WHAT I DO I take my pocket-sized global positioning system (GPS) device, known as a Garmin eMap, on my walks.

WHAT IT IS A pocket-size device that runs on two AA batteries and shows me on a small map display where I am and where I want to go; it's accurate to within about 10 feet. It also shows me my speed -- I usually walk at 3 miles per hour, but I try for 4.

WHY I work for NASA, so I'm into all this technology stuff. My grandchildren live 1.75 miles away as the crow flies, but 4.25 miles when following the streets. I'm using the GPS to find shortcuts so eventually they will be able to walk or bike to my house.

WHAT ELSE? When I hike through the woods and parks, my trail is marked so I can't get lost when I come back. Also, I've scanned my ID, telephone number and Blue Cross card, so I don't have to carry a wallet or anything else with me.

OUTCOME I'm now up to five enjoyable miles round trip several days a week.

-- Bill Redisch, Potomac

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