-2.7 C
Elmira
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Their View / Opinion

The lost art of getting lost

I bought a handheld GPS last week to replace my old one, which finally gave up the ghost in December. Getting a new one was a very difficult decision.

I’m not referring to choosing which model, although there is a great deal of variety in features and price tags on each. No, the decision was difficult because possessing and knowing how to use a GPS removes any chance of getting lost ever again.

Call me sentimental but I miss getting lost.  Worse still, I truly believe that, if we are not careful, future generations of outdoors enthusiasts will never learn how to get lost properly.

I know what you are thinking. Getting lost is easy.

Well, yes. But getting lost properly is a different matter altogether.

To get lost properly, you first need to begin with a statement such as, “I’m just going to leave my map and compass in the car because there’s absolutely no chance of getting lost here and I don’t feel like carrying the extra gear…”

That’s a good start.

You can also begin a proper getting lost by telling someone, “I’m actually not sure how to use this compass, but if we need it, we’ll figure it out.”

Those are certainly tried and true, but, as somewhat of an expert, I feel it is my duty to pass along a few advanced methods.

My favourite one is what I call, “That guy told me there’s a brook trout lake over there” technique. In this technique, you park your car at a non-descript location along a back road and walk over at least one  ridge. Then you look around for a lake. Several hours later, you, the guy you’re are going to introduce to fishing and 12,000 black flies stumble towards the sound of a distant chainsaw and, after talking to the man using it, walk down the road back to your car and drive to the boat launch of the lake you were searching for.

Next in line is the, “If I recall correctly” technique.” This one begins with you saying those words in association with others such as  “when I was a kid there was a beautiful duck pond over there” or “this guy in a bar told me…” or “you make a left at the poplar…”

Another tried and true way to get lost is the “I know a shortcut” method. To do this, you leave a nice well-groomed trail or logging road because you think that cutting cross country will allow you to “shave” almost a kilometre from your hike and get there earlier – which probably would have worked if not for a bog, two impassable rivers and an angry cow moose.

What I have described are the primary ways to get lost  properly, but of course there are other ways too, such as saying, “Don’t worry, I have a fantastic sense of direction …”

The point I am making is that, with modern handheld GPS units, future generations are never going to know the unbridled joy that comes with finding a person who knows where they actually are, or the feeling of elation that accompanies stumbling onto and kissing a road that seems to lead to civilization or just being able to tell your social media friends you picked up 12,000 new followers yesterday (they don’t need to know they were black flies.)

None of these things will happen if you learn how to use a GPS – unless, of course, you are bad at replacing batteries. Don’t ask.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

We're looking for opinions that count.

Yours. Join in the conversation, provide another viewpoint, change minds with your perspective.

OUR COLUMNISTS

The finance industry always extracts its ounce of flesh

More than half of Canadians won’t be contributing to an RRSP this year, apparently immune to the exhortations of the financial services industry that...

Efforts for economic development misguided, with growth misplaced and counterproductive

For the 10 years between 2008 and 2018, 91 per cent of the job creation in Ontario occurred in the GTA (including the Oshawa...

On a path to a new Ireland?

Bertie Ahern, who was the taoiseach (prime minister) of the Irish Republic from 1997 to 2008, was a brilliant machine politician, not a nationalist...

Is the ‘devil virus’ a ‘black swan’?

China officially went back to work on Monday, after an extended two-week Lunar New Year holiday, while the authorities struggled to get the spread...

Farmers deserve a break for problems beyond their control

We all have to be responsible for our actions … but what about actions caused by others? Or by nature? That’s a question...

New opportunities emerge to connect consumers and farmers

On Tuesday, the agriculture sector put a lot of effort into pumping up Canada’s Ag Day, an initiative designed to raise the profile...

Dealing with the big perch conundrum

On Sunday, I was ice fishing when a near disaster occurred – my first fish was a nice, plump 11-inch perch, the biggest...

A few techniques that auger well

I’ve got to admit that, when my friend told me he was going to spin class to get into better shape, I thought...

It may not snow, but it could end up raining iguanas in the cold

Q.  They are the most abundant organisms on Earth, by one estimate over a million times more than the stars in the universe, says...

Technology means space may be the next locale for outsourcing

Q.  “Space is open for business,” and some companies are planning to use the International Space Station (ISS) as a manufacturing hub.  What technologies might...
- Advertisement -