Years ago, I got incredibly lost in the woods while deer hunting in
Thirty minutes later however, I started losing faith. When the woods are covered with snow it’s beautiful to be sure, but nothing looks familiar, you can’t see more than 25 yards in front of you, things get deathly quiet, and I thought, “This crazy thing says I’m only 3/4 mile away from the cabin, but none of these trees bear any of our group’s marks and everything looks completely foreign!” I just knew it couldn’t be reading the satellites correctly or something. Maybe the clouds and snow were interfering? With little other choice, I pushed onward until the count literally said I was 65 feet away. Frustrated, I looked up, scanned the horizon, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a wisp of heavenly smoke sent from our cabin stove and I could just make out the bright yellow covers over the spotlights on my truck. When my foot touched the first step to the front porch, the distance finally read “ZERO Feet” and I was home.
Since then, I don’t go anywhere without my handheld Garmin GPS so when I recently climbed into a Hertz Rental Car with a “NeverLost” system, I had to pit them against each other. The Garmin wins, hands down! For the first test, I needed to pick up a cable from a local brand-name electronics store. My Garmin found 32 of them with the closest one being 3.2 miles from where I sat… the NeverLost found two, both over 30 miles away. When calculating a route, the NeverLost refused to acknowledge toll roads and rarely used freeways. It always wanted to send me on a back road. Garmin lets me choose between “Shortest Distance” or “Fastest Time.” The NeverLost doesn’t “track,” in other words; it won’t keep a record of where you’ve been. There are no “breadcrumbs” in case you want to back-track to a location.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the NeverLost system was, there’s no bright purple route to show you where to go. You just drive on blind faith until you hear it scream, “TURN LEFT!” The Garmin unit shows the route, and will calculate the distance to your next turn so you know the general direction of where you’re headed long before you get there. I like that.
Anyway, the best feature about the Garmin is its size. If I want to walk all over the French Quarter in New Orleans, or Central Park, or through the Redwood Forests of California, I can’t take the NeverLost along… but I have a 9oz pocket sized unit that holds all of the streets, addresses, and points of interest in the U.S.A. that will get me anywhere I want to go!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.