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JMT 2010 - 30 Day Itinerary, GPS, + Fly Fishing notes
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J Decker
(pilastr) - F
JMT 2010 - 30 Day Itinerary, GPS, + Fly Fishing notes on 11/08/2010 14:41:49 MST Print View

Here's a no-acoustic-guitar, hippies-suck, nature-wants-us-dead account of 30 days on the JMT complete with GPS coordinates for confirmed late season H20, camp site coordinates, site-specific fly-fishing notes, and wilderness bidet tips...

Thanks to everyone on these boards, your experience and comments helped us enormously.

Edited by pilastr on 11/17/2010 20:08:40 MST.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Nice trip blog on 11/08/2010 16:02:21 MST Print View

Looks like you had a trouble-free trip, except for the chaffing. I hope to do the JMT next year early in the season and will consider getting some "crotch joy". :-)

It also sounds like the trail was pretty busy. Honestly, that's my biggest concern about the JMT as I really prefer isolated hikes. I can't believe you guys packed out the 2 lb peanut butter 'geocache'. Very good of you to do it.

How many hours of recording gps tracks did you get out of a set of batteries? I also have a Garmin 60 series and it seems like it would take a ton of batteries to record a 30-day trip. It's much appreciated though as the track files and waypoints are great. Did you do any geotagging of your photos?

Thanks for posting. Added the blog to my bookmarks to help my own planning.

J Decker
(pilastr) - F
Chaffing Horde Power Tagging on 11/08/2010 17:32:46 MST Print View

Criminy! It sounds like you read the whole blog. Thanks for your kind feedback.

Re: chaffing.
Crotch joy can be addictive, still enjoying it at home. Also, I'd been averse to those boxers that cling to the thigh like bike shorts, but I became a convert on this trip and had zero chaffing.

Re: hordes.
No doubt, the JMT is a highway but so is the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal (of course, people live up there!) I'm of two minds. Happy to have done the JMT, but not likely to repeat knowing now the areas we'd like to return to for a solitary cross-country month.

Re: GPS batteries.
Five pairs of Lithium AA would do you for 30 days. Of course results vary with viewing/scrolling/backlighting but, I'd say I got 6+ days use for each pair (turning off the GPS only when we stopped for lunch or to make camp).

Re: geotagging photos. While I do have free tools to sync images and way points by timestamp, they're useless for a 30 day trek because (I learned the hard way) Garmin does not retain waypoint timestamps when you save a track on the device itself. And if you don't save, the older track points bump off into oblivion. I suppose I could've paid up for a larger microSD card to store the whole 30 days in tact.

Million thanks for taking time to check out:

Edited by pilastr on 11/08/2010 17:47:11 MST.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
geekstuff on 11/08/2010 18:40:27 MST Print View

"Criminy! It sounds like you read the whole blog. Thanks for your kind feedback."

I was stuck in a long meeting and browsing bpl on my phone when I saw your post. I'm a gis/gps geek, have google earth on my phone, and am planning a JMT trip, so your blog was irresistible. :-)

I use bodyglide but am looking for something better. That chamois creme may be the ticket.

My 60CSx give me just under two days of track logging with standard alkaline's. 2-3x longer from Lithium's would have me adding the gps on my gear list for longer trips.

Too bad about the saved tracks issue. I also use some free software to sync photos to gps tracklogs (using timestamps). The 60 series can save up to 86400 trackpoints when using microsd, so a large card and waiting to save the track until after importing to mapsource is key.

"Million thanks for taking time to check out:"

Thank you. Enjoyed the trip report and the planning info on the site.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
GPS Geek Stuff... on 11/10/2010 01:11:03 MST Print View

>> Too bad about the saved tracks issue <<

Guys! You've missed one of the best features that Garmin put on their micro SD GPS units!!

If you go into Track Setup and select "Data Card Setup" you have an option to "Log Track to Data Card".

This option will save a GPX file of your entire track for a 24 hour period. It's a complete track (date/time included) that can be used to sync photos. A new GPX file is created automatically each day (at midnight I believe) so you don't have to worry about saving track logs (and saved tracks are "weeded" to reduce the track points and this can really screw up your track data so don't do it!). The GPX data that is saved to the micro SD is raw data that hasn't been reduced in size the way that saved logs are. You can't view these GPX files on your GPS but you can load it into Mapsource or any program that uses GPX files.

This feature is turned off by default when you first get you GPS.

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Garmin 60 Series & Lithiums on 11/10/2010 09:11:05 MST Print View

Be sure to do a test run when you switch to a different battery style. Nothing is more frustrating than putting in a new set of batteries to find out that your GPS doesn't support them (and you don't have any compatible spares).

I believe my 60cx doesn't do lithium.

+1 on the "Log Track to Data Card"

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
save to card & batteries on 11/10/2010 09:40:02 MST Print View

Mike, thanks for the tip. That's actually what I meant when I said save to sd card. I should have said "write to...". When logging to sd, there is a limit, but it's that 86,400 points I mention, so you can go quite a while before reaching that. Long enough to log the JMT.

Justin, a quick web search indicates the 60CSx does not officially support lithium batteries and some users have had problems with them. Looks like it's either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH for me, which puts me back to 15-18 hours of logging per set, depending on other usage.

I really wish my Garmin forerunner 405 had a replaceable battery.

Thanks for the info guys.

Edited by roguenode on 11/10/2010 09:40:47 MST.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Track storage limit... on 11/10/2010 11:03:43 MST Print View

Chris -

The 86,400 track point limit that you are referring to is the number of points that can be stored in a GPX file in the micro SD for a "single" 24 hour period.

To get this number, you would set your Garmin to record a track point every second for 24 hours... fairly unrealistic scenario (86,400 seconds = 24 hours). I don't think anybody needs a track point every second if they are hiking.

Once you exceed the 24 hour period the GPS will start storing to a new GPX file so the cycle will continue until you fill your data card... which is very unlikely considering how small the GPX files are. I have GPX files on my unit that date back a couple of years.

With the size of media cards available, storage is essentially unlimited.

Edited by skopeo on 11/10/2010 11:04:27 MST.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
thanks on 11/10/2010 12:05:02 MST Print View

Sounds like long hikes are easily handled on the 60 with log to external memory. I plan on having extra batteries in my food drops to save a bit on weight.

No doubt the 60 series isn't light or needed for the jmt. But, I'd really like to create a Google earth video that runs through the hike with my geotagged photos along the route for family and friends to view, so I'll probably bring it.

J Decker
(pilastr) - F
Lithium batteries in Garmin 60Cx/60CSx on 11/10/2010 17:52:15 MST Print View

My 60Cx running v3.30 has been fine using Lithium batteries. There's clearly an option to do so under SETUP-->SYSTEM. But now I'm seeing they may have disabled that option with Firmware versions v3.50 and later.

The changelog says "Remove lithium ion as a battery choice. For 76x add lithium battery choice"

Think I'll stick with v3.30 on account of "it ain't broke."

See changelog here

And here's a discussion about the very topic...

Edited by pilastr on 11/10/2010 18:07:04 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: JMT 2010 - 30 Day Itinerary, GPS, + Fly Fishing notes on 11/11/2010 11:16:58 MST Print View

LONG! ;)

But I sure did enjoy it. thanks for posting!

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: Lithium batteries in Garmin 60Cx/60CSx on 11/11/2010 11:46:29 MST Print View

I wish I had thought to check for that in system setup. I remember seeing something about that.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Lithium Batteries... on 11/11/2010 12:12:23 MST Print View

Garmin removed the option in later firmware upgrades because Lithium batteries can cause a problem. The output from the Lithium batteries can be too high and the GPS wouldn't turn on (built in safty feature to prevent you from frying the electronics).

I did experience the problem with mine and it can be a fairly significant issue. My batteries ran out and I put the new Lithiums in and it wouldn't start... which meant no GPS for the rest of the trip.

If you can discharge the Lithiums a bit in another device they eventually work but you should be aware of the risk... the Lithium option was removed from setup for a reason. Using the old firmware release that allowed you to setup for Lithium batteries doesn't fix the problem.

Edited by skopeo on 11/11/2010 14:28:36 MST.

Andy Duncan
(bluewater) - M

Locale: SoCal
JMT 2010 - 30 Day Itinerary, GPS, + Fly Fishing notes on 11/11/2010 14:14:15 MST Print View

Thanks for posting your trip report. I appreciate all of the details. I downloaded the waypoints on Google Earth, very cool. Really like the link to the free online topo maps. . . but I'm probably gonna pass on the wilderness bidet. I'm planning a JMT trip for next August/Sept and your trip report is a great resource. Thanx, Andrew.

J Decker
(pilastr) - F
Bidet away! on 11/11/2010 16:02:55 MST Print View

Ha! Thanks Andrew, your feedback is much appreciated. We both urge you to give the tidy system at least two tries though. Everyone we know who's tried it even once has converted.

Nothing to lose but the poo taboo!
Even so, to each his own :)