God help them if their GPS fails

A skill previously consider “basic” in life, how to read a paper map to get from point a to point b is fairly non-existent among one demographic group…

A “OnePoll” study questioned 1,000 millennials and 1,000 middle-aged adults.

Only 18 percent of millennials revealed they felt confident in reading a traditional, paper map and one in seven millennials say they’ve never even tried reading a paper map.

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19 Responses to God help them if their GPS fails

  1. Just a Chemist says:

    And that’s why my 9 year old son can read a regular road atlas and a USGS topo map. If you give him a compass and tell him to walk 500 yards on a bearing of 280 degrees, he can do that too. He also knows you need to set declination, but we haven’t walked through that yet. We’ve also taken a shot at self-triangulation, but he needs a little more work on that. Paper maps and magnetic compasses don’t need to be recharged, and always work, even if there is no working cell tower in range.

  2. Trish says:

    Both my kids read maps. It is a requirement. My grand kids (21 and 16) also know how to read maps. I do like me a good map. That damned GPS is confusing as hell.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I use a GPS quite a bit but when I program my destination in, I’ll check it against a map. Why? Because my GPS will take me down dirt roads, across creeks that have to forded and other crap that can be avoided if only I’d traveled down the main road another half mile.
      It displays the shortest route, not the easiest.

  3. samoore says:

    Back in the day, the local phone companies put city and county maps in the phone books. I cut the maps out and put them in my glove box.

    It helped to know the local quirks, too: in the town I grew up in, the numbered streets ran East/West, while in the next town over, they ran North/South.

  4. Sanders says:

    Kind of gives new meaning to the term “lost generation”, doesn’t it?

  5. Rob says:

    Basic road map reading is easy as long as there are still signs. They’s pick it up in no time!

  6. Nemo says:

    My youngest son going away to school in the Cleveland area ten or so years ago. He asked for a Garmin GPS unit for Christmas, so he could navigate his way there and back. The trip was about 400 miles one way, if I recall correctly. I bought him a Rand McNally Road Atlas and put a Post It on it that read “Old School GPS”.

  7. enn ess says:

    It’s called being able to take care of yourself! All this technology is great, till the lectric quits lectricking (happenes differing parts of the country every damn winter, sometimes summers too) and your gps shit don’t locate cause your “smartphone” ain’t so smart anymore, cause you know, ain’t no lectric…… but just plug it into the laptop and charge it up….yeah, ok. All well and good ….till it ain’t……. All of a sudden you’re back in the 1900’s rural merka… enjoie!

  8. arc says:

    Maps aren’t super difficult to figure out, nor are topo maps or satellite maps… gota use em all

  9. fjord says:

    Ironic, isn’t it?

    All this information at our fingertips, most of it free and we’ve been dumbed down to the point of being domesticated livestock.

  10. Mike_C says:

    Ah yes. A few years ago Swedish Girl, MD, PhD, on the cusp of her 30th birthday, decided to treat herself to a week’s holiday in Northern California. Rented herself a Miata to drive around the backcountry (such as it is). Asked for some recommendations about places to visit. I made a few recommendations and brought her some of my stash of local maps.

    SG: Oh, I don’t need these, I’m renting a GPS with the car.
    MC: Then think of these as backup in case the GPS doesn’t work.
    SG: I will have my phone for backup.
    MC: [ * ]

  11. whynot says:

    And there’s the reason so many flights were canceled yesterday….the young pilots don’t know how to read aeronautical maps……


  12. LargeMarge says:

    Eugene, Oregon, fUSA 2016:

    In this college town, a goofball college student youngster torched his clothes in a dryer at the laundromat.

    While I grabbed the kid’s laundry from the machine, tossed it into a cart, and dragged the smoldering mess outside… another geezer broke-out the extinguishers to jauntily spray hither-and-yon.

    Goofball kid’s first thought was to telephone the Fire Putting-Out Force, and they enthusiastically showed-up mere minutes later. Five trucks, close to twenty personnel plus supervisors.

    I gathered my ruined laundry to re-do it in the laundromat in the next block… a hundred paces away. [true story]

    A young lady driver was befuddled by all the flashing lights, so she attempted a sidewalk detour, honking angrily at the firefighters… while her three male passengers frantically searched their telephones for a route around the blockage.

    I should feel pity. I know I should.

    • Butch says:

      No pity! Just consign the millennials to the most worthless generation ever. Ask any employer. The Millennial girls aren’t half bad, but the boys are useless.

  13. Crustyrusty says:

    Land nav and stick shifts are beautiful things

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