The Boston Gulch and Water System Hikes Technical Information            

If you have a smartphone or tablet with a GPS, you can probably use the GPX or KMZ files offline (there is no cell phone or wi-fi service in many of the mountainous areas surrounding Kentucky Camp). Unfortunately, smartphone/tablet functionality for offline use is not "out of the box" at this time. We will provide some guidance here, but functionality is changing rapidly, and you may need to be technically adventurous to get through the process.

To work offline, you need 3 things accessible offline:

  1. the background topo map or equivalent for the Boston Gulch and/or water system area
  2. the Boston Gulch and/or water system location points contained in the GPX or KMZ file(s)
  3. your current location within the other two

There are many GPS apps for iPhones/iPads and Android devices (and probably for Windows devices, too) that make the mobile device look almost identical to a standalone GPS. There are too many to list here, some are even free. You need to be able to import GPX or KMZ files and use the app offroad and offline in the backcountry.

  1. Install the app on your mobile device and learn how to use it.
  2. See the app documentation for instructions on how to download the GPX or KMZ files to your mobile device and import them into the app.
  3. Make sure you also have the background map information for the Boston Gulch and/or water system area that you can access offline (turn the mobile deviceís airplane mode on to test what you have access to offline). You may need to download aerial imagery or topo maps for the area while you have access to the internet.

I believe the version of Google Earth app for iPhones and iPads can both cache the background map and the Boston Gulch or water system location points, as long as you access these within Google Earth not too long before you leave. When you lose cellphone service, both will still be displayed as long as you havenít turned off your phone or crashed Google Earth.

  1. With internet access, install the Google Earth app on your mobile device.
  2. Download the KMZ file into Google Earth to your mobile device. Maybe you can download the file by clicking on the KMZ link: KMZ file Boston Gulch or KMZ file Water System from the web browser app on your mobile device. But you may need to go through your computer:
    1. Download the KMZ file to your computer with these links: KMZ file Boston Gulch or KMZ file Water System
    2. Email the file to yourself as an email attachment.
    3. On your phone, access the email and download the attached file.
  3. Once the download completes, the phone will try to open the file. You may need to tell it to use Google Earth.
  4. Zoom in to get the imagery and topography downloaded onto your phone. Pan around the route and wait at each spot until you see full detail before panning again. Once that imagery and topography are cached on your phone, donít flush the cache by looking around other places.
  5. Go to Kentucky Camp.
  6. Open Google Earth again and use My location to locate yourself relative to the Boston Gulch or water system location points.
  7. If there is such a thing as a file manager app for Apple mobile devices that can find and open the KMZ file, you might want to install the app while you have internet access. If Google Earth crashes while you are hiking around, youíre going to need it.

Google Earth app for Android mobile devices, ironically, may be a bit more difficult because the Boston Gulch or water system location points may disappear when you leave internet access. And you canít reload them from the email once you leave internet access. So you need yet another app to locate and open the KMZ file. AstroFile is one, KMLZ to Earth is another, install one of these or another like it.

  1. Follow the instructions for the iPhones/iPads.
  2. When you get to Kentucky Camp and open Google Earth, maybe the location points will still be there. If so, yay! You didnít need that 2nd app.
  3. But if not (or if Google Earth crashes like it often does), open AstroFile or KMLZ to Earth, find the KMZ file (probably in a folder with "/download" in the name) and open it with Google Earth. The imagery and topography should still be there. Use My location to locate yourself within the map.