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A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)
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Map preparation

Tue 15 Oct, 2019 12:15 pm

G'day all, Bill here

We're continuing our preparation for the first stage of the AAWT (Walhalla to Rumpff Saddle) in early November. It's coming together pretty well, I think. Going to be eight days.

About maps though - I wanted to ask what other people are doing.

I'm planning to use 1:50,000 topo maps, laminated to A4 double sided. I think it'll work out at three A4 pages in all. I'll have a compass as well. The secondary maps are the complete series of 1:25,000 on my phone (and also on Emma's) in Avenza maps for iOS. I plan to use the laminated maps for everyday use, backed up by GPS readings when required. Most of the time the iPhones will be off to conserve batteries (we've also got external batteries.

Is this what other people are doing? I'm not planning on losing/destroying my phone, but I want to be prepared for that happening.

About getting paper maps - Avenza used to have this thing called the Map Table, and it was how I got the first two 1:50 maps, but it seems to have disappeared. Can anyone confirm this? I can get the Avenza maps free but I can't print them out, which (IMHO) is a risk. Apart from buying physical paper maps (which I have no objection to) is there any other way of getting an A4 sized snippet that I can laminate?

Re: Map preparation

Tue 15 Oct, 2019 12:24 pm

It's impossible to believe there would be a scenario where two separate phones would fail. Sounds like you'll be safe as houses.

Re: Map preparation

Tue 15 Oct, 2019 12:41 pm

I copied all the pages of Chapman with maps and profiles 2 to a page onto back to back A4 pages and laminated them. They were easy to fit in my pocket folded and the lamination made them very tough. If you can, use the lightest and thinnest lamination. I had 1:50k maps but they pretty much stayed in the pack. I swapped over the maps for the next stage in my food drops. I carried a compass but didn't use it much, rather I used my iPhone for grid reference, altitude (really important on a long hill!) and photos, turning it to flight mode in between to save battery.

Re: Map preparation

Tue 15 Oct, 2019 8:15 pm

Thanks for that - I feel a bit more confident now. We're both scout leaders, which means that if something can go wrong, it will.

Re: Map preparation

Tue 15 Oct, 2019 8:28 pm

Note that the GPS will work in flight mode.

Re: Map preparation

Tue 15 Oct, 2019 8:31 pm

An old school option is to use a map case with your 1:50,000 maps and fold them so the current section is visible.
Put the other maps in a ziploc bag in your pack until needed.

Re: Map preparation

Wed 16 Oct, 2019 10:20 pm

Better than laminating hard copies is to print them onto water and tear-resistant paper.

I print onto A4 or A3 sheets of NeverTear which is available from Xerox shops. Our local Xerox shop (in Hobart) sells the A3 pages by the sheet. Although they only claim it as water resistant I use the sheets on the ocean for sea kayaking and on rivers for whitewater paddling and have never had an issue with them.

Much lighter and more waterproof plus cheaper and easier than laminating.

Re: Map preparation

Thu 17 Oct, 2019 6:53 am

Office works prints on tyvek. Reasonably cheap too. If you lay out it you can have everything on one page and use it as a ground sheet to sit on.

Re: Map preparation

Thu 17 Oct, 2019 2:18 pm

i've just cut up the chapman book and plan to keep each relevant page in a waterproof map case for each day. Also carrying the Hema High Country map (overall big picture 1:200,000) which covers to thredbo and shows the AAWT. then some local maps in the northern food drops. I also have a garmin etrek 30 GPS with austopo maps loaded (although i'm dubious on the accuracy of the contouring). AA batteries last forever in this if you keep it off until you need it, and you can stash some spares. I've decided to leave the phone out of the equation (there in an emergency)
In the past i have created PDF's from the Vicmap website which I've then printed but it was a fiddly process and you had to pay. the quality wasn't great either. i much prefer the NZ or QLD system where it's all free access.

Re: Map preparation

Tue 29 Oct, 2019 5:39 pm

There is an updated edition of the AAWT guide book now available . I tend to colour photocopy the sections of maps that I need onto A3 size and laminate them. I have recently obtained a GARMIN E trex 20 GPS which runs on AA batteries. Sometimes you can be a little unsure where exactly you are on the map. The GPS can help with this matter.
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