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Green Bay Paddlers
WGA Member

Joined: 2003-10-12
Posts: 346
Location: Green Bay, WI

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm going to wait for a reply that says: "They're not...!"

My wife and I spent a week this past spring exploring, hiking, geocaching in New England. Part of our trek took us for Freeport, ME - the home of L.L. Bean.

Their flagship store (actually "stores" - it's a campus type environment) is something to truly behold. I went to their GPS/Map section (yep, they have one) and chatted with the guy for awhile. We downloaded some TOPO maps on the photo printer and started talking about UTM coordinates. I was relatively unfamiliar with them (although BACKPACKER magazine swears by them) and was curious about the benefits. They guy behind the counter was extremely knowledgable but could not sell me on the benefits of these coordinates. It seemed logical, but didn't really convince me that they're any easier than regular coordinates. It seemed like there was a lot of converting necessary before getting the numbers needed.

I agreed to try it in the wild though. Amy and I took off this summer on a 5,000+ mile trek out west. We hit all of the major national parks and did some backpacking/hiking up in the Rockies/Olympic National Park/etc... I tried to convince myself that UTM was the way to go - but no dice. I'm not sold...

I guess my take on it is that if I can find a camoflaged film cannister out in the middle of the woods with lat/lon - then what could possibly be better? Any ideas?

[This message has been edited by Green Bay Paddlers (edited 09-21-2005).]
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:27 am Reply with quote Back to top

Two observations:

1. Miscrosoft Streets & Trips has a location sensor, which uses UTM.

2. Changing your GPSr to UTM does not affect your distance indicator, which will still tell you the feet to the cache.

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Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:15 pm Reply with quote Back to top

UTM serves little purpose when caching with a GPS.

Using topo maps for hiking and such, UTM is actually a lot easier when making calculations by hand. You might recall the military adapted the use of the metric system for mapping a long time ago.

It's really says something about America, as we are the only country which simply blew off the "worldwide" adaptation of the metric system.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-05-11
Posts: 210
Location: WI, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:02 am Reply with quote Back to top

I don't know about you, but after drinking a pint of Jack, or a fifth of moonshine, I couldn't convert those units to metric if I tried, and oddly enough, I've always had enough common sense to not try.

If the metric system is so good, why don’t the English call it the English System, and our system the Old English System? Would it get confused with polishing furniture?
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