Before we beat this map availability issue to a pulp, I would like to mention two more very important sources for maps…
Don’t forget forest maps for your specific areas available at any USFS Forest HQ’s or Ranger station (around $9 each), available nation wide. The other is Bureau of Land Management maps, available at any BLM station (primarily west of the Rockies). (I would think State forest also have some type of area recreational maps.) These maps are very large and excellent for directions on logging roads, mining roads, camping areas, and off road trails to name a few. All Forest Service and BLM roads are marked with very small (numbered) road signs, usually on a post or even a tree at almost every trail head, trail or road crossing, et cetera. And, yes, they do correspond with standard road maps (interstates and side roads) if they’re in the map area. – R.L.
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For the Mac users out there, this website offers software and maps – an inexpensive way to have an entire library of topographic and nautical maps at your finger tips. You just print off the sections you will be hiking as needed. You can even create your own maps and geo-reference them using this software.
When the grid power is out, I use a car adapter on my laptop and keep a solar panel for the eventuality of having no fuel. The laser printer does require a sine wave inverter to power off the car battery.
HJL’s note: I use Garmin’s Base Camp software, which also does the same thing (using their topo maps). However, it is certainly more difficult to print your own maps from the software than to print maps designed for use on paper.
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A resource for paper maps may be the local county website or state DOT. I was fortunate to obtain a map of my county. It is a scale of one inch equals a mile. I got it printed full size to a 30”x30” map. I enjoy the website and have learned a great deal
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For folded paper state highway maps, the website below is a good resource. They have links to many states that offers the maps. Worked for me to get several maps free in the mail. – K.