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Old 07-26-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
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Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

Gents and Ladies

what is your favorite:

Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book ??

thanx

bw
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

Hands down, the Massey & Wilson series of Backcountry Adventures. Large format, color photos and maps, history and nature sections, GPS coordinates going both directions with every turn or side road mentioned in the detailed trail description, general descriptions of the "worse" parts of each trail, a full range of trails from easy to difficult, and numerical ratings for both difficulty and scenery/remoteness. They include trails suitable for stock SUVs to modified Jeeps.

Of course, every writer's difficulty ratings are different (although they all try to describe them by mentioning ground clearance issues, ruts, off-chamber sections, etc.). We have found that it is best if you see how the writer rates a trail that you have been on before and use that to figure out other trails you might want to try.

I'd rate the Charles Wells series next since he many times (but not always) shows you a photo of the worse/most difficult part of each trail. But his books have only B/W photos and the maps are more graphic and less detailed. He does have GPS coordinates in the back of the book. Note too that he uses a stock Grand Cherokee and also a highly modified Jeep Cherokee on the trails but doesn't say which trail he used which vehicle although you can figure it out from a extensive "Difficulty" paragraph for each trail. Massey and Wilson use only numbers to describe the difficulty of a trail but they also typically mention why a trail rates a particular 1-10 number. One other nice thing about Wells' books is that he has a complete ranking of every trail in the book based on difficulty. So, although he ranks each trail as either Easy, Moderate, or Difficult, the overall rank listing of every Easy or Moderate or Difficult trail makes it easy to say, "Well, we did this trail which he ranks in the middle of the Moderate list and this one is easier than that so...no problem!"
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:37 AM   #3
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

Jack
thanks so much
just ordered them on Amazon, will report back

my rig is a month away from it's first trip
but i am pretty good at posting TR's and PICS
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

I second what Jack posted about the Backcountry Adventures Books. One problem I've found with them is they are a bit hard to follow because of the way they show the trail routes. But you should have topo maps on board also. Also they say to use your odometer and the book might say something like "Zero trip meter. Track left on 1S203 1.2 miles to fork in road". But with an SMB in low range miles are off so you can't use that. A much better method would be to have a forest service topographical map that is highlighted but it requires too much room in a book. I usually read the book at home, gather the info needed from it, and then mark the routes on my PC maps and/or standard topo maps. But the pictures, history, and information about flora and fauna are very well put. There is even limited info on how to off road. Well worth the money IMO. This is also worth a look.
http://books.google.com/books?id=BuruHI ... &resnum=11

http://books.google.com/books?id=rpR9pz ... &resnum=12

http://books.google.com/books?id=zGylSH ... &resnum=13
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

Definitely the Peter Massey / Jeanne Wilson "Backcountry Adventures" series! That's what got me started, and I still love them. Great photos, trails, descriptions, history.

Backcountry Adventure Series
  • Backcountry Adventures: ARIZONA
    Backcountry Adventures: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
    Backcountry Adventures: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    Backcountry Adventures: UTAH
    4WD Adventures: COLORADO

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Old 07-29-2009, 11:19 AM   #6
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

Holy Sxxt!!

just got my first set of books from Wilderness Press

awesome stuff

cant wait to get the rig trip ready

thanx so much guys/gals

ps
what do you do about emergency communication
meaning no cell service

any of ya have a sat phone??
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:06 PM   #7
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

My plan is to first attempt to climb to a point where there is cell coverage. If that isn't feasible, consider hiking out. If it is a real emergency, activate a beacon (http://www.rei.com/product/791972) But we would need to purchase a beacon to chose the latter option and so far, we tend to not get so far from a paved road to make that a worthwhile purchase. We did rent a sat phone for a trip to Mexico even though we were with a group.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

I have a SPOT device. Considering the Sat phone, but I need to do some research into prices/ plans.

Spot does have sales where you get the device for free, just pay for service.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

I would hate to use the Spot/epirb because i had some BS thing wrong
like i needed a new hose

Medical emergency is another matter
hey, we are all getting older

will research a pay as you go sat phone and how long the Spot takes to get someone to you

bw
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: Best Off Road / Back Country Atlas / Map book

Another emergency locator option is Spot:
http://www.findmespot.com/en/


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