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Old 12-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
KCander OP
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Best Washington State dual sport map(s)?

Curious as to what you guys think is the best map for me to buy for dual-sporting around Washington. I just started dual-sporting this summer, and for the most part stuck to routes I got from the NWDSEnthusiasts (Soundrider.com), haven't explored a whole lot on my own since I don't have a good map to use if I get myself lost. You guys got any recommendations? I heard some guys use a "Metzger"(sp?) map? Haven't been able to track one down...
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Old 12-26-2006, 03:40 PM   #2
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Metzgers are usaully county maps and not too bad. Pretty old info though. Should be able to get one at a good sporting goods/hiking store. I don't do much dual sporting but used to Jeep in the woods for years and used the USGS Topo sheets and a good compass but you need a lot of them if you're covering a lot of ground. Try a Nat'l forest map from your local ranger station. For electronic charts I use Deloreme Topo.
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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I bought a few of the Metskers maps, cause I thought the road detail was good. I used them once & haven't touched them in years.

In the field, they're all but useless: no topo or lat/long. Even if you're really good with a compass/have GPS, figuring out where you are would be all but impossible with these maps alone. The scale is larger than a Gazetteer, but smaller then the detailed topo maps.

I would recommend a WA Gazetteer & detailed topo (USFS,USGS,Green Trails) maps of the area you plan to ride. Compass, of course.

Google earth, yahoo maps & topozone.com are some good online resources for route planning.

There are lots of FS roads on the WA map that just aren't there anymore & to a lesser extent new FS roads (particularly in active logging areas) not on the maps. DAMHIK.

A GPS is nice if you can afford one, but I think many folks rely upon them too heavily...spend all day staring at yer GPS instead of landmarks & you're in a world of hurt if it dies/loses satcom.

Another option is to get out with some of the locals who know the roads...




p.s. Jerry's Surplus in N Everett has Gazetteers & Green Trails Maps.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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I like gazetteers. Benchmark, Rand McNally, and DeLorme make them.

You can buy them at many places, including Hardware stores, Sprawl Mart, sporting goods stores, and some gas stations and stores.

They are bulky and hard to carry unless you have bags or maybe an old milk crate straped to your luggage rack. Each book covers an entire state.

To take it to the next level, I go to the forest service offices for maps showing single track and obscure gravel roads.

I haven't used Metskers since I discovered gazetteers years ago. Metskers makes the roads and trails too "fat". Their maps therefore look way too busy and cluttered. IMO they look cool hanging on the wall in the rec room. Easy to see from a distance.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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The Gazateers are OK route planning and such, but are too small scale and not real good for navigating IMO.. I like the Forest Service and National Geographic maps

http://www.nwpubliclands.org/store_f...vice_2FORMAPS/
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:49 PM   #6
dammitdave
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Thumb Another source...

I have had good luck with the Dept of Nothing Remaining ( that's: Dept of Natural Resources - DNR) maps that are available online from their office in Olympia or your local region office. The cartography is good and they show public lands ownership.
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:49 AM   #7
das Rider
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No best source.

There are two distinct uses for a map; the first is mission planning and the second is navigation while on the mission. Three if you count toilet paper. These two missions require different types of maps. The obvious differences are area coverage and scale.

You want topographic data (contour lines and shaded relief) to help you understand the terrain along with the most up to date road and trail info. Something published by the government will be the most current since all private companies get their data from the government. The only exception is GPS data collected by private companies, but this is generally little more than waypoint coordinates.

I have found National Geographic TOPO! to be an excellent source for both planning and navigation. If you buy the Washington State Edition you get full 7.5' Quadrangle topographic map coverage for the entire state plus smaller scale maps as well. This is USGS data, maybe not quite as up to date as some State and Federal Forest Service Maps as far as road data is concerned, but the topo data hasn't changed.

With National Geographic TOPO! Washington you can view the entire state at several different scales and create GPS compatible routes and way points in the planning stage. Then when it's time to ride you can print custom scale maps (on waterproof paper) of the area you are interested in and download route data to your GPS.

As a cartographer, nothing beets a good paper map so I also have all the Gazetteers, Atlases, and Forest Service Maps I can get my hands on. Basically there is no one best source, you need them all to really understand what your public lands look like.
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das Rider screwed with this post 12-29-2006 at 09:27 PM
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:20 AM   #8
markjenn
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The Benchmarks are the best I've found for this activity, although they are hard to carry in the field. The DeLormes are a step down, but useful to have both.

The Forest Service maps are more field carryable, but they're really out of date, not very durable, and really hard to fold. I xerox maps, mark them up, and take them into the field. Have even laminated a few if I'm going to be in an area for awhile.

- Mark
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:39 AM   #9
KCander OP
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Holy hell, wasn't planning on buying a set of saddlebags just to pack my maps around!

So which one of you guys is going to author the "Northwest's 100 Greatest Dual-Sport Adventures" book, complete with route maps, mileages, checkpoints, gas stops, and lodging info? I'm in for $20. Maybe even $30 if it's full color.
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCander
So which one of you guys is going to author the "Northwest's 100 Greatest Dual-Sport Adventures" book, complete with route maps, mileages, checkpoints, gas stops, and lodging info? I'm in for $20. Maybe even $30 if it's full color.
Just what we need, thousands of strangers clogging up our favorite rides. They can buy their own maps, a GPS and get lost like the rest of us.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pckopp
Just what we need, thousands of strangers clogging up our favorite rides. They can buy their own maps, a GPS and get lost like the rest of us.


I always found that in order to find what you're looking for you must first get lost
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagwood


I always found that in order to find what you're looking for you must first get lost
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Old 12-29-2006, 11:44 AM   #13
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Atlas side case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCander
Holy hell, wasn't planning on buying a set of saddlebags just to pack my maps around!
Actually, this is an interesting idea--since Gazeteer etc will not fit in a tank bag, and putting on a pannier (if you have them) is a waste for just maps I wonder…does anyone make a simple waterproof map/atlas pannier? I'm picturing something like a laptop casewith good flap, velcro cover, and enough stiffener to keep its shape.

Seems this would be slick if you could just reach back and 'whip it out'. If made right it could also strap to a hard pannier.

Seen such a beast?
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:09 AM   #14
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My $.02

When a cartographer speaks, I listen.
das Rider has a good point- there isn't 1 source, there are many.
That said, I use my Topo software at home on the 'puter for planning. I use the Gazetteer to confirm and back-up. Then I transfer my "plan" to my GPSr. It's handy to carry, but its screen size makes route planning from scratch a miserable thing. It's more for position info and route following after the plan is made.
Finally, I found a Gazetteer at a yard sale for a buck. It was in better shape than my dog-eared old copy. I kept the clean one clean, and tear pages out of the old one and put them in the clear pocket of my Enduro jacket, folded so the target area shows. This works for an hour or 2, 'til my position changes enough to make me refold the map.

I think a person has to decide what they want to do, and choose mapping according to their need at the time.
Last summer I planned a route over 3 drainages in W WA. Found out there were many obstacles not mentioned by the Gazetteer. A road was abandoned. I rode it anyway, but had to cross 5 washouts to do it. There were several locked gates. Course, no mention of ANY gates in the Gaz.
Found one road that had a several hundred foot dropoff- right across the middle of it!- along the route.
I'm beginning to think a ruggedized tablet PC might be a solution for longer- meaning 2-3 week- adventures.
I'm doing a week in Baja coming up and all the route planning is done. Now to see if the info is/was good.... and there's the adventure!
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #15
robdogg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Right Turn Clyde
Actually, this is an interesting idea--since Gazeteer etc will not fit in a tank bag, and putting on a pannier (if you have them) is a waste for just maps I wonder…does anyone make a simple waterproof map/atlas pannier? I'm picturing something like a laptop casewith good flap, velcro cover, and enough stiffener to keep its shape.

Seems this would be slick if you could just reach back and 'whip it out'. If made right it could also strap to a hard pannier.

Seen such a beast?
I have a backpack that has a large internal pocket for maps and my Gazateer fits in there along with several of the folding maps. The pack also has a pocket for a water bladder.. and is where I carry my survival equipment; spare gloves/socks etc. Some people don't like wearing backpacks, but I've gotten very used to it and wouldn't ride without it.
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