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[at-l] Map Needs?

R.D. Behr wrote:
>     Do I really need maps of the whole route?
>     Do I need maps at all?

You don't _need_ the maps. On my thru-hike i only had the maps from Springer
to the Smokies, and i only had those maps because i had hiked a 100 mile
section in '95. I looked at friends' maps along the rest of the Trail, but i
never _needed_ the maps. I enjoy looking at maps... i just didn't want to
spend all the money it would take to buy them all. There were also times when
i wished i'd never looked at a map for the day, and took great delight in
brainstorming with fellow hikers on the most suitable method of torture for
the person who came up with the profile map that covered that day's hike :-) 

I would also factor in some variables that you are probably already thinking
about in regards to your hike. If you plan on taking blue-blazes, or alternate
routes, etc., then you might want to have maps. If you like having a general
guesstimate on how much up or down or flat you are going to have each day,
then you might want to have maps. If you want more detailed info on your water
sources, or a resource that shows water sources that are near the trail as
opposed to on it, (this might be helpful come summer time when your water
sources start drying up), then you might want to have maps. There are probably
other factors you might want to think about, but this is all i can think of
today. However, if your _sole_ purpose in buying the maps is to use them as a
navigational tool, i would say forget it. The trail is _very_ well marked. I
definitely got lost my fair share of times, but it was never because i didn't
have a map to look at. And if you decide to just get the maps for one state,
get the Maine maps from MATC. They are the coolest maps out of the whole

Walk with light,


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