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News: Travellers Warned Over Reliance On GPS

Authorities in the western United States have reminded travellers not to rely solely on GPS when navigating in remote areas.

The warning follows the case of Albert and Rita Chretien, a Canadian couple, who went missing during a road trip from their home in British Columbia to Las Vegas.

They had used a handheld GPS to guide them and became stuck in snow on a remote track near the Idaho-Nevada border. Rita Chretien was found by hunters with her vehicle after surviving for 48 days but the search for Albert has now been called off. He had set off to find help after after being stranded three days.

Sheriff's and Search and Rescue officials have warned that travellers should never rely on GPS as their sole means of navigation. They should have maps and appropriate survival equipment. They should also ensure that their planned route and itinerary is known to others if they are not using main roads.

Similar cases have occurred in Australia and whilst we may have less remote wilderness here in the UK, the advice applies just as well to drivers who set off on unfamiliar routes. It is also applicable to hill walkers and ramblers where map reading is a key skill and a smartphone with digital maps, whilst useful, is not a replacement for paper mapping and a compass.

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Posted on Thursday, May 19 @ 14:46:00 UTC by Darren Griffin

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