Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i want a topographic map of the entire united states but broken down into sections like an atlas. any ideas? it would be for my bug out bag SHTF scenario
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,805 Posts
You wouldn't be able to carry a topo for the entire US that is worth anything (or that you can actually read without powerful magnifiers). It simply wouldn't be able to give you enough detail to make it useful. There are some good ones for each state but none for the entire US or even regions, I don't think.
I don't know where you live, but in a SHTF, you will not be going from coast to coast. I'd suggest concentrating on topos around where you live and along your likely path to a BOL.
 

·
Miles togo before I sleep
Joined
·
472 Posts
There is an APP for the iPhone/iPad (iTopoMaps - http://www.itopomaps.com) that you can download USGS TOPO Quad maps. It's a great app and I use it often, however, I have hard copies for all the areas vital to me.

Hope this helps!
 
  • Like
Reactions: wyldflwr

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Try an atlas of the USA maybe? I'm sure there are some great topo atlases of only the USA, but they are probably made in china lol.
 

·
Wanderer
Joined
·
3,269 Posts
Look at the USGS website, www.store.usgs.gov/, and see what they offer. Also try Wide World of Maps, www.maps4u.com, and My Topo at www.mytopo.com.
I have some large scale topos of some states I got years ago. As has been mentioned, they give a vague idea of what's there, but are too large a scale to really be useful. A better thing, but not very portable, would be one of the raised relief maps of your state, or the US if you really want one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,601 Posts
though not specifically topographic I find Delorme mapping Atlas and Gazeteer maps of individual states very very useful. the background map is mildly topographic and shows all streams, backwaters, rises in elevation, etc but has detailed maps of an individual area shown transposed over the topographic image...take a look at one and see if that might not help for your purposes? I found mine at the local book store.

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10096&minisite=10020
 

·
I'll bring the rope.
Joined
·
1,354 Posts
We all know REI is an uber-ripoff and their markup is almost criminal, but they are the only ones I know of where you can not only buy topo maps, but peruse them before you buy. They have a big map table, with your state under glass in the tabletop, and it's marked off in quadrants so as to help you find the exact area you're looking for.

Keep in mind that there are several different levels of detail: 1:50,000, 1:25,000, and so on. The higher the detail, the less area that is covered. I prefer better detail, because A) I used them solely for backpacking and I did not transit a big area very fast, and
B) The better detail helped me ID landmarks and topographical characteristics more easily, and that's a big stress reducer when I'm in a new, unknown area and far from my car.

Your goal of buying them for the entire contiguous US will cost you several thousand dollars, I think.

Competence in reading topo maps has saved my bacon more than once, and lack of competence has put me in hot water more than once!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,768 Posts
We all know REI is an uber-ripoff and their markup is almost criminal, but they are the only ones I know of where you can not only buy topo maps, but peruse them before you buy. They have a big map table, with your state under glass in the tabletop, and it's marked off in quadrants so as to help you find the exact area you're looking for.

Keep in mind that there are several different levels of detail: 1:50,000, 1:25,000, and so on. The higher the detail, the less area that is covered. I prefer better detail, because A) I used them solely for backpacking and I did not transit a big area very fast, and
B) The better detail helped me ID landmarks and topographical characteristics more easily, and that's a big stress reducer when I'm in a new, unknown area and far from my car.

Your goal of buying them for the entire contiguous US will cost you several thousand dollars, I think.

Competence in reading topo maps has saved my bacon more than once, and lack of competence has put me in hot water more than once!

REI is a great store for out door stuff and their prices are the same as any place else for most stuff, including maps. The Delorme atlas are really great but big.

If you want topo for the whole US you should probably go digital and get a good GPS with Map software.
 

·
Here's a man who stood up
Joined
·
646 Posts
If you want detailed maps that show jeep trails and streams and every county road out there go with Delorme.

I carry one of my state at all times in my truck.

I've by-passed so many county road accidents due to this book,it isnt even funny.

They're only $20.00 or so.

I've seen Gander Mt has an atlas like book as well, but they show hunting areas and boat ramps.

It could be mighty useful, for a person to know hunting areas in great detail.
 

·
Geronimo!
Joined
·
4,053 Posts
"I have a map of the United States, life size. 1 mile equals 1 mile. It's a bitch to fold it." - Steven Wright.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goosed

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
My Garmin Colorado has it, but another piece of electronics to go bad just when you need it. I use it for hunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Do get hard copies of maps

Look at the USGS website, www.store.usgs.gov/, and see what they offer. Also try Wide World of Maps, www.maps4u.com, and My Topo at www.mytopo.com.
I have some large scale topos of some states I got years ago. As has been mentioned, they give a vague idea of what's there, but are too large a scale to really be useful. A better thing, but not very portable, would be one of the raised relief maps of your state, or the US if you really want one.
Make sure you have a topo map of your area, scaled down enough so you can see gasoline/diesel/jet fuel pipelines are going thru your area, And Where The Pumping and or Pressure Relief stations are (Should you ever need to take a sample for quality control of course)
Now make sure you get there before a bunch of Gay Bikers in A$$less chaps show up ;)
 

·
Prepared Gourmet
Joined
·
2,964 Posts
If you want software that you can use to print out topo maps that seem reasonably good, try Delorme Topo USA 8.0.

You can buy a version for just a region or for a few bucks more (I think I paid about $80), the whole USA. I didn't want the whole US but I was having trouble finding topo maps for my own area since they break them down in a grid format and where I wanted to go crossed several grids (and my starting location is right on a line and hard to even find). I gave up and bought the software. It seems decent, although there is a bit of a learning curve, especially if you want the option to change your mind about where you want maps for in a hurry.

I believe it uses the USGS material too. I guess it is a tradeoff - if you think you will need maps in a hurry when the web is down, maybe you want hard software on your system. On the other hand, upgrading for changes each year may cost more than a 'subscription' to USGS, but, other than a few trails, there are not normally that many changes to hills and valleys either so I doubt I will upgrade often. In the end, it may be just up to personal preference which to go with.
 

·
Always on a budget
Joined
·
110 Posts
FYI, right now until May 31st, you can get a Garmin 60CSx from REI for $199, but it doesn't come preloaded with topo maps. The 24K maps are worth it, but if you want the whole US, get the 100K mapping software. They run $99 each.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top