- Global Positioning System
Global Positioning System (GPS) devices have been become increasingly common in the Park over the past 10 years. GPS units can provide precise information on location and can be helpful in estimating trip time and distance to destination. With the advent of integral topographic maps, GPS units can be helpful in estimating the quality or character of terrain between your current location and your destination.
Because of these helpful features, GPS units can provide a false sense of security that can lead to trouble. A GPS unit will not describe the vegetation that lies between you and your destination, nor will contour lines reveal boulder fields,house-size glacial erratics or deep chasms in ledge slopes - all of which can be found in Baxter State Park. Remember also that batteries and electronic devices can fail. For these reasons, Park staff advise hikers to use GPS units, but don't abandon the good judgement, experience and planning necessary for a successful and safe wilderness hike. Always carry a back-up compass and know how to use it. Visit Hike Safe for more information.
GPS units are also an integral part of a popular pastime, Geocaching. Park staff realizes the value of Geocaching in getting people outdoors, teaching navigation skills and promoting the care and understanding of the environment, but Geocaching is inappropriate in a wilderness environment. Any physical cache such as a geocache or variations such as a letterbox, learned of or found within Baxter State Park will be removed and disposed of as litter.
For those that like combining the challenge of finding specific locations and learning, Earthcaching provides a great opportunity. Information about Earthcaching, including Earthcaches located in Baxter State Park, can be found at: www.geosociety.org/earthcache/intro.htm