gps azimth question
My dad is looking at buying a gps unit for whitetail and elk hunting in eastern Montana and has a specific question, I thought some of you land nav experts could answer.
He wants to be able to do the following on a GPS unit
1. Mark the location (waypoint) where I am when I spot the bedded animal.
2. Provide an azimuth to the animal. (With a compass we have to get ourselves to a obvious terrain feature before we shoot the azimuth.)
3. Let me check the back azimuth to the waypoint as I circle around past
4. Let me determine when I am directly on the line between the waypoint
and the animal and to check my relationship with that line as needed
while I move toward the animal.
Is this doable and straightforward on a 60CSX or Vista HCX?
Can you draw an azimuth on a gps's map?
Yes. And it is very easy to do, even without a separate compass.
Your CSx has a built in compass. Be sure to calibrate it sometime in between powering the unit on that morning and when you shoot your az. It is very important that you hold the GPS level while you calibrate and while shooting your az.
From the compass page, push the MENU button and select "Sight 'N Go". Hold the GPS level and use the aiming marks to shoot your az just like you'd do with a standard compass. When you're ready, press the ENTER button to lock the direction. You may now either choose "Set Course" or "Project Waypoint". The Set Course feature will project a line from your current position out to a spot many miles away. The Project Waypoint feature will allow you to pick the distance. I favor that method as you can guesstimate the distance beyond your target that you don't want to pass (e.g. 1 mile) and put a waypoint there.
While navigating, the GPS will constantly change your tracking line to provide a bearing directly to the distant waypoint. In your case, you need a line between the original 2 points (you saved an initial waypoint at your starting spot). To get that line, go to Main Menu screen and select "Routes". Hit Enter to make a New route and then hit Enter to Select Next Point. Hit Enter one more time to open your waypoints list (by closest). You should be looking at your current waypoint at the top and the projected waypoint as the second entry (unless you've got other waypoints closer, like your camp, etc). Pick the distant waypoint as the first point of the route, then pick your current waypoint as the second point. Start the navigation for this route.
Your GPS will take you to the distant route, but you'll always have that return line going from the far point back to your start point. You can use the terrain to circle around and you'll clearly see your relationship to the original bearing line.
It might sound more complicated than it is, but try this out in the backyard tomorrow and you'll see just how quick and easy it is to set this up on the fly.
Thanks Joat, that is simpler than I expected. I don't have a gps myself and didn't know you could project a waypoint. That is much easier than figuring back azimuths and having to get all the way around an animal to shoot an azimuth back to the original location.