Is a GPS the only navigation tool I need?

A GPS unit is only a tool that will compliment your navigation skills and other tools!

If you are lost in the wilderness and you pull a new GPS out of the box, insert batteries and read the manual, you will still be lost.  (RMRU has rescued people in this exact situation.)  A GPS unit is not not a replacement for a map and compass.

At a minimum, you will have needed to prepare by doing one of the following:

  • Bring a map and compass and know how to use them (the compass is optional if the GPS has a digital compass built in).

  • Turned the GPS on and let it track your route as you hiked so you can follow you path back.

  • Entered waypoints for known locations like trailheads, camps, ranger stations, etc..

Doing any of the above (preferably all) will be the only thing that helps you when it is time to use the GPS.