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  1. #1
    Registered User Chad400's Avatar
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    Default Maps for thru-hike

    How necessary are the maps for sale by the Appalachina Trail Conservancy to a successful thru-hike? I would like to avoid the 200 dollars for the maps but am not sure if the data book and thru-hiker companion will be adequate.

  2. #2
    Registered User mrmike48/4000's Avatar
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    get wingfoots thru-hikers handbook 15.95$...lots of info but no maps, i guess it is almost the bible for the AT..

  3. #3
    trash, hiker the goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad400
    How necessary are the maps for sale by the Appalachina Trail Conservancy to a successful thru-hike?
    not necessary whatsoever. rather, they are a luxury item.

  4. #4

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    They are necessary to hike the trail at all unless you get sick or injured and need to leave the trail as soon as possible or you get lost and you need to find the trail.

    Maps are kinda like seat belts. You always wear them but hope you don't need them.

    In other words, they are a necessity.

    You don't need to spend $200 on maps. ATC has an annual sale of guidebooks, maps, and data book every year from Tgiving to Christmas for about $170 or so. Also check on ebay or sites like this for a used set.

  5. #5

    Default oops-typo on last post

    Quote Originally Posted by max patch
    They are necessary to hike the trail at all unless you get sick or injured and need to leave the trail as soon as possible or you get lost and you need to find the trail.
    Should be...They are NOT necessary to hike the trail at all unless you get sick or injured and need to leave the trail as soon as possible or you get lost and you need to find the trail.

  6. #6
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    maps not needed,i carry wingfoots book neo

    http://www.trailplace.com/portal/dis...=handbook_2006

  7. #7
    GA-VA 2005, VA-CT 2007, CT-ME ??
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    The Data Book or THH give lots of info to keep you on track, and the AT is generally very well marked. Never felt like I've needed them on the AT, but then again, I've never needed them. You'll need to evaluate your own skill and comfort levels.

    -Mark

  8. #8
    Registered User Lobo's Avatar
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    Default maps

    You are hiking above treeline in the Whites with extreme weather forcasted on your radio for within the next hour. Do you know where your closest escape route is off the ridgetop?

  9. #9

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    When you NEED maps, you NEED them NOW.

    If you insist on not carrying maps, you are relying on luck and the efforts of others to keep you found. If you get lost and injured and require rescue, and the authorities find you without a map and compass, they should probably charge you for the rescue on the basis of willful negligence.

    I'm adamant on this one. You may be able to get by with out them, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to have them and know how to use them.
    Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
    AT'95, GA>ME

    Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam
    Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory

  10. #10
    Registered User DawnTreader's Avatar
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    In New Hampshire, if a rescue is needed and the victim is found negligent, they are charged for the rescue, a new law enacted by the lobbying from Mountain Rescue Services in New Hampshire...I think lack of map and lack of compass leading to persons lost and rescue needed, does apply to negligence, so keep in mind, preparedness could save you a bunch of money in the long run, not to mention saving your life

  11. #11
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    You're not going to get a solid answer on this one from most Whiteblazers. HOwever, here are reasons my wife and I carried - most are already stated above:

    Escape routes
    Clarifying your curiosity of peaks, towns, lakes, etc.
    Elevation profiles - these were fun to look at when planning the days hike - helped with my worst case scenario mph:-)

    If you don't carry, chances are someone in a group you'll find yourself in will have them.

    P.S. The seatbelt anaology was PERFECT!

  12. #12
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    I've always been a map guy. Hate not knowing where I am. My brain is wired in a such a way that guidebooks don't work as well for me as maps.

    I've also noticed on the AT that the people who did not buy maps were often asking to borrow mine!
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  13. #13
    trash, hiker the goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo
    You are hiking above treeline in the Whites with extreme weather forcasted on your radio for within the next hour. Do you know where your closest escape route is off the ridgetop?
    sure! to the left, and to the right.

  14. #14
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    If you need assistance and you are lost, a map will be of no help in the woods. A compass will usually mislead one as the trail goes all over the place - up, down, and all around. Don't walk alone if you are one that needs a command center to determine direction.

  15. #15
    Thru-hiker Wanna-be Fiddler's Avatar
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    Maps and a compass are in the same category as a first aid kit. Hope you never need them. But if you ever do need either of them, assuming you have basic knowledge of their use, they are one of the most valuable items you can carry.
    Remember this - - Even the best of friends cannot attend each other's funerals.

  16. #16
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky2000
    If you need assistance and you are lost, a map will be of no help in the woods. A compass will usually mislead one as the trail goes all over the place - up, down, and all around. Don't walk alone if you are one that needs a command center to determine direction.
    ??????

    I must say, that advice is counterintuituve to all my experience in the backcountry.

    Don't carry a map and comapss because if you get lost it won't be of use?

    Never though of a map and compass as a "command center", just a normal precaution in the woods.

    I will be the first to admit, needing a map and compass is not as needed as on the AT, but well...then why were people asking to look at my maps.

    Anyway, I just can't agree with "If you need assistance and you are lost, a map will be of no help in the woods"....
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  17. #17

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    Not to sound like an arse, but if you choose not to purchase the maps, then keep in mind that others (such as myself) may resent you if you have to "borrow" theirs too often.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky2000
    If you need assistance and you are lost, a map will be of no help in the woods. A compass will usually mislead one as the trail goes all over the place - up, down, and all around. Don't walk alone if you are one that needs a command center to determine direction.
    Mislead? Hardly.... the map and compass are used TOGETHER, it's like a hammer and an anvil. Either one by itself is less useful, but as a team they are very powerful. It takes a little instruction to learn, but well worth it. AFter a while you can read bearings (directions) off maps within 10 deg just by looking at it and it becomes second nature. I would say don't walk alone unless you have some knowledege of how to orient yourself, by compass, map, sun, or stars, or (cringe) GPS if necessary. Use whatever landmarks are available to figure out where you are and cross-check with map and compass.

    I'm in the same boat as Mags, I love to carry maps; you can get a real feel of the countryside and actually know what you are looking at and where you are in relation to other places. Otherwise the AT becomes a long green tunnel between towns, over and by so many nameless mountains, although the AT is so well trodden it's hard to get off-track. But I usually only pull out the map at rest stops, and then everybody wants to know where we are!

  19. #19
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad400
    How necessary are the maps for sale by the Appalachina Trail Conservancy to a successful thru-hike? I would like to avoid the 200 dollars for the maps but am not sure if the data book and thru-hiker companion will be adequate.

    i like looking at maps. i like studying maps. but i never carry them on the AT. they are simply not needed at all. you dont need a compass either.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    trash, hiker the goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates
    i like looking at maps. i like studying maps. but i never carry them on the AT. they are simply not needed at all. you dont need a compass either.
    amen. let's not forget the original question: are maps necessary? they absolutely are not.

    are they nice to have? you bet, but definitely not necessary.

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