My GPS works great in the Walmart parking lot, but in a steep valley, next to a mountain, or in the woods it can’t get an adequate signal. How can I solve this problem?
Submitted by – Ray – Hinesburg, VT
You can’t, really. GPS systems rely on satellites floating around in orbit, way up in space. If you’re in a tight valley or dense woods, and your GPS can’t get a clear shot at the sky, it just can’t do its thing. Keeping your firmware up to date can help, but your only sure-fire solution is to break free from the obstruction so the GPS can find the satellites.
Of course, sometimes that’s not an option, like when you’re at the bottom of a sheer-walled canyon. That’s why when you’re navigating through remote, tricky terrain, it’s important to also have a map and compass on board as backup. (Even with clear access to the sky, things can go wrong with a GPS, as with any electronic device: dead batteries, an unexpected dunk in a river, freezing cold temps). When the stakes are high, and accurate navigation is critical, pack both.