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How do you fold these things, anyway?

7 July 2010 No Comment AUTHOR: Carrie Clark

As a kid, I used to spend hours sprawled out on the living room floor unfolding and looking at maps and map details, specifically the terrific maps that came with the National Geographic magazine. Not much has changed; I just spent the better part of the morning staring lovingly at the Google terrain and satellite maps. I’ve embedded the terrain map below. No folding or unfolding required.

This is the Google Earth terrain model of Yellowstone National Park.

View Larger Map

I would love to take terrain and satellite maps with us to Yellowstone, but we can only scrunch so much into our kayak and backpacks. We do not have those smart phones with the nice big screen to see these Google maps, and even if we did, the maps would have to be preloaded because Yellowstone’s cell phone coverage is minimal and the Internet availability is practically null. Believe you me, I am just fine with that. We are taking a notebook computer to collect and store data, but it is neither practical or convenient to use when you need to check your coordinates.

As we head off on our on our big adventure, our mapping resources of choice will be the National Geographic topographical maps of Yellowstone Park and Yellowstone Lake, and the Garmin eTrex Venture HC. We recently loaded Garmin’s 100K US Topographic Maps onto the notebook and select maps to the GPS unit. We have enjoyed using the Venture thus far. It has a small screen, and I imagine that might be a drawback for some folks. For our purposes, it is wonderfully packable and the screen is so well lit that we really have no problem seeing the details.

No amount of electronic gadgetry will ever be able to take the place of good ol’ paper whether it’s a book or map, which is why we’re bringing the National Geographic maps–and compasses. We are each going to carry our own park map, and this is so we can each peruse the map at our own leisure during breaks, but it is also for survival in case we get separated. However, I don’t plan on letting Sean get out of my arms reach.

Here are the Yellowstone National Park – #201 Wyoming, Montana, Idaho map and the Yellowstone Lake – Yellow National Park SE #305 Wyoming map. [note: images on Amazon may or may not be correct images, but the maps are the correct maps.]

We like the durable feel to the map. It doesn’t feel like the usual map you’d buy at the gas station. It is designed to be tear resistant and water resistant. If you think about it, the tears usually occur along the folds so their tear resistant treatment is a big plus. Perfect for people of all ages, especially little kids with sticky fingers and not so great folding skills.

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