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[cdt-l] topo maps

I like what I've seen so far in these maps, but I'm printing them on 13" X 
19" high quality paper.  In two weeks I put them to a field test and I'll 
tell you what I think of them then.

>From: "JDragotto" <jdragotto@dellepro.com>
>Reply-To: cdt-l@mailman.backcountry.net
>To: <cdt-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
>Subject: RE: [cdt-l] topo maps
>Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 23:53:34 -0500
>I was hoping that I was providing an economical way for some to look at the
>24K maps associated with the CDT.  I for one do not have $300.00 or more to
>purchase topos. Granted if you print a complete quad on a 8.5 x 11 piece of
>paper it is virtually impossible to read. But on the other hand if your
>printer allows you to print poster form, than you can print the same map on
>four sheets, seam them together and the result is a map about the size of a
>USGS quad. Better yet view the maps highlight your route and print only the
>portions you need. As for detail I'm not sure what kind of maps others use
>but I find 24K topos more than adequate.
>I'm not saying that this is the way to go all I did was compile the maps 
>was offering copies for a minor charge of $20 to cover the cost of the CDs
>(5) and shipping. What better way to see the lay of the land and do a 
>planning without spending a fortune?
>-----Original Message-----
>From: cdt-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net
>[mailto:cdt-l-admin@mailman.backcountry.net]On Behalf Of Ginny & Jim Owen
>Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 8:29 AM
>To: cdt-l@mailman.backcountry.net
>Subject: [cdt-l] topo maps
>I've stayed out of the topo map/CD thing up till now but I was recently 
>a copy of some of the maps that someone took off one of the topo CD's.  I
>finally got some time to take a good look at them today - it wasn't happy
>time.  Or maybe I should be happy that we didn't try to use them for our
>Personal opinion is that those maps are just plain inadequate.  For me,
>they're too hard to read and reading elevations is impossible.  Maybe it's
>cause I'm blind?  I won't speak to the accuracy of the contour information,
>but if I can't read it off the map, then it might as well not be there.
>Anyway, other problems - they simply don't have the level of detail that I
>demand of a map for that kind of country.  Many of the trails aren't on
>them, and at the level of detail I'm seeing, I doubt if they show a lot of
>the jeep tracks that you need to keep track of in Montana and Wyoming - but
>I'd have to see more of them to be sure about that.
>They also don't cover enough area - if you stray from the narrow corridor
>that they cover, you're well and truly lost.  The way they're cut, if you
>stray just a few miles, you're off the map and have no landmarks.  Someone
>out there wasn't paying attention when we were talking about how easy it is
>to get misplaced in that country.
>The maps also don't allow enough leeway to be able to adjust your hike to
>make sidetrips - as we did, for example, by going through the Cirque of the
>Towers.  The one map shows the Cirque, but it also shows only enough of the
>area to get out of there by one route.  The route we took would be a
>complete mystery to someone carrying that map.  I think my problem here is
>that they're cramped and just make me feel claustrophobic.
>Nor do they cover enough area to allow you to change your route if you run
>into weather problems, stream flooding or any of the dozen or so other
>factors that can influence (and interfere with) your hike.
>They also don't give you the information you'd need to bail out in case of
>emergency.  With this kind of map, we'd have had no clue about how to get
>Ginny out when she got hurt.
>One question is whether or not they show water sources across the Red 
>or in New Mexico.  Without that, I'd consider them to be useful only as
>firestarters. In the Winds, that's not a problem - there's plenty of water,
>but once you get south of there, you're into desert.  And there are rarely
>signs to point you to the water sources.
>Personally, I'd rather carry the full size FS and BLM maps - they had
>problems and they lied to us regularly, but they were readable and we had
>the assurance that if we did stray, we'd have what we needed to navigate 
>way back to where we wanted to be.  Or to bail out if necessary.  Or if we
>wanted to change our route, we had the capability to do so.
>For those who haven't been there - this isn't the PCT, much less the AT.
>You need better maps because a lot of the time you're not just following a
>well-marked and maintained trail - you're following a route.  There's a 
>large difference. We know of one hiker who had good maps and was lost for 4
>or 5 days and out of food before being picked up by some fishermen in
>Montana.  How hungry do you want to get?
>Walk softly,
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