Sunday, February 24, 2008

Map drops

I use a Mac, which is great in every way except the map way. I don’t typically use GPS, which is a good thing, since much mapping software runs on Windows only, and most GPS makers don’t show a lot of interest in OSX. As far as I can tell, this Mac aversion is shared by Anquet, Quo, et al. with regard to the Ordnance Survey maps I’ll be using in Scotland. So mapping my way electronically and printing off custom map segments seems not to be in the cards for me. I can live with that.

I like OS maps, and really like the National Grid Reference system, which we don’t have over here. My route will require five or six OS Landranger maps: 33, 34, 35, 43, 44, and maybe 45 (though, as a son of Rogers and Clark, I naturally have both the superb backcountry skills and the raw courage to force a route mapless through the savage waste between Edzell and St. Cyrus). I’m planning to strip the covers, but to bring the maps entire, on the grounds that I’ll inevitably get off-route—possibly even on purpose. I’ll have parts of two days in Glasgow before hopping the train to Mallaig, and to keep bulk and weight down, I think I’ll mail maps ahead to the Kingussie campground and the Braemar YHA, and send used ones home.

I think I’ll mail some food ahead, too, though my route will allow me to buy as I go, and I’ll be doing a lot of that. Many, if not most, American long-walkers rely on Lipton Sides, now Knorr-Lipton Sides, but in the next few weeks I’ll be testing some of the less chemical, more interesting, much-praised dehydrated meals from Enertia Trail Foods. A report will be the topic of a future post or two.


Anonymous said...

I'd caution anyone to think twice before purchasing Anquet Maps - I did, only to find that the primitive mobile interface is totally unusable in the field. If you have a PC buy Memory-Map instead. I'm prepared to bet that no one from Anquet has ever used their software for serious walking.



David Albon said...

Hi Mark
I like you're ideas about OS Landranger maps - very much what I do myself. I also put self-addressed envelopes in my supply parcels ready to put the finished maps in to send home.

You'll find a whole procession of Challengers on their way from Tarfside-Edzell-North Water Bridge campsite on the penultimate day and then on to the coast on the final one.

Enjoy, David