Which LF photographers know how to get around in the woods w/o batteries?
That is, locate point A and point B on a paper map & travel between them w/ a compass?
If you hike the woods w/ your LF gear, do you think it’s an “important” skill anymore? Or is this just for “old-fashioned people” who distrust fancy electronics and like to think of themselves as true mountain men?
(If you’re short on time, please find your way to the final dashed line below – just don’t get lost. )
― ― ― ― ―
Out on the trail – or when traveling cross-country – I used to meet people all the time who used (or carried w/ them) a traditional compass and USGS quad map … or another topo map whose scale was no worse than, say, 1:64,000. Instantly, they could pinpoint their location on the map & orient it in relation to their physical surroundings; interpret elevation lines; even correct for “magnetic declination” – a significant 17 or 18 degrees (East) in my part of the world.
Today – at least in my local woods – all this is a rare sight indeed. (And I mean both on the well-marked trail, and well off it.) Instead, it’s commonly no tool at all (and few recognizable orientation skills); or more rarely – but certainly growing more common all the time – a sophisticated piece of battery-driven gadgetry w/ an impressive (if abstract) knowledge about button pushing, satellite reception, useful applications, and available downloads.
It’s one extreme or the other.
My sense is that today’s most common perception is that map-and-compass orientation is unnecessarily difficult (or “primitive,” and prone to error), and that other electronic tools are unnecessarily expensive. “Besides,” these people ask, “aren’t trails supposed to keep you from getting lost?”
Steadily overtaking this perception is the one from hikers who do carry the sophisticated-and-usually-expensive gadget, and believe it’s absolutely necessary to maximize one’s safety in the woods. “Map and compass are better than nothing,” they say, “but why cut corners w/ old tools & manual skills when your personal safety is at stake?”
(No comment about those who believe a cell phone or iphone is all you need in a pinch to get the search-and-rescue people on the move – that’s another thread.)
― ― ― ― ―
Tell us – if you’re a photographer who explores deep into the land, what’s your view about keeping track of your whereabouts & ensuring that you can find your way back? If you can afford the latest technology and know how to use it, does familiarity w/ map and compass matter anymore?