Redback Aviation's online store for homebuilt, ultralight, kit, personal and experimental helicopters - Electronics - GPS & Navigation.
Often the most difficult part is to decide which GPS whether a TomTom, Garmin GPS or Magellan you will find all the best brand GPS models right here. Car GPS navigation has been one of the fastest technological advances in the benefit of the GPS satellite. While it offers many uses from aviation and nautical navigation, bushwalking and modern orienteering,
This palm-sized compact GPS personal locator enables you to mark and log three separate locations.
The simple-to-use design allows you to mark a point by simply holding down the 'Mark' button for a couple of seconds and away you go. It provides three separate location icons symbolised by a house, car and a star. It allows you to choose an icon to represent a feature that you decide you want to mark. For instance, you can use the house symbol to represent your base camp, the car symbol to represent the carpark or access point to the reserve where you left your car, and the star to represent that special point of interest that you would like to navigate back to. A simple press of the 'Mode/Power' button lets you easily scroll between your marked locations, allowing easy backtracking.
Although this little unit would be at home in the bush helping you get back to your base camp, it would also be a useful tool to assist locating of your car in a large busy carpark or finding your way back to your hotel when on holidays in a city unfamiliar to you. You could even use it at crowded music festivals to get back to the spot where your friends are sitting down relaxing.
The unit weighs only 85g, which includes a lanyard to hang the device around your neck. A backlight feature enables clear navigation in lowlight conditions. The 'Compass' mode allows the user to take bearings using a self-calibrating digital compass.
The Bushnell BackTrack GPS personal locator is retailing for around $135 and would be a great addition to the hunter's kit. You will never get lost again.
Decisions regarding whether to adopt new technology or not need to be based on more than just concerns about price. Sure, new technology often needs to be 're-tuned' and adjusted to a variety of conditions before it renders the best service, but once these steps have been completed, there is no excuse not to adopt it.
Having been introduced to the outdoors in the days when navigation, direction finding and location was only achieved by using a map and compass, you can probably guess that I was slow to adopt a GPS receiver into my bush gear. It has been many years since I made that first dramatic step into the present, but now, I hardly ever venture into the scrub without a GPS receiver as part of my kit.
And yes, I still take the map and compass along because there is nothing like a quality compass for taking bearings on distant objects, and I like to be able to 'read' on paper the terrain through which I am hunting - and then compare it to what I am travelling through 'on the ground' as it were. Having the GPS in my kit - or more often in my hand - certainly keeps me informed about where I am, but it does nothing for anyone who might be looking for me. What is needed then is another piece of kit.
Our hunting group has small hand-held two-way radios so that the party can keep in regular contact with each other while hunting in cell phones can be great support tools too, but huge areas of America have poor telephone reception. scrub or very hilly landscapes.
The main drawback of these inexpensive pieces of safety gear is their short range and requirement for 'line-of-sight' contact (or nearly so), but I consider them essential pieces of kit for many of the places where we hunt, especially when we are widely spread across the shrublands where we pursue feral goats. With luck and in the suitable conditions, they may contact the station homestead, but two-ways are not foolproof.
Cell phones can be great support tools too, but huge areas of America have poor telephone reception. There are both encouraging and disappointing aspects to relying on mobile phones for communication and their built-in GPS capacity - despite their ability to find a restaurant and make a booking for you!
What has come to the fore in the past few years is the emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) used principally at sea, and the personal locator beacon (PLB) used more for bushwalking. I have added an inexpensive PLB to my bush gear and so have my three regular hunting mates. Both EPIRBs and PLBs report via satellites to the hosting authority and are independent of telephone networks. They send the position of the unit and presumably the location of the person carrying it. This is something that the GPS does not do, and it is a difficult task to accomplish with a mobile phone when lying injured in the scrub.
At a coronial inquiry into the death of a prospector who had become lost and perished in Northern America recently, the police officer in charge of coordinating search and rescue operations recommended that persons going into remote areas should carry and use a PLB. He said that extensive searches over almost two weeks had resulted in finding the deceased, but, in another instance when the person was carrying a PLB and was reported to be missing, it had taken just four hours to locate the victim and have a rescue team at his side.
There have been suggestions by police and national parks authorities that it might be worthwhile making it mandatory to carry one of these devices in certain circumstances. My recommendation is that before this happens, hunters should become acquainted with one of these useful and potentially life-saving devices...and don't forget the extra batteries!