9 comments on “PAPER Maps: Carry them

  1. I just heard that the US Navy is teaching celestial navigation and chart plotting again after 20 years for just this reason. Electronics fale sooner or later and you need to know what to do without them. Thanks for reminding everyone Guthook.

  2. I am glad to see Guthook addressing this issue. I have been following the PCT 2016 class on facebook and am too alarmed by this issue. Novice hikers are being encouraged to start their journey without the need for this skill, and from what I have gathered, it’s building up to be a challenging season on the trail with this skill being necessary. This topic can’t be expressed enough!

  3. Incredibly Bold and needed message from a proft-oriented but an obviously responsible industry leader! It will be a pleasure to continue promoting you and your product (s).

  4. Having a map and compass is good and dandy, but do you know how to use them. I have hike thousands of miles of trails and off trails and you must know where you are at all times. Teaming up with someone who knows map and compass skills can be a life savor. It only takes a couple of hours of training and then practicing on your own to obtain these skills. REI offers classes and if you know a seasoned boy scout in the neighborhood they have the skills teach you.

  5. I am recently retired after a career in the flight training and technical operations department of a commercial airline. I am curious to understand the data behind your assertion why paper maps should be required materials for hikers. The commercial airline and military flight crews have ceased using paper maps and charts in favor of purely electronic means via iPad and similar devices. If the FAA and airline industry trust flying a passenger jet across the country via paperless means then why can’t a hiker do the same? See here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_flight_bag

    • mr.strotosphere, If you are referring to an afternoon hike on a sunny day on a well-marked, populated trail, I might agree with you. But the audience for this post is long-distance hikers who will be on the trail for weeks or months at a time, with resupply opportunities spaced out every 4 to 10 days. An electronic device on a flight is in a dry, climate controlled environment with access to power, all for about 16 hours max. On the other hand, an electronic device possessed by a long-distance hiker is potentially exposed to water (rain, dropped in a stream, etc), temperature swings or other environmental exposure. Most hikers carry only enough power backup to keep their devices powered for as long as they expect it to take to get to the next town. And there is no expectation of communications ability in the back country. Most long-distance hikers do not carry back-up devices due to weight considerations. In other words, your typical long-distance hiker can reasonably expect to lose power to his/her device at some point on the hike.

    • Mr. stratosphere, You should not have retired and you should have stayed in the stratosphere. Do a long distant hike say the Continental Trail from Canada to Mexico with no maps and SAR will be out to fine you in due time. I have come across hikers who have plotted their entire hike on a Garmin and due to running out of batteries or they had a fall and broke their device needed my assistance in showing them their location on my maps.

    • 1. Novice Hikers are NOT trained professionals

      2. Hikers DON’T have the same quality equipment designed and engineered to the same standards, and

      3. Airlines and the Department of Defense have much more resources to throw at rescuing the occasional personnel in trouble than the various communities surrounding the PCT, combined!

      Those are my thoughts! HYOH!

  6. Pingback: Google Maps Takes to the Trails! What Does It Mean for Technology, Nature, and Ourselves? | Hiking Hokie

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