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Why Humans Get Lost
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Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Why Humans Get Lost on 03/11/2013 23:10:48 MDT Print View

Nothing groundbreaking, but an interesting and short article about humans' navigation abilities (or lack thereof):

Edit: actually, the linked article within the story above is really interesting, about 4 lost Germans in Death Valley.

Edited by saparisor on 03/11/2013 23:30:57 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/12/2013 01:51:47 MDT Print View

That is an interesting article, good for about two cups of coffee if you like to read. The beginning is kind of sad, but then the end is kind of empty.


Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/12/2013 19:38:36 MDT Print View

Pretty amazing how he kept finding more stuff at the site on future visits.

Also amazing he how got "lucky" on the Norman Cox find.

Wonder if his latest hunch to find Bill in Joshua Tree after 2+ years will pan out.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/12/2013 22:17:24 MDT Print View

Thanks. That was a really interesting read (with just enough creepiness to be a good bedtime story!).

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/13/2013 12:26:49 MDT Print View

thats what smartphones and GPS are for ...

who needs those obsolete maps and compasses ... or any other outdoor skills

just the shiny new gear that will never fail ;)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/13/2013 15:05:04 MDT Print View

I'm not sure they could/would figure out how to use a smartphone or a GPS.

A PLB is the only way to go:

"Come and get me, regardless of what I have (or haven't) done."

Just one button for a free ride home...

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/13/2013 17:38:58 MDT Print View

I read the linked article and came away with one really important bit of information after hearing his account. If you come across human remains while in the back country, just phone in an anonymous tip with the GPS coordinates.

The lost German tourist seemed to of got mislead with an old fashion paper map (and the assumption our military base borders were actively patrolled while looking for help). Last year though I heard an interesting thing on NPR about a park ranger taking it upon himself to try and get GPS map makers to remove a lot of old mining roads from their systems, as navigation systems were taking people on shortcuts that cost people their lives.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/13/2013 17:52:31 MDT Print View

Too many people are driving around under the command of some GPS receiver whose voice tells them to turn right or turn left, and these drivers don't show the good sense that God gave an ant. As NPR commented, the underlying map database can be at fault. In places where few people travel, the map database can be notoriously wrong. The basic GPS receiver technology is good, but few people understand its limitations.

When out in the wilderness, I always navigate with a custom paper map in a plastic bag. I normally carry a GPS receiver with me that has no map database, so that way it can't confuse me.


Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Re: Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/13/2013 19:50:49 MDT Print View

We got a new car recently, and I was playing with the nav system and having it navigate while in somewhat remote places where I already knew the way. It was disappointing how often is wanted us to do some nonsensical loop. Although, that isn't as bad as when my friends iPhone GPS told us we were at our destination after instructing us onto the freeway overpass that was above the address we gave it.

I download topo maps to my GPS, as matching up terrain features is a real clean way to confirm a location on a paper map. Although, I've learned to use my GPS very sparingly, only turning it on when I'm not 100% sure about something... or to get my companion to stop arguing with me about what direction we should be going. Early after getting my first GPS with topo maps, I found that by actively looking at it while hiking (especially bushwhacking) it becomes strangely disorienting and I'd end up veering off course frequently. I get a kind of tunnel vision and I stop really paying attention to my surroundings, but rather focus in on which way my little icon is pointing. I've never felt more lost, then while trying to look at my GPS while moving.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Why (some) Humans Get (REALLY) Lost... on 03/13/2013 20:03:26 MDT Print View


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Why (some) Humans Get (REALLY) Lost... on 03/13/2013 20:27:48 MDT Print View

Are they off to a GGG?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Why Humans Get Lost on 03/13/2013 20:46:25 MDT Print View

People get lost when they can't see where they are going.
It's no surprise that cross country travel is so popular in the high sierras. No trees to block your sight and wide open views to see every peak and valley.