Tools of the trade

I carry around a lot of gear when I hike or watch birds. For watching birds, I carry binoculars, a field guide, and sometimes a spotting scope attached to a tripod. For photography, I carry my digital camera and one, two or three lenses. I use a Camelbak backpack to carry some of the gear (like lenses and field guides), plus food, water, sunscreen and bug repellent. And finally, I often will carry a GPS with me.

Since I am usually not bushwhacking, the reasons for why I carry a GPS may be a tad vague. Here are my reasons for carrying a GPS, in order of importance to me:
  1. I am a geek. A GPS falls cleanly under the category of "gadget", and geeks like gadgets. The word "need" does not typically factor into this discussion, however the word "want" is prevalent.
  2. During the 2007 ABA Conference I attended a lecture that convinced me to start using eBird to track my bird sightings, instead of keeping that data isolated on my PC. Having a GPS makes part of the eBird data entry process much easier.
  3. I am a geek. Having a GPS lets me do cool things like depicting my hikes on a Google map. Geeks like building web pages, especially if the pages contain cool things like Google maps and GPS tracks.
I just recently figured out how to accomplish #3. I had several GPS track logs saved, so I published those tracks here. I will continue to add to that list as I visit more places. And yes, I do know about (where they will do all the mapping and page building for you...just create a free account and start uploading your GPS track logs). But I really wanted to build my own page just to see if I could do it.

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