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What maps do you carry?

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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby adam » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:32 pm

I think that the whole act of choosing what scale, orientation, etc to use when printing pages off of TOPO (or wherever) makes me think about routes, landmarks, etc. such that I feel pretty familiar when I actually arrive at the destination. Plus, I can fold and refold the maps with the current area displayed, and hold the maps in my hand with my thumb on the current location (orienteering trick that works great for hiking too). I don't have to worry about destroying the maps, because I'm only going to use them for one trip. I used to pay for the special paper maps, but I've found no problem with just regular old paper in plastic bags-- although I always carry a second set of printouts just in case. For larger scale, I much prefer the 7.5 min info shrunk-to-fit than the larger scale maps without so much information-- although the text is sometimes impossible to read in these printouts, I find the topography much clearer.

For the high sierra I actually LIKE the out of date maps-- especially the old wilderness press maps from my parents' 70s hiking guides, which are full of xc routes and old trails not on the current ones.

However I agree with the previous posters that the usgs topos are a mess for areas with more recent fire roads/trails/private property, etc... It would be nice if in addition to the pdf's of trails that land management agencies often make, they also had gps tracks superimposed on to topos-- although I guess they often don't WANT you to think about exploring like that...



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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Take-a-Hike » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:47 pm

I take Harrison maps for the big picture, but usually get a "Mytopo" for a 'blow up" of the area I want to go....especially if going off trail. I give the Harrison map to the wife so it gives her something to do.

Wondering though, when I order the "mytopo's", it seems that one quadrant or a section of the map comes in meters vs. feet. So I'll get about 90-95% of the map in good ole feet and then a section in metric which drives me nuts. How Come??

However, I did buy a Wilderness Press Topo Map of Yosemite & Vicinity for our trek in Aug from Granite Creek area. That seems helpful, but still did order a topo of the area as well....just not as much of the area.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby balzaccom » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:36 pm

One thing to add to this thread...

I print out a lot of the maps for our trips, and I used to be very careful about not wasting paper, or carrying extra (!) weight...until one trip when we decided to explore a little bit, and realized that I had only printed out exatly what we needed for our trip--not some of the surrounding countryside. So we explored, but we didn't really know what was on the other side of the mountain. And it was a lesson I won't forget.

What, me? Anal compulsive?
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Hetchy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:26 pm

I am so glad you asked.
I have just completed printing 310 maps of the 7.5 minute variety at 1/24000 scale blended so they are seamless. I sourced these maps from Jonathan Ley, a noted CDT hiker and Amazing philanthropist. Jonathan Ley updates the maps and water information yearly and gives a CD Rom full of them away for FREE! It is customary for hikers to donate something but he asks nothing! They cover a 3100 mile route from Mexico to Canada either on on very near the Geographic Continental Divide of the United States. I printed them on photo paper so they won't run when they inevitably get wet. I also have the relevant delorme atlas pages to give an overview in case it becomes neccesary to "bail" off the divide, get lost and "walk off the map", or when heading down to towns to resupply.
The entire set of maps and Delorme pages weighs 8lbs. Along with town guide pages and Jim Wolfs Guidebooks(most of which I copied onto the backs of the map pages) I have 11 lbs of paper to "guide" my hike this year.
I have divided it all up into 5 USPS flat rate boxes I will have a friend (MOM!) mail from California to various towns on or near the trail along the way.
At a minimum I will have 2lbs of maps in my posession. By far the heaviest single item in my pack are the maps!(Including the backpack which only weighs 14.7 ounces!)
It took me 50 hours to print them so I am torn on whether to:
1. Burn them as I go to start my homemade woodburning stove each night.
2. Write notes on the margins (remember the backs are full of copied guidebook pages) and mail them home from trail towns.
3. Leave them in hiker boxes or Post offices along the trail in the hope that they are useful to Southbound hikers that come along later in the season.(I am Northbound)
4. I know what you are thinking.. But I don't use toilet paper on the trail anymore and the heavy photo paper would be like wiping with saran wrap anyways..(HeHe sorry for the information!!) :D

5. Simply throw them away at town stops since the likelyhood of even seeing another CDT hiker is almost nil as there are only about 30 of us in the entire 3100 miles in a good year.
Cheers-Hetchy

PS. I have to add.. the compass rosette is Jonathans unique way of integrating GPS into the map system. There is a standard..like a ruler printed on the margin of the maps. Cutting the standard off, and using a reciprocal bearing from the noted gps coordinates in the compass rosette combined with the distance to those coordinates as stated by your GPS unit allows you to plot your position on the map. Pretty clever dude this Jonathan Ley.
Of course it's all lost on me cause I am a WAY cranky old curmudgeon of a "map and compass" guy... No GPS for me Thankyou. Go ahead.. CLICK THE MAP! YOUR EYES WILL POP!
:eek:
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mt06.gif
Sample Jonathan Ley CDT Map
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby richlong8 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:58 am

3 things I have learned the hard way not to worry excessively about saving weight on, maps, food, and insect repellent!
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby mokelumnekid » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:33 pm

richlong8 wrote:3 things I have learned the hard way not to worry excessively about saving weight on, maps, food, and insect repellent!



Amen to that. I bring all kinds of maps, and duplicates, including geological maps (the weight- oh the horror!) :unibrow: I quit carrying a compass a long time ago as I rarely need it in the SN. (Is there anyone on this board who really has trouble navigating cross country in the SN? Maybe, but I never have. Just saying is all.) The Cascades and Coast Range and other countries it is a different story (amazing how turned around one can get in the southern hemisphere). The only thing I might add to that holy trinity is the tequila, simply for medicinal purposes.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby fishmonger » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:47 pm

I usually am on the JMT, or at least am doing long trips for 1+ weeks, so I bring overview maps for the region to do long term planning. Tom Harrison JMT maps mostly, as they are concise. For areas where I want to deviate from well known routes, I just print the relevant area from the 24k map files I have collected (they are public domain), splicing them together in Photoshop to make a single sheet out of two if the area I care about covers more than one map file. Those can be used to start a fire when you're done, or take notes on, etc. I currently have 50 24k maps covering most of the Sierra. I also have the 24k Garmin maps in my GPS, but that's really only a gizmo and I use the GPS more to track distance and elevation than for orientation.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby adam » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:37 pm

where does one get the 24k (or 7.5k) map files? I've gone to the usgs site, and had no luck- but maybe I just didn't look in the right place?
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby fishmonger » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:08 pm

USGS has PDFs to download, but those can't be edited. I found the TIF version of the USGS 7.5 min maps on a server from UC Davis a while back. Not sure if it's still there. A few words in google got me back to that content, now on a California State .gov site:

http://www.atlas.ca.gov/ is where it seems to be now

go to the download link, and then good luck finding the right files. It is not the most user friendly archive.

go to this area

Categories » imageryBaseMapsLandCover » baseMaps » drg » 7.5_minute_series_albers_nad83_untrimmed

and then you need to know what sheets you want. At least they now added the map name to a column on the right, so if you know the rough map number for the area, you can find them quickly

Mt. Whithney is #36118-e2 to get you started.

don't use your browser's back button in that interface - it'll dump you out to the main page and you have to click yourself back to the map list again. Once you figure that out and know your map names, happy downloading.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:10 pm

Thanks for the link info, Fishmonger. I've already downloaded a few. Being able to stitch maps together in Photoshop is a great way to cut down on paper (and weight).
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby TahoeJeff » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:35 am

Here is a very simple way to access the 7.5' maps:

http://libremap.org/

Click "Data" on the first page, pick the state you want on the second, then enter the name of the place you are interested in, and a list of results with all the relative info will come next. A TIFF image can be downloaded from there.
The files are large, of course, but are editable and have all the detail. I have been in the Land Surveying profession for over 20 years and have used both the 7.7' and 15' maps for a long time. I would say that Libremap is one of the easiest ways to find a good map of a particular spot there is.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby adam » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:31 am

thanks for the link!
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