Apr 17, 2013 at 10:03 am #1301854
I hope to thru-hike the AT ME>GA starting in late May. If I could get a decent deal on a set of the ATC maps and/or guidebooks I would be willing to spend a fair amount of money. There may be other brands of maps etc that I am unaware of, so please respond if you think I might be interested. I may want partial sets, or even single AT regional maps, but I will try to hold out for the complete set for a little while.
I understand that hiking end to end on the AT is often safely accomplished without maps; my purpose is more to gain a greater appreciation of what is around me as I move along, and to ponder detailed topo maps along the trail just for entertainment purposes.Apr 17, 2013 at 11:05 am #1977671
@conlyLocale: Lots of canoeing and snow
I don't have any that I want to sell, but I thru-hiked in 2011 and found the maps virtually useless but the pocket profiles from Antigravity Gear were awesome. The maps are big and it's not realistic to pull them out during the day all the time. The pocket profiles are waterproof and detailed enough to get you through most days. It's $87 for the entire set. I'd strongly recommend you go that route. The guide they sell is really good too. It's only $15.Apr 17, 2013 at 11:22 am #1977678
@cameronLocale: Midland, Texas
I have not done the entire AT but I've done parts of it. I would not spend money on topo maps of the entire thing. The trail is pretty much always well worn and well marked. A pocket profile should be fine.
If you have and Iphone you might see if there is any kind of digital map program you could download onto it.
Edit – Hillmap.com is my new favorite website, great resources if you want maps of a specific section of the trail.Apr 17, 2013 at 11:23 am #1977679
Thanks conly for the insight. I will definitely look into the pocket profiles from Antigravity Gear! I understand that hiking end to end on the AT is often safely accomplished without maps; my purpose is more to gain a greater appreciation of what is around me as I move along. My hope was to get the entire set, but only carry the pages I will be using between regions. By picking up and dropping off stuff at mail drops along the way I am hoping to stay oriented and light at the same time.Apr 17, 2013 at 11:38 am #1977685
I will undoubtedly bring along my blackberry phone, but the heavier tablet might stay home. Nevertheless, I am psyched to try the online idea out. I imagine I can even improve my understanding of what is around me by using both maps and online resources.
There is a part of me though that is considering turning off the electronic leashes to better keep myself where my feet are;) We'll see.Apr 18, 2013 at 7:34 am #1977977
I have hiked over half of the AT and will be going out in May to hike southbound in VA. I use the AWOL guide and so do 90% of all other AT thru hikers. I included a picture of 2 sheets. I recommend the "loose-leaf" book. You can send yourself future sections so you are not carrying all 8oz of the book. They also include maps of the towns, elevation profiles, milage, road crossings, views, side trails, water, shelter, showers, hostel information and lots of other helpful tidbits. Everything you need is in this guide. They also make a version for south or north bound.Apr 18, 2013 at 8:09 am #1977988
Thanks for taking the time to show the example pages. I wish now that I had thought to get the edition with easily removable pages. I do also have the two commonly mentioned ATC books, which means I have redundant, excellent info. (A side note: I am impressed by the availability and amount of detailed info about hiking the AT, and even more impressed by the willingness of so many people to provide help and share experiences!)
On the ATC website I saw their huge collection of presumably detailed maps that can be purchased for every state or as a set covering all 14 states. The idea of pondering over detailed topo maps along the trail just for entertainment purposes is what inspires me to seek out a set. I hope to find a used set someone else may have purchased before they realized that the maps are less than useful or more than needed. A marked up set wouldn't bother me since I will likely mark them myself too.Apr 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm #1978133
I found the maps pretty much unnecessary as well. The guidebook (http://www.theatguide.com/) however, is invaluable. There were a couple of places where the trail was being changed and/or the blazes hard to follow, but it wasn't that big of a deal. Plus, when in doubt, just hike to the highest place you see and chances are the AT is up there somewhere.Apr 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm #1978268
@conlyLocale: Lots of canoeing and snow
How true McDowell! Whenever I couldn't figure out which trail I was supposed to take I always assumed whichever one went up hill and it was always that one! I kept saying the route planners must have been riding dune buggies.Apr 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm #1981084
Thanks to Thomas Conly (conly) of BPL and WB fame, I was able to pick up a waterproof set of AT maps, which I hope to use to satisfy my curiosities regarding the bigger picture of what is around me as I amble along from Katahdin to Springer.
I am still looking for the more detailed (and expensive) map set of the AT. The ATC store offers a set which would suffice, but if there is another set of similar detail I am sure I would buy it.
From what I gather from reading nearly 100% of thru-hikers agree that maps are unnecessary in terms of navigation, and I believe it. My purpose is not navigation but entertainment or curiosity. I have always enjoyed pouring over topo maps for their own sake.
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