GPS Used By Blind Outdoorsman To Hike The Entire The Appalachian Trail Solo

Mike Hanson hiking on a trail

Mike Hanson. Source BlindHiker.com

Here's an inspirational story and video about Mike Hanson, who is an avid outdoorsman, GPS user, and happens to be blind. Despite his disability, Mike plans on hiking the entire Appalachian Trail solo only with the help of his GPS to guide him.

That's right; he plans on hiking the entire 2,174 mile Appalachian Trail solo from Georgia to Maine only using his GPS and a white cane.

His goal, besides hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, is to "demonstrate the independence of persons with disabilities", and to inform people with visual impairments about using GPS as a navigation aid.

GPS One Of The 3 Greatest Navigational Aids to People With Visual Impairments.

Mike has carefully plotting out waypoints along the trail. With these waypoints and his text-to-speech capable GPS receiver he plans on staying on track. He says that this system, accurate to within 10 feet, will notify him if he starts to travel of off the trail.

In 2006, Mike tested the mapping software on the Trail in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, where he hiked 30-40 miles using GPS. In the following video you'll hear about his plans and how he uses GPS to navigate in his everyday world. In fact, Mike ranks GPS as one of the top 3 greatest navigational aids to people with visual impairments, along with guide dogs and the white cane.

So, What's Holding You Back Today? Watch This Video.

Help Mike Hanson Achieve His Goal!

Today, March 3, 2010, Mike Hanson will begin his journey to hike the entire Appalachian Trail using GPS. He estimates the hike taking him six to eight months to complete. You can follow his journey via his blog www.blindhiker.com and Facebook as he makes his way along the trail.

Mike's biggest obstacle is to obtain funding for his journey. He estimates needing around $25,000 to complete his trip and achieve his goal of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail solo using GPS. With donations from generous supporters, like you, he hopes not to be delayed because of lack of funding.

Visit Mike Hanson's blog www.blindhiker.com to make a donation and follow his journey.

Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

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