Getting ready to hike
My partner Jenny’s parents gave me some gift money for Christmas so I went and got something that’s been on my shopping list for a long time: A proper GPS unit. I got the Garmin eTrex H – a basic non-mapping unit but that’s what I wanted, something simple that knows what it does and does it well.
So I’ve been spending this morning looking through the Koordinates geospatial map of DOC Public Conservation data and using the Google Maps Labs LatLng Marker tool to mark waypoints and get coordinates which I’m then programming into my eTrex using the GARtrip (I’ve since changed to EasyGPS and am currently evaluating and considering purchasing ExpertGPS) software via a USB cable I got from eBay for about the third of RRP. I’m also exporting the routes out of GARtrip to KML format which I’m then importing into Google Earth and saving screen captures of the route overlays for future reference and so Jenny can visualise the routes.
Here are a few of the routes I’ve plotted so far – all on public access land:
- AKRHE Akaroa Mount Herbert.kml
- AKROB Akaroa Orton Breadley Park overlook.kml
- AKRPK Akaroa summit.kml
- KORTO Korowai-Torlesse Tussocklands Park.kml (overlooking Lake Lyndon)
- PUDDH Pudding Hill.kml (minor track)
- SEALT Sealy Tarns.kml
- STVPK Staveley Peak.kml (not real name – it’s the hill above Staveley)
If you have Google Earth installed right click on a link above, copy location then paste the URL into the Google Earth > Open dialog box. It’ll then plot the route and zoom to the location. Hold down shift and your left mouse button to rotate around the route.
I’ve also joined the New Zealand Tramper forum which looks like a really good and active hiker community.