Let’s explore further:
First off, if you don’t already have Google Earth installed on your computer, you need to do so. You can download it for free here.
Once you have found a boondocking site using the method I previously described, there is much more useful information to be obtained about your campsite and access from Google Earth.
Open Google Earth on your computer or other enabled device and follow along:
- By holding your cursor over a boondocking site, the coordinates for that location will be displayed at the bottom center of the screen. These can then be entered into any GPS navigational system.
- Just to the right of the coordinates you will find the elevation. This can be useful in determining climate of the area (High elevations, cool. Low elevations, warm). By dragging your cursor along the road to your new found campsite you can determine if you need to travel uphill or downhill along with the amount of elevation (steepness) you will need to gain or lose to get there.
- At the top right of the screen you will find a compass rose for orientation.
- At the bottom left corner of the screen you will find a scale. This can be used to provide the approximate distance to your campsite from the main road, as well as give you an idea of the size of the campsite.
- Just below the scale you will find the “Imagery Date”. This provides the date the picture was taken. Obviously, things on the ground can change with the passage of time. The newer the image, the more likely you will find the campsite as pictured.
- By using sun and shade angles and the time of year the picture was taken you can pretty well determine when and where the sun will shine on your campsite and position your RV accordingly.
- Is there a closed gate on the road to your campsite? 1) Can you see a gate in the picture? Look for a line across the road or more likely the shadow it casts. 2) Can you see other vehicles traveling the road or RVs camped along side it? 3) Do dirt / gravel roads appear well traveled / graded? If so, it is most likely an open public road. Does a well traveled road suddenly appear less traveled? This is a sign of a gate, deep ditch or other obstruction / restriction in the road impeding vehicle traffic.
This entry is just a primer to get you started and possibly raised more questions than answers. Check back often for more useful Google Earth tips or submit your questions using the comment feature provided.
Below are just a few of the campsites I have located using Google Earth.
|N 38 35.526 W 111 50.944 Just off Hwy 24 on the Way to Capital Reef National Park|
|Just Off I -80 Near Lovelock, NV N 40 36.400 W118 18.315|
|Near Ruins of Tumco, CA N 32 52.866 W 114 50.029|