GPS problems solved. Trailblazing starts in Phuket, Thailand

GPS and maps

Well, i finally did it. I have been working on designing a hiking trail the length of the island where i live here in Phuket, Thailand. I have been designing it on google earth and then go out and hike it and see what it’s like, where it has to be changed and then create a route to give to the Thai Dept. of Tourism to hopefully get it built.

Anyway, my problem has been the GPS. My etrex was stolen when i returned to the states in Dec. I bought another one on ebay in Jan after i returned here, waited until it got sent over here, then found out the data cable didn’t seem to work.

Found out after talking to tech support that for some reason that they can’t explain, some data cables work with the etrex and some don’t. Anyway, i found a friend over here who had another one and wow it worked.

So, i tried to transfer my route built with Google Earth to the GPS. Not so easy. Google Earth only lets you save a KLM file (or KLZ). So, i learned that i had to download a program called GpsBabel (freeware although they want a donation) It comes zipped and after finally unzipping, i successfully converted the file i made to a GPX file.

Then i had to download another program called “EasyGPS” that allows you to work with the GPX file and convert it to a track (not a route but a track) and finally (by now i have recharged my batteries about 3 times while trying everything) I was able to install the route i created into my GPS.

So, tomorrow, it’s time to go out and actually hike my route. (I’ve done the first mile or so) This is going to be the fun part as I made the trail like the AT: Hiking the tops of the highest points and going up the tough way.
Now the hills of Phuket are steep and it’s mostly jungle although there are rubber tree plantations and pineapple fields around.Steep stuff

So, it’s going to be an aprox 70 mile bushwhack although i only did the 1st 10 miles to go out and see how it works. Creating the route on Google Earth is the easy part for sure. It took me 3 months to get it into a GPS. Now a few batteries, lots of water (100 deg here yesterday) a machete, a cell phone (in case of cobra attacks) and i’ll let you all know how it pans out.

Wish me luck. If you don’t hear from me, the local pot growing mafia or a cobra got me