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Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby Steve Gio » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:31 pm

I have a fair collection since moving here in 05 but I'm sure not as many as others on here. I like the Sky Terrain maps since they are very discriptive and the scale includes a wide area. The National Geogrphic maps, which I have several, drive me nust as they cover such a small area. Yes they are very detailed but I hate having to have 2 maps to cover 1 area at times.

Anyone else have an opinion on this?

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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:39 pm

I just bought National Geographic's TOPO program. When I go I just print of the map in 1:24000 for the area I will be hiking. No carring multiple maps and always have the map I need.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby weschun » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:45 pm

+1 to TOPO
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:47 pm

I've printed every map I need from TOPO!, both in 1:24000 scale and greater... get a moisture proof sleeve for it. Get a grease pencil and you can write on the sleeve, too.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby Chris P. » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:53 pm

I haven't broken down and bought TOPO, although it would probably be cheaper than my current habit of buying 7.5' quads, of which I have well over 100. If I'm doing a trip where I would have to carry more than 2 quads, I'll carry the NG topo instead. I guess the comment about them covering a small area was referring to the northern part of the state. Most of my experience with them has been in the San Juans, where 4 maps cover the entire range so I haven't had that issue.

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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby GreenHorn » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:01 pm

CO Native wrote:I just bought National Geographic's TOPO program. When I go I just print of the map in 1:24000 for the area I will be hiking. No carring multiple maps and always have the map I need.


Do you just print them on standard paper and tape the sheets together or do you have a larger printer? I have similar software, but haven't really found it that useful because an 8.5" x 11" map doesn't really cover much ground at that scale and carrying multiple sheets is a PITA.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:10 pm

I keep the detail, but scale them to fit onto one sheet of paper. I do this by creating the map as an image file then printing. Printing straight to a printer from TOPO! is too limiting for me. On longer trips I'll break it into two and print it front and back on the same sheet. I usually use clear packing tape to then do a home lamination of the sheet to make it waterproof.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby GreenHorn » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:26 pm

g, the packing tape CONative mentioned works well for lamination. I've done many 7.5' maps that way. I've used the brush on waterproofing stuff from REI as well. It works, but it's very time consuming.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby Steve Gio » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:36 pm

Does the topo program have trails and such or just roads and topo?

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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby weschun » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:43 pm

TOPO has everything. I download waypoints and maps into my GPS from TOPO. I also print the map, and just put it in a large zip lock bag.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:06 pm

g wrote:What do you use for home lamination?

I just use the clear 3" wide packing tape. A few strips across the front and back then trip with scissors. Works great as long as you overlap each strip a little.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:09 pm

Steve Gio wrote:Does the topo program have trails and such or just roads and topo?

TOPO! uses all of the USGS quads, so anything that appears on a quad appears on the maps. The trails aren't as accurate as I'd like since some of them haven't been updated in a while, but they're pretty good. If you can find a gpx or topo file of the trail then you can put it on the map(Bill provides gpx and topo files for all 14er routes on the site).
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