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coryv
Guest Paddler
 
07/31/2021 04:13PM  
i decided a while back to go with Fisher maps. I have my trip drawn out and I'm getting ready to go, but now I wonder if the Fisher maps are good enough to navigate with. I am just worried that I am not prepared enough!

Thanks for any advice and I apologize if this topic keeps getting repeated.
 
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TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (304)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2021 05:24PM  
Fisher maps work just fine. I have used them for years and never needed more detailed maps.

What’s more important than the specific map brand is knowing how to read a map, recognizing what your eye balls see on the map and the actual terrain in front of you, and how to use a compass.
07/31/2021 05:24PM  
Yes, the Fisher maps are perfectly good to navigate with. Fisher, McKenzie and Voyaguer maps have subtle differences that tend to cause people to have their favorite, but they are all three perfectly good to navigate with. That said, and I'm sorry if I am being assumptive, if you have any concerns or questions about navigation skills don't hesitate to post them here. There is always someone willing to help. Do be sure to have a compass with you and know how to use it to orient the map, but most of the time you will never need it as long as you can use the geometry of the lake, points, and islands to orient the map.
mgraber
distinguished member(1255)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2021 12:18AM  
Like everyone said, Fishers will be perfectly fine, I suspect that they are probably the most used. You might consider a back-up, but if you are very careful with them, one set is enough. A National Geographic East or West is an easy back-up if you decide you need one. They are plenty good enough to navigate with, they are just a bit smaller in detail, but still highly accurate. Always know where you are on the map, never wait till you are unsure to pull out your map and try to figure it out. Just follow along landmark to landmark, and if you aren't really good with direction, be sure you have a compass. I think a compass is a necessity and i'm good with direction, others do fine without. Have a great trip!
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1123)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2021 12:31AM  
They are fine for navigation. I used them for years. The most important thing is to take your time on the first few lakes getting accustomed to the scale and how the map translates to the actual land features. Use campsite locations to assist in double checking your location, especially on the bigger lakes. I always keep a compass out to just make sure I am traveling in the general direction I think I am, but rarely need it to actually track the exact degrees unless it is really foggy or night time.

Have a great trip!
08/01/2021 07:26AM  
Like others have said they are plenty good for navigating the BW. That's what they were designed for and countless people have used them to do that over the years. The important thing is "staying found".

The best way to stay found is to start that way, with the map oriented to the landscape and your direction of travel, and keep track of those landmarks - points, bays, campsites, portages. I've also done many trips without using the compass other than just a general direction. I keep the map and compass in a map case attached to a pack in front of me.

If it's a larger lake sometimes I'll take a bearing on the map for reference and use the compass to transfer to the real world. Usually I do this before I leave on the trip. It's also useful to have a general idea of your speed of travel to know approximately how long it should take you to reach a portage, campsite, etc.

If you are uncertain about any of the things mentioned in this thread, just ask - people will be glad to explain. I'm certainly no expert navigator and even less so when I did my first trip, but found it pretty simple - easier than wandering over the Sods back home.



08/01/2021 11:30AM  
You could always bring along a McKenzie map and see if you like the scale better than the Fisher maps. I prefer McKenzie myself, but it really is a personal preference only.
08/01/2021 05:21PM  
We used Fisher maps this year, but I really wished I'd gone with the McKenzie map even though it would require 2 maps to cover the area. I found the larger scale on the McKenzie maps we used before to be easier to follow

We also started having a map for both the bow and stern paddler so we can argue about where we are better and not have to pass the map back and forth.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
08/01/2021 09:39PM  
I like McKenzie maps, too, but I always bring a second map. In the BW, that second map is always a Fisher. I like to compare when planning the route and if I have a question, I have two different sources. Maps weigh nothing so bringing multiples is no big deal.

One thing to think about (if you haven't already) is orienting the map to your direction of travel. That may mean that you're looking at the map in a way other than having 'North' at the top. Orienting (turning) your map to the direction of travel will help you see the landforms with your eyes as you see them on the map and it will make traveling make more sense. (Think of the navigation screen on a car.)
papalambeau
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
08/02/2021 11:03AM  
As has already been shared I would recommend bringing a second map along. We always have a different map in each canoe in case we need another perspective. When our group was in two canoes we had McKenzie and Fisher and now that we have three canoes we added Voyageur. It gives another perspective and gives us more to discuss when we're planning the next day's route.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2167)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 11:49AM  
I recall that the fisher maps say right on them
"Not for navigational use".

That's their little disclaimer in case you get lost. Sort of silly actually. They make the maps for people to navigate with.
Tom
4keys
distinguished member(832)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2021 03:46PM  
Freeleo1: We also started having a map for both the bow and stern paddler so we can argue about where we are better and not have to pass the map back and forth."
That's what we do. As we use two different brands, the discussions can be interesting. This year we were on Disappointment, saw a small peninsula with a campsite on it, which caused a "discussion " about where we were. Later, when we were on land, we compared the two maps. Yup, they were different. One showed the campsite, the other didn't.
coryv
Guest Paddler
 
08/02/2021 08:25PM  
wow, awesome feedback ! thanks for the tips and information everyone.
RetiredDave
distinguished member (314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/04/2021 06:46AM  
I take one of each (Fisher and McKenzie), possibly because my big brother was always telling me to "get lost". The Fisher maps make nice framed wall hangings back home. Have fun!

Dave
08/04/2021 10:22AM  
Freeleo1: "We used Fisher maps this year, but I really wished I'd gone with the McKenzie map even though it would require 2 maps to cover the area. I found the larger scale on the McKenzie maps we used before to be easier to follow

We also started having a map for both the bow and stern paddler so we can argue about where we are better and not have to pass the map back and forth."


I too am bringing Fisher maps because they covered this particular trip better, but I prefer the McKenzie. The fisher maps have registration problems in their multi color printing, campsite and portage markings are often visibly displaced!

As to your second point, great idea! Would save a lot of passing maps time and improve the quality of our arguing! LOL.
08/04/2021 11:49AM  
For the trips I lead I recommend a minimum of a map for each canoe, ideally a mix between Fisher, McKenzie, and Voyageur. I have no experience with the True North maps, but they may be another option.

After each portage regroup out on the water (but not in anyone's way) and consult. I will have the least experienced people look at the map and the lake ahead of us and figure out where we need to go. Usually it will be follow the shore to that point, aim at the left side of that island, etc. Depending on the schedule for the day I'll even let them lead the group astray a bit and hope they catch their mistake.

Sorry if I'm rambling on a bit.

Other than that, pretty much what everyone else has said.
 
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