I failed in my goal of making map posts from the trail, but I still managed to collect a high-resolution GPS track of almost the entire hike. That in itself was challenging enough to be a proud accomplishment for me. I’ll write a little about how I did it, but let’s start with a map and the data:
Red = on route, Purple = alternate route, Beige = off route
I collected this data with a QSTARZ solar travel recorder. It worked really well, but even with a little built-in solar panel, keeping the unit powered up for 12 hours a day was a challenge. On its own, a fully charged battery would last two days at most. So I relied on supplemental solar power from a 4.5 watt Brunton Solar Roll. Even so, a few times I lost power. I estimated our route later in these sections and made them a much lighter color.
This system works well if you can charge the battery from a car or wall outlet every 4 days or so, and there is at least a few hours of direct sunlight every day. If that’s not an option, you’d have to start carrying spare batteries.