Sitka Gear
Topo maps
Contributors to this thread:
jjs 10-Mar-22
WV Mountaineer 10-Mar-22
cnelk 10-Mar-22
Bandicooter 10-Mar-22
spike78 10-Mar-22
Lawdog 11-Mar-22
soccern23ny 11-Mar-22
Casekiska 11-Mar-22
From: jjs
How many of you still using USGA Topo Maps or have you relying on tech. Just interesting I still like the top maps and compass in the area I am hunting on public land.

I always carry a compass when out west. I always buy a topo map of the area/s I’m going to be in. Then a gps chip of topo’s in that area. Then use Gaia on my phone.

But, my bread and butter is and always will be topos. Whether I use them in the woods or not. I would hate not having them.

From: cnelk
Trails Illustrated for me

From: Bandicooter
Heck, you can go to the USGS website and print off any topo you want and also look up historical topo maps. Don't cost nuthin'.

From: spike78
OnX topo lines, mark the contours that look good then follow your way to them. Saw deer this past season at every X I made worked very well.

From: Lawdog
I always buy the paper USGS topos for the area I hunt. I use them to do all of my basic scouting to identify areas or places I want to scout on foot. It also helps to familiarize me with the area-roads, streams, lakes, whatever. You'll never be lost with a map and compass. Additionally, my InReach pairs with the Earthmate app on my phone. The app uses the USGS maps that are identical to the paper maps. You download those maps before going afield. Used together navigation is a breeze. But, I don't need the InReach to do that. Back in the day all we had was those topo maps and a compass. I just never got out of the habit of having both with me.

From: soccern23ny
Always good to have a compass. I never truly trust a smartphone or GPS device compass/bearing indicator. A lot of ways to make them inaccurate(magnetic/touch screen gloves!). I've had gps tell me the exact opposite direction that I am facing. As far as maps, if I know the area/ know the safe directions to go if lost(ie.... guaranteed to hit a major road going due south) than I dont bring a map. I've gotten custom topo maps from They are good quality

From: Casekiska
A compass and a topo can find your way into or out of any location. Knowing how to use them is the key. To this day they have never let me down. I was lucky, I had a Cub Scout Pack leader back in the early fifties who taught us kids the rudimentary principles for using them. In later years I perfected my skills and they've never left me. Something good to know, just fortunate to have started off right.

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