A number of hikers who rely heavily on their cell phones to get around Gatineau Park have gotten lost, a trend that is starting to worry park staff. In a statement, Great Canadian Trails tour guide Nathalie Gauthier said:
“It’s a growing problem. I think people forget that their phones have limits.
Gauthier noted that a number of factors including poor reception and depleted batteries led hikers down the wrong path. This puts the hiker in danger, especially since mobile apps rarely contain information about more difficult terrain.
Paquette encourages hikers of all skill levels to pick up a physical copy of the park map at the Visitor Center before venturing out on a hike. In a statement, park program officer Rachel Paquette said:
“We encourage people to have the paper version of the Gatineau Park trail map.
All of a sudden, if your GPS isn’t working, you might get lost. Once you get lost, it is much more difficult for us to find you. It will also be much more difficult for you to tell us where you are.
Many hikers are now starting to get physical copies of the park map as leaning on a cell phone is not the best idea when in such terrain.
[via CBC News]