Woman & 10-Year-Old Rescued After Being Confused By North Flowing Rivers in WY/CO

Woman & 10-Year-Old Rescued After Being Confused By North Flowing Rivers in WY/CO

roger
roger

June 4th, 2002, 2:13 pm #1

Norma Super didn't know anyone in Wyoming before she set out on a two-day backpacking trip with her 10-year-old daughter on May 25.
But after being lost in the wilderness straddling the Colorado-Wyoming border for five days, Super felt at home.

Being new to the West was one reason they became lost on a Memorial Day weekend trip during which they hoped to spot bighorn sheep.
In the East, most rivers flow north to south, Super explained.
In the Encampment River Wilderness, where the two became lost, the river flows south to north.
"I followed it the wrong way," Super said.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/den/new ... 10625.html
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patrick
patrick

June 4th, 2002, 2:24 pm #2

learn to use a map and compass before a GPS. I doubt she is an experienced backpacker. Ahhh......the bell curve.
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Dan
Dan

June 5th, 2002, 1:40 pm #3

Where in the article did it mention she used a GPS?

Doesn't staying alive for 4-days and having some precautions count for something?

Lastly, why is a compass and map any better than a GPS? I carry both, but a GPS w/ extra batteries is a much more efficient navigational tool than a map and compass. Ever tried breaking out a map and compass during a driving snow storm? GPS is simple, just grab it, push the illumination button and follow the arrow.
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patrick
patrick

June 5th, 2002, 2:25 pm #4

GPS is fine.The gold standard in the backountry is a map and compass and the knowledge to use them. GPS needs batteries,and batteries eventually reach equilibrium.

It was stated at the end of the article, the next time she went into the wilderness she would take GPS.

In the southern Appalachains I use a map and compass. I guess I should get a GPS. Off trail down here requires more than a GPS. Lots of Rhodos, laurel, blowdowns, etc. I spent 9 hours in the Great Smokies going cross country, following a crooked ridge. Miles of blowdowns and laurel hells. Would a GPS have helped, maybe, but I doubt it. One has to be able to read a map and read the land.

I've heard too many stories about people in the Smokies calling the NPS because thay are lost. They know their GPS coordinates but they don't know where they are(they didn't bring a map) These people have a cell phone and a GPS, what they really need is a map and the sense to use it.

What someone uses in the woods is up to them, but one has to use something. For me a GPS may be another great tool ....in certain situations. I'm just saying batteries die and a map/compass doesn't use batteries
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Dan
Dan

June 5th, 2002, 5:18 pm #5

I agree with most of your points.

People lost with a GPS that know where they are, but don't know how to get where they need to be, misused the equipment (i.e. didn't waypoint there start or end point). No different then someone with a map that doesn't know how to read it.

Each equipment has its pros and cons. I just know for a fact that trying to read a map and compass when the wind is blowing 50 mph and it is snowing at the rate of 3 inches an hour is not easy. Your point about terrain is acceptable though, as knowing that where I need to be is straight north doesn't mean that I can navigate that way due to vegatation or cliffs. That's preventable using several GPS techiniques, which I'll spare you all on for now.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

June 5th, 2002, 6:24 pm #6

Where in the article did it mention she used a GPS?

Doesn't staying alive for 4-days and having some precautions count for something?

Lastly, why is a compass and map any better than a GPS? I carry both, but a GPS w/ extra batteries is a much more efficient navigational tool than a map and compass. Ever tried breaking out a map and compass during a driving snow storm? GPS is simple, just grab it, push the illumination button and follow the arrow.
One of the comments in the story was that the search aircraft didn't spot them because they were in heavy forest much of the time.

I can tell you from experience that cover heavy enough to hide you from an aircraft will almost certainly prevent a GPS from getting a lock on the satellites, even more so in rough country with deep valleys.

The GPS is a very useful tool, and I carry mine with me regularly. However, I would never consider heading into the wilds, especially into an unknown (to me) area like they did without the appropriate topo quad(s) and my compass.
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Jeff Macey
Jeff Macey

June 6th, 2002, 12:09 am #7

Where in the article did it mention she used a GPS?

Doesn't staying alive for 4-days and having some precautions count for something?

Lastly, why is a compass and map any better than a GPS? I carry both, but a GPS w/ extra batteries is a much more efficient navigational tool than a map and compass. Ever tried breaking out a map and compass during a driving snow storm? GPS is simple, just grab it, push the illumination button and follow the arrow.
I recently bought a GPS and have found it practically useless. I hike around Southern Washington and Northern Oregon and as soon as you get a couple of trees, it loses signal. At the trailheads and at viewpoints are the only times I get a signal. It's the same with the cell phone, almost every hike is in a no signal area. I'll keep using the GPS though, because it costs so much and it does show elevation the whole time.
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John G
John G

June 6th, 2002, 2:38 am #8

I've had two different Magellan units, and both work fine in trees. They do work better in clearings, or away from cliff walls, but you can still get signals.

A GPS unit is only a tool. It's a very useful tool, but a tool nonetheless. I love mine, but I wouldn't think about going into a wilderness with just the GPS, and no map. In reality, the GPS is just a very fancy and expensive compass. You still need the map to figure out where it is you need to go.

Put it this way...would you go into the wilderness with just a compass and no map? No.
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Bill Havanas
Bill Havanas

June 6th, 2002, 10:51 am #9

Norma Super didn't know anyone in Wyoming before she set out on a two-day backpacking trip with her 10-year-old daughter on May 25.
But after being lost in the wilderness straddling the Colorado-Wyoming border for five days, Super felt at home.

Being new to the West was one reason they became lost on a Memorial Day weekend trip during which they hoped to spot bighorn sheep.
In the East, most rivers flow north to south, Super explained.
In the Encampment River Wilderness, where the two became lost, the river flows south to north.
"I followed it the wrong way," Super said.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/den/new ... 10625.html
The article said she was from Western PA were the Monongahela and Youghiogheny flow south to north and the
Allegheny and Ohio flow north to south. All major rivers.

Telling North from South is easy enough even without a compass or GPS, watch which way the Sun rises and sets.

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patrick
patrick

June 6th, 2002, 12:43 pm #10

The New river, one of the oldest in the world, flows north out of NC, into Va and West Va, where it joins the Gauley, and becomes the Kanawha.

Way up in Canada I think the Columbia flows north for a bit.
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