Source For Quality PAPER Maps

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by apexal, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. apexal

    apexal Been here awhile

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    I'm planning a trip out west this summer and in need of some good quality paper maps for the states and Canadian Provinces that I will be traveling through. Sure, I have a Nav V on my BMW and will use it quite a bit but I mostly rely on paper maps when I ride. I've had good luck with the large size Rand McNally maps and American Map brand maps but wondering what other people may use and recommend.

    Any suggestions or recommendations?
    #1
  2. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Butler Maps:thumb:thumb
    Made by and for riders.
    They have a thread in the Vendors section.
    Individual maps and sets available.


    JR356
    #2
  3. apexal

    apexal Been here awhile

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    I forgot to mention Butler Maps. I have a couple and they are excellent but they only cover a few of the states that I'll be traveling through. I have an excellent Rand McNally map for Maine (oversized) so I'm going to order a couple more off Amazon and see if those are equally good. One problem with road maps is that for the bigger states the maps aren't large enough. Rhode Island is easy to fit in detail on a normal size map. How about Alaska or Ontario?
    #3
  4. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Benchmark Recreation maps are great. They are available for most US western states. They show ~99% of rideable roads and trails. Unfortunately each state requires a fairly large book and thus they are hard to carry. Some people tear out the pages they need and carry them. I can't get myself to tear out the pages and so photocopy the areas I expect to be riding and carry those.

    Another set of good maps are GTR maps. They show lots of major and medium dirt roads. They are good for planning bailouts. There is one foldup map per state. I always carry these on trips too.

    A lot of people like the Delorme map books. But I don't have much experience with them.

    I do the vast majority of my trip planning and navigation using GPS. But the paper maps come in handy a lot.
    #4
  5. bobcat

    bobcat recalculating

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    Annual membership in AAA will get you free printed maps, Tour Book travel guides, and many other benefits. The state/province based maps are very good quality, great detail and information on them. You can also get the maps by buying one of their atlases, but much of the detail is lost due to scale, so I stick with the folding versions. You can also upgrade the membership to include roadside assistance while on your bike.

    https://www.northernnewengland.aaa.com
    #5
  6. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Yes Butler maps are limited,but expanding slowly.
    They do have an Alaska map now.
    Visit their website for latest map info.

    Also like the Rand McNally folding plastic maps that you can find at many truck stops,etc.,they will fit in some tankbag map pockets.
    https://www.amazon.com/Rand-McNally...rd_wg=9lYue&psc=1&refRID=JK71KVE84FAN59FVYCFR

    Some people have mentioned the Rand McNally Motor Carriers Travel Atlas as a good map set,also at Amazon,truck stops etc.
    https://www.amazon.com/McNally-Delu...r=1-4&keywords=motor+carriers+road+atlas+2018
    Can get the 2018 version,but it is double the money,for likely not many changes.

    JR356
    #6
  7. apexal

    apexal Been here awhile

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    I put in an order on Amazon for an International Travel Maps map for Manitoba and a couple Rand McNally maps for Michigan (paper) and Wisconsin (laminated).
    The Benchmark Maps and GTR Maps look good and I will order one of each. I'll compare the four brands to see which one that I like most and then fill out my states to visit list Butler Maps for the states that they cover. I do know that I don't want an atlas, just need and want folding maps.

    I'm planning a 6 week trip this summer and not sure exactly where I'm going. I'll head west out of New Hampshire through Vermont, upstate NY, into Ontario and then either via the upper peninsula of Michigan or loop up around by Thunder Bay. Not sure if I'll continue west through Canada or through Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc. With 6 weeks allotted for this trip I might have time to take a stab at Alaska but I sure would hate to miss out on the lower western US states.
    #7
  8. apexal

    apexal Been here awhile

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    I considered joining AAA for the maps but their maps seem average to me and I was hoping for something a bit better. And I'm already maxed out on coverages. My BMW motorcycle has road coverage by both BMW and the BMW MOA. My Toyota has road coverage by both Toyota and by Allstate insurance. I think that I'm good but thanks for the suggestion.
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  9. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    Late to the game, but why not check out the official roadmaps that each province creates? It's true the latest versions are in pdf format and they don't include topography, but they will serve as a reference. You could even use a poster printing service to make a paper version (about $20 for a 20'x30')
    #9
  10. apexal

    apexal Been here awhile

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    Well, I got 4 road maps from Amazon yesterday.
    The red Rand McNally Michigan map and the International Travel Maps Manitoba maps that I bought are excellent....large, detailed, top quality.
    The blue Rand McNally laminated Wisconsin map sucks...small, made in segments, lacking detail.
    And then the Butler Montana map.....large, waterproof, tear resistant, detailed, best roads highlighted, etc, etc.
    So I'll get the Butler maps for any state that I'm visiting and buy the red Rand McNally and the International Travel Maps for the other sates and provinces that I'll be traveling through or visiting.
    When I travel I pull out my map(s) each evening to plan the next day's journey. I write the route (route numbers, towns, turns, etc) on a plain piece of paper which I slip into the window of my tank bag. I carry the map in the chest pocket of my riding jacket and use the map as well as my GPS to assist as needed during the day.
    #10
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