I received Gershon's book today, and skim read through the book, cover to cover. Later, I'm going to read the book detail, by detail. Then I'm going to go back to re-read each chapter, and work through each exercise one at a time.
First impressions of the book are this.
This is well written, and is perfect for what I believe is it's target audiance, the backpacker. Some of it's old school, but a lot of it is pretty innovative, to say the least.
I'd even recommend this book to the most "jaded" long range backpacker, or the rank amatuer, or anyone in bettween. I believe that a brand new novice could use this book as the perfect primer for "basic to more andvanced" orienteering. As well, Gershon introduces some techniques that would serve the long time navigator well.
The Bad: There really is no bad, as far as I can see, just different. This book would not necessarily benefit a para military unit, who being dropped into an unknown territory, told to find objective "A", then halfway there, being told that the target is now at a differnt grid, then having to very quickly, adjust, and find the target(s) new location.
But that's not who this book is geared too. Just some simple calculations (in my head), with some of S.N.O.T''s procedure, indicated that this would be a slow method of doing things, although, the author clearly states this in advance. So, for the target audiance being a "new trailblazer", to a long time "pathfinder", I think this book hit's the nail right on the head. Also, besides accuracy, with the exception of an extreme emergency, these exercises, when put into use, offers the hiker a more relaxed and casual form of navigation, could be fun, allow you to explore or find things you might not ordinarly see, and again, although I haven't worked the exercises, if one is proficient at orienteering already, you can quickly see how his methods can be extremely accurate.
In summary, I'd say, if you don't want to come to the forum for the exercises, or would like to have the info with you (which I would prefer) to work through the exercises, then buy the book. It's very inexpensive, and I forget where I got it (I got the link from Gershon in a PM) but it was quickly shipped to me.
So, for me, it's a no brainer, buy the book, and use it as a field guide, while outside working the exercise, in case you find yourself a little confused, or forget something you read at home. But if it's not in your budget (mine was less than 5 U.S. plus shipping) you can just use the free course that Gershon is providing on this forum.
My next review, if anyone else really cares, is after I go outside and actually use some of Gershon's techniques. If nothing more, it could actually prove a relaxing and stress relieving "adventure". It can provide some very inexpensive, or free, depending, chance to go out and try something differnt.
Edited by jbylake (10/17/12 10:05 PM)
Edit Reason: Typo's