A topo map from Offroute (which uses National Geographic’s version of USGS’s topographic maps) is a little more expensive ($9 vs. $6) than buying a “quad” from the USGS, but offers five great advantages: 1) you don’t have to buy four sheets to get your spot covered, you can just get one custom one centered on your coordinates; 2) you can print it out in several different sizes, including larger display-sizes; 3) you can select relief shading which add shadows to the hills as a great aid to visualizing the terrain; 4) you can get it in waterproof, untearable teslin, which is fantastic if you’ll be folding and unfolding a lot; 5) you can get it from home.

Offroute offers custom centered topo maps of anywhere in the US. Their website is easy to navigate and delivery is prompt. They mail them rolled in tubes. Here in the Bay Area, I get maps three days after I order. It’s a great service. Friends who use it say the same.

– KK

13′ x 18′ topo map