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Alex1985
Guest Paddler
 
01/17/2021 04:34AM  
With 2021 officially underway and EP reservations opening up next week, the trip planning (the best part) can officially begin! That being said, my group and I plan on getting a tow across Moose Lake to the Sucker/Birch portage. We will be heading east along the border to base camp on Knife or SAK. I was wondering if anyone had any map suggestion that cover that entire area? Its looking like I will need to buy two separate maps; correct me if I am wrong.

Also, I have used Fisher and Mckenzie maps in that past, but I was wondering if there were any brands other brands worth considering. I have not used Voyageur's maps yet.

Thanks & and Happy Planning!
 
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01/17/2021 05:52AM  
You might as well register and be an actual member...the trip planning bug will bite hard. I did that trip a few years back and I do recall needing at least 2 maps for Fisher. I always pack at least 2 map brands that cover my route in case of a mis-placed portage or campsite.

I really like Voyageur...you'd need 5 and 6. (can be bought from the site store here, otherwise they can be hard to find) True north is another brand, they're soft fabric...some like those now too. Wear it, stuff it in your pocket.

Oh yeah, don't be afraid to register!
01/17/2021 09:15AM  
I started carrying one of the regional maps, Fisher E-15, as backup. Maps can get lost and when the Pagami Creek fire blocked return through the numbered chain having a map to route out north was greatly appreciated.
01/17/2021 09:32AM  
Yeah, or you could always pack one of the National Geographic (east or west) maps as those still do a decent job and do show basically half the park on each one. If you wanted a backup that still showed campsites and portages but wider view.

Anyway, to the OP I don't think you'll do that trip on one map no matter the brand. And that's a good thing...think of it as a badge of honor. And the longer and better your tripping the more maps you'll need per trip. A 4 map trip would be a dandy.
01/17/2021 09:42AM  
McKenzie maps you will need:
#8 – Knife, Kekekabic
#9 – Snowbank, Basswood
#26 – This Man, Cache

The National Geographic map for the East BWCA includes everything from Knife eastward, but it does not include Moose, Sucker, Birch, Carp, etc. For those lakes to the west of Knife, you'll need the NG West BWCA map.
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(813)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2021 12:10PM  
These days I always tuck a National Geographic map in the bottom of a pack as my emergency map if I need to do major rerouting or lose my other maps.

In my family, we carry a lot of maps because everyone is a control freak and wants to have their own set...lol. My son loves Fisher, my husband like McKenzie or True North, and I discovered Voyager maps last summer and am now a huge fan because I can read a Voyager map with my contact lenses in and no reading glasses. Most other maps force me to use reading glasses, partly due to scale and partly due to color contrast.

With this route, you will need more than one map unless it is very small scale.

schweady
distinguished member(7197)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/17/2021 04:03PM  
I settled on McKenzies long ago because of the slightly larger scale than the old Fishers with which I began trips in the 70s. Still like them.
Alex1985
Guest Paddler
 
01/18/2021 01:25AM  
Thank you for the feedback, much appreciated!
BearBurrito
distinguished member(865)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/18/2021 08:23AM  
I have only ever used McKenzies, I am comfortable using them, so see no reason to try the others. YMMV.
paddlinjoe
distinguished member (397)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2021 10:41AM  
cyclones30: "Yeah, or you could always pack one of the National Geographic (east or west) maps as those still do a decent job and do show basically half the park on each one. If you wanted a backup that still showed campsites and portages but wider view.

Anyway, to the OP I don't think you'll do that trip on one map no matter the brand. And that's a good thing...think of it as a badge of honor. And the longer and better your tripping the more maps you'll need per trip. A 4 map trip would be a dandy. "

I like the Voyageur maps because there is a map of the entire area on the back. But if I can only take one set, it is a Fisher for long term sentimental reasons. Typically I bring both Fisher and Voyageur.
01/19/2021 12:32PM  
I've used all three and there's something I like about each one. I usually take the one that covers my route with the fewest maps. Often take one of the others as a back up.
mgraber
distinguished member(1145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2021 12:44PM  
All three major companies are fine depending on what you like. But I agree that your back-up should be the National Geographic East or West for BWCA as they are accurate and detailed enough to do an entire trip, features are just smaller.

The back-up for Quetico would be the Chrismar map of the entire area. More accurate than any other map available, but features are even smaller.

I prefer the more compact Fishers for my main maps. Too many maps with McKenzie and plenty of mistakes. Voyagers are huge to me.

In order of detail size most to least:
Mckenzie-25*28, 2 inch per mile (very large detail)

Voyager-28.75*38.75, 1.5 inch per mile (largest area per map, no Quetico maps)

Fisher-22.5*28.5, 1.5 inch per mile (same size detail as Voyager, but smaller map)

Nat Geo East or West - Front and back of standard foldable map. 1.1 inch per mile

Chrismar (Quetico) - one side of standard foldable map 1 inch per 2 miles (this one is getting pretty small to navigate by, but is highly accurate compared to all the others)
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(764)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2021 12:52PM  
Like Boonie, I use all three. Before I leave, I compare one to another to insure portages and campsites line up. Though rare, on occasion a portage on one map is not on another...same with campsites. I make a note on the discrepancies before I leave. If I don't take a Voyageur with it's full BWCA map on the reverse side, I take the maps that adjoin the Fisher or McKenzie maps that I do take. That's a good idea in case of some kind of emergency, park closure, etc.

Mike
Duckman
distinguished member (451)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/19/2021 12:52PM  
My last trip I bought one of the Tru North cloth maps. Spendy, but man it was handy and convenient.
BigCurrent
distinguished member(603)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2021 12:32PM  
Really like the Voyageur maps. Easy to read and useful information (fish species) on each lake and the region. Something about the map coloring and quality of printing makes it much clearer to read.
Fecker
member (8)member
 
01/21/2021 12:53PM  
Second - all are nice maps but I feel the Voyager Maps have more to offer and are easier to read when out paddling. They have been a little harder to come by but worth grabbing.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/21/2021 01:09PM  
Fecker: "...I feel the Voyager Maps have more to offer and are easier to read when out paddling. They have been a little harder to come by but worth grabbing."
They're not harder to come by anymore. They're available for purchase right here on BWCA.com. Buying your maps here also helps support the website.
 
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