Pick One Map

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by LouGubrius, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. LouGubrius

    LouGubrius Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    I have zillions of different maps and GPS/mapping apps on my phone. I don't mind because they all pack down infinitely small. But I don't have a stand alone GPS and relying 100% on 1 device is a sucker's game. So a good paper map is in order.

    I'm sure I'll end up with a collection over time, but I'm just starting to get into riding in places Google (and even Rever) can't show me. I'm going ADV places! I'm riding to all of those places from Portland. Since I also don't have camp gear, everything is an out and back. That means Mt Hood and Tillamook and I guess places in Worshington? Do I need individual maps for each state and national forest or is there something that would get me by for at least Oregon?

    Any recommendations would be appreciated!
    #1
  2. Idarider

    Idarider R1200GS

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,029
    Location:
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Credit card camping in small towns can be inexpensive and greatly increase your fun.
    Try the rent space thread too.

    A basic state map is good to have.

    If I was trying to do a multiday back country route I would get something better, possinly.
    #2
  3. sector

    sector Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,571
    Location:
    S Oregon Coast and Rossland BC
    Benchmark maps. Get the Oregon and Washington atlases and tear out the pages you need for the day. Stick'em back in the book when you're done so you can see them all together to plan your next ride. I have the Avenza app versions as well...
    #3
  4. LuckyPunk

    LuckyPunk Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    77
    OnX Offroad is a great app, and I like paper Butler Maps, but they don't have much offroad stuff. Butler, if you're listening, make a gravel/trail map of Oregon.
    #4
    SuperD! and tommybelvedere like this.
  5. beerbaron

    beerbaron soldier of misfortune

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    571
    Location:
    cedar county
    my local ace hardware has really good maps. ive often thought of trying to laminate them some how and get a grease pencil, or the like, to mark routes and fs roads. remember the thomas guide? i was a whiz at reading one of those. if i could get a giant thomas guide style book of maps, id be in hog heaven
    #5
  6. Idarider

    Idarider R1200GS

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,029
    Location:
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Just bought a butler Oregon map.
    For my area around Lolo pass I like the forest service plastic coated map.
    #6
  7. beerbaron

    beerbaron soldier of misfortune

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    571
    Location:
    cedar county
    i just found a place on the internet that has wall size maps. decent to great looking. o shit
    #7
  8. tommybelvedere

    tommybelvedere Adv alacarte'

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    Bow,WA
    Butler sucks for off road, come on Butler get a REAL dirt map and not including campgrounds that don't allow tent camping??? WTF. Get a benchmark atlas and go ride where ever you want on or off road. National Forest maps are a #2 as a backup.
    #8
    SuperD! likes this.
  9. LouGubrius

    LouGubrius Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone.

    I have looked at some Butler maps, including what you can access with a paid Rever account, and have been unimpressed.

    I think the Benchmark atlas looks like a really good place to start. Powells even has one in stock cheap!

    I will eventually raid the ranger stations for all their free maps. Once I am spending some of my work time in and office rather than my living room, the laminator will be put to a lot of good use!
    #9
    Motomantra likes this.
  10. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,073
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Make more of your time and sign up on ADV's Tent Space page! Some people offer beds, not just a spot in their yard :thumb


    As for your actual quesiton, Metsker Maps is a good source of maps.
    #10
    LouGubrius likes this.
  11. HellsAlien

    HellsAlien a has-been that never-was Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,597
    Location:
    Baja Sur winter, Columbia City summer
    Benchmark map book. Cut out with razor knife. Copy sections /sheets for day use so the master copy lasts longer.

    I clip them behind the headlight number plate for easy access.
    #11
    tommybelvedere and dowdell like this.
  12. pHelix

    pHelix Eternal n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,863
    Location:
    Socialist Nirvana, Orygun
    In addition to a Benchmark, I usually carry the BLM recreation map for the area I’m exploring. Far from perfect, but has a lot of detail the Benchmark lacks.
    #12
    tommybelvedere likes this.
  13. LouGubrius

    LouGubrius Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    I am digging into this thread now, thanks!

    #13
  14. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,354
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    These are popular with hunters. Might want to have a look, you know, to add to your (upcomimg) collection. I use Benchmark a lot.
    #14
  15. tblume

    tblume Always Be Gambling

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,968
    Location:
    541
    Benchmark analog maps for sure, nicest to look at and good detail.

    Avenza has digital Benchmark and Butler maps- works like a gps enabled .pdf, good stuff.
    Also the motor vehicle use maps, free- the onus is on you to know when an area is off limits.
    Also all the OHV maps.
    Pro tip for Avenza; use your laptop or desktop to create your account and search/download maps, makes the cell navigation much much easier, your device will sync with what you did on the computer, the mobile OS is shyte otherwise.
    #15
    sector likes this.
  16. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,080
    Location:
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    I've always been a bit of a map lover. Mostly just rehashing what others said above.

    I like the Benchmark Atlas myself. I have gotten in the habit of just taking pictures of the pages I am going to ride vs ripping out the pages like I used to. Today's smartphone cameras have more than enough resolution to see the smallest details, plus you can zoon in on them and avoid needing reading glasses if you have that problem. I also have found they update Benchmarks pretty often. It's worth buying a new one every few years as roads get closed up.

    When on the bike I sure appreciate having a Garmin Montana, and will often have a route or routing running on trips. That way I can enjoy the ride and get in a flow vs. stopping and looking at maps.

    The Butler Motorcycle map is a great asset for finding good motorcycle roads. I will usually program a route first based on that map, then follow it on my Garmin if I'm wanting to explore those roads. I find their rating of MC roads is pretty good and makes for a some good adventures. They are best for exploring a new area (on road) and just looking for good MC roads that have good scenery, low traffic or nice curves and climbs. For Dual Sport/Adventure exploring the more detail on Benchmarks come in much more handy for that type of riding.

    Recently I've been having fun using Gaia maps on my phone. I don't find they are that great for routing, but they are great for exploring. I can pull up different map overlays that show me things that other maps don't. Old mining site, logging sites or waterfalls etc. Plus you can download the area you are exploring ahead of time and still have a lot of detail to play around with.
    #16
    pHelix likes this.
  17. LouGubrius

    LouGubrius Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    I have a Montana 610T on my amazon wishlist. Hopefully it won't stay there too long. But even with a phone AND a GPS, I'll still want paper maps.

    It sure seems like Benchmark is the way to go. Thanks everyone for the great information!
    #17
  18. tdewitt

    tdewitt gas'n it

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,215
    Location:
    Barton Oregon
    The Butler map is great to hang on the wall and throw darts at. I throw one dart and that's my goal, ride to the dart. I'll use it for basic route. Then when I stop to fill the gas tank I just head out in the general direction I want to go. My Garmin is always laying bread crumbs so I can find my way back but have yet had the need to do that. When it's time to slab home the Butler fits the bill.
    #18
    LouGubrius and Scott_PDX like this.
  19. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Ride Oregon First Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,002
    Location:
    High over Hood River
    No one map can do it all. All are just a bit different and limited when showing the tiny old forest roads, and all different maps seem to have been derived from a variety of sources. Sometimes with 2 different maps and a GPS, I might find one of them might show the road in question, some show it wrong, or different, and Google maps doesn't show most of the best bad roads at all. On a Benchmark Atlas, these roads are barely perceptible little red lines. Atlases are for car travel, but I take it with me on most long bike trips for the 'big picture' that it offers.

    That said, the FS Ranger District maps that cover just an area of each forest seem to be the best for the size they take up. For instance, Mt Hood NF is divided into Hood River, Clackamas, Zig Zag and Barlow Ranger Districts, and there is a map for each.
    #19
    LouGubrius likes this.
  20. HellsAlien

    HellsAlien a has-been that never-was Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,597
    Location:
    Baja Sur winter, Columbia City summer
    I keep a lot of old maps cause they show the good bad roads that may not show anymore on 21st century maps & files online.

    Metsker maps mentioned previously are also good for bad roads.
    #20
    Apple Jam likes this.