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Topic: Finding backpacking campsites.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 1:41 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am trying to improve my navigation skills beyond simple map and compass.


Is there a way to find BP campsites on topo maps or the coordinates for campsites that are not on most topos?
(at least this is the case in Michigan)
I know that the national parks and forests show designated sites on topos, but based on what I have seen that leaves out most US backpacking sites.

I am not talking about the drawn park maps at the trail head, while useful I often can't seem to match them up to a real topo, I know I can reach the campsite using provided drawn park maps I just want to learn to do better than that.
Wouldn't it be nice to know you can always find the true coordinates to designated camp sites.

I am not saying everyone needs to know how to do this but it is a good skill to have and I want to learn.

I figure if you folks here don't know, no one does.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 2:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding exactly what you're asking, but I'll do my best to help.

If you are asking about where to find information about non-designated, user-created backcountry campsites (i.e. those NOT on maps provided by the land management agency) then I would recommend reading guidebook descriptions for the trails you are planning to hike, as they often mention campsites and/or water sources. The regional sub-forums on this website are also useful for such information.

If you're asking about how to navigate cross-country to designated sites on maps, then you'd really need to double check your map skills and terrain intuition, judgment, etc. If you can't match up the drawn maps at trailheads with a topo map, I would definitely not advise you to attempt cross-country travel in a backcountry setting.

QUOTE
Wouldn't it be nice to know you can always find the true coordinates to designated camp sites.


I am very confused by this and imagine others reading are as well. Could you clarify what you mean by "true coordinates"?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 2:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In areas without designated sites for various resource management agendas the whole idea is dispersed camping to avoid pounding a small set of sites to death with overuse. So for most of the United States there would be no "list" as there are no specific sites, usually, in my experience, just a set of land management agency guidelines for where and where not to camp, often distances in relation to established trails, water sources etc.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 2:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Out west I prefer the Southeast side of forests to catch the morning sun and most cold fronts are coming from the Northwest (anywhere flat and not off limits obviously, ... sorta close to water).  I used to use a topo and see where the contour lines were widest (though that doesn't take care of features within the contour interval) but with Internet Apps and a desktop I use Google Earth.

If your computer is good enough you can recon your route and potential sites in Google Earth.  Just zoom to eye level (usually doesn't work in the wild lands), then zoom out a little to get the general lay of the land.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 2:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't drr what the problem is with detailed topo maps.  If you can read them you can generally tell where the somewhat large flat areas are and almost always the proximity to water.  Of course, not every tiny watersource is shown which may come up as an unexpected find. As for finding a perfectly flat space to pitch your tent, sometime you just have to look around an area.  Generally, I just hike until I"m getting tired and then start looking for a place well before dark.  When I find it, I use it.

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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 2:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If a campsite is developed enough to be drawn on a map, I wouldn't want to camp there.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 3:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Oct. 17 2013, 1:34 pm)
QUOTE
I don't drr what the problem is with detailed topo maps.  If you can read them you can generally tell where the somewhat large flat areas are and almost always the proximity to water.  Of course, not every tiny watersource is shown which may come up as an unexpected find. As for finding a perfectly flat space to pitch your tent, sometime you just have to look around an area.  Generally, I just hike until I"m getting tired and then start looking for a place well before dark.  When I find it, I use it.

Riffing on this..if you come up and over a pass or ridge, and are planning to camp in the basin below, that gives a good opportunity to scan visually for an ideal camp site.

If you're just sacking out for the night and hitting the trail in the morning, then you might prefer a camp that will get some sun in the morning.  But if you're base camping, you want to think about when you'll most appreciate the sun. Since I'm almost always hiking/climbing in the morning when I base camp, I prefer a camp that will get sun in the afternoon/early evening, if possible, when I'll be there to enjoy it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 4:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I read you have limited familiarity of USGS topographic maps for western backcountry areas.   Here is an one such map for the Ansel Adams Wilderness here in California:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.68076,-119.09158&z=15&t=T

Use your mouse to move around and the zoom control at upper left to zoom in out at different map scales.   I've set the map for the Agnew Meadows Trailhead where a red tent graphic shows a public campground near the trailhead. USGS maps will show public campgrounds like that along vehicle roads.   Following the dotted lines towards the west, the dashed hiking trail lines route to a number of timberline backpacking destination areas.  You will note that none have any designations of "campsite" or any campsite graphics.

Most of our wilderness areas do not have designated campsites as is the case for more populous regions or at highly impacted parks.   Instead visitors can camp anywhere provided they are legal distances away from trailheads, water sources, other groups, and trails.   Regardless there are some campsites that have been there for decades and that is especially the case around popular lake destinations.   When backpackers visit such areas and wish to camp where there are already established camp spots, policy is to try and use an already established spot in order to minimize impacts.  And indeed on some USGS topos the text "campsite" will sometimes be seen.  

For those of us that have extensive experience in our backcountries and looking at topo maps, it is usually rather obvious where the better established campspots will be found as well as places where reasonable pristine sites are likely.

For instance if you follow the PCT north from Agnew Mdws, after a few miles the trail reaches Summiit Lake at Agnew Pass.  Areas on the north side of the lake show low gradient topography with forest while areas south show higher gradients without forest.   Obviously established campsites are likely to be found on the former which is the case.  

Additionally one can see to the east above the first m in Summit is a small green patch.  With 40 feet of vertical per line that would then be about 100 feet above the trail and lake.  An example of a place I've camped at a few times that never looks like it has had other groups.   A much better view and wilderness feel.  That is mainly because the vast majority groups almost never camp anywhere except right next to lakes, larger streams, or trails.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 5:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you can navigate by map and compass your worlds ahead of most. If you are looking to pinpoint areas on a map, start at the map legend and use that to measure distance with. Many maps use different distances and scales, so that is where you start.

I use a compass (silva ranger) that has measurements on it, so I line that up with the scale to calibrate my distance per inch or per cm. I make points on the map to measure around curves and such. Measure your distances and directions (45 degrees NW for example) between points and write them down. Hike from point to point and take a compass sighting at each point, referance geography. Don't forget to set declination! Measure your average pace over different terrains to figure a basic distance. Or if anal, measure your actual pace distance and count paces.

Or hike in terrain with easy to identify features and wing it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 5:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know if I quite understand the question. There always places to camp off-trail. No need to prep ahead of time in my opinion. Even in the thickest stuff, I always seem to find a decent spot.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2013, 7:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

First I plan out the route I want to take. I estimate how far I can travel on the first day, taking into consideration the time I start, how steep the route, the surface I must hike on, the likely weather and so on. When I see on the map about how far I can get the first day, I look for possible campsites for that night — from a range of a areas depending upon how well that day's hike goes according to plan.

In that small area, I look for flat areas, elevation, water access, morning or evening sun access, wind exposure, how likely I am to have solitude there, and ground surface etc. (That is, mat of pine needles, gravel, grass, tundra etc.)

If I don't find a suitable place, I consider adjusting my route and may look at several different routes until I find the one(s) that seem to offer good campsites and still get me to a destination I want to go. Then I move on to the the next day and the next. Each step of the way I go through the process of selecting possible campsites and alternate routes. I always keep in mind that things may not go as planned so routes and campsites need to be flexible. That means backup plans and backup plans to my backup plans.

When I'm done with this phase, I may have several routes with their possible campsites in mind. In the old days, I could check satellite photos at a university library. Now I use Google Earth and try to learn more about the routes and possible campsites. I'll also study weather patterns, geological information and so on. But I've done this with little more than topo maps and my experience with similar areas. There are generally surprises. That's part of the adventure.

In the Wind River Range a few years back my first planned campsite turned out to be prime grizzly feeding habitat, which I was not in the mood to camp so near at the time. I actually backtracked a ways rather than camp there. No plan is perfect.

This process is not a precise set of mathematical formulas. I rarely write anything down except to sketch in the route and possible campsites on the map. Then I rehearse the plan over and over, often stumbling upon questions that revise my plans.

But often the answers almost jump off the map at me. Sometimes it takes time. But planning is an adventure in itself. What it all comes down to is if you don't enjoy planning, it may not work for you. Over the years you learn a few things and the planning gets easier. But there are always surprises.


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(Tigger @ Oct. 17 2013, 5:51 pm)
QUOTE
I don't know if I quite understand the question. There always places to camp off-trail. No need to prep ahead of time in my opinion. Even in the thickest stuff, I always seem to find a decent spot.

I find it handy to select likely spots on a topo in advance, and also to know where the pickings will be slim. I find that works pretty well in my favorite terrains.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 18 2013, 2:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Walk until you find flat enough ground. Sometimes this task may take you hours beyond twilight. That is OK.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2013, 8:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am talking about the park provided backpacking campsites in MI, most of them are not found on topo maps, so getting some coordinates for them can be hard to do.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2013, 10:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am not trying to find a spot that is just an open spot somewhere on a trail to camp, finding a place on a topo map that would be nice for camping, that is easy, but finding an exact place that is not marked on a topo is a skill that I would like to learn.

I should simply try to use the drawn trail maps to approximate the camp site location on the real topos.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2013, 10:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sixgun @ Oct. 19 2013, 6:14 pm)
QUOTE
I am talking about the park provided backpacking campsites in MI, most of them are not found on topo maps, so getting some coordinates for them can be hard to do.

Post a link to those maps, so we know what you are working with.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 19 2013, 10:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More and more agencies seem to routinely add utm coordinates to stuff. Maybe suggest that to your MI parks and in the meantime check local area hiking guides and clubs.

Navigating to a particular point on a topomap, campsite or where ever involves the same skills. Learning to read the ground for the most part.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 9:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Oct. 19 2013, 10:28 pm)
QUOTE

(sixgun @ Oct. 19 2013, 6:14 pm)
QUOTE
I am talking about the park provided backpacking campsites in MI, most of them are not found on topo maps, so getting some coordinates for them can be hard to do.

Post a link to those maps, so we know what you are working with.

Just so you understand, I can find these camp sites just fine, I am trying to use the ones I know to learn to find the sites on a topo map, the topos do not show these designated camp sites, so I figure they are a good place to start practicing.

link to pickney's blind lake walk in camp ground, this one should be a great starting point for learning.

http://www.michigandnr.com/Publica....map.pdf


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 9:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Oct. 19 2013, 10:35 pm)
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More and more agencies seem to routinely add utm coordinates to stuff. Maybe suggest that to your MI parks and in the meantime check local area hiking guides and clubs.

Navigating to a particular point on a topomap, campsite or where ever involves the same skills. Learning to read the ground for the most part.

Good point, I should be able to learn to spot them due to the lay of the land, although most of MI is pretty flat so topos contain a lot of flat land when looking at contour maps.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 9:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Do most of you use an estimated coordinate, and relay on you eyes when you get close?
Should I expect to be able to find coords that when double checked with GPS are right in the parks camp site?

Up to now I have only used maps for reference, never tried to find a location with accurate coords.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 11:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If it's a mapped site, but lacking coords, I measure them off the map and start looking around when I get close.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 11:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sixgun @ Oct. 21 2013, 8:18 am)
QUOTE
Do most of you use an estimated coordinate, and relay on you eyes when you get close?
Should I expect to be able to find coords that when double checked with GPS are right in the parks camp site?

Up to now I have only used maps for reference, never tried to find a location with accurate coords.

I've never used GPS.

Most of my off-trail travel is in alpine or sub-alpine zones, so visual cues plus map/compass is all one really needs.

(In these circumstance, the issue is more routefinding as opposed to navigation--i.e., it's generally obvious where the thing you're aiming for is. Finding a reasonable route from here to there that doesn't involve cliffs, etc., is usually the issue.)
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(sixgun @ Oct. 21 2013, 7:09 am)
QUOTE

(TravisNWood @ Oct. 19 2013, 10:28 pm)
QUOTE

(sixgun @ Oct. 19 2013, 6:14 pm)
QUOTE
I am talking about the park provided backpacking campsites in MI, most of them are not found on topo maps, so getting some coordinates for them can be hard to do.

Post a link to those maps, so we know what you are working with.

Just so you understand, I can find these camp sites just fine, I am trying to use the ones I know to learn to find the sites on a topo map, the topos do not show these designated camp sites, so I figure they are a good place to start practicing.

link to pickney's blind lake walk in camp ground, this one should be a great starting point for learning.

http://www.michigandnr.com/Publica....map.pdf

Okay, it took me all of a half hour, but I can give you the coordinates of the only rustic campsite I see in your map of Pinckney Recreation Area. Because I prefer latitude and longitude, that is what I'll give you:
    N 42.423632° and W 83.979009°
The process I used was:
    1) I converted the PDF file map you furnished to a bitmap file.
    2) In Google Earth I zeroed in on the Pinckney Recreation Area.
    3) I imported the bitmap-file map into Google Earth as an overlay and made it about 50% transparent.
    4) I stretched the map to fit roads and lakes in Google Earth.
    5) I zeroed in on the emblem for the rustic campground, and unchecked the overlay in Google Earth
    6) The campsite was visible in Google Earth.
    7) I copied the coordinates from Google Earth.
Next I went to this website to download topo maps for Michigan. And I downloaded the Pinckney topo quadrangle. It was easy on the topo to compare locations of the park map and topo to find the campsite. For my own use I would simply write the GPS coordinates I got from Google Earth onto the topo map. You can use the margins to the topo to derive approximate coordinates, but that can be a hassle on the trail if you don't do that ahead of time.

You say in your first post:
    "Is there a way to find BP campsites on topo maps or the coordinates for campsites that are not on most topos?
    (at least this is the case in Michigan) I know that the national parks and forests show designated sites on topos, but based on what I have seen that leaves out most US backpacking sites."
That's kind of right and kind of wrong. When I compare your park map and the Pinchney topo, I don't find it at all difficult to locate the one rustic campsite on the topo. All you have to do is compare lakes and roads found on each map. Google Earth tells me that the campsite in on a hill. But even without that knowledge, I can derive an approximate position on the topo just by comparing maps. After doing that, I can draw lines from that position to the margins of the topo, where you can read coordinates. Obviously you may have to do some math and use a good long straight edge, but that is one way to do it. Topo maps do show coordinates at the margin of the map, and that is what you use (And yes, that applies to topo maps of Michigan that I downloaded for the Pinckney Recreation Area.)

Frankly, it does take a little work, but it has taken me as long to type this post as it did to find everything I needed to locate the campsite from the trail. For that area, topos have their limitations. You have elevation variations of only about 120 feet throughout the recreation area. And you are hiking in dense forest, it appears from Google Earth. From low elevations, with that combination, the topo maps will not make landmarks stand out the way they do in mountain ranges of the west -- especially when viewed from low elevations on the trail. However, when you get to the campsite on a hill, you can see how topo lines match up to elevations.

If it were I, I'd simply take the topo maps and the plain trail map you linked together with the coordinates of the campsite I derived from Google Earth. That is all it would take for me to reliably find that campsite. It all depends on how much time you want to spend doing map work at home and on the trail.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 6:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To me there is not much challenge to locating the campsite on the topo in this example because all you have to do is find the two lakes: Silver Lake and Crooked Lake. The rest is easy -- to locating the campsite.

You don't need the coordinates unless you are using GPS on the trail. If you are, then you use a mapping program or draw lines on the topo. Here is the campsite in Acme Mapper -- at the crosshairs, where you can also derive the coordinates.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 7:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sixgun @ Oct. 19 2013, 10:22 pm)
QUOTE
I am not trying to find a spot that is just an open spot somewhere on a trail to camp, finding a place on a topo map that would be nice for camping, that is easy, but finding an exact place that is not marked on a topo is a skill that I would like to learn.

I should simply try to use the drawn trail maps to approximate the camp site location on the real topos.

You can import a jpg or gif of a map into ExpertGPS, then calibrate it with a USGS topo included in ExpertGPS.  That will help you determine the coordinates of anything shown on the park map.
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(Dave Senesac @ Oct. 17 2013, 4:06 pm)
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I read you have limited familiarity of USGS topographic maps for western backcountry areas.   Here is an one such map for the Ansel Adams Wilderness here in California:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.68076,-119.09158&z=15&t=T

Use your mouse to move around and the zoom control at upper left to zoom in out at different map scales.   I've set the map for the Agnew Meadows Trailhead where a red tent graphic shows a public campground near the trailhead. USGS maps will show public campgrounds like that along vehicle roads.   Following the dotted lines towards the west, the dashed hiking trail lines route to a number of timberline backpacking destination areas.  You will note that none have any designations of "campsite" or any campsite graphics.

Most of our wilderness areas do not have designated campsites as is the case for more populous regions or at highly impacted parks.   Instead visitors can camp anywhere provided they are legal distances away from trailheads, water sources, other groups, and trails.   Regardless there are some campsites that have been there for decades and that is especially the case around popular lake destinations.   When backpackers visit such areas and wish to camp where there are already established camp spots, policy is to try and use an already established spot in order to minimize impacts.  And indeed on some USGS topos the text "campsite" will sometimes be seen.  

For those of us that have extensive experience in our backcountries and looking at topo maps, it is usually rather obvious where the better established campspots will be found as well as places where reasonable pristine sites are likely.

For instance if you follow the PCT north from Agnew Mdws, after a few miles the trail reaches Summiit Lake at Agnew Pass.  Areas on the north side of the lake show low gradient topography with forest while areas south show higher gradients without forest.   Obviously established campsites are likely to be found on the former which is the case.  

Additionally one can see to the east above the first m in Summit is a small green patch.  With 40 feet of vertical per line that would then be about 100 feet above the trail and lake.  An example of a place I've camped at a few times that never looks like it has had other groups.   A much better view and wilderness feel.  That is mainly because the vast majority groups almost never camp anywhere except right next to lakes, larger streams, or trails.

Thanks for the through response to my question, and I love the ACME mapper site, I had some Natgeo software but that computer has been replaced 3 times over and I never could load it on another computer.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Oct. 21 2013, 12:01 pm)
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(sixgun @ Oct. 21 2013, 7:09 am)
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(TravisNWood @ Oct. 19 2013, 10:28 pm)
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(sixgun @ Oct. 19 2013, 6:14 pm)
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I am talking about the park provided backpacking campsites in MI, most of them are not found on topo maps, so getting some coordinates for them can be hard to do.

Post a link to those maps, so we know what you are working with.

Just so you understand, I can find these camp sites just fine, I am trying to use the ones I know to learn to find the sites on a topo map, the topos do not show these designated camp sites, so I figure they are a good place to start practicing.

link to pickney's blind lake walk in camp ground, this one should be a great starting point for learning.

http://www.michigandnr.com/Publica....map.pdf

Okay, it took me all of a half hour, but I can give you the coordinates of the only rustic campsite I see in your map of Pinckney Recreation Area. Because I prefer latitude and longitude, that is what I'll give you:
    N 42.423632° and W 83.979009°
The process I used was:
    1) I converted the PDF file map you furnished to a bitmap file.
    2) In Google Earth I zeroed in on the Pinckney Recreation Area.
    3) I imported the bitmap-file map into Google Earth as an overlay and made it about 50% transparent.
    4) I stretched the map to fit roads and lakes in Google Earth.
    5) I zeroed in on the emblem for the rustic campground, and unchecked the overlay in Google Earth
    6) The campsite was visible in Google Earth.
    7) I copied the coordinates from Google Earth.
Next I went to this website to download topo maps for Michigan. And I downloaded the Pinckney topo quadrangle. It was easy on the topo to compare locations of the park map and topo to find the campsite. For my own use I would simply write the GPS coordinates I got from Google Earth onto the topo map. You can use the margins to the topo to derive approximate coordinates, but that can be a hassle on the trail if you don't do that ahead of time.

You say in your first post:
    "Is there a way to find BP campsites on topo maps or the coordinates for campsites that are not on most topos?
    (at least this is the case in Michigan) I know that the national parks and forests show designated sites on topos, but based on what I have seen that leaves out most US backpacking sites."
That's kind of right and kind of wrong. When I compare your park map and the Pinchney topo, I don't find it at all difficult to locate the one rustic campsite on the topo. All you have to do is compare lakes and roads found on each map. Google Earth tells me that the campsite in on a hill. But even without that knowledge, I can derive an approximate position on the topo just by comparing maps. After doing that, I can draw lines from that position to the margins of the topo, where you can read coordinates. Obviously you may have to do some math and use a good long straight edge, but that is one way to do it. Topo maps do show coordinates at the margin of the map, and that is what you use (And yes, that applies to topo maps of Michigan that I downloaded for the Pinckney Recreation Area.)

Frankly, it does take a little work, but it has taken me as long to type this post as it did to find everything I needed to locate the campsite from the trail. For that area, topos have their limitations. You have elevation variations of only about 120 feet throughout the recreation area. And you are hiking in dense forest, it appears from Google Earth. From low elevations, with that combination, the topo maps will not make landmarks stand out the way they do in mountain ranges of the west -- especially when viewed from low elevations on the trail. However, when you get to the campsite on a hill, you can see how topo lines match up to elevations.

If it were I, I'd simply take the topo maps and the plain trail map you linked together with the coordinates of the campsite I derived from Google Earth. That is all it would take for me to reliably find that campsite. It all depends on how much time you want to spend doing map work at home and on the trail.

I live in the flatlands and a good chunk of the land looks like a nice flat spot to camp on the maps.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 21 2013, 10:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Oct. 21 2013, 6:13 pm)
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To me there is not much challenge to locating the campsite on the topo in this example because all you have to do is find the two lakes: Silver Lake and Crooked Lake. The rest is easy -- to locating the campsite.

You don't need the coordinates unless you are using GPS on the trail. If you are, then you use a mapping program or draw lines on the topo. Here is the campsite in Acme Mapper -- at the crosshairs, where you can also derive the coordinates.

Travis my friend, you rock, taking the time to do that for me was very nice of you, thanks very much, your example helped me very much, I think I can find the blind lake camp site just south of blind lake using the same approach, BL CG is not shown on the map due to not being a drive in camp ground, most of michigan backpacking camp grounds are like this.
Thank you so much for going through the trouble to help me the way you did.


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(nogods @ Oct. 21 2013, 7:13 pm)
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(sixgun @ Oct. 19 2013, 10:22 pm)
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I am not trying to find a spot that is just an open spot somewhere on a trail to camp, finding a place on a topo map that would be nice for camping, that is easy, but finding an exact place that is not marked on a topo is a skill that I would like to learn.

I should simply try to use the drawn trail maps to approximate the camp site location on the real topos.

You can import a jpg or gif of a map into ExpertGPS, then calibrate it with a USGS topo included in ExpertGPS.  That will help you determine the coordinates of anything shown on the park map.

I will give Expert GPS a trial run thanks.

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