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26 Nov 2022 at 4:09 pm #61451Tony GazleyKeymaster
Tongariro National Park is a great place to test, and then hone, your navigation and route-finding skills. There is a wide variety of terrain of varying difficulty of travel, heaps of open ground where you can see where you are going, and the perfect place to base yourself—the WTMC Ruapehu Summer Lodge of course.
So here is the first of two navigation tests, this one for beginners, or if you just have an hour or so to spare at the lodge. All you need is a magnetic compass, your legs and a brain.
- Find the cool ‘Hole in the rock’, only a short distance from the lodge.
You do need a couple of bits of information—the distance, which is 365 m, and the compass bearing, which is 168 degrees (from true north).
Now to set the bearing on your compass you also need to know the magnetic declination (the deviation of your compass from true north). Mostly we use 23 degrees east of north which is good enough for where we do most of our tramping. But did you know that it varies considerably over the length of NZ—from 17.5 degrees at North Cape to 25.5 degrees at Rakiura. At Tongariro it is 21 degrees.
To estimate the distance you need to travel, you should consider pace counting. A tallish person will typically take 50 double steps to cover 100 m on level easy ground. You will need to adjust this figure depending on your height, that you are not on level ground, that there are rocks to travel over, and that you are not always heading directly along your compass bearing.
Sounds tricky? It gets easier and easier and you get more accurate with practice.
And if you think you are pretty good at navigating then try finding the hole in the dark—and no cheating by long-distance searching with the beam of your torch. Or, for the smarty pants you can do without the compass and estimate your direction from the time of day and where the sun is in the sky—just don’t forget daylight saving. Or take the next step up and get your direction from the stars at night. And yes it can be done!
And finally, here is a navigation quiz question:
There is a place on Earth where you can travel 1 km due north, turn and travel 1 km due east, then turn and travel 1 km due south and end up exactly where you started.
A bit of thought gives you the South Pole as the starting point. BUT there is another place on Earth where you can do the same—so where is that? A chocolate fish to the first person with the correct answer—except from Harry Smith who will figure it out too quickly.
A more difficult navigation and route-finding trip from the Summer Lodge coming soon—watch this space.
For Summer Lodge details go here
28 Nov 2022 at 11:08 am #61505SherlockGuest
Elementary. There are in fact an infinite number of points on the Earth besides the South Pole where you can do that, falling into an infinite number of subgroups.
29 Nov 2022 at 9:56 am #61530Tony GazleyKeymaster
Ha. You have to get up early in the morning to catch out Sherlock.
You are correct, there are an infinite number of places. But although your infinite subgroups may be correct theoretically, given that the sum of the circumnavigations must be one kilometre, with an increasing number of them the circumferences will soon become too small for a human to travel around, and so the number of subgroups will actually be limited.
But anyway, an infinite number of infinite things is exactly equal to an infinite number of those things so who’s going to argue.
Regardless then, please find enclosed one copy of the Tramping NZ 22023 calendar together with one chocolate fish.
Here is another tramping navigation question for another chocolate fish: A WTMC tramper buys a magnetic compass at Bivouac Outdoor while they are in the shop getting another copy of the Tramping NZ 22023 calendar. They intend to use the compass on trips in the Tararua Range. But if they were to go to, say, climb the Matterhorn—or anywhere else in the northern hemisphere—would the compass be expected to work properly? Explain.
30 Nov 2022 at 11:22 am #61553SherlockGuest
Ah, but is an infinite number of infinite things always exactly equal to an infinite number of those things? Are all infinities alike? An interesting question. As you may recall, I travelled extensively between the years 1891 and 1894 following a little contretemps with the late Professor Moriarty and I discussed that very question with the Dalai Lama in Tibet and Georg Cantor in Germany, and they had some interesting views on the subject.
30 Nov 2022 at 12:01 pm #61554ModeratorGuest
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