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#181616 - 12/31/13 05:07 PM What "flavor" your guidebook?
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
As many know, I have written a guidebook to the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming. I am always in the process of verifying and updating. If and when I do a second edition, I am curious as to what people prefer. How much "new" information is required before you would buy a second edition of any guidebook?

The guidebook now is in the format of selected trips organized by geographical areas. This is a common guide format. I was wondering if anyone would prefer a guide organized by trip length/difficulty. (ie; weekend trips, week-long trips, thru-hikes. Or, organized by trailhead access? Or forget trips altogether, and just describe travel sections? This method is OK for trail guides, but I am having difficulty seeing this for an off-trail guide, because there are an infinite number of "off trail" travel sections, whereas there are a finite number of trails.

What is the favorite guidebook you own, and why is it your favorite?

Another format is to go electronic and sell routes individually as down-loads. Personally this does not appeal to me, but I am a bit old-school.

I am open to any suggestions of preferences. The world of books is really changing with all the new technology. My book is currently a mix of paper book and a CD with maps and photos-sort of a mix of old and new methods.




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#181660 - 01/02/14 02:07 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
As many know, I have written a guidebook to the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming. I am always in the process of verifying and updating. If and when I do a second edition, I am curious as to what people prefer. How much "new" information is required before you would buy a second edition of any guidebook?

The guidebook now is in the format of selected trips organized by geographical areas. This is a common guide format. I was wondering if anyone would prefer a guide organized by trip length/difficulty. (ie; weekend trips, week-long trips, thru-hikes. Or, organized by trailhead access? Or forget trips altogether, and just describe travel sections? This method is OK for trail guides, but I am having difficulty seeing this for an off-trail guide, because there are an infinite number of "off trail" travel sections, whereas there are a finite number of trails.

What is the favorite guidebook you own, and why is it your favorite?

Another format is to go electronic and sell routes individually as down-loads. Personally this does not appeal to me, but I am a bit old-school.

I am open to any suggestions of preferences. The world of books is really changing with all the new technology. My book is currently a mix of paper book and a CD with maps and photos-sort of a mix of old and new methods.



Regret I can't respond to your book specifically. Checking my shelves most of my guidebooks are Wilderness Press, as they seem to have California pretty much sewn up (when I was in Washington they were all from the Mountaineers). My "favorite" book of lies, er, guidebooks are the old Wilderness Press single-quad series--tiny books with fold-out maps overprinted with the described trails and routes.

The big books all drive me crazy because every trip longer than one day is stitched together from among other trips plus additional trip-specific descriptions: ("See Trip 32, days three and five.") I hate this, even if it slims down the book considerably.

A smart thing Shifrin does is to place route edits and other updates at the back of the book with a new printing, which is called an update rather than a new edition. For consideration of your book, I'd be happy to buy a supplement containing revised and additional data, bound separately, and use it with my existing copy. It's harder to convince me to buy a complete new edition of something I already own, but of course I need to know about new rules, new trailheads, and especially access road conditions (I think the Forest Service has completely abandoned road maintenance and a lot of roads are no longer navigable by road cars). This is on top of "oops, that route isn't quite as described" corrections.

Unless the book is tiny like the quad guides, I'll be carrying photocopied pages and the W.P. format makes them a complete pain to shuffle through and follow while on the go. This can be unavoidable when taking a route assembled from bits of several discrete guidebook trips, of course.

I suppose I prefer the trips divided geographically, not by length, difficulty, season, etc. However, I do prefer listings by those criteria up in the intro. FWIW I like to read route descriptions with a map in front of me when reviewing a guidebook for trip planning.

This response is a little scattershot, but so are my hikes.

Cheers,

p.s. I accidentally bought a Kindle edition trail guide and the maps are almost worthless on the device, at least for navigation purposes. I don't think we're quite there yet, but some may disagree.
_________________________
--Rick

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#181661 - 01/02/14 02:49 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
llamero Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/12
Posts: 43
Loc: western Oregon
I gathered some of my trail books to review and give you a response and I became completely absorbed in looking at hikes for next year. Too soon for that. So, with no notes nor particularly organized thoughts I'll just give you random answers to some of your questions and my opinion on what works for me.

Sorry, I am not familiar with your book. The combination of CD and print sounds very intriguing. Sometimes I carry an entire guide book just for the information on a few trails and it would be much better if I could print just the hikes I'm interested in.

A new edition is warranted when there is significant environmental or political change such as large fires, trail head closures or land use changes. Of course not every rock slide or ranger station closure is cause for an update. Updating a book to add or replace some hikes with others is also a good enough reason for a new edition. Also, nothing wrong with an update just to offer better tools for logistics.

Hikes arranged by geographic area and trail head is a tried and true format. It's easier to read and help me make my own deviations. My Trinity Alps Wilderness guidebook has trail descriptions arranged by paved access roads, which coincides with geographic areas.

Trail difficulty, best season, highlights, hiking time and other subjective points are best dealt with in two different ways in my opinion: either the hikes are listed in tabular format with columns for each issue, usually in the front of the book or those issues are addressed before each individual description. Why not both?

An appendix with options for loops, off trail routes and climbing routes works for me and I understand you could do volumes on each of those topics for the Winds.

Favorite books? Falcon Guide Publishing and Wilderness Press both do an excellent job; they are easy to browse for whatever type of trip I'm looking for at that time. I have two books by Margaret Fuller and I find them more difficult to read. I'm sure all the information is there, but the type is too small, something about the maps is confusing to me, and the technical details need visual separation (tables, bold print, headings and elevation profiles)from the wonderful descriptive narrative.

I add notes to trail descriptions and I would appreciate a blank page at the beginning of each section.

Maps. A general overview map, an overview map at the beginning of each section and a more detailed map for each description. Include a profile of the elevation of each description, showing points of interest. A map showing significant fires over the last 10 years, at least those having a current impact. A list of the quad maps, Forest Service maps and third party maps.

I hope this helps.
Enjoy.

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#181712 - 01/05/14 10:32 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6369
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
W_D, as you probably know, I've read your book from cover to cover several times and have recommended it many times. While I've worked out a dozen trips that are within my capability, I haven't actually been able to go due to illness, injury, etc. Maybe this will be the year?

The one thing that I see asked a lot on other forums that isn't in your book is the "Wind River High Route" going the entire length of the range. If you do a revision, you might want to include this one as a single trip.

I like the format of your original, although, as I pointed out, there were a few cross-reference errors. Also, if there is any way to help people like me who want to combine elements of several routes without having to read several trip descriptions several times…. I'm not sure how, but it's something to think about. Maybe just more cross-references?


Edited by OregonMouse (01/05/14 10:32 PM)
_________________________
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#181715 - 01/05/14 11:08 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
I am pretty easy to satisfy. A good guidebook is any book that covers an area I am hoping to hike in, tells me when a trail is likely to be accessible and how to get to the trailhead, gives me the elevation gain and mileage, points out any obvious difficulties to be considered and gives me a few landmarks to gauge my progress by, has a map of some sort (even if rudimentary). Info about water availability (or lack of it) and where campsites are possible (or impossible) is much appreciated. Lastly, it should present all this information in a consistent manner, so I can learn how to find each of these components each time I read about a hike in that book.

I find most guidebooks manage to meet these basic standards, and knowing even as little as I do about you, WD, I expect you surpass these standards by a very large margin already.

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#181759 - 01/08/14 12:33 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I appreciate all the comments.

Yes, I am putting in a "High Route" - actually hope to put in three thru-routes. To get the page space to do this, I am taking out the map pages at the end of the book since the accompanying CD has all the maps in easier to read (and printable) format.

As for fires - the Alpine Lake Fire wiped out two of my original routes! I will probably put in some maps on historical fires, but, since so much as been burned historically, where do you draw the line? Old fire areas are mentioned in the text. Just as important would be a map showing the extent of the bark beetle damage. However, both fires and bark beetle damage are ever changing. I am more inclined to give references to websites or gov. offices where you can get the most current information.

Each route has its own detailed "route plan" in a table format, with the route broken into increments of about 1-2 miles per increment. I actually plan out each day's travel base on my own experience. Because you also have the data on the segments that make up each day, you can do your own daily plans if you wish to go faster or slower or camp at different locations. In my opinion, a guidebook that has specific routes should offer a suggested plan of each day's travel. Some guidebooks do not do this. For example, Roper's guide (well written - great reading) for the Sierra High Route offers little in logistical planning - leaving that to the individual. The Sierra is pretty forgiving - pretty good weather so loose planning often works. The Wind Rivers have a lot of afternoon storms (typical northern Rockies) so I try to give a plan with logistics that accounts for getting over passes before afternoon storms.

To get space for this route detail, I had to give up much of the "fluff", like flora and fauna, history, etc. The guide is a "nuts and bolts" type guide - does not make for wonderful armchair reading. I know some people are disappointed with this. There are other guidebooks for the Wind Rivers that do have sections on the natural history etc. I think a lot of people who buy my book already have these older guidebooks. I see my guidebook as a supplement to these others. I do have a chapter on logistics - lots of references, an example gear list, weather and snowpack conditions, to name a few.

I have had to cross reference text descriptions if a route segment is repeated in several routes. I myself do not really like this method either, but it is really necessary to keep the pages to a reasonable number. The CD contains route photos, so I hope to minimize this annoying cross referencing by reducing the photos in the book itself which will free some space.

My update is a few years off. Several routes will be eliminated, a few new ones added, and I am re-calculating all route increments for more consistency and as a check. I hope it does not annoy anyone that a 1.2 mile increment may be changed to 1.3 miles. I now have 51 routes, pretty well done. The big question is how to arrange them in the book -by trailhead or by geographical blocks (current method). I do have several tables in the introduction that list the routes by difficulty - I will probably add another table that lists them by length or other factors.

Keep up the suggestions! Thanks a lot.


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#183532 - 03/05/14 06:03 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
The guide book and data book for the Colorado Trail are perfect if you are looking for an example.
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#183538 - 03/05/14 11:36 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
Gershon's resurrection of this thread today made me think of the original question in a different way.

I think that an ideal "guidebook" would be a combination of electronic words combined with some limited hard-copy images: sketch maps, an important table or two, other key illustrations perhaps.

So the electronic part would be readable on a smartphone, in one of many formats --- pdf, .doc(x), kindle, whatever. But probably not .doc, best I think something that's indexable, so folks can easily "goto" some other part of the book.

Certainly include all of the sketch maps and other illustrations in the electronic book too, but just put them at the end so the person with the small screen doesn't have to page through stuff that's really not viewable (richly internally linked). Nice to have these for someone looking on a larger tablet or PC screen.

Then explicitly key some hard-copy pages to specific parts of the book, having each refer to the other in a clear way. As a user, what would be ideal would be if these were sized 8-1/2 x 11, or actually slightly shorter than 11" --- so it's easy to make a copy and keep the original crisp and clean at home, and a bit under 11" so it fits easily in a gallon sized ziplock bag.

In this scenario, you can carry the whole guidebook along at no weight penalty (as smartphones are getting to be a lot more common), and just the essential hard copy pages that you'll actually want to look at in full sized format.

Hiking the JMT in 2012, that's essentially what my wife and I did. I got the maps elsewhere, as guidebooks in fact typically don't include real maps (with the odd exception). But they often do include something(s) that I would like a full-page-sized copy of.
We did the same thing on the Camino in Spain last year; my maps were on my smartphone too, and I had a couple of guidebooks in Kindle format. This worked great, and in fact, carrying a couple of guidebooks was occasionally helpful when a given telephone number was wrong in one, or more clear or updated info was available about a hostel or Albergue in one or the other. Having multiple "entire book" guidebooks along at no weight penalty was helpful in order to be flexible in terms of route or even destination.

Alternatively, just design the eBook to make it easy to print out key bits for on-trail use.

As far as updating --- dunno. I sort of designed my own little book to not need updating, with the exception of some appendix stuff. Not sure if I'll ever update it (it's not a guidebook). What I probably should have done was set up a web page to contain updates to the appendices and reference that within the book as a place to look for updates. I know that I appreciate when I get a guidebook that does that. Here's an example from Yogi's PCT guide.


Edited by BrianLe (03/05/14 11:41 AM)
_________________________
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http://postholer.com/brianle

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#183613 - 03/06/14 10:48 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: BrianLe]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Thanks Brian. I will have to spend some time thinking about what you suggest.

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#183617 - 03/07/14 08:13 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
If you are going to hike the trails again, I'd suggest bringing a GPS data logger which records data frequently. People can use these points to make a map in the mapping program of their choice. It will also record the times so people will know how long it took to travel between points.



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#183632 - 03/07/14 01:35 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: Gershon]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I purposely DO NOT give GPS coordinates. I am not against GPS's in the hands of people who also know how to read a map and navigate. But if you need "connect the dot" GPS coordinates to do the route, you do not have the required navigation skills to safely do off trail travel. I do not want to enable those who lack skills to do these routes.

Additionally, in off-trail travel there is no one exact route line. I give plenty of detailed route information broken into short segments from 0.2 to 2 miles each, with lines written on topo maps.

And the other factor is that once an off trail route has GPS coordinates, the route can generate an unintended use-trail that really spoils the off-trail experience. This is what has happened to Roper's Sierra High Route. People have made GPS coordinate lists and put them out on the internet and having done the route at about 8 year intervals apart, I could really see the damage done. Roper specifically gives very little route details because he is much more of a purist than I am. I doubt he is very happy about the current availability of the GPS data.

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#183654 - 03/07/14 10:05 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I agree. Part of the adventure is developing the skills to do the route.

People who depend on GPS units and don't bother with a skill base increase risk to themselves and anyone with them.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#183664 - 03/08/14 02:47 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6369
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
...once an off trail route has GPS coordinates, the route can generate an unintended use-trail that really spoils the off-trail experience….People have made GPS coordinate lists and put them out on the internet and having done the route at about 8 year intervals apart, I could really see the damage done.


Unfortunately, this is happening all over. I recently saw a BPL post about someone doing this for the Winds on his website.

One of the LNT principles for off-trail travel is to spread out and not keep following the same route, so as not to create a use trail. Of course, Lori also sees this from a SAR viewpoint--depending on just a gadget (which can fail) instead of skills can get people into trouble. The terrain doesn't always stay the same, and just following coordinates can put people in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This Luddite has used map and compass navigation and "reading the terrain" successfully for many, many years (started at age 6) and has no desire to learn to use another battery-eating gadget. I'm still struggling with my digital camera! laugh But that's strictly personal opinion. For those who want to use a GPS as a supplement to learned navigation skills, a GPS is an enhancement. Unfortunately, too many rely solely on the GPS.


Edited by OregonMouse (03/08/14 02:57 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#183669 - 03/08/14 02:10 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I know I cannot stop this practice from happening, but I do not have to be a part of it. There are appropriate uses for a GPS. I even recommend a GPS for some places in my guidebook. The high plateaus "flats" in the Wind Rivers have few features to tie to navigation by map. I have gone in a few circles myself on these plateaus! But always managed to get where I needed to. A GPS in this terrain is very useful and may save someone from getting caught in a storm. A GPS is a useful tool, but if you honestly think you HAVE TO have a GPS to stay "found" you have no business doing off trail routes.

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#183680 - 03/08/14 09:25 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
I'll only opine for something equivalent to a High Sierra Route guide, it would be uber-helpful to have accurate GPS coordinates for the XC passes. Anecdotally, it's common to become confused when setting an approach visually.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#183681 - 03/08/14 10:45 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: Rick_D]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
There are very few passes that I have ever wanted GPS coordinates. After years of mountaineering and rock climbing I find that my own route-finding skills work just fine - in fact I often ignore the guidebook description- easier to figure it out myself. I missed a few of the correct place on a few passes when I did the Sierra High Route, but all it meant that I did a little more work. Many passes have several options- the "official route" sometimes is not even the best.

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#183687 - 03/09/14 02:11 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: Rick_D]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
By the way, you can get the GPS coordinates for Sierra passes from the Secor guidebook.

There are basically two ways to convey exact location data - words with GPS coordinates for key points (as is done in Secor's guide) or showing detailed maps - which is what I do. With an exact line on a map you can calculate your own GPS coordinate. Either way, if you take it off the maps it will not exactly match what you would get if you were standing on a point and too a GPS coordinate. This does not mean one is "right" and one "wrong". There simply is an accuracy range in measuring. If you strictly use a GPS coordinate and depend on that to tell you that you are on a certain pass, you still could miss the best route over the pass.

Interesting discussion. I admit that I am old-school and still do not trust all GPS data. Knowing exactly what your GPS is telling you is pretty complex and I doubt many users of a GPS delve into the surveying theory and detail.

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#183716 - 03/11/14 07:59 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I missed the part about going off trails. Personally, I don't do that except for fun in areas bounded by roads or some other obstacle so I can't get seriously lost.

Personally, I use a compass and a map. Many times, I navigate compass only and forget about using the map. I just pick a bearing and a distance and meander towards it, carefully plotting my progress in a notebook as I go. There is a full size map in front of me. Why use a little one?

I find I can be just as accurate as the GPS, although it takes much longer. Taking longer is part of the fun for me, so I don't mind.
_________________________
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#183826 - 03/13/14 11:40 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: Gershon]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

WRT "off trail" and not making a trail, I think part of this is *hard* for newbies to get - because they want to leave no trace and follow the rules, and they've all started in high traffic areas.. and what do they get told:

1) Stay in the trail, don't walk out of it because you'll damage things..

and in a high traffic area, this advice somewhat makes sense.

So, when it comes to lightly used off trail areas, it's the exact opposite.

I've had people I've taken on off trail high alpine trips that look at me like I'm mad when I tell them to just walk any old way up to "there" that works, and not follow me..

A similar reaction when I tell them to leave their number 2 right on a rock and burn their toilet paper (note, no fire issues where I am - or it would be ziploced - or it might not be at all...)



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#183827 - 03/13/14 11:50 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: phat]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Although on the original topic, WD, gps "points" at key locations in a workable digital format would be nice for a lot of people.

similarly, (now that you have google earth) links to particular locations in google maps/earth are a nice way for people to find an see terrain. (I've actually been using earth to check a few places that I'm sure you're aware of for my JMT planning). I wouldn't go so far as to "trust" it, but it is a nice way to see the terrain, even when I do have the topos.



_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#183842 - 03/14/14 10:21 AM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: Rick_D]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Rick_D
I'll only opine for something equivalent to a High Sierra Route guide, it would be uber-helpful to have accurate GPS coordinates for the XC passes. Anecdotally, it's common to become confused when setting an approach visually.

Cheers,


With a straight edge, a pencil and a little time, those could be added to any map easily - after getting them from the map.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#183848 - 03/14/14 12:12 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: lori]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Working with a map to get coordinates makes you really look at the map. The more you look at the map the more familiar you become with the area. I hesitate to make a GPS coordinate list of a route. It enables less capable people to get in over their heads. I have seen way too many backpackers with their eyes glued to the GPS screen, not really looking at the terrain that they are traveling through.

Regardless of map generated or GPS generated, the most important skill in off-trail travel is "reading" the terrain! I often figure out a route using maps and Google Earth/maps and then when on the ground, I usually find a game trail or the best route by keenly observing my environment. The map simply keeps me on the general route.

I have carried air photos, taken advantage of a GPS (my husband has one and uses it), and used 7.5 minute topo maps. I prefer the maps. The GPS frustrates me because I simply do not like to view a tiny square that does not show well in sunlight, and then have to toggle back and forth to see a more extensive area. With a paper map it is all there in front of me. I have to admit that if one gets entirely lost the GPS does show your location.

Phat - I find the Canadian maps a bit less useful but then my Canadian maps are quite old. Are there now maps equivalent to the US 7.5 minute maps? If I did not have the USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps, I probably would use a GPS more often.

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#183850 - 03/14/14 02:26 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
Might I suggest that somewhere in the 'front matter' of your guidebook you include a brief explanation of your choice to omit GPS coordinates for your cross country routes, along with your reasons, as you've so clearly explained them here to us? Then it won't seem like an oversight and will also serve to educate your readers to LNT.

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#183861 - 03/15/14 12:21 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: wandering_daisy]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy

I have carried air photos, taken advantage of a GPS (my husband has one and uses it), and used 7.5 minute topo maps. I prefer the maps. The GPS frustrates me because I simply do not like to view a tiny square that does not show well in sunlight, and then have to toggle back and forth to see a more extensive area. With a paper map it is all there in front of me. I have to admit that if one gets entirely lost the GPS does show your location.


This, and the reason that I just hate battery powered devices, is why I normally have paper maps in addition to my gps - assuming I'm going anywhere I need them - I confess I don't in my usual haunts, I just know the area anyway smile

for me I often end up just printing "disposable" ones from the
computer. I hate tiny GPS screens - they're fine for finding yourself in a cloud, or figuring out how far you are from somewhere, but they're pretty useless for looking at like a map to plan something, unless you take a huge one, and by that time, I'll just print some maps and take them with me - it's lighter smile


Quote:

Phat - I find the Canadian maps a bit less useful but then my Canadian maps are quite old. Are there now maps equivalent to the US 7.5 minute maps? If I did not have the USGS 7.5-minute topographic maps, I probably would use a GPS more often.


Yeah, the canadian maps still aren't great. although interestingly the free GPS stuff has kind of made it better. I have old canadian maps, and now I've pretty much gone to where
I almost exclusively use the Free ibycus topo maps from that link. In a nutshell, the government opened up the raw data from the canadian topos, and this fellow did a ton of work importing it. Now unfortunately, it means installing whatever software is necessary to deal with the maps on your computer (I find this process absolutely hateful - and I'm a computer guy!) but once that's done, with the right thing I just print out my interested areas from that, and since I control how big the printout is it's pretty useful to me.

however, if you're asking if canadian topo data is good enough to be able to look at a map and decide if you're gonna get cliffed out or not? No. it isn't :P


Edited by phat (03/15/14 12:24 PM)
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#183897 - 03/17/14 12:30 PM Re: What "flavor" your guidebook? [Re: phat]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
What Canadian maps do you get on the GPS screen? What is the resolution?

Google earth has a GPS generated "route" along the Continental Divide through the Wind Rivers. It is a joke. It also shows a "route" up one hellish drainage. I think they just search the internet for GPS coordinate routes and stick them on the maps, with no ground truth work whatsoever. The internet is a source of 10% very valuable data; 90% trash data. I think Google Earth should stick strictly to showing the images. It is very irritating when they draw a line over a "road" so you cannot really see the road. The images speak for themselves. If you cannot totally verify the lines you put on a map, leave them out!

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