Gps|good Or Bad When Shtf

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by Colorado Prepper, Mar 20, 2019.

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  1. Colorado Prepper

    Colorado Prepper Expert Member
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    GPS is good! Now, before you all come running at me with fire and pitch forks, let me say, it is always a good idea to have a topographical map, AND the knowledge of how to read and translate it correctly. As a back up to your GPS of course. Everyone that is going to read this has some old smart phone or tablet that works just fine but was either replaced with a newer version or just isn't compatible with todays newer aps. I get it, I'm there too. There's no need to pretend you are Grizzly Adams' better looking twin brother to be a survivalist. Use offline GPS. Go grab that old device, wipe it and return it to factory settings. Then go download an offline GPS app. There are a few. What it does is, you download a current map of the entire US of A and store it on the device itself, (its a big file, but it can handle it cause you're not using it for pictures anymore) Then the app allows your phone to use its own internal sensors to guide you through the map. And you might be rolling your eyes right now thinking, that that isn't reliable, but I'm here to tell you; yes, it, is. It is very reliable and accurate. All that is required is a calibration every few days. Which by the way, is as simple as tapping a button that says "calibrate" and rotating the device on its X and Y axis a few times. I had the same pretensions about using it too. I was going on a wheeling trip with some of my buddies and the trail was known for not having ANY signal what so ever. So I downloaded the offline GPS map app just to test it out. And I can tell you that the sensors on your device know exactly how fast you are going, know when you make a turn and keep up with elevation with such precision, you will forget that it isn't real GPS. It even mapped the trail we took through the woods, and gave me the option to name it and store it. You can use it like regular GPS too. It knows all the addresses, just type it in and off you go. Now pair this set up with a solar phone charger and you have yourself a reliable, fine navigation tool not too many know about. So if you treat your device with the same amount of respect you would a paper map, it will be around for a long while.
     
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  2. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    I am not a techie person. In fact they tease me at work that I am the only person they know who uses a burn phone for real. BUT!!! the through hikers swear by their GPS devices. Looking at some of the You Tube videos you don't know where in the heck they are. How they stay on the trail is mind boggling. They have aps on their phones that are pinpoint accurate, and they would never leave home without them. I will trust their knowledge is far better than mine.

    Question, and I know this is a stretch, but what happens if the Grid goes down, or there are serious power outages? Do the devices still work?
     
  3. Colorado Prepper

    Colorado Prepper Expert Member
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    The only thing you really have to worry about would be an EMP. But if the grid goes down for extended periods, you're good. Just so long as you have the solar option to charge the battery. BUT there are two differences. The pocket GPSs are true to their names. They need the satellites to stay operational. And if the grid stays down for months or years, those satellite orbits will decay because they get their course correction commands from the ground. And it only takes an orbit decay of mere inches before you would start to see great inaccuracies with GPS products, rendering them useless. The offline GPS option I think is best for longevity shtf purposes. It doesn't require external signal of any kind. Just keep charging the battery in the sun with your solar charger every day, and you'll have an interactive map that can guide you to any place in the US. So, to answer the question directly, yes, they still work after the grid goes down. True GPS will work for a few months to a few years depending on a lot of factors, and the other offline GPS will work until your device poops the bed.
     
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  4. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Some App recommendations would be nice for us non-techie / semi Techie. Thanks ,it is some thing to look into for sure.
     
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  5. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    non techie for me post SHTF, cant be certain that any of it will work post SHTF so I plan to go primitive, basic in my set up.
     
  6. Colorado Prepper

    Colorado Prepper Expert Member
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    Here are some titles for apps I found in Google Play when I searched for "offline GPS". Offline Maps & Navigation, Offline GPS, Sygic GPS Navigation & Maps, HERE WeGo, the list goes on and on. It may take some trial and error because some work well with some devices, others, not so much. There are so many choices you can honestly pick one that you like the best, not just from ones that work. I picked one for my old Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet. It can't update the version of Android to anything newer than what it has right now, and that version is antiquated, so I was forced to retire it. So I turned it into my offline GPS/ music streaming box.
     
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  7. Colorado Prepper

    Colorado Prepper Expert Member
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    So let me lay this hypothetical scenario out there. Say someone holds a land-nav competition and the prize is a buried thousand bucks. There are 2 competitors, a 10 year old boy with offline GPS and a fundamentalist map user. The competition starts and the judge gives the competitors the Grid Coordinates and boom!, the 10 year old boy is off and running before the map guy can even unroll his map. This is the difference between a horse and buggy compared to a 4x4 suv. But in this case, you can still carry a horse and buggy with you for a back up... ya know, incase you drive a Ford. :p
     
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  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    a thousand bucks isn't going to do any good after SHTF(and the thread heading IS after SHTF):rolleyes:
     
  9. Colorado Prepper

    Colorado Prepper Expert Member
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    Right you are good sir.
     
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  10. Alaskajohn

    Alaskajohn Expert Member
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    My dad taught me how to navigate by the stars and terrain as primary and map and compass as a fallback navigation system back in the 60s/70s. His theory for this order was that you may not always have a map and compass. The military taught me how to use a map and compass and to terrain associate using the map and compass as we would be operating on a unfamiliar battlefield in any war. GPS navigational aides were just coming to age when I stopped playing GI Joe, so I never had professional training in its use.

    Other than using GPS for navigating in unfamiliar cities or for marking precise locations while fishing/hunting, I’ve almost never used them for orienteering. GPS certainly has its uses, and I should probably get more proficient at using it. I just haven’t really needed it other than for specific applications. If it goes away, I’ll be fine. It might be harder to find my favorite fishing spot off of Montague Island.
     
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