I’m a GPS geek through and through. I use them all the time. However, on the trip to Carmel the GPS let me down. Not once but twice. We had many discussions on that trip about using GPSes and whether they are to be trusted or not. Even though I think they are great, for the Great Divide, I think I’ll be leaving mine at home.


Will I regret not having a GPS? I don’t know. Damn, I may even change my mind and throw in the backpack at the last minute! But for now I’m going simple. To simply enjoy the ride.


  • Funnily enough I have a night orienteering exam tonight – with compass and map, of course =) On most trips I seldom need to get the compass out, a map and my good sense of orientation is sufficient, but in a white-out or if with clients outside, then the compass is a must have and use. Good success, and may the magnetic field not fail 😉

    • That sounds like a fun course. I should look into something like that here.

  • Steve J.

    Take the GPS with you, so long as it’s meant for navigation, not fitness tracking. Use it only when you need it. It’ll compliment the basic land navigation skills you’ve got and make your routes, bearings, waypoints more accurate.

    • Yeah, I would be bringing one only for navigation. We’ll see.

  • Will you be bringing one of those Spot things? In case of a worst case scenario?

    • Hi Gary!

      Yes, I will be carrying my SPOT so you can follow along at all times.

  • Errin,

    This is how I navigated the Divide. I had a handlebar mounted mini-compass/bell combo.

    The thing that I found the most useful was a computer that had more than one resettable odometer. The way the ACA maps are laid out, the mileage resets each time you flip the map, so I would set one odometer for the total map distance, and reset one at each starred POI. Doing some math in the head helped with the monotony…

    Mine was whatever the top-of-the-line Cateye wireless computer was in 2008.

    Don’t know if that helps or not…


    • Scott,

      How did you carry your maps? I’m having a tough time figuring out the map case/aero bars/trip computer/possible GPS config. Starting to look like a airplane cockpit!

      • Errin,
        I just had one of those cheap Ortlieb map sleeves, and sometimes I even just strapped them to the top tube with some shock cord. I didn’t have aero bars though. I just ran flat bars with Ergons/bar ends. As slick as the map cases like CDW makes are, I have always found that a simple sleeve works out best.
        On the AZT, I had the GPS ghetto-mounted on the stem, and two computers on the bars. Carried the maps in the framebag, and only took them out when stopped.