Not Your Parent’s Map


How many times have you been lost in the woods?  I can’t count the times I’ve been scratching my head, wondering how I got wherever it was I was.  I’m usually tired, bleeding, muddy, and down to my last Luna Bar.  I’m always out of water.  It’s not pretty.  Heather will tell you.

I carry maps (i.e. I leave them on my kitchen counter or on the front seat of my car and remember them when I realize I am lost), and try to have a good idea of where I’m trying to go.  Finding maps that are weather proof with topographic features isn’t difficult.  They are light and easy to carry.  I also always carry my cell phone with me.  This is one thing I do NOT leave on my kitchen counter or in my car.  It is ON ME.  All the time.  Especially when I’m riding alone.

Enter TribleOutdoors, and two good ideas rolled into one.  Applications for cell phone are all the rage, as are GPS gadgets.  “With Trimble Outdoors you can plan outdoor trips and use your phone for GPS navigation, tracking your fitness performance, geocaching, and sharing your experiences with others.”  Really?  Wow!  And it’s pretty cheap too, most downloads are $5.99/month.  All these cool technologies and tools–GPS, social networking, fitness logs, internet and cell communication rolled into one small light device of your style and choosing: the cell phone. 

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Face it, you can pretty much do everything with your phone now.  And if you can’t do something, just wait, it’s coming.  Everything is going to the cell phone.  Why not maps too?

I admit, I’ve resisted emerging technologies in the past.  I am a purist when it comes to nature.  A “leave no trace” backwoods ethicist who enjoys soapboxing about self rescue and self reliance.  Call me Old School.  But even I am turning my head  as emerging technologies become easier to use and just so damn useful.  Plus, I’m older.  I’m a single mother of a young child.  I don’t want to give up adventuring outdoors, but I have an obligation to be responsible when I do it. I’ve discovered with age my pragmatic side.  So yeah, bring on the GPS App on my cell phone.  I’ll take pictures and post them and share the experience with the social network and join the collective consciousness of app users who ironically love exactly what I do–getting away from it all.  But at least I’ll be able to get back this time, without cutting trails at dusk with a mountain bike on my back.

Ah, the good ol’ days.

–Karen

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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling. Always looking to see what is around the next bend in the road.

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