View Full Version : Maps things of the past?

01-26-2012, 22:45
Hey yall i have not bought any maps yet. I am from s.w. Va. near dragons tooth. I live in Sc now and travel a lot thru Tn and WVa.I have read the other posts about maps and i know the What if ...plan.just wandering if yall planned on or have bought into the whole set or just few parts.I will probably get a few .
I will have the data book and or the companion.

01-26-2012, 22:48
Some hikers like them, some see no need in them. A guidebook will suffice on the AT. Having a map of the Whites is helpful since there's so many intersecting trails. You'll cuss a lot in that section.


01-26-2012, 22:51
Thanks Spokes,you going to be on the trail this season?

01-26-2012, 23:45
Thanks Spokes,you going to be on the trail this season?

May try another Long Trail end-to-end with a buddy. Hopefully there won't be a hurricane to contend with again.


01-28-2012, 11:04
I make my own. Print it at home and put it in a ziplock. Works for me. I'm not worried as much about staying on the trail as opposed to getting out in an emergency.

bamboo bob
01-28-2012, 13:32
I use the town maps. The AT was hiked by a blind guy did he use a map? But if you want to know about side trails and where they go you do need a map. having said that I wont bother with a map. On some trips I take a road map. The guide books often tell you about services in a town but neglect to tell you that ten miles past the town there is a much bigger city.

max patch
01-28-2012, 13:46
I'm not worried as much about staying on the trail as opposed to getting out in an emergency.

THIS is exactly why maps are necessary on the AT. Stuff happens.

01-28-2012, 18:22
Maybe I am old fashioned or a luddite. But I just like maps and trail guides for that matter. I like the additional detail a good map provides and the specific data a trail guide offers. And no batteries required.

Wise Old Owl
01-28-2012, 18:35
I make my own. Print it at home and put it in a ziplock. Works for me. I'm not worried as much about staying on the trail as opposed to getting out in an emergency.

I used to do that a lot, Now I just make a photoshop or scan and stuff it in the phone, zoom works great on smartphone.... not sure I would do that for the AT but for local trips its fine...

And to answer the original intent of the post - YES.

02-11-2012, 17:49
No maps,... but i Bought a GPS since id want one one day any how, i got the Topo maps for the trail in it,.... Dont expect to use it every day but a GPS is more valuable if SHTF to me

02-11-2012, 18:50
Maps are great and essential for bushwacks. But thats not what the AT is, so I dont find it useful.

02-11-2012, 22:11
Most people who walk the trail probably could do so without maps. But it's my strong hunch that more people who carry maps end up finishing the trail than do people who don't finish the trail. The trail isn't that physically difficult. But it does tend to be boring, especially for those whose only purpose is to complete the trail.

We all find myriad physical excuses for quitting. But behind many excuses is boredom. Most quit because the trail is no longer interesting.

I'm not saying carrying maps will help you finish the trail. But I am speculating that those that start their hikes lacking even the curiosity about the trail and its environs that maps provide have a greater chance of not finishing.

02-11-2012, 22:17
I like maps because I like to know what's around me.

I also like to lay in my bag at night and look at the guidebook and map to plan my next day as a way of winding down and getting ready to sleep.

02-12-2012, 14:47
Maps are beautiful and fantastic things. I wouldnt touch a lot of wilderness areas without them. That being said the AT is a highway making them less necessary.

Just get up and go the right way.

Jack Tarlin
02-13-2012, 13:02
The poll at the top of this thread left out one other statistic, which is the percentage of hikers who refuse to purchase or carry their own maps but will borrow or mooch other people's maps at every available opportunity. This figure is 100%, and there's no excuse for it. Prudent hikers should buy, carry and use their own trail maps. The two reasons not to do so (i.e. cost of the maps and their weight) are both lousy reasons for going mapless. Can one do the whole trail without them? Sure. It's simply not a very wise thing to do, and again, nobody actually does the trail "mapless." The mapless hiker simply relies on the kindness of others by becoming a mooch.

02-14-2012, 17:23
I don't think so - ever. IMHO, the standard ATC type maps will always be available. I cannot tell you how many folks have said to me "I just love maps! They are great to look at and help explore my surroundings. I always carry maps." Jack is among these folks. I read many posts that discuss all of the wonderful electronics that are available today. For the most part, the screens on them are tiny. There is no way that you can get the "feel" of what is around you from those tiny screens. As soon as you have to scroll this way or that, you have lost all frame of reference and therefore lose any context. Also maps do not need batteries, you can play with them while hiking and it does not matter what the weather is-most of the A.T. maps are made from synthetic materials similar to hunting and fishing licenses so go ahead, get them wet, spill mustard on them, slip and fall with them, drag them through the puckerbrush. Hard to break a map LOL. Now try that with your device. What a great souvenir they make.

02-14-2012, 17:39
I usually bring the appropriate map/maps for my section hikes. Don't need the books because I study them at home and mark maps with necessary information. When I'm done with a map I leave it in a shelter on the trail for others to use.

They also make great emergency fire starters. :D

02-14-2012, 21:52
Very nice.