GPS, Google Earth, Nevada back country, and long winter nights.


Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2007
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In the dead of winter I spend hours at night researching ghost towns and other interesting targets in the Nevada back country, looking for interesting places to go explore. At this point when rolling my Google Earth over to Nevada from the view at about 60,000 ft. the entire state is covered with yellow pins, and several of the overlays. I don''t sleep well with this trashed back of mine, and sleepless winter nights I spend poring over books I have purchased, maps, etc. Anyone really into Nevada’s history and such needs to buy the books Stanley W Paher has on the subject…start looking here…


He doesn’t give up the GPS coordinates or the directions to these places. I am glad for that, most have been vandalized heavily but still are worth the trip. You can find that info if you look hard enough. However...there are many places that are too far for the average vandalizing asshole to go to that are, in a word…amazing. The books, an internet connection, and some time, and you will find a lot of them. The research is half the fun.
I could spend the rest of my life out there in that back country.... every day... and never hit them all. If all you have ever done is drive north to south or east to west across that state you simply cannot imagine how many places people have tried to make a go of it out there.
Anyway…it has been pointed out to me that I need to convert all of my places I have stored on google earth into some sort of KMZ or KML files and store them elsewhere. If google earth crashes I could lose a metric ton of work...so if any of you are experts and/or know a way to walk a techno-infant through doing this please let me know.

We are hoping and planning for a run in June. My brother from another mother is finishing up radiation then and is ready to go.
So am I.
I've got 3 targets we want to hit on this trip for sure. I bought a new to me and still in the box GPS from a friend to play with. My old one is close to 20 years old. A Garmin 12. It still works, but the LCD screen is starting to go. It is a Garmin GPSMAP 64ST
Apparently Garmin has several programs for route planning now, what would be easiest for me is to overlay a section of Google Earth right onto the Garmin but I doubt that is gonna happen. My old school method (don’t laugh) is to simply sit down with a yellow legal pad and Google Earth and create starting targets and waypoints, then write down the "driving directions" on the pad, and take the thing with us when we go off exploring, with Cindy reading the navigation and watching the old GPS for the bearings to come up.
(I am gonna save those legal pads, and add to them. One of these days this whole internet thing could take a dump)
One of these programs is Garmin Base Camp.
It has been around for a few years. Some folks seem to like it and others hate it. I am in the can sorta make it work" level. It is a little strange to use, and I am sure does a heck of a lot mroe than I can make it do right now...but I am trying, LOL.
I loaded it and have watched a couple of videos, and have practiced a couple of routes. I’ve downloaded a chunk of Nevada we are interested in on Satellite images from Garmin Birds Eye, the guy I bought this thing from never even turned it on so I have the free one year subscription. It is how you load satellite imagery to the GPS unit itself. I need to buy a san disc sd micro memory card for it as I am rapidly filling the internal memory. Apparently it likes these cards formatted for FAT32, gonna hafta figure out what that is.
I have loaded the satellite imagery and created routes and waypoints for these three targets. This will be the first time we've actually tried to do this...watch our route on satellite imagery as we traverse it enroute to a target. Hopefully it works well and I can move forward with more stuff.

With all this new tech I wonder, is there a cool, simple way to create these kml or whatever files containing google earth info into the Garmin?

Any of you desert rats into this any of this stuff and wanna fill me in?


Nosy Neighbor
Jan 3, 2008
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Have you looked at Backcountry Pro? It is pretty easy to down load topo maps and satelite images into. Run it on a tablet after loading at home.


Substantial Member
Dec 20, 2007
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If you have all of your GoogleEarth place marks in a folder (on the left side of your GE window) you can simply right click the folder and then click "Save Place As". Name your file and viola, all of your place marks in that folder are now saved in a KMZ file in a location of your choosing...

If they are not in a folder already you can create a folder, or folders, to organize them and group them up then see step 1.