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  1. #1

    Default Maps for a thru-hike

    My impression is that few people carry maps on a thru-hike. True or false?

  2. #2

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    Meant to say AT thru-hike.

  3. #3
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    most carry maps. it's the smart thing to do

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Back in 1998 it was probably 30% carried, 70% didn't carry. I don't know about now, but I expect that ratio would probably have switched by now to 70/30.

    I've always said, if you have to ask if you need to bring the maps, then you need to bring the maps. (But, admittedly, that's off topic from what you asked.)
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  5. #5
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsglass View Post
    My impression is that few people carry maps on a thru-hike. True or false?
    If I were doing a thru I would just have the 24K maps on my iPhone. I wouldn't carry the paper. You can download maps (I'd prob have the next 200 miles loaded at any given time) as you move north and delete the maps after you pass through them. In case you had to get off trail that would more than suffice. The added benefit of the smartphone is you get the you-are-here GPS function as well.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

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    "If I were doing a thru I would just have the 24K maps on my iPhone."
    This is exactly what I did last year (okay, not an iPhone, but a smartphone anyway). Worked great. With an early start I fired it up a couple of times in the snow, but for the most part didn't need the maps. I also had a more conventional type of car-based map software. Lots of road crossings on the AT, so I thought it could be useful. Didn't need it, but I already had that on my phone and again, no added weight.

    For the guidebook, indeed you can get the Companion in pdf format, but I personally do suggest carrying a paper guidebook. I had the prior-year Companion on my phone, and looked at that a couple of times as a cross-check or to see if it had data that my paper guidebook did not (I used Awol's guide). I suggest this approach too, i.e., pdf companion but carry a different type of guidebook in hard copy.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  7. #7

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    Let's just say you don't own a smart phone. Then I need to pony up $200 for the ATC complete set, right?

  8. #8
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsglass View Post
    Let's just say you don't own a smart phone. Then I need to pony up $200 for the ATC complete set, right?
    NO.. post want to buy maps. last years maps are fine. maybe someone will sell them cheap. i doubt many came home with jobs last year.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  9. #9
    Recreational User Torch09's Avatar
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    Maps are unnecessary. Buy a guide book.
    ~Happiness is only real when shared~

  10. #10

    Default Guidebook/maps

    Definitely taking a guidebook.

    But in looking at that big box of maps in the illustration for the ATC set, just looks awfully cumbersome to manages all that along the way. (Yes, I know, smart phone is the way to go.) Just surprised they haven't evolved into a more compact, user-friendly format over the years. Oh well.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    It's really not that hard to deal with all the maps. Just take the first few, and mail the rest ahead to be picked up further along the trail.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

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    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    I find paper maps very helpful when planning a trip, no so much once I'm on it. The you-are-here function from a GPS (standard GPS or smartphone) is something I desire once on a hike.

    There really is no map planning for an AT thru. Your route is set.

    If the feces hits the fan you will want something (either electronic or paper) that will show you the fastest way to help. You need something IMO.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

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    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsglass View Post
    Let's just say you don't own a smart phone. Then I need to pony up $200 for the ATC complete set, right?
    You missed the annual sale, which runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas if I remember rightly.

    But it is not entirely a loss. The sale of maps is an important source of funds for protecting the trail for ATC and at least some of the maintaining clubs.

    The Maine Appalachian Trail Club earns $25,000 a year from the sale of its maps and trail guides -- a significant chunk of our $200,000 annual budget, which is wholly dedicated to trail needs.

  14. #14
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I like maps. I like elevation profiles. I like laying in my tent at night figuring out tomorrow's itinerary. I like looking at my map when I'm eating lunch.

    Often I'll pull out my guidebook at the same time and think about my plan.

    If nothing else, it gives me a chance to engage a part of my brain that doesn't get used most of the day when I'm hiking.

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    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Default Maps?

    Maps are not needed to do a thru-hike. Maps are very good to have when you thru-hike.
    You will not need a map to follow the well marked AT. It's nice to have a map when you want to plan your hiking day, check on the elevation comming up, see what is near by that a guide book won't show. If you have an emergency and need help, or have to get to help a map is very handy to have. Maps show so much more than what's in a guide book.
    I started my NOBO thru without any maps. I soon discoverd how handy they were and purchased them along the way where I could.
    Grampie-N->2001

  16. #16

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    I don't have a smart phone, but I wonder if the maps would be useful (big enough to show detail) if one got lost and really needed their map. Doubt it.

    In any event, having your maps on a device that requires a battery doesn't strike me as a good idea. Murphy's law and all that.

  17. #17
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    I don't have a smart phone, but I wonder if the maps would be useful (big enough to show detail) if one got lost and really needed their map. Doubt it.
    Your doubts would be incorrect. The maps available to smartphones have the same 24K detail as the large paper maps. In addition they tell you where you are, no guessing. Remember you DO NOT need cell coverage for full function.

    IMO they are not just adequate, but superior for such a task.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  18. #18
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    Your doubts would be incorrect. The maps available to smartphones have the same 24K detail as the large paper maps. In addition they tell you where you are, no guessing. Remember you DO NOT need cell coverage for full function.

    IMO they are not just adequate, but superior for such a task.
    I don't doubt it but I can usually find where I"m at on a regular paper map within a quarter mile most of the time. It's just about being aware of where you are (and where you just were...)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by lsglass View Post
    My impression is that few people carry maps on a thru-hike. True or false?
    No need to, just look at mine, that's what everyone else does

  20. #20
    Registered User tawa's Avatar
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    Now I see why my pack is often heavier than others---lol---ie: hey can I look at your maps again---and your data book---can I borrow your jet-boil---do u have a first aid kit I can use--do u have a swiss army knife I might use etc.--lol So much for LW backpacking.
    Amazing how some that brag about their low pack weights are constantly asking others to borrow their gear. lol

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