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Google Earth has become an indispensable tool for viewing hiking tracks and planning out your hike. You can see what kind of land you are going to be encountering, or see a birds eye view of the trails and land you just hiked.
I use Google Earth all the time to see GPS tracks and waypoints. The satellite imagery on the maps is so detailed in many places which makes it easier to see little features that may not show on a topographic map.
Garmin Basecamp has a great feature that lets you export your gps information straight to Google Earth with the click of a button.
One note about your Google Earth version. Unfortunately the export doesn’t work with Google Earth Pro but since most of us have regular Google Earth, that won’t matter much.
There are 4 different ways to view your info in Google Earth.1. View a track or waypoint
The first way to view one track or waypoint in Google Earth is to right click on the item and click “View in Google Earth” from the menu. This will open up the one item you selected in Google Earth. Using this option will only export one thing at a time to Google Earth.2. View the contents of a folder or list
The next 3 methods can display multiple tracks and waypoints in Google Earth. Right click on a folder or list in Basecamp and click “View Contents in Google Earth.” This will open up every track and waypoint in the list or folder in Google Earth. You can even go as high as the whole “My Collection” folder. It will take some time to open all the files if you have a lot but it will go eventually.3. View selected data
The third method to view your tracks and waypoints in Google Earth is to select multiple tracks and waypoints while holding the control button (or command button on Mac) . After you’ve selected all the items you want, go to the View menu at the top of the screen and click “View Selected Data in Google Earth”.
You can also use the Selector tool (the arrow) to select multiple items on the map by dragging a box around them all. This is a nice way to make sure you’ve got everything in a certain area even if they are in different folders in Basecamp.4. View current map area
The fourth and last way to view things in Google Earth is to use the “View Current Map Area in Google Earth” from the View menu. This option will take everything that’s displayed in your current map window and export it to Google Earth no matter what Basecamp folder it’s in.Temporary Places in Google Earth
Whenever you view anything from Basecamp in Google Earth, it will show in the “Temporary Places” folder. To keep the tracks or waypoints in Google Earth permanently, you’ll need to move it to the “My Places” folder.
That’s been 4 different ways to view your tracks and waypoints from Garmin Basecamp in Google Earth.
How do you use Google Earth with Basecamp?
The first thing I do when I go for a hike somewhere new is check out all the trip reports I can find. Others that have gone before often have great recommendations on what to see and do and what to avoid. Sometimes they’ll have gear recommendations or tips on what not to bring.
First a few official resources and then all the trip reports. If you know if any other trip reports that I don’t have listed, let me know.
Know of any more trip reports hiding online somewhere? Let me know in the comments.
The first thing you notice when you start researching backpacking stoves is there are 2 main categories. You have canister stoves on one side that are small and light and burn an iso-butane mix from a metal canister. The canisters can’t be refilled and often burn slower and slower as the canister empties. Often they don’t work well in cold temperatures.
On the other hand there are the liquid fuel stoves that use refillable fuel bottles and a liquid fuel of some sort, usually white gas (aka naptha or coleman fuel). These stoves burn hot and loud and are good for cold conditions or melting a lot of snow. They tend to be larger and heavier than their little canister cousins.
There are always trade-offs.
What if you could get the advantages of both without buying 2 stoves? You could get the simplicity of a canister stove (screw the stove on and light) when you want it and the cold weather performance and refillable fuel bottle of a liquid fuel stove. Now you can.
Some new stoves allow you to connect a liquid fuel bottle to the stove, then swap a couple parts and connect a iso-butane canister. You probably wouldn’t be taking both on one trip unless it was it was long enough but it still gives you the option to choose for each trip, without having to go buy another stove. One stove, 2 fuel options.
What stoves do this?
A modification on the old classic WhisperLite, the Universal has been updated to connect to iso-butane canisters as well. A quick change of the jets for each fuel and the fuel bottle attachment and then you’re using a different fuel. Uses MSR Shaker-Jet jet cleaning technology (shake it to clean it).
Weighs 329 grams.
Uses any type of fuel. Just change the bottle connection and jets. You can use diesel, kerosene or gas canisters in liquid feed mode for cold temperatures. Comes with a maintenance tool with a cleaning needle for cleaning the jet.
Weighs 350 grams.
Same as the OmniFuel but smaller and lighter. Burns the same things.
Weighs 239 grams.
The problem with most of the multi-fuel stoves is that you have to change the jet. Each fuel requires a different part in the stove to work properly. The Polaris Optifuel has changed all that. No more changing jets and possibly losing or breaking parts. Just hook up a different fuel and away you go. Use the gas canister upright for efficiency mode. Turn it upside down for liquid feed mode in cold temperatures.
Weighs 475 grams.
Burn white gas or butane gas canister without changing canister.
Weighs 530 grams.
Burns white gas and butane canisters, but not any of the other liquid fuels. Less expensive than some of the other brands.
Weighs 340 grams.
With the Hydra you can burn white gas and butane canisters. Save time and fiddling without needing to switch nozzles.
Weighs 422 grams.
Know of another stove that can do iso-butane canisters as well as liquid gas? Let us know!
We have new photos of Mistic Beach in the Juan de Fuca Guide!
One of the best parts of the Epic Guides is how many photos they have. Printed guidebooks often only have a few photos in them, often just small or black and white. They’re expensive to print.
Online guidebooks can have hundreds of photos, and the PureOutside Epic Guides do. We make them as big as we can. The internet is no place for small, crappy photos.
Here’s a quick sample:
If you want to see more photos of the Juan de Fuca trail, and other information about the trail like where the campsites are and how to get there, head over to the Epic Juan de Fuca Guidebook.
One of the best uses of the internet for us outsiders is finding information about gear and how it performs. You don’t want to spend your hard earned money on gear that doesn’t work well. We can let others go before us, try it out, and let us know how it goes.
PureOutside’s gear review section is all about just that, testing gear to see how good it is. You can go to the blog category to see the list or follow the links below.
PureOutside Gear Reviews
Osprey Aether 70 Backpack
MSR Hubba Hubba
MSR WindPro stove
The eternal question. If you asked any hiker whether it’s better to hike fast or slow, you’ll get a different response from every single one of them.
Which is better? Is it better to speed to your destination, cover lots of kilometres quickly or to saunter along, smell the flowers and take in the views?
There’s no wrong answer to this one.
Let’s look at going fast first.Going FastA challenge
One of the best parts about moving quickly is how much of a challenge it is. You have to push yourself physically and mentally to go fast and far. You might be going easier or harder depending on who you are with but if your by yourself and not waiting for anyone, you could push yourself to your absolute limit.Get places quickly
Hiking fast gets you places faster than hiking slowly. I think that’s pretty obvious. If you have less time for a hike or need to get somewhere for a certain time then moving quickly might be your only answer. Some people are just impatient. If I only have a couple hours to hike, I know I can go hard and get a decent hike in.More impressive story
I don’t recommend doing things just to have a good story but if a good story happens as the result of a good adventure, then I’m going to use it! Faster stories sound more impressive to me. That said, there are some epic adventures of the slow variety that are good because of their slowness.Cover more ground
When you’re moving fast, you can cover more ground. You’re moving faster so you can go farther in a given time. Some people enjoy the variety of seeing more and just want to get to farther objectives.Going Slow
Now let’s take a look at going slow.Take photos
One of my favourite parts of hiking slow is taking photos. It’s hard to rush and take photos at the same time, you can take snapshots but really putting together some nice photographs takes time. The hiking can be speedy in between the photos but any time you need to look at something from many angles to get a nice photo, that’s going to take time.Relaxing
Hiking slow is just more relaxing. You’re not trying to get anywhere fast and you can literally stop and smell the flowers as you hike along. When there are beautiful vistas along your path, you may want to stop and just look instead of rushing by.More inclusive with other hikers
The faster you hike, the fewer people can come with you. It’s hard to hike fast and not many people can do fast speeds. Go a slower speed and include more hiking friends.
None of these things are the right or wrong way to hike, just different. Some people like slow and some people like fast.
Do you like fast or slow? Why?
Let us know in the comments or below on the Facebook page.
The Snowpeak LiteMax stove is a small canister stove from Snowpeak, a company that makes lightweight backpacking stoves, cookware and other accessories.
The LiteMax is one of the lightest canister stove I’ve ever seen. It’s easy to carry because of that. Pair it up with a small titanium pot to boil water in and you’ve got a very lightweight cooking solution.
The LiteMax is a canister stove and uses iso-butane canisters. You can use any iso-butane canister like Snowpeak or MSR.
Boil time is a little slow at over 4 minutes. Some other canisters can boil a litre in 3.5. It gets the job done fast enough for me.
I used it on my 6 day West Coast Trail hike and loved it. Lightweight, reliable, hot. Never had any problems with it. We also had an MSR pocket rocket which worked great as well, it’s just a bit heavier.What I like about the LiteMax
Lightweight – The LiteMax is very lightweight and small. It’s easy to pack up into a pot or throw in it’s little carrying case and tuck somewhere in your pack. Without it’s case it’s only 54 grams (1.9 oz). It’s not the very lightest in canister stoves but it’s close.
Cools quickly – because it’s titanium, the metal arms that hold up the pot cool very quickly. This is a nice “feature” if you want to pack up your stove soon after you are done cooking.What I don’t like about the LiteMax
Loose Arms – The arms unfold and then rotate around the burner. This makes it easier to fold up and store. Sometimes the arms don’t stay rotated where you put them though, the connections are a bit loose. As soon as a pot is on them they stay put for the most part. Having a bit tighter connections keep them in place would be nice.
Remember to close the valve – The valve handle folds back onto the bottom of the stove for storage to make it smaller. You have to open the valve a bit when folding it. When you unfold it you have to remember to rotate it closed all the way so fuel doesn’t start leaking when screwing it onto the canister. Being able to fold the valve handle in a completely OFF position would be nicer.Conclusion
I love hiking with the LiteMax. It’s small, light and easy to use. I haven’t had one issue with it yet (knock on wood!). I would be interested in trying out some stoves with a lower boil time, if you’re trying to save space and only have one stove for a group, you want that water to boil as fast as it will go.Photos of the Snowpeak LiteMax