Author Topic: got lost for the first time in Kent  (Read 981 times)

Agentorange

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got lost for the first time in Kent
« on: 19:56:15, 15/09/20 »
I normally walk in kent and thus far have managed never to let lost. There's been a few times I wasn't entirely sure where I was....but never totally adrift.

Today i managed it.  :)

Only by a mile or so. I was walking down near westerham, everything was fine until I got into the woods, and then what was on the map bore zero relation to what was on the ground. The PROW on the map just vanished....and there were loads of paths that weren't on the map. came out by Chartwell and then I knew where I was.

I would post a picture, but keep getting a message saying I've exceeded my character allowance

WhitstableDave

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #1 on: 22:11:35, 15/09/20 »
With most of my walking being in Kent and a lot of that in woods, I know exactly what you mean.

There are of course many reasons why maps often don't reflect reality in woodland. Paths get blocked by fallen trees and undergrowth or they get flooded or extremely muddy and people make detours which can quickly become new paths.

Just a few days ago, my wife and I were walking in Blean Woods, which at 11 sq miles are very extensive. I had my GPS and we were following a route I'd plotted using the OS map. At one point, there was no sign of the path we wanted to take so we followed another that went in a similar direction - keeping an eye on our actual position by GPS and how it related to where we needed to be. Eventually we came across an unmarked path that got us back on track.

Later, we arrived at a junction I know quite well; it's roughly in the middle of the OS map below where no fewer than 7 paths meet. We wanted the path that passes just south of the reservoir, but even with GPS we followed the wrong path for a while before retracing our steps.



People who can navigate in woods such as these using only a paper map are clearly better navigators than I am.   :)

ninthace

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #2 on: 22:38:23, 15/09/20 »
A trick that often works at a multiway junctions.  Normally you know which path you came in on so just count round the exits from the left or right on the map and then do the same on the ground.  Then zoom your gps to high magnification as you start off down your chosen path and look to see which way the track line is going.  You should know you are right well within 50 metres.  It is quicker and easier than fishing the compass out to check you are going on the right bearing, especially if the path winds.


P.S.  If they existed on the ground, you also had some field boundaries to play with too, which can help.
Solvitur Ambulando

BuzyG

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #3 on: 08:30:10, 16/09/20 »
Your never lost with GPS. You just lose your relationship to your immediate surroundings.  Not quite the same, or is it?  Understand able in dense woodland where, as you say, path change course far more often than maps are updated. You just have to trust the pesky clever little plastic box.  O0

fernman

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #4 on: 08:43:00, 16/09/20 »
I got into the woods, and then what was on the map bore zero relation to what was on the ground. The PROW on the map just vanished....and there were loads of paths that weren't on the map.

That's a situation I'm quite familiar with in the Chilterns  :)
Luckily I have a good sense of direction, so I continue on what I assume to be the correct path, but after a while, or if I reach the edge of the wood, whichever comes first, I check my grid reference on my phone and see where I am on my paper map. (That's a mix of new and old technology which Ninthace and BuzyG won't like!)

Regarding exceeding your character allowance, that means your photo is too big, it must be below a certain number of pixels to post on this site. I can't remember how many, but it's pretty low. Try using ImgBB or PostImage.

WhitstableDave

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #5 on: 09:13:30, 16/09/20 »
A trick that often works at a multiway junctions.  Normally you know which path you came in on so just count round the exits from the left or right on the map and then do the same on the ground.  Then zoom your gps to high magnification as you start off down your chosen path and look to see which way the track line is going.  You should know you are right well within 50 metres.  It is quicker and easier than fishing the compass out to check you are going on the right bearing, especially if the path winds.

P.S.  If they existed on the ground, you also had some field boundaries to play with too, which can help.

Of course my example was in the context of paths on the ground not necessarily correlating with what the map might show.  :)

So, when what appears to be three paths heading east-ish turns out to be one path that forks into two after a while and where one of the new paths also forks into two after a while, then things can get a little more complicated. As you suggest though, these little tests are usually easily sorted out within 50yds!

gunwharfman

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #6 on: 10:27:06, 16/09/20 »
I zoomed my mobile phone Backcountry app recently to find the way forward. I was walking along a single track and suddenly it became a three-way track, two of the paths were not shown on the OS map but zooming solved my difficulty. By zooming I could see that the map arrow tip pointed to the right hand one and within 200 yards I knew that my choice was the correct one.

pauldawes

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #7 on: 11:01:40, 16/09/20 »
Cities, woods...these (barring fogs) must up there in terms of most difficult terrain to navigate.


In my case can get lost in even a small wood if I try to follow a path...in my experience usually a ton of paths not marked on my map.


It’s one of few times I usually get my compass out...my usual “technique” is to decide roughly where I want to exit the wood..see what direction I need to walk in to achieve that...then use compass to walk vaguely in that direction.


Then once out of wood, check where I am.

ninthace

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #8 on: 12:36:41, 16/09/20 »
Your never lost with GPS. You just lose your relationship to your immediate surroundings.  Not quite the same, or is it?  Understand able in dense woodland where, as you say, path change course far more often than maps are updated. You just have to trust the pesky clever little plastic box.  O0
I can't let that assertion about losing your relationship immediate surroundings pass.  I find the very reverse is true.The gps gives a close up map of your immediate surroundings and precisely where you are in relation to them.  I am still map reading but I am in a postion to appreciate and exploit the finest nuances in the map.  For example, this morning I used just such an opportunity to find my way along a complex and somewhat muddy route through a maze of farm buildings.
Solvitur Ambulando

BuzyG

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #9 on: 13:06:22, 16/09/20 »
Completely correct.  O0  Except in the context of this thread, where it is presented that the map is wrong.  So there is a difference between what the map on the GPS indicates is around you and what is actually around you. The fact that you are zoomed in will only exasperate the point, as such map errors are usually eliminated if you are able to view the bigger picture.


Forestry land is a classic.  The GPS map shows you as in the middle of a plantation. In fact it was cropped six months ago and you can see a few distant features across a valley, that allow your mark one brain to work out that the map is wrong and you need to use those for navigation until you leave the plantation and can once again trust the zoomed in map on the GPS..


The reverse situation also applies where new planting has completely obscured the view. A compass and good instinct are your friends in those thankfully rare circumstances.  Moss really does grow on the cold damp side of the tree.  ;)

ninthace

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #10 on: 13:59:24, 16/09/20 »
I have had more than one run in with missing trees!  Years ago during a solo hike as a part of my Outward Bound, running on a bearing across Dartmoor in fog, I expected to run into a small triangular wood on the apex of a hill.  The ground stopped going up and started descending but no wood.  I wandered around trying to find the wood as I needed it for my next bearing,  Eventually I found a couple of stumps that had to suffice.  If only gps existed in those days.


These days felled plantations are not an issue, I have seen too many.  The paths are usually still there as is the underlying geography (watercourses, walls, contours etc.) and they will still fit the map the gps shows you.  I also have learned over the years, if the gps and the map don't match in the detail, trust the gps.
Solvitur Ambulando

zuludog

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #11 on: 15:37:56, 16/09/20 »
I've never been walking in Kent; in fact the only times I've visited at all was as a boy for family holidays to Margate

However, I've always reckoned it is harder to navigate in 'civilised' and cultivated countryside than it is in the hills

BuzyG

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #12 on: 16:50:49, 16/09/20 »
That depends on the map you have.  Walking around a very different Singapore from the one I recalled from my youth.  Google Maps was ideal. O0


Trying to locate a quoit in the middle of a peat bog, in the UK, it is useless. Here a 25k OS map is perfect. O0

Dovegirl

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #13 on: 18:52:44, 16/09/20 »
I've always reckoned it is harder to navigate in 'civilised' and cultivated countryside than it is in the hills

I think this is often the case.  Some of the trickiest navigation I've experienced has been in the intricate network of fields in the Sussex Weald, even with gps.

I find Viewranger very useful for finding my way around urban areas.

Agentorange

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Re: got lost for the first time in Kent
« Reply #14 on: 01:15:26, 17/09/20 »
I've toyed with the idea of getting a GPS device for a while, the luddite, purist part of me regards it as cheating. Whilst the bit of me that knows I've got a spare 2 litre bottle of chilled water in a freezer bag back at the car reckons it's a great idea.

I wasn't that bothered at the time the bit of wood i was in was between the B2026 and Mapleton Rd - Once I came out somewhere I knew I'd be fine, just perhaps having to walk a bit further than intended