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What maps do you carry?

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What maps do you carry?

Postby Sloop » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:45 pm

I generally rely on the NG Trails Illustrated series and found them to be accurate and at a large enough scale to be used for navigation. I like the 7.5 minute maps but i generally just use them for pre-trip research and bring along some smaller versions as a backup on adventure paper in a sealed plastic bag with my backup compass.

Just curious as to what everyone else brings...



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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby balzaccom » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:35 pm

I print my own off the USGS site, sometimes use National Geographic (I find that their complicated color schemes sometime obscure the other markings) and also Tom Harrison's map. All work.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:46 am

Tom Harrison maps for me.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby dave54 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:52 am

USGS topo quads from their web site.
USFS topo quads if available.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:49 pm

Quads at home for prep, and TH maps on the trail.
I write notes about a difficult section and clip them to my map for reference.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Jimr » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:46 pm

I use USGS 15' if available, 7.5' if necessary. I don't much like the 7.5' because I don't think they give me a big enough picture for off-trail scrambles.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby markskor » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:32 pm

Started out with the 7.5 series years ago-
Probably have 30 - 40, old routes marked, newer ones added,
ragged edges-
Many still creased on the last day's fold.

Old habits and fond memories there...
Too late to change.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Sloop » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:40 pm

Hmmm....

What advantages do you see in the Tom Harrison maps versus the NG Trails Illustrated?
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby rlown » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:59 pm

just me, i guess. all electronic on my gps now. I've got the tattered maps as well; pretty much reminders of some great trips.

I plan my trips electronically, research as much as possible both here, and other places; load it up on the garmin, and test it out in google earth. For me it's not so much about complete routes, as it is about important waypoints. I feel pretty comfortable bringing up a waypoint and picking a route to get there.

Kind of a strange question, but those who print their own maps, how do you protect them from water? I'm under the assumption that if you pull your map out, and you printed it with normal ink, you have no map if it gets wet. Of course, the obvious answer would be a ziplock, which i used to do. Any other options in use?
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby balzaccom » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:36 am

My experience with the NG maps is that they often have so much color coding that some of the trail and topo line info is hard to read. And I don't like that.

As for my own printed maps--we just keep them out of the water. And yes, over the course of a single hike, they get a bit tattered sometimes, but we won't use them again, they're part of the souveniers of the hike!
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Mike M. » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:06 pm

I rely on the old 15" U.S. Geological Survey maps (I have an extensive collection). If I plan to travel a new and difficult route, I'll use my TOPO! electronic maps to print out a portion of the route in 7.5" format. I like the Tom Harrison maps when they are available in 15" format (they are durable and updated), but rarely buy them because my trusty Geological Survey maps continue to be servicable. Generally, I find the 7.5" maps to be myopic, way too micro for most purposes. I do not use GPS and waypoints, much preferring the old fashioned paper maps coupled with common mountaineering sense.

By the way, there was a post here (it was moved to the gear board) that talked about a great deal for TOPO! customers to upgrade to new state maps. The idea was that owners of Wildflower Productions TOPO! regional series maps could upgrade to a National Geographic TOPO state series map for only $19.95, plus shipping. When I called, National Geographic told me it wasn't true, the offer did not exist. I wonder if the original poster can shed some light on this. (I posted this on the gear board too but it is not as active as this board.)

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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby EpicSteve » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:00 pm

I do advance research online at MyTopo.com and also on paper with Tom Harrison and/or NatGeo maps for a good overview. I carry USGS 7.5 minute maps in a large ziploc bag in my pack. I do a lot of off-trail routes and I like the detail of the 7.5 minute series, but sometimes that scale does mean carrying a lot of maps to cover a single trip. I trim the edges off to save weight.

Rarely do I need my trusty 34-year-old Silva Ranger compass, but I carry it on every trip, just in case. It never loses its bearing due to thick forest canopy, steep canyon walls, or a dead battery. But that's a discussion for another thread, I suppose. ;)

I've been thinking about buying NatGeo's California topo map software, but then I'd have to buy a better printer. Time will tell. I'd love the freedom to choose which portion of the map I want to print, rather than being stuck with pre-determined map borders.
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