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Date/Time: 12/02/2023 10:29PM
Fisher Maps

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
Stumpy 09/19/2023 02:33PM
Lailoken: "I love Fishers, and no, they are not accurate. It's like someone told someone what it like, it's part of the adventure. Never used another map company, and don't use GPS either. It's wilderness. That's all I can say. "
Agree
The F series is not bad....for years I used the 100 series (which is still good for finding old portages, on remote routes).
Banksiana 09/19/2023 02:01PM
New territory requires a map. Not much new territory left for me, especially south of the Maligne.
gravelroad 09/19/2023 01:43PM
When I taught wilderness navigation, I told my students that they would know they were competent when they started noticing map errors and consciously disregarding them.


I also heard years ago that much of the field work for the original federal topographic surveys was performed in various bars across Northern Minnesota. You'll see indications of this when grid lines wander off course in ways wondrous and strange. :-)


If you think about the labor investment for commercial mapmakers to update and correct their maps, you'll begin to understand why it's more cost-effective to fool some of the people some of the time:


"Historical Topographic Maps (topographic maps published before 2007)


"USGS maps in the Historical Topographic Map Collection are historical documents and will not be revised or corrected. Historical USGS maps are often used as a base map for commercial map products that make modifications or add enhancements and put a current date on the map. The USGS has no control over those products."


I found an error on a map. How can I report it and when will you fix it?
Jackfish 09/19/2023 12:12PM
Banksiana: "I would say the Chrismar map has the same amount of detail as McKenzie (with the added benefit of accurate portage locations) or Fisher; whether you can see the detail is dependent upon your prescription.


I tend to not have my map out when traveling preferring to navigate by memory."

I'm not sure how you figure the Chrismar has the same amount of detail as the McKenzie when the scale is so much larger on the McKenzie. I agree that there could be specific details on the Chrismar that may be more accurate, but I think that's the crux of this overall thread. All maps have accuracies and inaccuracies. Part of the reason I carry multiples maps, but still use the McKenzie as our default navigation map.


As for not having your map out when traveling and preferring to navigate from memory... we've gone to the same place in Quetico so many times, I don't need a map either. However, I'm not sure how navigating by memory works when you're on a new route. I think I'm missing something here.
TreeBear 09/19/2023 10:35AM
The part that bugs me is that Fisher and McKenzie have errors, whether in Quetico or BW, that have been there for decades with the same incorrect information. Sometimes they even have information that was never right (like putting a portage landing 100 feet down the shore from where it ought to be. And then there's the misprints where the dots get printed a half inch off so every campsite and portage is bumped over from where they should be. Obviously, I understand how it happened, but how do those get through quality control? In any case, I find that most people learned to wilderness navigate on one or another and usually stay there. I grew up on the McKenzies and still use them, but I have started to appreciate the Voyageurs (for the BWCA) more. Better yet, if I am navigating a really tough section or a PMA, I'll print a laminate an air photo.


On the campsite side of things, I understand having old campsites. That makes sense to me because sites disappear as routes fade and it takes time for that information to get updated. The ones I don't get is when a long-term campsite gets removed from the map but not in person. Every now and again there are perfectly good campsites that just aren't on the maps. I do enjoy knowing about secret campsites because they can be a nice wild card on a busy BWCA day, but still.
Banksiana 09/19/2023 10:26AM
Jackfish: "In 35 years of traveling Quetico, I've always used McKenzie maps, but I always have a Chrismar with me for a large perspective of the park. The Chrismar DOES NOT get used for navigation. The scale is way too small to show enough detail.
I would say the Chrismar map has the same amount of detail as McKenzie (with the added benefit of accurate portage locations) or Fisher; whether you can see the detail is dependent upon your prescription.

I tend to not have my map out when traveling preferring to navigate by memory.
Jackfish 09/19/2023 08:35AM
In 35 years of traveling Quetico, I've always used McKenzie maps, but I always have a Chrismar with me for a large perspective of the park. The Chrismar DOES NOT get used for navigation. The scale is way too small to show enough detail.
McKenzie has the largest scale and the contour lines that I find helpful.


We might bring some Fisher maps with us as a backup or just to show a different perspective. Maps don't weigh anything so it's no big deal. However, McKenzies are the ones we have in front of us when we're paddling.


No map is 100% perfect. As someone said above, the maps "aren't to be used for navigation". LOL (Well, what exactly ARE they supposed to be used for?) That's just a standard disclaimer to get them off the hook when there is a mistake or wrong location for a portage, etc.


Dealing with maps is just part of the adventure. I'd far rather look at maps while paddling than deal with a small electronic screen.

Note for Marsonite: I've been on that portage between Shade and Gray. With or without a map, that portage has screwed up many a traveler. Not only a mucky, swamp-grass portage, but moose trails that look like portage trails can get a group going in circles. Fortunately, that didn't happen to us, but after we were done, we had a group come up behind us from literally nowhere who swore they were on a different lake than they were. It took some convincing, but we set them straight and got them going in the right direction. :)
tumblehome 09/19/2023 07:05AM
Lailoken: "I love Fishers, and no, they are not accurate. It's like someone told someone what it like, it's part of the adventure. Never used another map company, and don't use GPS either. It's wilderness. That's all I can say. "
I agree. I grew up with fisher and they are pleasing to the eye. There is something about the McKenzie maps with the color that distracts me.
There are a few mistakes on fisher maps and I don’t know if anyone tells them or not. But for the most part, I’ve traveled a thousand miles using them and I make it home every time.

I think fisher maps are more accurate than Google maps lol.

Tom
Lailoken 09/18/2023 07:35PM
I love Fishers, and no, they are not accurate. It's like someone told someone what it like, it's part of the adventure. Never used another map company, and don't use GPS either. It's wilderness. That's all I can say.
Banksiana 09/18/2023 02:40PM
Printed on Fisher Maps: "This map is not intended for navigational use."
Gotta read the warning labels.


In Quetico I only carry the Chrismar. In the B-dub (liquid water visits are somewhat rare) I've found Voyageur to be most accurate and easiest on the eyes. I cannot bear the color choices and printing of the McKenzie.


As for the portage from unnamed into Grey (starting at unnamed) the western leg is the preferable start. I was told that the portage crew would no longer be clearing the eastern leg (as was the case last year)- last year they had even piled brush on the eastern leg at the start of the swamp to discourage this choice (this year someone had moved the brush). People that "do the loop" don't cross the swamp but pass from the western choice to the eastern choice (or vice versa) in the hope of avoiding the swamp.
plander 09/18/2023 01:35PM
I feel they all (Fisher, McKenzie, Voyageur) have their own strengths and weaknesses. I use whichever ones makes sense for a given trip, but I tend to use McKenzie maps more than the others. That said, I use the maps and a compass in conjunction with GPS (iPhone).

Currently, I prefer using the GAIA GPS app with KMZ maps downloaded from PP - these map files have fairly accurate coordinates for the campsites and portages. In addition, I use the Navionics app (US and Canada) for lake contours.
marsonite 09/18/2023 12:11PM
May I rant about Fisher Maps? Why do I even carry these things.

I think it borders on unethical for them to still be selling these things, unless they do some updating . Yes I do carry a Chrismar map, but still.

I was going to take the portage between Shade and the unnamed lake before Grey. The landing is a little hard to spot, but with the help of my outdated Topo map on my phone, we found it, with a cut log and canoe scrapings and all. Except it wasn’t the portage. Petered out after 20 rods or so. Took a closer look at Chrismar and it was actually a bit further south.

I knew enough about the unnamed to Grey portage to pay close attention and get the landing right. Otherwise you might be one of the poor people who get over the wet swamp, turn left and wind up back at unnamed. I could see tracks of people who had come over the old portage.

And then there are distances. The south portage out of Khashawapiwi is listed at 180. It’s actually 270. The portage from Isabella to Side is listed as 25 rods on Fisher….maybe it once was that but it’s pushing 60 now. Kind of irritating when your planning your day.


The problem is that people are still relying on these faulty maps and leaving signs on these old portages, when they should be totally abandoned.

And the campsites on Fisher? Occasionally a red dot corresponds to a usable camp, sometimes there is an old long unused site, and many times there is nothing at all. What a joke. Just remove those red dots instead of giving people false hope.

Seems like at a minimum there should be a warning at Prairie Portage.

Anyway, that’s all. Are Mackenzie maps any better? Hate to haul out the reading glasses every time I open Cristmar.