Going Fishin' with GPSbuddy - (a lesson learned the hard way)

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Lisa Elford : Marketing & Social Media Manager @ SkyBase Solutions

Heading into the weekend I thought I would take a minute to share a little story. Whether you take something useful from it, or just get a good laugh at my expense I hope you enjoy.

I should preface this story by letting you know that in-spite of the fact I work for the #1 Mapping Company in Western Canada, I still have a thing or two to learn about navigation (but given my gender I have no problem stopping to ask for directions). So to gain some hands on in-field experience I decided to put some of the SkyBase tools to the test over the long weekend.

Brad (my husband and favourite outdoor enthusiast) and I loaded up the truck with fishing gear, our two dogs and a few cold bevy’s for an afternoon at the river. After talking to a few local fishing enthusiasts we decided to head to the junction where the Wapiti meets the Narraway. Now, how to get there…

This was a great opportunity to show off some of the SkyBase Software, namely GPSbuddy and PatchMap. From GPSbuddy you can pinpoint a waypoint on Google Maps, name it and then download that point to your GPS. Then with our GPS fully loaded with PatchMap we hit the road. Turn for turn we were taken down lease roads (some not much more defined than a sheep trail) south of Beaverlodge. Even though I sell the great features of PatchMap Oilfield maps to customers every day, I was really amazed to see the detailed map in action. It had EVERYTHING! Old abandoned wellsites, camel backs and all the trails to get to them. Without PatchMap and a good set of Wrangler tires, we never would have found our way to the river.

Now here’s where the limitations of technology come in. As I preach every day, the map can take you most of the way, but you’ll still need to apply a little common sense. What I had failed to do before hitting ‘Go’ was determine the elevations between the point we had drawn on the map and the river. So we arrived at our perfect, top secret fishing spot only to realize there was no way we could make it on foot down the very steep embankment to the water. Epic FAIL!  Sure enough, there is was, clearly outlined on the PatchMap. The map showed the steep ridge all along that side of the river. Needless to say we had burgers for dinner (no fresh fish for us) but had a great time muddin’ our way back to the main road.

So I will leave you with this. If you really want to find your way to the middle of nowhere, PatchMap, BushMap and GPSbuddy are all great tools to get the job done. If you really want to go fishing, either go by boat, or ensure there is a realistic spot to make it to water’s edge. Please feel free to share similar stories. I am also open to any great recommendations for fishing spots in the area.

Have a great weekend and Happy Trails!



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