National Park

Take in the Beauty of Yosemite, but Take a GPS, Will You?

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Apart from the climber’s dream of scaling El Capitan, there are a number of treasures in Yosemite, from scintillating scenery to impressive rock pools known to cool down climbers after a strenuous climb. Yet, what campers don’t know about Yosemite, is that it also happens to be one of the prime locations for campers to go missing. This is not just the Average Joe looking to crack his fingers on his first outdoor climb. This includes salted climbers and hikers who have a number of years of tracking trails and scaling mountains. So how do the outdoorsy types wrangle their way through Yosemite without becoming Big Foot’s playmate? A careful selection of nerd-friendly gadgets, we say. And to kick it off old school style, there are some pretty neat cartography skills to go along with it. 

Choose Those Gadgets Wisely

Although modern smartphones have instant access to various GPS functionalities and location trackers, these are not always effective. Not only do phones have a limited range in Yosemite (even with the GPS function activated), the battery life is also questionable. An investment in a proper GPS device will allow users far greater range and longer use. Solar chargers and smart backpacks will allow the battery life of the device to go that much further.

Keep Manual Score

It only takes a few minutes to jot down a few notes and figures in order to get the hang of locations. It is vital for a camper or hiker who heads out into the wild to do proper research of the area. Yosemite is known to have some neat resting spots and recharge stations, however, in bad weather, everything can look the same. A manual map is also a good investment to ensure that landmarks and other important aspects of the area are taken note of. Knowing a GPS location is not enough. Users will need to be able to relate the coordinates to key places in order to get to safety. The manual for a GPS device also offers quite a bit of advice.

Learn How To Read the Map

In order to become a successful navigator, travelers will need to develop an eye for the finer details of a map. Yosemite is known for its stunning vistas, valleys, and peaks. But these only make sense on a map when the climber is able to differentiate between them. In fact, it’s crucial that those who call the great outdoors their second home familiarize themselves with map speak. These things make it easier to pinpoint current location and distance when used with a compass and/or GPS device. Furthermore, a copy of the map and the chosen route should also be left with a friend in the event of an emergency.

photo by Vashishtha Jogi

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