Well, we have a little over a month to go before we start our trip, and things are getting done. We finished creating our map books last week, and they are ready to print. We used Topofusion to generate 8 1/2″ x 11″ topo maps for the entire route. We used gps logs from other kayakers, and
manually entered information from Kayaking the Inside Passage. Now we have 140 topo maps that we will print two-sided on waterproof paper. Each map covers a little less than an average day of paddling. In this format, we can pull out one or two pages to keep in our map cases, and store the remaining pages in dry storage. The maps are not incredibly detailed, because of the overall distance to travel (we have over 1400 miles including alternate routes and side trips), but they are good enough to keep us on track. We went with the iGage waterproof paper, because it was about half the price of the National Geographic paper, but it is lighter weight. It looks like it prints well and is pretty water resistant. We ran a test map under the faucet for a few minutes, totally soaking the paper, and it did bleed some. However, it was still readable. The map on one side seemed to run more than the other. We are going to print two books, so each of us have maps. If we lose a page or two it won’t be a problem.
In addition to the routes, we added over 400 waypoints of known camping sites, towns, rapids, etc. to the maps. It will be nice to have the camp sites on the maps we are using for navigation. We’ll also download the routes and waypoints to our Garmin Oregon 400C gps, with marine charts, and we should be hard pressed to get lost.
If you are interested in a PDF of the topo maps or a gpx file of the routes and waypoints, contact us. If you make a small donation to Interplast we will send you what we have. You can save hours and hours of work if you are planning a kayak trip up or down the Inside Passage, and your donation to Interplast will help change the lives of burn victims and others in need in the developing world.
In addition to the maps we created, we found Wavelength Magazine and ordered Volumes 2 and 3 of The Wild Coast, which look like they will be interesting. They are supposed to have ‘detailed’ maps, camping information, route information, etc. from the Gulf Islands to the Alaskan Border. There’s a long stretch of truly ‘Wild Coast’ north of Port Hardy, so it will be nice to have whatever information we can find.