Friday, June 05, 2015

Jeff's Maps

I love Jeff's Maps so much I was his first client to purchase the mega-large version of his Algonquin Park map.  It's MASSIVE, at 6 feet by 10 feet, it covers a full wall in LT's basement.  It was his Christmas present this year.  We still need to get some sort of markers to show all the campsites we've stayed at.

Jeff's maps are printed out on a plastic paper that floats and can handle getting wet.  I've spent hours looking at various maps, mostly his Eastern and Central maps for Algonquin.  They are extremely helpful when planning your trips.  

The notations he has are very helpful in preparing you for what you may be facing.  You can tell how long the portages are, the high spot on the portage, and he'll warn you if there's something special about the portage you should know.  Forewarned is forearmed, right?

When we were planning our first foray into the Northern area of the park, we were tackling some black portage routes, also a first.  One of the notations haunted me for days beforehand.  "Swamp with No Bridge" it said.  I had nightmares.  When we finally came face-to-face with it we were past tired and not our best.  It was late in a very, very long day.  I had my trekking poles to stick in the mud to figure out where the rocks might be as we clamoured over loose, slippery logs laying on the surface - not secured.  I teetered left, I teetered right.  I can regain my balance easily when not carrying a 50+ pound pack on my back.  I did not regain my balance and I fell on my left side into the black muck.  I just started howling and LT came back to me and hauled me out.  Twice.  I fell again onto the right this time to ensure I completely dirtied whatever portion of my clothes that were still clean.  My greatest fear was ultimately conquered!

Jeff has added estimated travel times to his maps.  This helps you to figure out how long it will take you to travel the portion you are looking at.  He explains how to add or subtract time to that calculation depending on your experience/skill level.  

He has added all kinds of interesting tidbits to his map, the origin of names, the location of relics, etc.  They make for great reading!  Now if I could just read in the car.

If you are travelling with any sort of GPS tracking device and you see something that is not on his map (or he has it in the wrong place), note it and send him an email.  He is always updating his maps and is glad to have feedback.

I have downloaded his Algonquin map to my Android phone.  I love being able to pick up my phone and look at his map when having a discussion about a route or lake in the park.  So handy!

And most importantly - BRING TWO COPIES of the map you are using with you when going out on a trip.  I picked up an Ospry map holder for LT.  He straps it around the canoe yoke so that it sits on top of my pack and he can refer to it handily.  I keep my copy tucked into the top portion of my backpack.  How to pack your pack - that should be a post on its own!

Here's the link to Jeff's website:

Here is a screenshot from his map that shows where we travelled on our trip to Little Carcajou Lake from the campground at Achray, Grand Lake:

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