When I moved to the Adirondacks many years ago, I was excited about hunting season in the Great North Woods.
On the first Saturday of small game season, I took my dog and shotgun and headed out. I had no idea where to go but was soon parked along the old Gilmantown Road.
There were old, grown-over farm fields with scattered apple trees and such. I shot a couple of grouse and continued along, not paying attention to anything but the hunting.
Before long, I decided to head back to the car. The trouble was I had no idea which way to go. I was confused.
It wasn’t like hunting back home, where I knew every square inch of my woods and every tree by name. This was different. I listened for cars, but there weren’t any. I looked for landmarks, but that didn’t work either.
Finally, I said to my dog Skeeter: “Let’s go. Get to the car.” Without a second thought, she started out and we ended up on the road a few yards from my car.
Let’s face it, I was unprepared. I had no map or compass — not that they would have done any good. But I learned fast and never was unable to get back out of the woods again.
Today that’s no problem. Now with a GPS or even an app on your cell phone, you can find your way in and out of anyplace.
I used a GPS on a snowshoeing adventure near Old Forge a few years ago. My wife, Pat, and I drew up a map and followed a course into some lake northeast of route 28. We really didn’t need the device to get back out with the tracks we left in the three feet of snow, but we used the hash marks on the screen to get back to civilization.