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SNOWMOBILING - USING GPS ON THE TRAILS

How useful is a GPS?
For the snowmobile enthusiast the first big snowfall of winter is exhilarating but with all the excitement and the hill climbing, cornice jumping and flat out racing through a changing terrain it's easy to get lost. A GPS receiver however will help you know exactly where you are and where you're going. It can make long-distance riding especially in unfamiliar territory much easier and safer.

Mark Off Points of Interest
Use a GPS receiver to record your favorite out of the way spots so you can easily return to it with your friends again and again.

Pre-Trip Planning
GPS is great for pre-trip planning. Mark the location of good places to set up camp and mark off dangerous areas that you want to steer clear of or use GPS receivers to determine paths that will cut time off your course. Also use GPS to establish rendezvous coordinates so you can meet up with fellow snowmobilers.

Safety
Avoid traveling solo and try not to go farther out than you can walk back in the time remaining in the day. Traveling more than 10 miles into the wilderness by snowmobile can take less than 20 minutes, yet to cover that same snow on foot or snowshoe could take the better part of a day. And keep in mind the possibility of changing snow and weather conditions. Food, water & appropriate extra clothing, along with survival and signaling gear are useful.

The elements can introduce many variables to throw you off the right direction. A GPS is useful because it allows you to safely and easily navigate your way back even if you get caught in a blizzard and visibility is compromised. If you get in trouble, you can use a GPS unit to communicate your exact position to repair and rescue teams. In the event of accident or injury it's nice to be able to avoid location uncertainties so that you can get quick assistance.

Other safety tools to consider in addition to a good GPS receiver are two way radios and the Kestrel Weather Instruments. This can tell you different things such as wind velocity, wind chill, temperature, etc.

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For more GPS and mapping related resources please visit http://www.mightygps.com

MightyGPS.com delivers GPS navigation solutions, maps, and gear at prices below the manufacturer's suggested retail pricing.
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Contributed by: Dave Rogers

2002

 

 
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