GPS and Personal Locator Beacons

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Post  Nuggerty on Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:20 pm

Hello Fellow Gold Grubbers!

Before I venture too far into the wilderness I wanted to get some ideas on using a handheld GPS and PLB, firstly so I know where I am but more importantly, the way out, and of course to plot those hot spots that I (one day) will find.

In terms of navigating in the scrub I would have thought a topo mapping capability was essential.....but I don't really know. The PLB is my exit plan if I get into trouble. Is there any consensus on what would be the best unit, does any GPS unit combine the functionality of a PLB?


At the end of the day I don't want to spend on unnecessary functions- but want something that will meet the needs of the task.

Any advice, opinions, or experience would be greatly appreciated.

N

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Post  davsgold on Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:06 pm

G'day Nuggerty

By reading your post I guess your fairly new at this detecting hobby and being in the bush kinda stuff.

Firstly a PLB is a last ditch use when you are in real trouble, not just something to activate because you feel a bit lonely.

A decent GPS is what you need, but because it is an electronic piece of equipment and runs on batteries make sure the batteries are charged and you have some spares with you. Know how to use the GPS and all should be ok.

Learn how to use a compass as a backup tool no batteries and have been a reliable navigation tool for ages

Learn how to understand and read maps Geo Maps and Topo maps all very useful tools

There is a very good mapping navigation system now for your mobile phone called "Australian Geology Travel Maps" found here https://trilobite.solutions/maps/ once you have everything downloaded on your phone then the actual maps just run from a satellite and you don't need the internet etc.

The main thing to remember is to have fun

cheers dave
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Post  Nightjar on Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:13 pm

Hello Nuggerty,
Following on from what Dave has mentioned this is a tried and proven method I used for many years 70's/80's before the advent of the GPS and other electronic gadgets.
Today the ill advised believe if they have their mobile in their pack/pocket they are safe. Wrong! Many parts of the WA goldfields are black spots, no reception.
You would be well advise to practice this method just for experience if nothing else.

If you are not familiar with finding your way around the bush, I strongly advise you read as much as you can about the West Australian outback. Buy yourself a compass SILVA is a good brand as it is flat/light and you can hang it around your neck at all times. Practice compass walks eg: Walk for 15 minutes in any direction (noting what heading you are on) then swing 90deg left/right, walk for 15 minutes swing 90deg left/right, walk again for 15 minutes, swing 90deg left/right and in 15 minutes you should be in sight of your starting point. Given time and practice you don't need the compass and you can be guaranteed to be back near starting point. You can also practice walking in a triangle 120deg swings (this is my preferred method). Walk for a selected time each leg and you will almost always come back to the vehicle. If this fails pull the GPS out of your back pack, retrieve the co-ordinates you entered before leaving your vehicle?? Locate the vehicle within a few hundred metres, (probably obscured by a clump of trees or hill.)



Cheers
Peter
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Post  moredeep on Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:42 pm

My one and only trip to the west was fantastic nightjar and also bloody scary.
I was prepared,i carried a compass ,gps, whistle,matches,torch,2 way & I never detected alone.
But when it came to detecting I stuck with my some basic rules,
I rarely let the vehicles get out of site and when I couldn't see the cars I would mark the ground every 50 meters or so with my boot with an arrow pointing back from where I came from.
Call me chicken if ya like but that environment as beautiful as it was gave me the heebiejeebies at the thought of getting lost.
I had one awful moment of being disorientated/lost and pulled out the GPS to reassure myself of my directing back to camp,It's easily done & It's not a nice feeling.

cheers moredeep
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Post  Nuggerty on Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:04 pm

Thanks for the solid advice. I have a basic understanding of compass navigation- but not to the level confidence to be competent, so I will work towards the recommended exercises.

Cheers

Nuggerty

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Post  davsgold on Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:57 pm

Over confident and thinking it can't happen to me will get you into trouble real quick. WA is great like moredeep says but enjoy it and be careful and mindful of your surroundings.

Cloudy days are a real trap, even for the experienced, your detecting along merrily for an hour or two and then u think better head back, um um um which way is back, no sun to go by, so that is when your very glad you marked the vehicle in the GPS Very Happy

cheers dave

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Post  Pebbles on Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:02 pm

Dave, that sounds very much like the scenario in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad3jPbOIKyg

It has probably been posted before, but for those who haven’t seen it and even those who have, it’s worth another look.

If you don’t always carry a GPS, PLB and two way radio, I reckon that you will after watching the video.

Col

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