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Brandon Greer
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Location: 1 Hour Northeast Of Dallas
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I'll be having some land cleared out soon. I've been using Google Sketchup in conjunction with Google Earth to design my land layout. Well, this weekend I actually went out to try to mark off the areas that I want cleared according to the layout I designed and realized just how difficult it is to locate the places in my plans out on the land itself. I tried using my iPad to find the coordinates which I took from Google Earth with limited success. The accuracy is not great in some areas.

Can someone offer some advice as to how I can get this done? I really don't want to clear more land than is needed but at the same time, if I clear too little, there is a $1000 minimum to get the land clearing crew back out.
 
A Tabor
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What tools will work depends on what the land looks like currently, and what kind of layout you are looking to do over what size area.

As long as your property lines are already well marked, and you're not working too close to them in dense brush, then you can probably get 'close enough' with just a good survey chain, a compass, and marking stakes. However if they are not well marked and you're clearing near them, then I strongly suggest hiring some professionals to sort you out.
 
Brandon Greer
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Location: 1 Hour Northeast Of Dallas
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A Tabor wrote:What tools will work depends on what the land looks like currently, and what kind of layout you are looking to do over what size area.

As long as your property lines are already well marked, and you're not working too close to them in dense brush, then you can probably get 'close enough' with just a good survey chain, a compass, and marking stakes. However if they are not well marked and you're clearing near them, then I strongly suggest hiring some professionals to sort you out.


My land is pretty well marked. And I'm not working close to any borders (about 150 ft from the edge). But the brush is very thick in some areas. Plus someone cleared out an area before and it's completely out of whack. I'm wanting to orient my land to the compass and the clearing has no rhyme or reason at all. Because of that I feel very disoriented I'm standing in the middle of the land trying to visualize my plan.
 
Bill Erickson
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Brandon, are you using a compass, or the compass function of a true GPS unit to orient yourself? It is pretty easy to get mixed around on what direction you are looking in dense brush, never mind actually forging a straight path. Since your boundaries are already drawn and clear, you just need to figure out where you are in relation to those boundaries. I prefer a handheld GPS unit to anything on a phone or pad - far more accurate and useful to me all the time because I'm out in the woods hunting, fishing or exploring.

Bill
 
Brandon Greer
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Location: 1 Hour Northeast Of Dallas
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Bill Erickson wrote:Brandon, are you using a compass, or the compass function of a true GPS unit to orient yourself? It is pretty easy to get mixed around on what direction you are looking in dense brush, never mind actually forging a straight path. Since your boundaries are already drawn and clear, you just need to figure out where you are in relation to those boundaries. I prefer a handheld GPS unit to anything on a phone or pad - far more accurate and useful to me all the time because I'm out in the woods hunting, fishing or exploring.

Bill


I was using the compass on my ipad. I suspect it may not be so accurate. What handheld GPS do you use?
 
Bill Erickson
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Brandon Greer wrote:
Bill Erickson wrote:Brandon, are you using a compass, or the compass function of a true GPS unit to orient yourself? It is pretty easy to get mixed around on what direction you are looking in dense brush, never mind actually forging a straight path. Since your boundaries are already drawn and clear, you just need to figure out where you are in relation to those boundaries. I prefer a handheld GPS unit to anything on a phone or pad - far more accurate and useful to me all the time because I'm out in the woods hunting, fishing or exploring.

Bill


I was using the compass on my ipad. I suspect it may not be so accurate. What handheld GPS do you use?


I use an older Magellan Explorist 500 that I've had for a long time now. It has done well by me and is very accurate. There are much newer and fancier models out there, but this one definitely does the trick for me. I've got stored maps on it of various sections of the Northwest and especially my part of Montana. The hand held units aren't anywhere near as accurate as the surveyor models, but they also don't cost you your first born child and will be plenty accurate for what you are trying to accomplish. The hardest part in using one is waiting long enough at each waypoint you choose to get the most accurate reading for it. Mine has a circular error of around 13 feet at its best, which suits me just fine, although many of the newer models have increased accuracy over this. I've been happy with mine although I just read online that the Garmin GPSMAP series are very accurate. Something to look at for sure. I don't worry about the ease of putting text in so much as I prefer a highly detailed map, great accuracy and small form factor (fits in my paw very nicely). I also use a lensatic compass a lot, but that also requires highly accurate maps to work over distance.

For your situation, I'd say to take a look at the the GPSMAP series and see what is affordable for you. Also get a good lensatic compass so you can accurately orient yourself to your property lines for a lot less. Most of the GPS units have a means of you downloading mapping data from a lot of sources and have it usable at the local level. Either way, it is going to be a whole lot more accurate than a smartphone or pad app - nature of the beasty in its inherent antenna limitation.
 
Ann Torrence
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I wonder if you could rent such a thing from REI for a day or two. Or borrow one from a pal who camps. Throw it up on FB and see what's in your network.
 
Bill Erickson
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Ann Torrence wrote:I wonder if you could rent such a thing from REI for a day or two. Or borrow one from a pal who camps. Throw it up on FB and see what's in your network.

That is an excellent suggestion. I don't think REI or anyone like that loans those gizmos, but it can't hurt to check there and your social/familial network. I don't use the FaceHugger, myself, but however you connect with others is a good idea.
 
Brandon Greer
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I'm not on Facebook myself. But what is REI?
 
A Tabor
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REI: Recreational Equipment Inc

They're a sporting goods store co-op.

If you can spare the hundred something for a decent hand held woods unit then a GPS is a good investment for anyone who spends much time outdoors, but they should never replace a proper map and compass in my mind. You learn too many valuable skills with a good map and compass that are just glossed over when using a GPS.
 
Brandon Greer
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Location: 1 Hour Northeast Of Dallas
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Thanks I found someone with a handheld GPS and got it marked off today. It's close enough for me. Thanks!
 
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