Wednesday, August 6, 2008

10 percent rule

I have a rule, and that's that I have to be 10 percent smarter than the technology I'm using.

Apparently not everyone follows the same advice.

A convoy of tourists in southern Utah were trying to get to the Grand Canyon using the back roads. By back roads, I mean the semi-paved goat trails that criss cross that area. It's not a place where I would travel without a lot of extra food and water if I was camping with my buddies, much less with children along.

Apparently some fool had a GPS, noone had a good map or compass, and they drove aimlessly out in the desert for hours, with children, in vehicles that couldn't handle the terrain properly.

Thankfully someone saw the cliff before they drove over it.

A GPS is only good at telling you where you are, and possibly what direction you are moving in. The maps on the best commercial GPS are outdated and not very detailed. The route they choose from point A to point B is usually not the best route to take. Abd they don't take into account weather or light conditions.

Only a fool blindly follows a GPS in terrain he's not familiar with. If you follow the directions on a GPS without taking into account road conditions, weather, and your vehicles' ability to actually get over the terrain, you are surrendering that precious 10 percent to a very dumb machine.

Okay people, here's the deal:

You don't drive through the open desert or any other wild terrain in vehicles that can't handle the worst possible terrain and can't get themselves out of being stuck.

You always bring along enough food and water to keep everyone alive for at least a couple of days.

You don't go trekking over the back country with small children and babies. If you've got kids with you, you stick to well-marked, driveable roads, preferably ones made of concrete or blacktop.

And finally, you always have maps of the area you're in, mark your route on them, and have a compass with you so you can figure out where the heck you are if you get lost

No comments:

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at