Written by Brian Andrews Friday, 13 November 2009 12:22
In the past 4 years I’ve been through quite a few compasses. They’re not something I use a lot, and not something I know particularly that much about, but they are an absolute necessity for outdoor enthusiasts. I’ve been through a handful of cheap ones, as well as several costly ones from famous manufacturers and haven’t quite had one that worked out for me. This is mostly because of the environment my compass is subjected to. I live at 6,600 ft elevation and work at 8,150 feet above sea level.
Take a few moments to jump in and learn some compass navigations tips and tricks and check out two prominent baseplate style compasses from Brunton and Suunto! Breaking from tradition, we've got a pic-heavy article to help with the learning process, but be ready for a detail overload!
I have a true love of gadgetry, especially where it's some type of mult-function device that allows usage on its own, but also transports your information to a home computer as well or has some extended versatility in some other way. That's what led me to my acquisition of the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. A primary example of what I'm talking about with regard to a multi-function device is my almost three year old Verizon Wireless XV6700 Windows Mobile Phone. First, and foremost, it's a phone. Then it's a phone that's really a computer with cool programs to listen to and watch media, manage your contacts, and host your personal calendar of appointments and events. Beyond that, you can get a data plan and that's where it really gets interesting. You can not only surf the internet, you can hook the phone up to your laptop and use it as a broadband modem sucking down EVDO packets at a very quick clip. Pretty good so far, right? Add a couple of more programs, and we're running pro photography software on it including slideshows, calculating job estimates, and uploading files via FTP to my website. No kidding. I was amazed when I found out that I could upload and download files from my website and could instantly make changes on the site without being at home on my computer. Incredible.
During PWYP VII, Care and I decided that we were going to finally take some time to test my collection of PSK sized whistles to see how they performed. After a fruitless search to borrow a decibel (db) meter, I finally broke down and bought one for the tests. I settled on a Radio Shack db meter and packed it with the whistles for the trip to North Carolina. The tests were conducted on Chestnut Mountain, NC – out in the woods with all of the ambient noises you’d experience in the field, not in some sound chamber. The decibel meter was set up 4’ from the whistle. Each whistle was blown three times, with each reading recorded by Care. The averages are seen in the following chart. Later, we recruited Jeremy, Rebecca and Emma (the J, R and E of JRE Industries fame) to help out. We had each of them test the whistles in similar fashion and we recorded the results as before. Their averages are also displayed below.