CA is like that. You BEST know where the stream goes before using energy to follow it. On top of a GPS I would suggest a good water filtration system.
Of course none of us will ever get lost if we are TRUE woodsmen, but it might be the difference between a headline reading “man found dead after 5 days of being lost on AZ hunting trip” and “man found alive, after 5 days, weak but otherwise healthy, while hunting in AZ.”
These things were developed for a real reason, not marketing hype. If (big IF) the satellites do go down, then fall back on the compass. I always carry both, and use each about equally. I used my compass to guide my 2 hunting buddies and myself back to the truck, when we were hunting elk in NM. Neither of their GPS units agreed with me. We were about 2 miles in, and I got us to within 100yds of truck. We could see it from the hilltop where we ended up.
Had it been dark, we would have spent the nite in the hills. A miss by 100yds might as well be a mile.
GPS units have improved a LOT since then. That was in the late 90’s.
First rule, KNOW the map of the area you want to hunt, and know the topo map as well. Even when using GPS, take compass readings incase something happens to GPS. Folks that have not hunted the west have no idea how big these open areas are. Getting lost can and will kill you.
Something I seldom see recommended and I think is a tragedy, is carrying a radio that can transmit on 121.5. That is the FAA emergency frequency. I am a retired Air Traffic Controller. Part of the airspace I worked for 27 years, was over the Grand Canyon, AZ. River rafter and hiking tours carried those transmitters, and when someone got deathly ill or injured, they used them. Commercial Aircraft passing overhead can hear them and relay messages for a rescue, BUT they are only to used for emergency, and a special permit might be required.
I participated in probably over 100 of those over my career. Having a GPS and that radio, you could give coordinates and have rescue come right to you, instead of searching a 40 sq mile area.