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National Geographic Map Guides

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    • National Geographic Map Guides

      Has anyone used the National Geographic Typographical Map Guides? They sent me the set to write up a review on my blog. Posted the article yesterday. They're interesting and fairly comprehensive, but damn are they expensive!! One section is the cost of AWOLs whole trail guide!
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • I have the Nat Geo maps for Harriman, the Catskills and Adirondacks High Peaks Region. I also have the NY/NJ Trail Conference maps Harriman and Catskills, and the ADK Mountain Club maps for the Adirondack High Peaks. I think the Nat Geo maps are good, they're colorful and are sufficient, but I find the NY/NJ Trail Conference and ADK maps show more details, specifically "tent sites" , tote and logging roads, and the whereas the Nat Geo maps don't. There are small differences that the Nat Geos don't show that I prefer on the other maps. Its all personal preference I suppose.
      RIAP
    • My wife Kathy and I used the National Geographic map to hike the Presidential range in NH.
      It worked well and got us where we wanted to go.
      We've gone back to using the "official" AT maps produced by the various clubs, and sold by ATC, just as a way to help support the local AT clubs instead of National Geographic.
    • OK, now that I'm not on a device that's going bonkers.

      I carried a couple of NatGeo Trails Illustrated maps on my NPT hike. (They were co-branded with ADK, so they're the ADK maps as well.) I didn't like them very much. The 1:75000 scale was awfully coarse, the overprinted compass rose was hard to read (and sometimes even hard to find!), and they were huge sheets that presented some challenges to refold. They were the best that I had available, though. The strip maps in the guidebook didn't give enough "situation awareness" of what was off the trail, and those pretty much were the two choices for paper maps of that area. I'd have rather carried more, smaller sheets at a finer scale - maybe 1:31680 or 1:50000.

      For the areas that NY/NJ Trail Conference covers, their maps are fantastic. I have Sterling Forest, Harriman/Bear Mountain (2 sheets), West Hudson, East Hudson, South Taconic, Shawangunk Ridge, and Catskill (8 sheets) maps from them. I don't think I'd use anything else on the AT from High Point to Great Barrington. (They are more, smaller sheets, and show more useful features and less eye candy. I don't need hill shading. I do want to see the abandoned roads, springs, and good views.)

      I've also been known to print my own maps, either on office paper (for use with a map case or gallon Ziploc) or on waterproof paper. If you're set up to produce an electronic map, then you can laser print onto one of these materials. Printing 11x17, full color, double sided on customer-supplied paper usually runs about a buck a sheet at Office Max or Staples. If you're willing to juggle a bunch of sheets of 8.5x14 or 8.5x11, you can print at home, of course, but few of us have ledger-size printers at home.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • twistwrist wrote:

      Has anyone used the National Geographic Typographical Map Guides? They sent me the set to write up a review on my blog. Posted the article yesterday. They're interesting and fairly comprehensive, but damn are they expensive!! One section is the cost of AWOLs whole trail guide!
      That must have been a topographical error.
      I am human and I need to be loved - just like everybody else does
    • I really like the maps and have all the ones that cover the BMT (plus others). They lack detail but give a good, overall picture of where I'm at relative to towns and major roads. It makes me less confused and more secure that I know where I'm at. They supplement my more detailed maps.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Back in the 80's you had to buy the individual section maps as there wasn't a guide book. I used to have all of them, but alas they are not to be found now. I would LOVE to stumble across them again, but I've searched to no avail and I'm afraid they made their way to the trash at some point in time.
      If your Doctor is a tree, you're on acid.
    • If you're interested, this was my take on these maps. Liked them, yes. Found them useful? Yes. They cram a helluva lot of info into a 3ounce booklet. But holy geez are they expensive!

      appalachiantrailclarity.com/20…appalachian-trail-guides/
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • a couple years ago i got rid of all my 1980's state guidebooks and maps and rebought the entire set. ( i kept the georgia cuz i like to see where the trail used to go.) right now the complete maps are $230 or the complete maps and state guidebook are $290. but if you buy at the annual thanksgiving to christmas sale you basically pay for the maps and they throw in the guidebooks for free.

      while i carried the maps and guidebooks on my thru (and the philosphers guide and the data book) -- i'm no ounce weenie! -- the guidebooks are not necessary and i wouldn't do it again. they did provide interesting (to me) information re history and features of the area. i find them useful today for planning section hikes.

      i kinda wish i had kept the PA maps. you can not believe how BAD they were unless you actually are looking at them. good luck to anyone who ever had to actually use them.

      so i'm good for maps for awhile. i hope sometime in the distant future i need to replace them again. :)
      2,000 miler
    • AnotherKevin wrote:

      OK, now that I'm not on a device that's going bonkers.

      I carried a couple of NatGeo Trails Illustrated maps on my NPT hike. (They were co-branded with ADK, so they're the ADK maps as well.) I didn't like them very much. The 1:75000 scale was awfully coarse, the overprinted compass rose was hard to read (and sometimes even hard to find!), and they were huge sheets that presented some challenges to refold. They were the best that I had available, though. The strip maps in the guidebook didn't give enough "situation awareness" of what was off the trail, and those pretty much were the two choices for paper maps of that area. I'd have rather carried more, smaller sheets at a finer scale - maybe 1:31680 or 1:50000.

      For the areas that NY/NJ Trail Conference covers, their maps are fantastic. I have Sterling Forest, Harriman/Bear Mountain (2 sheets), West Hudson, East Hudson, South Taconic, Shawangunk Ridge, and Catskill (8 sheets) maps from them. I don't think I'd use anything else on the AT from High Point to Great Barrington. (They are more, smaller sheets, and show more useful features and less eye candy. I don't need hill shading. I do want to see the abandoned roads, springs, and good views.)

      I've also been known to print my own maps, either on office paper (for use with a map case or gallon Ziploc) or on waterproof paper. If you're set up to produce an electronic map, then you can laser print onto one of these materials. Printing 11x17, full color, double sided on customer-supplied paper usually runs about a buck a sheet at Office Max or Staples. If you're willing to juggle a bunch of sheets of 8.5x14 or 8.5x11, you can print at home, of course, but few of us have ledger-size printers at home.
      I've just come closer to committing to a NPT thru hike this September and ordered the maps and guide book from the ADK club
      RIAP
    • sheepdog wrote:

      JimBlue wrote:

      sheepdog wrote:

      I've got a good one for Isle Royale NP too.
      Wolves there. I've read that they are losing their numbers and slowly going away.
      only three left the last time I was there. NPS has their head up their asses.
      I had heard they fall into the large holes there. I saw one pointed out that had smooth sides and full of water. But it seems to me the wolves would notice something like that and avoid it. Of course, NPS could have fixed it so there is a way for the wolves to get out if they fall in.
      --
      "What do you mean its sunrise already ?!", me.
    • A.T.Lt wrote:

      I've just come closer to committing to a NPT thru hike this September and ordered the maps and guide book from the ADK club
      Should have asked me first... there's supposed to be a 5th edition of the guide book out Real Soon Now, but if you ordered just now, you probably won't get it. The current guide is waaaay out of date - and I'd have been glad to send you mine! You ordered the new NatGeo map that's specific to the NPT, rather than the High Peaks and Raquette Lake maps, right? The new NPT one has the relocations on it, the High Peaks and Raquette Lake ones do not.

      Some personal observations that may or may not be in the book:

      Make sure you print out the mileage table from the web site. That should mostly get you around the new sections. I would have liked to have included more recognizable landmarks in miles 76-82, but that's just a boring six miles, all in a green tunnel, and pretty much dead level, benched into a hillside. An easy walk, but nothing to see.

      September should be a good time - the worst of the bugs have died off and the water should be low. You still might want to wear a hat with a deerfly patch on it. (Surprisingly, they actually work, and all they catch is deerflies.)

      Bring lots of whatever you use to waterproof your feet. (I use Gurney Goo, myself.) They will get wet. Few indeed are the NPT thru-hikers that haven't at least once wound up thigh-deep or worse in beaver swamp, by slipping off a bog bridge or rock hop, or just picking the wrong place to step.

      At the southern terminus, there's an ice cream place (the Village Scoop) and a bar (the Timeless Tavern) on either side of the arch that marks the end of the trail, a couple of cafés and a pizzeria on Makn Street and Bridge Street that you walk right by on the trail, and another couple of pubs (Sport Island and Vic's) that you walk right by in Sacandaga Park. Timeless and Village Scoop are the only ones I've tried. They're about what you'd expect.

      Don't miss the new sections, they're nice. I think the only good reason for starting from Upper Benson any more would be if streams are running high.The Sacandaga Park-Benson section has one ford that would be really dangerous at high water. At low water it's a 100-foot rock hop. (I got my feet wet, but that's because I'm a klutz.) There are plans for a bridge.

      Woods Lake campsite #3 would be a decent distance for the first day out of Northville, or if you're a little more energetic, go for Abner Brook. The latter isn't in even the new guidebook, apparently because it isn't a 'designated site'. It's 200 feet from trail and water, so it's still perfectly OK. The turnoff is on a herd path marked with a cairn a little west of the Abner Brook bridge.

      Casey's general store in Piseco has limited resupply options. You might want to consider a mail drop there unless you're willing to commit to getting to Long Lake with sketchy resupply. The Ox-Bow Motel will accept supply boxes for guests (call ahead to confirm this), or the post office is right on trail (but, like most trail town post offices, has limited hours). I've also heard from others that the Irondequoit Inn is good, but it's more expensive than the Ox-Bow. At the very least, get a sub at Casey's, they have good sandwiches and ice cream. Resupply generously, it's sixty miles to the next opportunity, unless you have someone meet you at Wakely Dam or yogi a ride to a town from Lake Durant.

      Try to arrange your mileages to stay at one of the West Canada Lakes shelters (West Canada Creek, South Lake, West Lake #1 or West Lake #2). It's a beautiful area. A sunset from South Lake or West Lake #2 would be magnificent- you've got a long view west across the water.

      If you've never been to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, it's worth a side trip. Either hitch from Lake Durant (about half the westbound traffic on the highway there is heading past the place anyway), or take the red trail about 3 miles from a turnoff just north of the Tirrell Pond shelter. (If you do the latter, please snag me a GPS track. I don't have a good one.)

      The guidebook makes a big deal of the climb over the ridge south of Long Lake. It is the hardest climb on the NPT, but that doesn't say much. You've done a bunch of the high peaks, you'll barely notice it.

      In Long Lake, Hoss's general store is a must-see - it's quirky - and Northern Borne is also good for resupply. They both have a small selection of Mountain House (or was it Backpacker's Pantry?). There's also a Stewart's.

      I can personally recommend the Long Lake Motel and Cottages, very hiker-friendly and run by a nice Polish couple. A lot of hikers stay at the historic Adirondack Hotel in town instead. The rooms are a bit run down (but not the stuff of legend, unlike the Doyle!). I've also stayed at The Lodge on Long Lake; it's great, but it's a couple of miles out of town. And the Shamrock Motel treated me well. They had to cancel my reservation at the last minute because they had to shut down with a plumbing disaster, but the lady that runs it found me a room elsewhere - on a weekend in high summer - and gave me a free shuttle to it.

      Best food in town is either at the Adirondack Hotel or else The Cellar which is about 0.7 mile west of the village at the intersection of NY 30 and Kickerville Road. The Long Lake Diner/Owls Head Pub is ok, but nothing to write home about. If you're just there for lunch, there's also a take-out kiosk (Noshery? Knishery? Something like that) right on the lake front by Northern Borne that has decent Jewish fast food. I enjoyed my pastrami sandwich and knish while zeroing in Long Lake.

      Long Lake has a small outfitter, in case you have a gear disaster. Their main business is actually canoe and kayak rental for folks doing the Raquette River Route, but they do stock the basics.

      Except for Catlin Bay #2, which can be seen right from the trail, don't plan to find any of the Long Lake shelters in the dark. They're mostly placed to be accessed by canoe, and the side trails from the NPT can be pretty obscure. Catlin Bay #1 and Hidden Cove are infamously difficult to find from on land.

      Expect to go slow between the Cold River Bridge and Ouluska shelter. There's been a lot of work done in the last couple of years, so it isn't as bad as it was, but there's still a ton of trail damage from Hurricane Irene. Some of that section is still basically bushwhack, but you have the river to guide you so there are no navigational issues. The bridge at Ouluska Pass Brook is still out, so you'll likely have wet feet there. If you're northbound, just walk the 0.1 mile or so to the shelter and you'll have a nice dry spot to sit and dry off.

      There's a lovely new lean-to at Duck Hole, that went in since I did the trail. And Moose Pond shelter has a new roof.

      You already know where to go in Lake Placid, probably better than I do. Tmax-n-Topo's hiker hostel is a local institution.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • I wish I had known that a new edition was coming out. Oh well, I guess i will just have to get the new one when it is released :)
      I got the bundle, NatGeo maps specifically for the NPT and the dude book. ( I just double checked and the order says 4th edition)
      When and if I do actually commit to doing it I will definitely be asking more detailed questions. I did read your TJ a while back in regards to your hike. I have a friend who may be doing the NPT this summer some time and he's alotting himself 10 days to complete it. I've heard differing opinions on whether to go NoBo or SoBo and haven't really gotten that far in my planning. I had told myself when I decided to tackle the 46er's that once Im finished i would then hike the NPT. But I think this September presents a great opportunity for me to go for it regardless if I complete the 46 high peaks.
      On that note, this Saturday evening a friend and I will be driving up to the Loj and we are going to hike Dial and Nippletop and if we are feeling even more ambitious also Blake and Colvin. We shall see! Its going to be sunny, beautiful and 72 degrees this Sunday in the Adirondacks!
      RIAP
    • JimBlue wrote:

      sheepdog wrote:

      JimBlue wrote:

      sheepdog wrote:

      I've got a good one for Isle Royale NP too.
      Wolves there. I've read that they are losing their numbers and slowly going away.
      only three left the last time I was there. NPS has their head up their asses.
      I had heard they fall into the large holes there. I saw one pointed out that had smooth sides and full of water. But it seems to me the wolves would notice something like that and avoid it. Of course, NPS could have fixed it so there is a way for the wolves to get out if they fall in.
      The holes are old copper mines from the indians that used to live there long ago. The wolves came from one pack that migrated over in the 40's. since then they have inbred and developed lot of birth defects. There are a lot of moose on the island and they need a predator or they will have lots of starvation and disease. The smart thing to do would be to bring in some fresh stock and keep the wolves healthy. The NPS is not bright enough to do that. They want nature to take its course even if the only thing left on the island is a couple red squirrels. I flushed a couple grouse on the island last year. I asked a naturalist how the grouse population was doing. He said there were no grouse on the island.
      bacon can solve most any problem.
    • sheepdog wrote:

      JimBlue wrote:

      sheepdog wrote:

      JimBlue wrote:

      sheepdog wrote:

      I've got a good one for Isle Royale NP too.
      Wolves there. I've read that they are losing their numbers and slowly going away.
      only three left the last time I was there. NPS has their head up their asses.
      I had heard they fall into the large holes there. I saw one pointed out that had smooth sides and full of water. But it seems to me the wolves would notice something like that and avoid it. Of course, NPS could have fixed it so there is a way for the wolves to get out if they fall in.
      The holes are old copper mines from the indians that used to live there long ago. The wolves came from one pack that migrated over in the 40's. since then they have inbred and developed lot of birth defects. There are a lot of moose on the island and they need a predator or they will have lots of starvation and disease. The smart thing to do would be to bring in some fresh stock and keep the wolves healthy. The NPS is not bright enough to do that. They want nature to take its course even if the only thing left on the island is a couple red squirrels. I flushed a couple grouse on the island last year. I asked a naturalist how the grouse population was doing. He said there were no grouse on the island.
      Must be a city feller, or someone who pretended lots. I grew up in town, but if I see a particular bird in a forest I don't deny its there.
      --
      "What do you mean its sunrise already ?!", me.