Jul
14
2013

Moving to km

Just a few thoughts before I post some more UK trails.

I think it is (well past) time to move into SI units for hiking and backpacking. Units are just a measure of things – so in one sense it doesn’t matter what I use, rods, furlongs, leagues, cubits or miles. Except certain unit systems are more convenient than others. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the light blue grids on both UK ordnance survey and US Geological survey maps. They are 1000 meter (1km) grids.

These make it very easy to use a GPS to figure out where you are and how far you have to go to get where you want to be.

In the UK

SP(which grid sheet), Westerling (in meters), Northing (in meeters).  (SP 54101 23950 for example).

and in the US (and Canada – just make sure to use the right UTM datum)

Northing (in meters) , Westing (in meters)  (43100 38131 for example – though I might have north/west mixed up).

In either case the GPS will read out your position and and then you can just use simple subtraction to find how far you are from where you want to be.

It’s pretty simple to convert km to miles – multiply by 0.6 to get a ball-park estimate.

Written by Rob in: backpacking,outdoors,rant |

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