View Full Version : Map question

02-26-2013, 14:33
What's the deal with maps on the AT? I have the AT Thru hikers planning book, as well as the AWOL book. Can I go without a map? They are just so darn expensive. Is it worth the cost? I do enjoy looking at them during breaks, etc. Any advice? Thanks!

02-26-2013, 14:37
No you don't need maps, although they are fun to use to kill time but to heavy,and they really don't give much info, the AWOL book is all you need.

02-26-2013, 15:26
I used to carry a map....ditch them and bought the loose leaf AWOL guide and take only the pages I need....works great!

02-26-2013, 23:22
Thanks for the advice!

Sarcasm the elf
02-26-2013, 23:34
I would suggest buying the first set of maps, bring them with you when you start hiking and then once you've used them for a while decide whether you think it is worth it to purchase the rest.

02-26-2013, 23:39
recommended for getting through the whites.

02-27-2013, 00:39
I took someone else's advice (Baltimore Jack's, to be specific, because I was chatting with him in Harpers Ferry, nbd) and carried the MATC's maps for Maine. They are really detailed and informative and contain little some nice tidbits about shelters and landmarks and so on. I can't speak for the other states' maps because I didn't carry them, but Jack was under the impression that the Maine maps were the best and that the 100 Mile Wilderness was the one place where you might need to know what's going on far off-trail, if you need to cross a flooded river, say (Maine often doesn't have footbridges, while the rest of the AT does). I thought they were nice to have. I didn't need them, but Maine is super awesome and I was glad to know as much about the trail there as I could.

You'll find VERY few people in real life (i.e. not on WhiteBlaze) who think you need them; I'd guess that less than 5% of hikers carry them on the AT. I love maps, so I originally planned to get all of them just because, but I started to realize how much I hated the logistics of having them sent to me and dealing with mailing the old ones home (they cost too much money to burn once I was done with them). It's amazing how lazy you get. Do what Sarcasm said: buy the Georgia set, see if you like having it, then decide on the rest from there.

02-27-2013, 01:12
AT Thurhikers - the specific area Topo's are just more detailed - not needed (but cool!).

02-27-2013, 06:41
You don't need maps the same way you need a sleeping bag but don't underestimate the value of knowing where you are in relation to the world around you.

I pack pretty light but I always have a map.

02-27-2013, 13:21
If you already have a GPS you can get this:


03-11-2013, 19:23
I'm a map & compass noob, so I figured this would be a good chance to learn how to read w/o having to worry about really being out there on my own, so I'm bringing printouts from the following:


Maybe they're superfluous, but I like the idea of knowing exactly where I will be and the names of surrounding peaks, rivers, etc.

03-14-2013, 12:20
Another good exercise is to use maps for planning and practice using a GPS for navigation.