I'm starting this site with GPS Coordinates for The Sipsey Wilderness Area, which is located in the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama.  If you have coordinates to share for any area in North America please e-mail them to me at gps@gpstreks.com , and I will try to post them at least once a week. These coordinates are correct to the best of my knowledge, but never depend on your GPS unit as your primary source of navigation. 

Always carry (and know how to use) a good compass and map in addition to your GPS unit.  

Most people seem to prefer their coordinates in Degree, Minute, and Second format so that is the system I used on this site, but I prefer to use UTM coordinates with topo maps. I use a Garmin eTrex Legend GPS, and a Brunton Eclipse 8096 GPS compass. I mark my topo maps with UTM grids (the tic marks are on the map border), and by using the UTM scale on the compass I can find my position on a topo map within a few feet. I also use the UTM scale to get the coordinates for points of interest on the map to enter as waypoints in my GPS. If you already have a compass you are comfortable with, a company called Waypoint Enterprises sells the "UTM Waypointer" which includes both a compass protractor, and UTM scale.

A good way to practice with your GPS receiver, compass, and map is a sport called Geocaching. Participants hide "treasures" and publish the GPS coordinates for others who try to locate the cache. If you think you would be interested  check it out at www.geocaching.com .  

To convert the coordinates between degree, decimal, UTM, or degree, minute, second use this link to www.jeEep.com. Use the back button on your browser to return to this page. You can also use your GPS to convert the coordinates by entering the coordinates and then changing the position format. This seems to work well with both the Garmin eTrex GPS I am using now, and the Eagle Explorer I was using before.



Last modified: 08/16/2008

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