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Old 09-17-11, 05:09 PM   #1
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How do you navigate on off-road tours?

OK, so it's easy enough to see how you'd navigate and figure out routes on a road-only tour. Even if you're not using ACA maps, road maps are all you need. But what if you're making up your own route on 4x4 paths, through the woods, etc? How do you decide which routes to take, navigate, plan distances, etc? Just wondering how people do it.
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Old 09-17-11, 05:23 PM   #2
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I use USCGS topo maps for planning, and will quite often copy section of them. Another viable, though expensive option would be something along the lines of the DeLorme PN-60 GPS I have used the older version and was happy with the results.

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Old 09-17-11, 10:23 PM   #3
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The U.S. Forest Service has some excellent maps available. They indicate which "roads" are paved and which are gravel, which is kind of nice. I don't even have an odometer on my bike anymore, so I do run a greater risk of missing key turns. I'm willing to accept this since I usually have all I need to be self-sufficient and guessing at the mileage is a game I enjoy.
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Old 09-18-11, 02:44 AM   #4
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+1 , USGS maps and a hand held compass , just like if you were Hiking.

Out here , no Wilderness, but lots of logging roads,,USFS has maps.
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Old 09-18-11, 03:03 AM   #5
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You can get their maps in most newsagents, sporting goods stores, and some tourist information places.

You probably want the topographic, or state park, or 4WD maps.

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Old 09-18-11, 05:01 AM   #6
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the USFS maps are quite accurate for the very very small roads, better IMO than USGS quads or any other.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:38 AM   #7
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I did a portion of the Great Divide route this summer. I bought ACA maps, but I also used my Garmin Vist HcX gps. I bought Garmin's topo map dvd. I used the ACA map to program waypoints into my gps. You could do the same with forest service maps, etc. The only issue is when there's a trail on a map that doesn't show up on the Garmin topo map. It doesn't like to route you cross country. (Or at least, that was my problem - it's also very likely you could make it work, but I just didn't know how.) Once I had the routes programmed the gps was very helpful.

Last edited by BigBlueToe; 09-19-11 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 09-18-11, 09:07 AM   #8
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Topographic map, compass and watch.
Mark the junctions I pass on the ground so I can backtrack.
Very few countries have topo maps so good that they show every off-road track and trail. Be prepared for some deviation between map and ground.
On rare occasions I have had to abandon my planned route because I just cant figure out which track to take. I can usually make a Plan B route that will get me back onto a road.
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Old 09-18-11, 09:32 AM   #9
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I have a good memory and a sense of adventure.... I just go like I go on my ATV's, strictly off of landmarks and memory. No maps, no GPS, compass or anything. Never have problems
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