Monday, July 6, 2009

An all encompassing problem


I like running trails because they provide a constant source of challenge and mystery. What's around the next bend of this twisty path? What exactly is the source of that rustling sound that follows me along the way? Once I get over this steep hill will the terrain get better? Exciting. The other part of the challenge is navigation. Where exactly am I? Am I heading toward or away from my intended destination? Why did I just come out onto the street? It's fun to be lost when you know the bounds of your trail area but there are times when I really wished I'd brought a compass.

Yesterday I made a trip to Dick's to try and find one that I could wear on my wrist or clip to my shorts. I didn't have too much luck, the ones that they did have were either too big or limited in other ways. I went online later to see if I could find something suitable. Nothing has jumped out at me. My requirements are simple. The unit must be small enough to be unnoticeable when not needed and large enough to be useful when it is needed. It needs to be easily accessed while running in clothes that have no accessible pockets. It can't dangle on a lanyard because that will be annoying. I don't want to spend a lot for a digital compass or a 5-in-1 device that has capabilities I don't need for recreational trail running.

All I really want is to be able to find my way back to my starting point when the midday sun is directly overhead and it can't help me navigate. Any suggestions?

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