Well, if you take a laptop with you things start to become easy:
1) get yourself a decent GPS Mouse, Bluetooth is standard now, but Cable mouse wil just do fine.
2) get yourself the maps in a Raster format ( I'd suggest bmp, tif, gif or png8). If a student will do scanning for you, he'll deliver raster maps.
3) get yourself a nice little Rastermap navigation Software, like:
There are other programs that do the trick, but look at Ozi, it's widely known and has many great tutorials and a decent sized community. Alternatives would be
Glopus (german software)
A GPS Mouse will work with all of those programs. Only standalone GPS Receivers have to be checked for compatibility.
When you are interested in this setup (take a look at the Ozi Website, to check out if this is what you want), I may help you further.
Well, one things for sure, I have a lot to learn. you gave me enough leads that I stayed busy just looking at the plethora of hardware available for GPS Mapping. I was however like a kid in a candy store looking through the available hardware, very impressive indeed.
I'm having the digital maps made to use upon my return, the professor told me that I should be able to complete both hard copy maps and digital in one day, so I'll have them made. I will have copies of the digital maps on my comp but I doubt I will use them much, however I will carry paper maps on this trip for the following reasons.
1, I have a lot to learn including learning how to buy the right hardware for my uses, not to mention learning to use both harware and software, I'm already in a bind for time as getting my property and business ready for my long absense is a general pain in the *ss, I'll never be able to learn enough digital gps to be any good
2. I don't feel comfortable with digital maps yet,, when I have a paper topographic map I get a feel for the entire area as I can actually see valley's ridges etc. in a large area. The day will probably come when I do feel comfortable, but I'm not there
3. I've done a lot of research. Northern Nepal belongs to China, they may not own it in name but they do control the entire area through Maoist rebels and the closer you get to the Chinese border the more the rebels start looking like Chinese party bosses or even Chinese soldiers. I don't believe they'll bother me but I don't want map plotting hardware on my person, these people are so damn suspicious over everything and I don't want grief from some second louie wanna be who thinks he has a suspicious looking American with fancy tech gear
I've downloaded OziExplorer, although I've been too busy to try it, however I will as soon as I get the time. I'll have my appointment at the college set up by Tue/Wed this week and I'll tell ya'll how well I fare