View Full Version : maps maps maps they don't love you like I love you

02-18-2007, 15:48
for maps, do you buy them ahead of time, can i get them along the way? shoudl i get that big ass package from ATC. do I need that package? can it be purchased piece by piece along the trail?

i have the companion, will have wingfoot's book and figure I need some sort of maps.

what is recomended?


02-18-2007, 15:54
There's no need for maps on the AT. The companion and/or Wingnut's book is plenty.

hammock engineer
02-18-2007, 15:59
Oh man, be prepared for an argument about maps.

I ordered the full set and am going to have them mailed to me along the way. I am leaving food with my parents too. This way I can treat these map pickups as a full resupply.

mountain squid
02-18-2007, 16:23
I say definitely carry the maps and purchase ahead of time. If you are leaving soon, make a decision quickly. I don't know how long it will take ATC to process the order and then for you to receive them. It is cheaper for ATC members. If you wait and purchase them while hiking, you will likely have a hard time finding the next section when you need it. As hammock engineer mentioned have someone back home mail them to you or you can bounce them to yourself.

What I did was transcribe the data from the Companion onto the maps. That way I didn't have to carry the Companion. You might not have time to do that, but something to think about...

Also, you don't need to carry the Companion and Wingfoot. They are very similar.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

02-18-2007, 16:36
Maps have many uses. I think the most important is their benefit in an emergency when you need to quickest path to help or whatever. They have many other uses including planning your days hike.

Hiking with out them is taking unnecessary risk for the benefit of a few ounces wt. saving. Kinda like going biking without a bike.

02-18-2007, 16:58
footnotes - i tend to agree. i am one who goes fishing for a day with a pack full of emergency gear and a tent! i tend to err on the super sire of caution. I am going to carry maps, but i guess i'm not sure if it is better to buy them now of wait and get alogn the trail.

mountian squid makes a good point about nto getting the map you need at tthe time you need it.

so are the maps people use the ones in the kit/package from ATC?


Jack Tarlin
02-18-2007, 17:01

There are all sorts of threads here on WB about the usefulness of maps.

And when people who haven't thru-hiked tell you what do do and do not need while thru-hiking, well, take this with a pinch of salt.

Bring the maps.

02-18-2007, 17:09
hi jack - i am going to take maps. just need to figure out which ones. any recomendations? the ATC package?


Jack Tarlin
02-18-2007, 17:36
They're the best ones I know of, tho some sections are better than others.

It's probably best to buy the whole set at once from the ATC, as some places along the Trail might be "out" when you arrive to buy the next section.
(And if you join the ATC or are already a member, you'll save a lot of money).

You might also find recent used sets here on WB and on some other Forums.

02-18-2007, 18:59
I have not thru hiked the whole AT - that is coming in ten days - wow (!) but I can say from hiking many trails in many situations, one takes maps for the territory they are in. You don't need to be a 2,000 miler to know the obvious. In fact, I still take a map for the Jones Mtn area of SNP near where I live and I've hiked it half a dozen times.

Jack Tarlin
02-18-2007, 19:07
I always laugh when I see someone say "You don't need maps on the AT!" because the simple reality is that EVERYONE uses the Trail maps at one time or another.

There are basically two groups of map-using hikers out there:

Group One includes the people with common sense and foresight. These folks use their own maps.

Then there are the people without common sense and foresight.

But it's no problem....

The people in Group Two make up for their mistake by using the people in Group One's maps.

And they will do this at every available opportunity!

So to say that one can do the AT without using maps is a mistake because sooner or later, EVERYONE uses them.

But not everyone buys them.

02-18-2007, 20:05
I hiked the first 500 miles of the AT. Decided not to bring the maps. I was hiking at the same speed as a few other people. One of these guys had a map. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US looked at the maps EVERY morning. They're great in my opinion. I want to get them for the remainder of my hike.


02-18-2007, 21:56
The people in Group Two make up for their mistake by using the people in Group One's maps.

And they will do this at every available opportunity!

But not everyone buys them.

Have to agree whole heartedly with Jack on this one. Case in point was this past summer during the floods in PA. We would be hiking along, find a note across the trail to follow an alternate route because the next section of trail was under 5 feet of water. While following the suggested route, we would see this route submerge itself under 6 feet of water. Without having a map handy, it would have been VERY difficult to figure out an alternate to the alternate.
By the way, Jack was most helpful too the hikers during that little challenge. Thanks Jack!

Jack Tarlin
02-18-2007, 22:05
Thanks for the kind words, but it was all pretty much TrailAngel Mary's idea, at least if you're talking about the rope bridge on the stream by Rt. 325. It got a little hairy out there that day, and I'm a really terrible swimmer, but it all worked out somehow, and we were able to go out and remove the bridge in just a couple of days, the water went down that fast. Mary got some cool photos of people doing the Indiana Jones thing to get across the river; at that point all I wanted to do was get back to the Doyle and dry off!

Anyway, for around 48 hours, it was kind of an interesting river crossing.

Thanx for the reminder, Lyle. :D

02-18-2007, 22:17
I was in one of the first groups that got across on the Logging skidder. I think it was G-walk that called and left the message at the Doyle about the situation. Anyway, I heard later that day about your exploits.

Thanks again for all you do.


02-18-2007, 23:03
ass size is irrelevent sir.

02-19-2007, 10:14
I know Interstate 40 is a straight shot out west. But if I were to go to California, you bet I'd take a map. I know the AT is a straight shot up to Maine, same logic applies.