This week on the Blogger Network, we highlight a post by Mark Rickaby pointing out that using a GPS is not to be sneered at.
The traditional vs. digital navigation debate has lost none of its energy in recent years. While most of us have comfortably settled into the habit of using a range of tools – including GPS, smartphone, and paper maps – when we venture into the hills, vocal minorities insist that old-school is the only safe way to walk, and that anyone using a smartphone or GPS to navigate must be out of their minds.
Mark Rickaby, who blogs at The Peaklander, cites a recent article that puts forward this point of view. His rebuttal is well worth reading, and he makes excellent points in favour of a more inclusive approach to mountain navigation.
This idea that technology is bad, that GPS is cheating, that outdoors aides make you less of an outdoorsy type – these ideas need to die. They’re steeped in the past, they’re unhelpful and they don’t encourage anybody to discover our beautiful outdoor spaces. You know who’s going to be wandering our National Parks in 50-100 years? It won’t be you and me, it’ll be the younger generations we encourage to love the parks and their children. Stop demeaning them and making them feel like they’re not doing it right. In my view, we need to show them why there’s so much to love in the outdoors and the skills and knowledge will come later once the enthusiasm and thirst for more takes its hold. Let’s not put unnecessary barriers in their way.