Using the Global Positioning System

With the availability of such sophisticated devices, it is always easy to know where you are in order to find your way back or to tell your exact coordinates to a search party. However, there is no use carrying the GPS with you if you do not know how to use the system properly. You should know how to give a position reading, know how to store and list way-point positions so that you can find your way back or give directions to where you are and know how to read the track back directions.

It is important to know that a GPS antenna may not be able to catch a good signal when it is under large trees that are full of foliage. While the GPS accuracy is fairly good otherwise, you also need to know that the GPS satellites are controlled by the US Department of Defense. This agency can degrade the accuracy of the signals and the results in case there is adequate reason to do so for the security of the nation. The assessment states that while you may have accuracy up to 10 meters for 95% of the time an accuracy of 5 meters is obtained only 50% of the times.

If you have a GPS that is old and does not handle UTM or Universal Transverse Mercator, you will need to use latitude and longitude and make the conversions. Make sure that you pick the way point positions carefully so that you are able to track back when required.



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