Those hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 have my deepest respect. Please do NOT refer to any old articles, including ones on this site, that talk about instructions for 2013 or 2012. They will bring you more frustration and will not give you the updated data that you need.
Here is a way to get started using BackCountry Navigator. Please note that we are providing these tips for free and assume that you already know something about the PCT and BackCountry Navigator. Please take the time to learn about both before going out on the trail. If your screen or experience does not work exactly as described here, please be patient and avoid panic. There are some differences across devices that are difficult to describe, particularly in browsers or file downloads.
I must emphasize strongly that you take time to learn to use the software and/or your device before you rely on it on the trail. I am sure you have spent a lot of time planning your route, checking out your equipment, and even practicing with your camping stove before you go out. Plan to do the same with your navigation software.
The greatest source for information are the waypoints available from Halfmile.
To get started, go to the link on Halfmile's site that mentions Google Earth ( I know you are not using Google Earth, just bear with us).
This the link:
On this page, I found a link called Halfmile PCT data in Google Earth format. This is a kmz file. You can download here or on your computer and transfer it to your device if you know how to do that. It is important to know that because some mobile browsers do corrupt these files.
When I opened it in the mobile browser, it didn't look promising at first. I chose "Browser" for the first question.
The next question is the one I hoped they asked first. You may get it first. They ask if BackCountry Navigator Import is how I want to handle the file. I do.
Once I've chosen that, I have options for importing. You should choose a new unique name that references the PCT and 2014 such as "PCTfor2014".
After you have done this, you may have only a small icon in your status area that indicates something is in progress.
This status is in the same place where you see notification of a new email or text.
Be prepared for this import to take a long time. It's a lot of data. Maybe a half hour or even longer. Take a break, get some water, read a book. Your patience may be rewarded with an import complete message.
Click on this, and you will be brought to the map.
For another view, click the upper left corner of the screen and choose List (or List tracks/waypoints).
You can now see an extensive list of waypoints or tracks. You can choose an individual waypoint to center the map or GOTO. Note that the distances mentioned on this screen are from the current map's center. When navigating, it will be the actual distance from your location.
Please Note:Nothing you have done on this page will ensure that you have *maps* covering the areas you need when you are on the trail. Follow our standard instructions for that.
With these tracks and waypoints, you are already far ahead, even without maps. We do acknowledge that downloading maps for this long, irregular area is a difficult process. We may be able to offer a prepackaged map for a fee, but it may depend on our schedule this year.