Toughest Gear: Trails Illustrated Maps

These waterproof maps are unruffled by rain, sleet, and snow.

In the late 80s, a small Colorado outfit started churning out a new type of waterproof map that wouldn’t rip or smudge. The coated paper was a revelation, and our map files today hold dozens of marked-up Trails topos. Cartography has changed—you can make amazing maps on your PC now—but these classics won’t fade away anytime soon. $12;