Mapping dirt roads - Tips and tricks.

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sixbennetts
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Mapping dirt roads - Tips and tricks.

Post by sixbennetts » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:02 pm

I wanted to start a thread about how we find places to explore, and by doing so help others here to explore their areas more thoroughly.

If you're like us, it absolutely KILLS YOU every time you go flying past a dirt road entrance knowing you can't go back and explore it. Especially if there's no mailbox or no trespassing signs. Then, you see another one, and another, and so on....

By the time you're done riding, you *might remember one or two for next time. Maybe even look at it with Google Maps or Earth. But if you're like us, memories of rides are a big blur of scenery, scents, and laughter. The little mental notes get lost in the fun, and potential adventures are lost by the wayside.

But what if there was a way to document these spots for further research, without you or your monkey having their face buried in a screen while they should be looking at the cows? Here's what we do:

1. Barb has one of these, a simple handheld GPS unit that has the ability to mark a spot. She got it at a yard sale for $5. It's not this exact brand but just as simple.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2667739726

The button on the left that says, "MARK", is for waypoints. Her GPS unit has one, too. When we're riding, we're both watching, absorbing, immersing in the countryside. Talking on the headsets, laughing, and pointing things out to each other. If I see something I wanna explore, I tap her left arm/hand with my right knee, and she drops a waypoint for later. She also marks things I might not have seen. This is a simple button push. She's not sitting there staring into the device, she just taps the button. The unit sits on the seat next to her, (gently held in place by her beautiful bottom, and it's a quick, simple button press.

2. When we get home, she does a little computer wizardry and sends me an email from the home PC to my phone with a collection of clickable coordinates. I copy/paste the list into a note file on my phone. Then, I, "explore", them digitally.

3. First, I use onX Hunt Maps. This is a free app that allows you to click on a parcel of land and find the owner's name from the municipal tax records. If it's state land, it'll say so. Same for county, federal, BLM, etc. It'll look like this. (Private info covered with orange squares).

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... xmaps.hunt
PicsArt_08-09-01.22.50.jpg


Up here in the Adirondacks, you wouldn't believe how many fire roads, access roads, and maintenance roads we've found this way. Just a matter of contacting the Ranger for that area and asking for access. (I have a MAPPWD permit for motorized access to CP-3 land here in the Adirondacks because of my disabilities). And if it's private land, we probably already know them, (small towns are like that), or we simply stop at the house and ask. The Ural is a great ice-breaker that way. Half the time they jump in their truck and show you the way in! We've made many friends this way, and it's always amazing to play the, "Do you know such-and-such from so-and-so?", game. We have 2 prime camping spots along beautiful streams on private property that we can go to by simply making a phonecall to a new friend and asking. By leaving the site cleaner than we found it, we know we'll always be welcome.

If you mark theses spots on Google Maps app, it'll start to look like this when you zoom out! All of these are places we've been, or want to go to, or routes we wanna take, etc. And by downloading and using offline maps in the app, we can have voice navigation to any of these spots, even without cell service.
PicsArt_08-09-01.35.43.png
Also, the full version of Google Earth for the PC or laptop has the ability to view aerial imagery from the past, usually back a few years, so you can see how certain places have changed. Just click the year in the lower left corner of the screen, and a little slider will pop up allowing you to scroll back a few years. VERY handy to find the actual dirt logging road that might be treed over recently.

So basically, by utilizing the free technology available, we have drastically increased our local knowledge, and will ALWAYS have fun places to VISIT, while NEVER AGAIN flying past an interesting dirt road that we regret forgetting.

Simple technology that enhances our Uraling.
What apps and programs help you explore your riding areas?
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I have a funny wife. Hilarious, really.
I love her, she loves me.
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2007 Ural Retro, "Подарок солдата солдату"

"I'm slow and like to go old."
Plattsburgh NY

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sixbennetts
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Re: Mapping dirt roads - Tips and tricks.

Post by sixbennetts » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:10 pm

And because the forum is wonky about multiple images right now, here's some more pictures to illustrate the above.

Private property in onX Maps app.
PicsArt_08-09-01.23.22.jpg
And a prime spot, our favorite. We bought the table and the owner brought it back in his truck for us. They camp there now, when they didn't before, and we can get back in there *almost any time we want. This is right on the Saranac River.
PicsArt_08-09-02.05.53.jpg
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I have a funny wife. Hilarious, really.
I love her, she loves me.
______________________________________
2007 Ural Retro, "Подарок солдата солдату"

"I'm slow and like to go old."
Plattsburgh NY

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Peter Pan
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Re: Mapping dirt roads - Tips and tricks.

Post by Peter Pan » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:30 pm

I used to use my old Garmin....due to a insisting buddy I got a smart phone... The program I used formerly has now a smartphone app.... works even easier then the GPS.
App is from wikiloc.com.
The darn thing worked very well in UK, Germany and Spain....until the phone of passed by Mr Jobs said good night.
Make a try yourself.
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transmission: 1. 40.000km. 2. installed

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rivers
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Re: Mapping dirt roads - Tips and tricks.

Post by rivers » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:35 am

No free apps etc but a great source of info are the USGS Topographic Quad Sheets for your area of interest. If you see a road you want to explore, locate an end that ties into a larger or more well traveled road. Pull the Lat-Lon coordinates of the jct off the chart and punch them into your GPS as waypoint. Beauty of the topo sheets you can figure grade/elevation change per distance units desired so you can know in advance if your low power poorly geared Ural is up to the task.
Joe
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"I'm lost but I'm making good time."

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