September 19, 2021

Using USGS Topo Maps for Hiking, Backpacking, and Other Outdoor Activities

USGS topo maps (also known as topographical maps) have been found to be excellent for use by people interested in outdoor activities. It was in 1807 that this type of terrain and mapping was started. The first map was created by surveying the Atlantic coastline, over the years it has expanded to cover the entire United States.

Usgs Topo Maps

Extensive studies have been made of the land, using overhead views and satellites, as well as exploration. This has allowed the maps to be extensive in their portrayal of the earth’s surfaces. As a result, people are now able to look at the maps for any kind of information needed. Whether exploring for oil, contemplating building a highway, planning a new community or numerous other things these maps are invaluable.

Interpreting these maps is very easy with various symbols and colors used to indicate man-made and natural formations throughout the land. By this method mountains, roads, bodies of water, buildings and other features of various areas are clearly indicated. When planning an outing, such as a hikes or backpacking it is easy to study the maps and know exactly which trail or road is the best to take.

There are over 56,000 of these maps available so it is possible for a person to hone in on any specific location. This is very convenient when one is planning on a specific event. Among other things it is possible to determine the height of the area to see if it is too steep for some of the parties involved.

People who enjoy the wilderness have learned to study these maps to find the best trails and the best places to camp out or just enjoy a long hike. These maps are in such detail that this is a very easy thing to do. They can also be carried for easy reference along the way.

These maps can be seen on the USGS Internet site and copied out on one’s computer. They can also be purchased at the USGS Internet store. At any time, one has the opportunity to view the various ones available to just to get information needed if the actual map is not needed.

One of these maps, covering the territory to which one is traveling, is an excellent addition to other materials regarding directions to reach one’s destination. By being able to avoid obstacles, that might take an extra day or two out of one’s itinerary, there is more time for enjoyment.

The accuracy of topo maps is above reproach. They have been carefully and painstakingly put together to assure that everything regarding the earth’s surface is included. Symbols and colors have been especially chosen for the average person to easily be able to understand the various natural and man-made features of the country. The maps are available in various sizes as well as scaled so there is a wide choice available. In addition, accuracy of the maps by field checking is done periodically to assure their precision regarding all of the features presented.

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