To order the CD, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CD costs $15 with postage and handling included.
The CD contains 127 GPS waypoints (which mark exact longitude and latitude) to help you navigate the hikes in the book without a guide. To use the waypoints you must have a Garmin GPS unit, a cord to attach the unit to your computer, and the Mapsource Trip and Waypoints Manager (see below). The cord and Mapsource software are available online at www.Garmin.com along with information on where to buy your Garmin GPS unit. These waypoints are in Garmin GPS Database format (.gdb) so are only compatible with Garmin systems, but read below for information on the possibility of using them with non-Garmin units. The CD also contains a file with instructions on downloading the waypoints to your GPS unit and a file with directions for Hike 15.
Buying a GPS unit
GPS units are expensive so if you are traveling on a budget, hiring one of the guides in my book for $5 a day is your best alternative. But if you already have a GPS unit or have some extra cash to spend, finding the trail by yourself using waypoints is great fun. So here is what you need to buy in order to use the CD I am selling.
1. Mapsource Trip and Waypoints Manager ($30) This is sold on the Garmin website (www.garmin.com). To locate it quickly, just copy the address below and paste it in to get to the exact page selling it. Once there, click on products to see the GPS products it is compatible with. Once you load the Mapsource software onto your computer, you can then transfer the waypoints on my CD onto your computer and then send them from your computer to your Garmin unit. Note that the more expensive GPS units include the Mapsource software so you don’t have to buy it separately. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=664&pvID=1951
2. The GPS unit The cheapest handheld unit is the eTrex ($106), but because of connecting cord complications (see below) you may be better off buying the eTrex Venture HC for $214 or one of the other more expensive HC models. These models all come with a USB cable and the Mapsource software included, whereas both the cable and software have to be bought separately with the cheaper models. All the units compatible with the Trip and Waypoints manager software can be accessed by clicking on them under Products on the Mapsource Trip and Waypoints Manager page. You can read all about their features and what is included (“In the Box”), but the GPS units themselves are not sold on the website and must be bought at retail stores. Store locations are listed and retail prices vary so shop around.
3. A cord to connect your GPS unit to your computer New Units: All the new-model units (with HC in their name) now come with a cord that goes from the unit to the GSB port on your computer so you don’t need to buy one separately Older Units: The older, cheaper models do not come with a cord, so you must buy it separately. Click on accessories for whatever model you choose to select the cord which is called the PC interface cable (RS232 serial port connector) and costs $38. It attaches to your GPS unit using a serial port (the newer models use a different type of port so the cords are not interchangeable). The other end of the cord attaches to the computer using a standard 9-pin D connector. This is fine if your computer has a 9-pin D receptacle, but most of the new computers don’t have them, which means you have to buy a second cord called a USB to RS232 converter cable which has a USB connection on one end and a 9-pin D connector on the other end. This attaches to your original cable with the 9-pin connecter and then to the computer and costs $60. So if you are starting from scratch and don’t own a computer with a 9-pin D connector, you will save money buy buying the $214 eTrex Venture HC for $214.
Using the Waypoints with non-Garmin systems The waypoints on this CD are in Garmin GPS Database format (.gdb) and are not compatible with non-Garmin systems. If you have a non-Garmin unit, however, you should be able to load the waypoints manually into your unit. Check your manual to see how this is done. With my unit I click on Edit and then choose New Waypoint and a window comes up. Then I call up my list of waypoints in Word, copy the waypoint I want, and paste it on the “position” line in the New Waypoint window. I then click okay and the waypoint now appears in my Garmin list of waypoints and I can upload it into my GPS unit. To see if this will work for you: 1. Copy the following waypoint: N33 39.035 E107 37.545 2. Open your software on the computer, go to Edit, and select New Waypoint 3. Paste the waypoint you have copied in the “position” window. 4. Click “Show on Map” and the waypoint should appear just northeast of Hanzhong. 5. Click “Okay” and the waypoint is now entered into your GPS format and can be downloaded. If you ignore the altitude which has to be pasted separately, pasting in the 127 waypoints manually, once you get the hang of it, should take about an hour.