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Old 07-01-2022, 02:02 PM   #1
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Boondocking? MAPS, Maps, maps.....

Our secret that is not a secret. Maps open all possibilities to understanding where potential campsites may be located that are not commonly known.

Maps like the Black Hills example will also give you areas that may have undeveloped campsites that you can Boondock Off the Grid as well. We found a pullout using this map... where NO open areas could be found.

The United States Department of Agriculture prints and updates all kinds of maps.

Bureau of Land Management has all kinds of maps available.

States have their own maps available... as they want YOU to visit.

State Geological Survey have so many kinds of maps... you will get... LOST in the details.

Electronic Maps? Excellent... but we like paper.

I have maps of the Original Railroad Routes... and sold off the 13 volume set as it was more for historians than for our needs. I kept the damaged volumes and can find traces of the Railroad grade... with a glance. Maps make you smart.

This is HOW we find wonderful Boondocking and Boondocking Off the Grid sites. Some we will never return... like where we camped last week SE of Fort Bridger, Wyoming to see the Eocene Badlands that were a novelty in the 1850's finding early fossil primate, horse, rodents that Professors from the East fought over naming them.

Also in Wyoming fossil fish west of Kemmerer, Wyoming where you can pay to quarry your own fish on private property. Ooooooh Weeeee.

Mountains, Prairies, State Parks, Towns... all have Maps. ASK. Many are free, but simple. Many have paper stock that will last longer than you will.

Thalweg is MY Map Expert, living on the side of the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

I have so many maps... I get lost trying to find one that applies to where I am going, may go to or just curious. If a Neanderthal can do it... you can.

Nancy is my Map Guide as passenger... as I cannot drive and follow each curve, detours, reroutes... as the Map and where you find yourself at the end of the road... is not what you expected. Maps are not 100% accurate... some times.

When you find those special campsites, we mark them on our DeLorme State Atlas for that area with coordinates, elevation, date and comments (which are important as to returning some day... or not).

Important: The passenger map guide needs to make NOTES of distances and road numbers or names, some change on the same road, and when you find a wonderful place... Coordinates and take some photographs. Wonderful places are hard to find and when you find some... keep them to yourself... or they will fill up when posted on the Internet.

You may want to GET OUT... Some traveling in wagons had difficulty, food and water is important. Donner Party? Bad judgment. Poor advice. Bad maps.

Thalweg may add some pointers. He MADE the maps for the 2016 Wyoming Adventure. We did not get lost...
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Old 07-01-2022, 02:39 PM   #2
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Hi

The key here is the use of the plural. One map is fine, but it *will* have issues. Multiple maps will at least show you areas that might have changed over the years. Indeed those areas often are the interesting ones. If your only map just suggested you turn down a barely visible tree filled track into the forest, "interesting" may not be the first word that comes to mind

There are a lot of things that once got on a map and no longer seem to be important. The name of that mountain over there does not seem to be interesting to Mr Google. Same thing with the name of that river or glacier. Location of this or that historic ( = gone now) town? Again, Mr Google likely isn't a big help. Trail head for this or that trail ... probably not. Info on which bridge washed out last month? Check with the locals !!!

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 07-01-2022, 03:03 PM   #3
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We agree Ray, we also love our maps

It's important to know the basics of map reading. Now it's also handy to be able to use the technology versions on phones, tablet and GPS. Phone may not power up but the map will unfold. We like to see the whole perspective before we narrow in the focal point.

Never leave without our Rand and Gazateer. We like Rand McNally, DeLorme, USGS, ADAC, US Forest Service, Thomas Guides, AAA, Map Quest, Google Maps.

We are lucky to have a local store called "Wide World of Maps" for our variety of camping maps.

It's been a long time since I shot an azimuth with my protractor in mils but still carry a compass.

Happy map reading!
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Old 07-01-2022, 06:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
......

It's been a long time since I shot an azimuth with my protractor in mils but still carry a compass.

Happy map reading!
Hi

Indeed a compass (and quite possibly some current data on mag north corrections) is well worth having along as well. The "current data" comes in handy after you realize you used the info on that map from 1712 .... ( ok, just maybe the map was from 1912 )

Bob
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Old 07-02-2022, 09:59 AM   #5
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I used to work in the oilfield in Southwest Wyoming about 30 years ago. When oil companies applied for well permits they had to pay for archeological studies over the surface areas affected by their oil and gas operations. They kept those studies in their libraries but I do not think they have ever made them public. A good example is the Birch Creek Field Unit in the Big Piney area. The field hands and folks in the office who had access to those studies and they knew exactly where TP rings, Dutch Ovens used by Oregon Trail migrants, etc… were located. Many of them were not marked on public maps. Does anyone know if there is an online repository for Archeological Studies done on public lands?

We have been BoonDocking out west for 8 years and have developed a list of go to spots. Recently we started using Campendium. It lists dispersed camping areas with User reviews. I also use the BLM app and Google Earth. I enjoy studying new areas and finding new spots.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:29 AM   #6
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Garmin Forerunner watch: 2007 and better today

Nancy wears a Garmin Forerunner watch we purchased in 2007. We were in SW New Mexico in the canyons of volcanics and ended up having to decide... are we camped North or South on the Road that came off the Mesa?

The canyons were irregular and no landmarks when you are in highly dissected canyons.

My 'Custer Decision' to go South... was right. We were about 1.5 miles from where we entered the road.

I highly recommend getting a modern version. Best investment we made in 2007. When a Geologist gets lost... once... it was time to update from a Brunton Compass.

wcrockett: Find the Oil Patch from a local. 'Think like an Indian' where they would camp. Water, Food, Fuel, Resources...

I include a photograph of what a TP Rings look like. South of the Wyoming Wind River Indian Reservation (Riverton, WY area).

Near Lusk, Wyoming are a thousand TP Rings from a flint source for making tools for 10,000 years in the western USA. Called Spanish Diggings... as early settlers figured the Spanish were mining it for some reason... unknown to them that it was the excellent quality of the flint.

I include some photographs of Flint Tools. All made by my brother, who from hunting arrowheads as a youth... figured it out and has been flint knapping for over 50 years. Beautiful work and from rock formations that American Indians recovered the same material and the material was better than money for Pre Historic Native Americans.

I have a collection of his points representing the last 10,000 years of Native American Technology... also flint Fender Guitars about four inches long he gave to music writers and singers... he is talented.

Flint tools can be 'dated' by the style... much like modern and ancient coins. Not exact but true.

Also a California map from the mid 19th Century.

And... my Library. Geological Survey of the USA, Maps from original USGS references, western States, worldwide, Paleontology, Meteorites, Archaeology, Anthropology and even books about Barb Wire, Rifle /Pistol cartridges as you never know what you will walk into and report the important finds to the local University professors.

Find a Henry cartridge... and I immediately know what it is and admire the person who fired it in 1867 Wyoming, building the Union Pacific Railroad.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:49 AM   #7
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When someone asks "WHY do I USE paper Maps?"

These maps have the original roads, are accurate and for finding geological formations and outcrops... about as good as you can get as they were camped there in a wagon, pulled by horse or mule... seeing it for the First Time.

I am just among the curious and living among history, as it was being made.

They had artists to draw, rather than photographs at the time. The actual area drawn and what I see today... are usually not even close... but imagination is with the beholder of the pencil and paper. Ahhhhh.... most have no clue what excitement exists where you least expect it.

The East, Midwest...history now under cities and plowed fields... but these places are still there. YOU need to find them, sit down, camp there and Ahhhhh. And get a cold one out of the Dometic Refer.

I took my brother out with me as I explored at 16 years old and he was 13
years old and met all the Old Timers who pointed... we went... and discovered. This is when my brother would pick up some loose flint, hit it with another stone, then antlers to pressure flake and then made Copper tools that did not wear out fast, mounted the copper into a handle... and is well known for understanding HOW THE ANCIENTS FLUTED POINTS, while the professionals taught out of books, he figured these things out by actually doing it.

Imagine that. All Self Taught... he never needed a book.
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Old 07-02-2022, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcrockett View Post
I used to work in the oilfield in Southwest Wyoming about 30 years ago. When oil companies applied for well permits they had to pay for archeological studies over the surface areas affected by their oil and gas operations. They kept those studies in their libraries but I do not think they have ever made them public. A good example is the Birch Creek Field Unit in the Big Piney area. The field hands and folks in the office who had access to those studies and they knew exactly where TP rings, Dutch Ovens used by Oregon Trail migrants, etc… were located. Many of them were not marked on public maps. Does anyone know if there is an online repository for Archeological Studies done on public lands?

We have been BoonDocking out west for 8 years and have developed a list of go to spots. Recently we started using Campendium. It lists dispersed camping areas with User reviews. I also use the BLM app and Google Earth. I enjoy studying new areas and finding new spots.
I believe the sub contractors to the oil companies know more about the specifics of the archeology find than the actual oil company. It is intentional that the archeology contractor didn’t say what the find is, just that the oil company would have to reroute their equipment or pipelines. So the real knowledgeable people didn’t work for oil companies, it was the sub contractors that were lucky enough to know the specifics. It wouldn’t be online anywhere for the rest of us to use unfortunately. You would want people like Ray that may have done that as a job or even now as a full time explorer are the ones you want to know for the real scoop (pun intended.)
The rest of us have to rely on BLM and Google Earth to find cool spots and things.
Happy Boondocking!
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