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needtoclimb

Maps

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My old set of Topo CD's are now scratched beyond use.

 

Where do you guys (and gals) get your maps from?

Software or free downloads?

 

Mazama site used to have a great topo map section with routes already drawn on the map, but the site doesn't connect anymore.

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caltopo.com

 

Thanks. I played with this site and it is great. I then learned from other blogs that I can save the PDF to my computer, upload it to a local Fed Ex Office Center, and have an 11 x 17 printed for $1.50! Sure beats using my crappy ink-jet printer at home. Quality map for under two bucks.

 

My next question is regarding Caltopo. Is there a way to grid north-south lines to allow for a bearing to be taken from the map without having to orient the map to north (using the north-south lines on the compass aligning with north-south lines on the map.) The site makes adding an UTM grid very easy, but not for adding north-south lines. I can do it by hand, but it would be faster and cleaner if the software could do it.

 

Also, I read that painting the map with Thompson's Water Seal creates a very water-resistant map that can still be folded. I'm going to try that and will report back how well it works.

 

Technology has come along ways from lugging around half a dozen giant USGS 7.5 maps.

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I'm as big a Luddite as anyone, but I have to say that a smartphone app like Avenza or Gaia is the way to go. My S5 is waterproof so I just keep it in my pocket or pack in airplane mode and I can easily get a week out of it (including playing music at night). I tend to only turn it on when the weather is bad, however. Just got back from the Rockies on a big ski traverse and it worked like magic. Of course, your device can always crap out (or you can drop it), but I'm willing to take that chance.

 

Plus, you always have Halen or Ozzy at the ready. This is key.

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My battery dies very quickly in the cold, and my phone shuts down if it gets too hot. So far I haven't had a smart phone I would rely on as much as my own

.

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caltopo.com: Route planning and map (PDF) printing. No reason to buy software as it's all outdated compared to caltopo.com

 

GAIA App: for your phone while in the field. You can import GPX tracks/waypoints from caltopo (or any other source), or do your own route planning in the app. You can download maps, Satelite, etc for offline use.

 

Phones in the field: If you put it in airplane mode, they will last for days and are quite durable and water resistant/proof on their own. I have used iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S4's and S5's for years in the backcountry, rain, snow (never put a waterproof case on them). Typically I can get 4-5 days out of a battery with airplane mode on, semi-regular GPS use, and some solitaire during the evening. If you can't get a phone to last more than a couple of days you probably don't have it in airplane mode, have a dead phone/battery, or play to many games.

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