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Help With Topo Maps

Cedar Beater

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Hello, all!......Am a total newbie here. I have pretty much decided on a Garmin 60cs, which i will purchase after the holidays. I live on the coast in central Washington State. 90% of my use on the Garmin will be geocaching, fishing and jeeping, so in my mind i need the best topo map out there. Does the 24K series offer full coverage, or is it just used in the park?.......any other recomendations for either a diff gps unit or maps for my particular usage would be great..... thanks in advance

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do I get good coverage with the 24k? I will mostly be under a thick canopy and around the Olympic National Park, but not necessarily in the park itself.....I guess I'm not sure if the topo maps are for the entire state or just in the park itself? would a different gps be a wiser choice for the mostly offroading caching that I will mostly be concerned with?

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The 24K maps from Garmin just cover the areas listed - mainly National Parks with some additional recreation areas. If you want more detail on the coverage use the MapViewer on Garmin's site:


I've generally found it most useful to have the street maps directly on the GPS, largely for the search and routing functions, but to use detailed topo maps either on my PC or paper where I can get a better overview of a large area. With a good topo mapping program on your PC you can plan where you'll be hiking and then upload the specific trails or off-trail routes to your GPS as tracklogs which I find works better than trying to use the contour lines directly on the small GPS screen.

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I agree with Peter. I have a 60C with street level and the topo package. The standard topo maps are 100K and the National Park series maps are 24K. I use National Geographic TOPO for my topo mapping on my PC. Those are 24K. I usually load the 100K Mapsource Topo maps in the GPSr along with street level maps when I go somewhere new, but rarely refer to the topo maps for contour while on the trail due to the lack of detail at 100K.

Get Mapsource City Select for street level maps and go check out the map viewer to see if you want the topo package.

Good luck,


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National Geographic Topo with Pocket Topo allows you to load their 24K State Series maps into a Pocket PC. (Washington is $100.00, possibly less now; add 25.00 for the Pocket COnversion software)Connect your GPS to the PPC and you can see your position on the 24K quad maps. If you have a lighter combo cable, you can power both uints while in the Jeep so the batteries are fresh for the hiking portion. My PPC battery charges while plugged in.

Edited by Alan2
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