have my old ghost town books as guides. I do think it's a lot of fun actually having to look for the town. If I end up getting lost I don't mind because I like the adventure, and I don't usually get lost because I have been gifted with a great sense of direction (knock on wood).

Rachel in Utah ghost_town_hutnress@yahoo.com

Gravelrash
09-16-2007, 11:03 PM
If I end up getting lost I don't mind because I like the adventure, and I don't usually get lost because I have been gifted with a great sense of direction (knock on wood).


I'm with you and Bob here, Rachel, to a degree. I have never used a GPS, and remain open to the idea, but I've managed 50 years without one. I also like the "feel" of relying on maps, for some reason. They are very comforting!
The only time I have been "lost" was at the end of a 42 mile hike and I was only one gully out and not lost in any real way. Just confused and annoyed with myself for about half an hour. I was with my soon-to-be first wife and the egg-on-face was awful hard to bear!
There's a lot to be said for the self-reliance of finding your own way around. I also have a built in sense of direction.... and I like using it!

(I have been hopelessly lost a few times, but not in "the wilds", so I don't really count it.
Bangkok!! That place can mess with your head - severely! Signs everywhere and you can't read a one!)

brian10x
09-17-2007, 04:28 AM
I'm not really that good at using GPS yet, but its helped me several times when I was about to give up and go home.

One time in particular I was looking for the "Mystery Mine" near Gleeson, Arizona, and had all but given up, when my GPS revealed it was just beyond a locked gate. Not good news, but at least I knew where it was suposed to be.

High Desert Drifter
09-18-2007, 10:04 PM
I usually scout out spots on maps, then create a route to them using my GPS and mapping software. Even though all my mapping software has most mine/town locations, I still carry 3 or 4 different maps when I go out. I use the GPS more to log in things I have found, and to record my tracks since mother nature tends to move the roads now and then. I have had all my maps and the GPS show roads that were no longer used or even just plain out dated as to where I was.

It also comes in handy when I pre-run a club run to a site. I can explore all the side spots, see if they're worth it, and when I'm done, weed out the unnecessary stuff. Then I can go back out, follow my old tracks in the GPS and act like I know where I'm going :rolleyes:

I went a long time without a GPS, but I really like having it. It's nice being able to come across a deserted mine and be able to look at the GPS and see the name of it, without having to dig through my maps and books for ten minutes.

Gary has hit the nail on the head on this one! really depends on how you use it, plus consider what type of vehicle you are using. half of my ghost towning is done on atv. can you imagine carrying maps and spreading them over your handle bars every time you change directions... when on atv I use the gps after loading the maps in to it and carry blown up photo copies as back-up. anything less would be senseless!

David A. Wright
09-20-2007, 02:01 PM
Back in the late '90s, a Las Vegas 4x4 club admitted to not being able to find Delamar, Nevada. They had the coordinates for the town plugged into their GPS. They located the cemetery, but not the townsite.

I came along a month later, with a Delorme atlas for Nevada and found the town without any problem. Nice road, too. 2WD all the way.

About six months ago, after a decade of thinking about buying one, I finally gave into buying my first GPS (I'm 54 years old, so I'm no techie kid), a basic Garmin eTrex with no mapping capability.

I generally use it for marking items I want to find again in ghost towns (such as hidden arrastras, other such things) when visiting again instead of wasting a lot of time trying to find them again.

Doing this, I've found items have been moved, removed or badly vandalized since my previous visit. Or I've found that they're still there unmolested since my passing last.

I share those coordinates with local museum curators I know so that they can keep tabs on things also.

I've also found my GPS is nice to have on long trips. Even with no mapping, I've input the coordinates for towns, turns and such into it and then create a route. Starting the trip, I set the GPS into route mode and the Garmin shows a compass with directions, distances and such to the next waypoint in the route. It also prompts for turns and arrival. At the bottom of the compass, I keep the setting in real time altitude mode.

http://www.gbr.4wdtrips.net/trips/t_images/fire011.jpg

A 79 cent suction cup with a hook attached holds up my Garmin in either my Honda CR-V or my Toyota Tacoma 4WD just fine, even on rocky trails.

Gravelrash
10-02-2007, 03:48 PM
You're driving on the wrong side of the road, David!!

caver
10-03-2007, 12:15 AM
Often I don't have paper maps. Even when I do I find I don't use them.
Mapping GPS, Garmin 276C as my primary and a 76C as a backup/handheld in case my primary fails during a trip. I do my homework in the winter for possible places to explore in the future.
I also use ExpertGPS when I want to look at a topo map besides what Garmin Mapsource has to offer.

GS-RON
10-03-2007, 06:49 AM
I use both, I tell peole who ask, "why both?" that one is my 2D nav system and the other is my 3D nav system :D .

My GPS tells me where I am but the map gives me the over-all picture. I also save the sites I find on my GPS which makes going back much easier.

danbo
10-03-2007, 07:28 AM
I have a friend who is a retired ship captain. He tells a funny story
about slaying tuna, 6 days out of San Diego, on a 74 foot sport fisher.
A group of small private boats would shadow them because my
buddy knew how to find the schools of tuna for his clients. While
they're out on a run, the gulf war kicks off. The military "turned
off" the GPS satellites to deny its use by our enemies. The little
boats panic and radio for assistance to get home. It turns out, my
buddy is the only guy who knows where they are and how to get
home with only a chart, compass and sextant. My friend leads the
little boats back into San Diego harbor like a string of ducklings
behind their mother.

I was surprised to learn that the military can and may turn off the
GPS to facilitate their mission.

Moral of the story; If your ever "Ghost towning" 6 days out to sea,
be sure you have a secondary way to navigate.:D

Mikejts
10-03-2007, 05:40 PM
Interesting to read others opinions on this one. I have both but use my maps the most. GPS occasionally.

I also have had vehicles with a navigation system since early 2001. After using that system for years I have stopped the mapping feature and only use it as a map. In other words I no longer enter the destination and follow the directions. I look it up on a map and then go by streets and highway numbers etc.

I know, you are thinking that is nuts. Well maybe it is but I discovered that the more I depended on the navigation system the less I knew about the country I was in and the landmarks. I also discover that I was less likely to know where to go and how to get there. For example I go to the Phoenix area often and I used to know the major streets and how to get around. After using the navgation system for 5 years I was forgetting where major streets and landmarks were located.

Then again maybe I am just getting old and forgetful. What were we talking about? :D

Rattler
10-13-2007, 12:18 PM
Well I have just a simple Garmin Etrex like Mr. Wright. (I also have a Tacoma like Mr. Wright). I am looking to move up to one with mapping abilities. I help map out areas for our 4 wheel drive association to give to the DNR and USFS in order to help keep some areas open. I do like the adventure of the simpler one of loading coords in and trying to find them without a built in map. I use something like GeoBuddy for uploading.

Plus I ALWAYS have my trusty gazeteer and a compass.

I would like to move up to a Garmin 60csx or 76csx. I would consider the Delorme Earthmate PN-20 too but its not as compatible with everyone else's.

Gravelrash
10-13-2007, 01:57 PM
I help map out areas for our 4 wheel drive association to give to the DNR and USFS in order to help keep some areas open.

That's a great idea. Seems to me that if "they" know there's activity/interest they might not be so gung-ho about closing areas off??? Could be wrong, as it's a bureaucracy/system I don't know but I think that would work a treat were I live. Great idea - I think GPS might be selling itself to me.

Rattler
10-13-2007, 02:17 PM
The USFS and DNR are pretty receptive to what we want but aren't. I won't go into details here.

The Land Use Commitee(I am a member) chairman in our group does a ton of work for the association. He says he will fight for every inch of trail and I believe him. He does a lot of footwork and meeting atteendance on the assocaition's behalf.

Here is my group:

http://www.glfwda.org/

LauraA
10-14-2007, 06:43 AM
There are a lot of really good groups out there like the one Rattler is active in, most states and/or regions have them. The only way to get our views known is to become involved.
If you don't want to join a group, here's another way. Although, I believe that group efforts are more effective because the "powers that be" respond best to people in quantity (votes)
Good group Rattler!

ADDRESSES: Send comments in writing by mail to USDA-Forest Service--CAT, Attention: Roadless ANPR Comments, P.O. Box 221090, Salt Lake
City, Utah, 84122; via electronic mail to roadless_anpr@fs.fed.us (roadless_anpr@fs.fed.us); or via facsimile to 1-801-296-4090, Attention: Roadless ANPR Comments. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying at Salt Lake City, Utah.

bad bob
10-14-2007, 12:50 PM
My brother Mike in AZ is currently finalizing a prototype for the next generation in GPS devices.
Once patented, it should quickly make all other devices obsolete. Advanced orders for this new system will be at the sacrificed low price of only $2398 each. Afterward, if there are any left, they will be stocked out at $2400 each, and as you can see, are just in time for the holidays. :D

speedy
10-15-2007, 05:37 AM
I think that even I could operate that device.........Speedy

Gravelrash
10-15-2007, 01:12 PM
My brother Mike in AZ is currently finalizing a prototype for the next generation in GPS devices.
Once patented, it should quickly make all other devices obsolete. Advanced orders for this new system will be at the sacrificed low price of only $2398 each. Afterward, if there are any left, they will be stocked out at $2400 each, and as you can see, are just in time for the holidays. :D

If you flip them over, will they work in Oz??
I'll take a pair and you can start by deducting the $3.68 I won from Sandra!

bad bob
10-15-2007, 05:17 PM
If you flip them over, will they work in Oz??
I'll take a pair and you can start by deducting the $3.68 I won from Sandra!



No, but if ya flip them over ya can call the nearest Aborigine by using it as a drum. And you can have a pair if you want, but ya really only need one. Lesse now...with your discount and minus the $3.68 (which I thought was going toward fuel), your balance is $4.24 :D

Gravelrash
10-15-2007, 09:08 PM
No, but if ya flip them over ya can call the nearest Aborigine by using it as a drum. And you can have a pair if you want, but ya really only need one. Lesse now...with your discount and minus the $3.68 (which I thought was going toward fuel), your balance is $4.24 :D

Hey Bob - you're up early!
I'll take a pair - time payment? They do look useful. I can use them as wedges under my wheelchair when I get bogged!
Serving plates for jaffles.
The sky really is the limit.

bad bob
10-15-2007, 09:51 PM
Hey Bob - you're up early!
I'll take a pair - time payment? They do look useful. I can use them as wedges under my wheelchair when I get bogged!
Serving plates for jaffles.
The sky really is the limit.



10:48 Monday nite here. Gotta go paint inside tomorrow morning.

Ping pong paddles......, yep 1001 uses.

GaryB
10-16-2007, 12:07 PM
Gotta go paint inside tomorrow morning.



Remember to open the windows this time! :p

bad bob
10-16-2007, 06:53 PM
Remember to open the windows this time! :p


Nah, that takes all the fun outta it. :)

Gravelrash
10-16-2007, 09:55 PM
Nah, that takes all the fun outta it. :)
It doesn't help if you open the window - the cause is still in the car!
Ah, the joys of increasing old age. Flatulence is better than incontinence though!

(note to self - don't eat beans in America.....)

ghcoe
10-17-2007, 02:44 PM
I use a old magellan 315 and topozone.com for my map coords. It is uncanny how accurate these things can be. Once I build my routes into the unit I never need to look at a map. I still bring maps with me for backup. Most of my driving is in the desert where it is hard to get landmarks that will work for you. Also there are roads that go everywhere out there and even with good maps with roads and contures you are guessing. The GPS walks me right into where I want to go. Looking at a map might just confuse you.

Gravelrash
10-17-2007, 03:23 PM
I use a old magellan 315 and topozone.com for my map coords. It is uncanny how accurate these things can be. Once I build my routes into the unit I never need to look at a map. I still bring maps with me for backup. Most of my driving is in the desert where it is hard to get landmarks that will work for you. Also there are roads that go everywhere out there and even with good maps with roads and contures you are guessing. The GPS walks me right into where I want to go. Looking at a map might just confuse you.

The more I look at places like Death Valley, the more this sounds like good advice. I think you've won me over. Death Valley without GPS - interesting thought for a novice!!:eek:
I've recently been reading articles about some German tourists whose bones are out there, bleaching. Not the holiday I have in mind.

mainmanwalkin
10-21-2007, 07:04 AM
For ghosttowning I still prefer Road Atlases, but I can recall one instance where a GPS would have been a big help.

Years back I was in central Florida, in the scarcely populated non-Disney part of the state, looking for an address out in the Ocala farmlands. It was cold and rainy and the sun was almost fully set. I didnt even have a road atlas actually, just a piece of paper with handwritten directions to the place. Me being a guy I kept resisting to ask someone for directions.

Finally after driving in the rain and darkness for about an hour I stopped at a supermarket to get some help. I asked about six different people, however no one there had heard of the place, the road leading to it, or the development it was in (Ocala had just started building new homes all over the woods back then)

So I start driving again, completely lost, then thought about what I always hear on tv: go to a gas station, they can give you directions. I get there and the lady behind the counter points me over to the maps. I get one out and start looking at it, then realize "This map wont help me because I dont know where I am!"