GPS Pre-Use Quizcheck
Until you feel confident in what kind of gps you want to buy and how to use a gps in the field, take the following yes/no quiz. Easiest way would be to download and print the quiz andre-take it from time to time to assess your current skills, take stock of your skillset, and to continue to ask yourself how your expectations of how you will use your gps changes over time.

1. You can accurately read waypoint and bailout latitudes and longitudes from NOAA charts, commercially-published reprints, USGS topographic maps, and understand the notational differences between the two.

yes no

2. You can accurately enter waypoint and bailout latitudes and longitudes into your gps or have a vetted source where you can download coordinates.

yes no

3. You can stitch waypoints together with your gps to create a route.

yes no

4. You know how to program your gps to show the distance and heading between your current position, distant waypoints and pre-determined emergency bailouts.

yes no

5. You understand that activating a GOTO on your gps will tell you how to travel to a waypoint from your gps’s present position (which requires full satellite hookup) or from the last place your gps took a position, which could be miles from where you’re located.

yes no

6. Describe the numerous ways you can use a gps in an emergency, including in fog, to compensate for tidal set and drift, at night, or to coordinate a rescue via VHF radio with the Coast Guard or a local harbormaster.

Practical considerations:

7. How many waypoints can your gps store?

8. How many routes can your gps store?

9. Your gps is waterproof and won’t be damaged by saltwater’s corrosive effects.

10. If you answer “NO” to the above, can your gps’s buttons and toggles be manipulated if your store your gps in a waterproof water-sac?

11. If you answer “NO” to #9 or #10 above, describe how you plan to protect and use your gps while you’re onwater, in the rain, or in seas that break over your foredeck.

12. List below the various difficulties you currently have operating your gps (reading coordinates accurately from charts, for example, or entering data accurately and doing “button work”; using your gps’s various nav screens with real understanding, etc. ).

12. You see yourself as an “always-on” gps user who’d rather look at the gps screen than the countryside, boats, weather or coastline around you.

yes no

13. You see yourself as a “the-less-used-the-better-and-only-in-a-jam-at-that”gps user.

yes no

14. Percentage chance that you’ll use your gps for anything other than sharpening your chart-reading skills, personal amusement in no-risk situations, or for the strange satisfaction that comes from knowing how to use the latest piece of outdoors equipment:

0%…………..25%………….50%………….75%………….100%

(circle one)

15. If you circled 50% or better for #14 above, describe how you plan to use your gps: in what kinds of situations and for what kinds of purposes.

To read more about the outdoors, see my media-rich blogs North American Kayak Fishing and Sea Kayaking Dot Net

Will be raffling my new The PNW Ultralight Backpack next week! This is in partnership with the current brand Im working with so please be in touch for details!