|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – May 2010
Devour the world's best scenery, chocolate, and cheese on the Via Alpina.
Bag a peak every day (and a view every step) on the country's highest-elevation path.
Climb Rainier or paddle the Everglades? Fastpack the Long Trail or savor Lost Coast sunsets? With 18 sweet trips to choose from–complete with tracklogs and detailed maps–your perfect adventure awaits.
New Trips Near You
Find a fresh trail fast: Our army of reader-scouts mapped 59 local hikes from South Carolina to Northern California. See their favorites, then learn how to download the tracklogs and waypoints.
Navigate Like a Pro
Get started with our basic map-and-compass primer. Then graduate to advanced skills for negotiating whiteouts, peaks, deserts, forests, and lakes. Plus: Our testers pick the best compasses, GPS units, and map tools.
The Future of Maps
Four cutting-edge cartographers–from Google's explorer-in-residence to Tom Harrison himself– help us chart the course of the next revolution in wilderness mapping.
Utterly, Hopelessly, Truly LOST
Not lawyer-approved: We blindfolded navigation novice Jim Thornton and dropped him by bushplane in the middle of Idaho's Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Then it started snowing. Would you survive?
My Island, My Map
In the future, hikers will find it shocking that there was a time when backpackers used maps–but didn't make them. Bruce Barcott investigates today's tracking, geotagging, and custom-publishing tools, and creates the multifaceted, multimedia map of the future.
The Map Vault
Go inside the USGS's central repository in Denver, where's you'll discover the secrets of a map lover's paradise.