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GPSFileDepot Home Page - Free GPS Topo Maps for Garmin GPS Receivers

GPSFileDepot – Free Garmin GPS Maps

If you own a Garmin GPS receiver, you can save yourself a chunk of change by downloading and installing the free user contributed maps available at GPSFileDepot.com which has an excellent collection of US topographic maps, as well as maps from all over the world. The site provides also provides an excellent set of tutorials that describe […]

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Caltopo.com provides a lot of different maps to choose from in addition to the US Geological Survey Map shown here.

Topographic Maps and Route Visualization

Some people can read a topographic map and visualize what the landscape should look like based on the shape of the contours lines shown. It’s a real skill to do it well, and while I’m pretty good at it,  I can miss details unless I really concentrate. I compensate through careful trip planning using a variety […]

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Crawford Notch - a deep valley and mountain pass

Navigating Without a Compass

Most people don’t know how to use a compass to navigate and while it’s a very useful skill to have, you can get by without it if you have a good map and hike on well marked trails. Even then, you do want to develop your map reading skills, particularly those where you figure out your […]

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Waterproof Appalachian Trail Maps and Guide Book

Do You (Still) Need Maps to Hike the Appalachian Trail?

What a question! Do you still need maps to hike a Triple Crown Trail? But an honest one, since the Appalachian Trail is so well blazed, signed, and heavily traveled that you can often just follow the groove eroded in the ground, the white blazes or other hikers headed your way. But despite advances in technology […]

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he Saco River Trail runs through Crawford Notch in New Hampshire

Trail Blazing Conventions and Guidelines

The first question that most volunteer trail adopters ask is “When do I get to paint a blaze?” I know, because it was one of the first questions I asked when I volunteered to adopt a trail on Mt Washington. But there’s more to painting blazes than meets the eye, requiring careful consideration of the […]

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