Which Maps do you use for hiking?

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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby YEONDERIN » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:14 pm

I do the same thing Co Native does but with a slight twist. I print a close up topo usually of the peak or crux area only, and then I print a slightly larger area of the approach leading from my camp or TH to and including the peak. I size each of these so that they fit snugly into a sandwich bag. They are placed back to back in the bag so that both maps can be seen without removing them in rain etc. With this method there is no need to laminate them and it is easy to write notes and comments on them throughout the trip. When I arrive home I add my comments to the map software so that they will print the next time I return to that area.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby bob863 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:40 pm

+1 for !Topo....there have been a lot of really good sugestions on this thread...for those of us who
carry GPS's, I also select the "grid" option and print out the grid lines (in either format....UTM, or Long/Lat)
overlaid on the map...

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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:48 pm

I usually use USGS topo maps for which I have full coverage of all the fourteeners. The first thing I do is draw the UTM grid and then label the grid across the map. For the routes I transfer from, Roach or Trails Illustrated and usually do in yellow highlighter. I’ll transfer whatever other useful information I find from these and other sources. Then I copy on a large color photo copier. If needed I’ll splice a couple sheets together. For weather protection I use a large zip lock bag.

I also use the Map Machine at REI and on a few occasions have ordered from Both of these are on water proof material.
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24K GPS Topos

Postby MtnHermit » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:21 pm

Steve Gio wrote:Anyone else have an opinion on this?
I use the 24K GPS Topos by Above the Timber. Have the entire state inside the GPS in memory all the time. I got so tired of printing paper maps and then being unable to read the tiny text. Everything is an object, touch it with the cursor and viola, instant description. This is particularly handy for contours, no more following lines, counting, then adding or subtracting. My brain cannot do simple math at high elevations.

While the screen is small, the maps have multiple detail levels, so they shed detail as you zoom out to avoid clutter. Many other advantages, check the link. The software still allows paper map printing if you have to have paper. Batteries have not been a problem, but you do have to recharge them.

Here's a photo showing a GPS & map:

A PC screenshot showing the GPS track on the map:

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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:58 pm

I have the entire state 1:24000 in my gps as well. (Which you can get for free at I like that feature, but I'm not willing to go without paper maps. A GPS unit is not reliable enough. They do however make things a lot easier as long as they are working.
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Re: Which Maps do you use for hiking?

Postby Magnum420 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:59 pm

I use my gps for pretty much everything. Never had a reliability issue with it. I still carry paper maps though. Sometimes its just a printout from 14ers, sometimes its the Latitude40 maps, and for times that I'm in an area not covered by the last two, I'll print out maps from my GPS software. As far as what is in my GPS, all of CO from the following.

City Nav North America
TopoUS 2008 - (50ft intervals)
Colorado Topo - (40ft intervals)
MidwestTopo - (20ft intervals)
Plus custom POIs and Trail overlays.
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