Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I am fortunate enough to live in California, therefore most of my backpacking has been and will be in California. The best maps you can get, in my opinion, are Tom Harrison Maps. These are AWESOME!!! They are waterproof, tear resistant, have all the info you need and none you don't. I have found them to be extremely accurate when estimating distance and elevation. I have many other maps for out of state places and NONE of them compare to Mr. Harrison's maps.

They have a wide variety of scales, in many cases there are multiple maps of the same location at different scales. (i.e, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park map, Kearsarge Pass/Rae lakes, Kings Canyon High Country, Mt Whitney High Country, Mt. Whitney Zone, Mono Divide High Country, Mineral king) Not to mention that they have the best JMT map set that you could possibly want. It is a 13 map set (8x10 each) that easily can be put into your pocket and referenced. I have had lots of fun clearing out the living room and setting the maps on top of each other to see the entire trail.

Even on the shortest hikes I try to carry a map of where I am on me. Partly so I can detour if needed and partly because I love maps. I love checking it on breaks to see if i can pinpoint my location and mentally prepare for the next segment. I do need more experience with a map and compass but I know it is not mandatory on a well marked trail, but just in case I need it I would like to know how.

Tom Harrison Maps I have:

JMT Map Pack
Pt. Mugu State Park
Malibu Creek State Park
Topanga Canyon State Park
Zuma-Trancas Canyons
San Jacinto Wilderness
San Gorgonio Wilderness
Half Dome Trail map
Mt. Whitney High Country
Kearsarge Pass/Rae Lakes Loop
Mammoth High Country
Sequoia & Kings Canyon national parks

Ones I still want:

Yosemite High Country
Mono Divide High Country
Kings Canyon High Country
Golden Trout Wilderness
Yosemite National Park
Sespe Wilderness
Angeles Front Country
Angeles High Country
Joshua Tree National

(I know a few of these are redundant to what I have, but I love maps and a little redundancy in this area is OK by me. I only bring necessary ones on the trail (sometimes I bring another area's map as reading material) These maps are a bit expensive, but as I said they are the best you can get and are well worth the extra couple of bucks. I encourage you to check out his website and see if you can use any of these. A map is one of your most important tools, be sure to get a good one.

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