IF I carry any electronics at all it will be an iphone and it doesn't get turned on unless I really need it. Paper maps are easy to print and don't run out of batteries, nor does a compass. My compass has even been scaled back to just a tiny little neck worn thing, used to orient the map. I will sometimes crank up the phone to see if there are any interesting features nearby, but rarely to navigate.
Loc: California, United States
totally disagree. you should have a paper topographical trail map (and know how to read it), and google maps saved offline map with topographical mode on. The chance of someone getting themselves in trouble using a compass incorrectly is much higher than electronic device giving out. If the paper map is useless, then bring two electronic devices.
Neither are going to have warning for overflooded rivers. But I rather have gps digital map to off-trail out then a compass. I've had to do it before.
Here in Michigan woods it is easy to get off track even with a map and compass. In many areas you cannot see more than 500 ft and marked trails change directions frequently so even if you know what direction the trail is headed now it will more than likely be headed in a different direction a few minutes from now. Often even 180°. There are many two track roads which are not shown on any map because they were just made to get to someones hunting camp. Frequently you do not know exactly where you are until you get to a major land mark like a main road, river, lake etc. Knowing how long you have been walking is not a good indication of where you are due to the winding nature of the trail. A mile of walking may only be 1/2 mile away from the last know point. The map helps if the trail is shown on the map but if it is not shown on the map you have to wait until you get to some landmark.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I've heard that about up there. I've never been to Michigan but I've been to places that have all pine forests and thought about how it appeared so much the same wherever you looked and how it must be easy to get lost in those.