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 Lost in the woods (Posted on 2016-01-08)
You are driving along a perfectly straight road through the woods and decide the trees look like an inviting hike. After all, you have a GPS that could easily get you back to the road. So you get out and head off in a straight line perpendicular to the road, not paying any attention to your direction because, hey, GPS.

Unfortunately after traveling 1km your GPS crashes. It loses all of its map data as well as any previous journeys. In you panic, you even forgot which direction you were walking.

So here you are: 1 km away from the long straight road (the only one around for many km) in an unknown direction. You have a GPS that can still give your accurate position and path relative to your start.

What is the length of the shortest path (measured from here) that guarantees you will find the road?

Note: the trees are dense enough that you could be very close to the road and not see it.

 See The Solution Submitted by Jer Rating: 5.0000 (2 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
 Unsure solution | Comment 2 of 12 |
I'm not sure I understood Chrlie's post. I think it's shorter to walk for 1 km to random point. From there begin a circle with radius 1 km and after 3/4 of the circle walk again for 1 km in the same direction taken before. That walk is 2 + 3/4*2pi = 6,72 km.
 Posted by armando on 2016-01-08 18:34:55

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