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GPS in the woods

Jan 1, 2003

Even in the woods navigation skills are important. The Boston Globe reported that on August 25 Michael Rego, of Hooksett, N.H., found out the hard way that when you lose electrical power a GPS receiver won't help you get home.

Rego, 33, a computer network manager, went hiking in Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Thorton, N.H., equipped with both a GPS and a cellular phone. His GPS unit died and left him in unfamiliar terrain. He made a call to his wife on his cell phone. She called the State Police, and they called the Fish and Game Department. Fish and Game officials called Rego on his cell phone and got his last GPS reading from him. Aided by this information officials began searching the woods at 7:30 p.m. They located Rego's last position, but he had moved on. The searchers retreated, planning to try again in the morning.

Rego spent the night in the forest and, with his cell phone now dead, he used the easterly bearing of the rising sun to walk out.


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