Outdoors blog

TUESDAY, NOV. 8, 2011, 9:01 A.M.

Electronic navigation devices can leave hikers out in the cold

HIKING/SURVIVAL -- It's good news that a Leavenworth hiker who got lost last weekend walked out safely from the woods after spending an unexpected cold night in the mountains. He had the gear and know-how to survive. Yay!

But a few readers have been intrigued by one of the last graphs in the Associated Press story quoting sherrif's deputies who said the source of the man's trouble was electronic devices that weren't functioning properly because of the cold weather.

The story did not elaborate, leaving us to wonder what electronic devices he was relying on: GPS?  Headlamp?  Or God forbid, a smart phone with its notoriously poor battery life?

I don't know. But I can tell you this:  A map and compass require no batteries and work great in cold weather.

Just sayin'.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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