Open Space - December 9, 2021
While this is very specific, if you live in the Houston area, you NEED a Key Map of your county. They are the gold standard for Harris and surrounding counties and locals have relied on them for decades. 20 years ago everyone had one in their car. Not so much today, but they are still available at https://www.keymaps.com/
Gideon ParkerStaff - December 10, 2021
That is a good suggestion!
Chatting with older locals can give you some ideas on the best maps for your area back when they used to use them.
H. P. - February 27, 2022
The sound you hear is me kicking myself…. I think Trimble bought out MyTopo and nerfed it entirely – I am not seeing (unless I’m an idiot – possible!) any custom map option now (and the SSL cert expired 3 days ago, ugh).
Is it just me?
Gideon ParkerStaff - February 28, 2022
Good catch! It does look like Trimble bought MyTopo and the SSL cert is expired.
I haven’t gone through the checkout process but currently it looks like you can order some premade maps here: https://mapstore.mytopo.com/ and then if you need a custom map you need to call them at 877-587-9004
They seem to be in the middle of adjusting procedures and updating websites so for those seeing this in the future, these instructions might have changed.
M. E.Contributor - March 1, 2022
One thing I have ALWAYS wanted for my go-bag is a custom-printed bandana or other cloth with a topographic map of my area. Then I have a dual-purpose item in the bag: It’s a map AND a piece of clothing, or a carry bag, etc.
I have searched and searched for a service to provide this, to no avail. Has anyone come across a reliable source for printing a map on durable cloth?
Liz Klein - March 2, 2022
I thought the same thing as you and wanted to get a custom map bandanna made. I first went to Etsy but embroidering a name is about as custom as they got there.
I came across https://www.bandanasonline.com/custom-bandana-information-request-form/ and was about to order from them but then I thought about how it would really turn out. Would it be printed sharp enough to read road names, or would it properly be to scale? I decided not to risk it and stick with a waterproof paper map.
Perhaps a bandanna with some printed survival tips and references on it like emergency frequencies, first aid reminders, and navigation resources. There are “survival bandannas” that are premade https://www.amazon.com/s?k=survival+bandana but they look to be gimmicky and 90% of the info on them are things most of us probably already know. So again, I’m thinking of compiling the info I want to have with me but is too hard to remember and having that printed on a bandanna or on some waterproof paper.
M. E.Contributor - March 2, 2022
I have actually found an etsy seller willing to work with me! I’ve ordered a topo map of my area printed on cloth and should receive it in ~2 weeks. Once I do I’ll post here and let you know how it turned out.
I also ordered, ages ago, one of those “survival” bandanas you linked to, mostly to have something “orange-y” in my car for
a) not getting shot when walking undeveloped land in our area during hunting season and
b) having a lightweight, easy way to signal if I got lost hiking or stuck on a mountainside or something. And bonus points: Extra hanky if I choose to cry about my predicament!
As you correctly guessed, it was very gimmicky and the “tips” on it were pretty obvious – and misspelled. But I did think it could come in handy for someone in a complete panic situation – all the stuff we think we know goes out the window when we’re in a true panic situation (really. It really does). I tested the reflectivity in a dark closet with a flashlight and it was – meh. I ended up keeping it in my GoBag mostly to rip pieces off for trail marking or something but it will definitely be one of the first things I jettison if I’m short on space.
Liz Klein - March 2, 2022
Oh really!? I am looking forward to seeing it when it comes in. If it’s good, I’d like to hear who the etsy seller was and might order one myself.
Thanks for taking one for the team and testing out the gimmicky bandanna. I have a red one with me in my bag and like the bright contrast of color it brings for trail marking or signalling too.
By the way, I love seeing all of your posts. You always have so much to contribute and sure know your stuff.
M. E.Contributor - March 3, 2022
Thank you for the kind words, Liz. I will definitely post a link to the etsy seller if it works out. I’ve had 99% good experiences with etsy; in this case I want to actually see the product, wash it, put it through its paces before I recommend (I tried contacting several etsy sellers and most said “no”; this guy said yes so we’ll see!) I loved spy stories when I was younger and was always fascinated by the tales of spies who had codes in the lining of their coats, inked on silk. I thought that was mega cool.
It did occur to me that one could make their own cloth topographic (or other) map by using some of those do-it-yourself iron-on transfer kits. But that means I’d have to actually find ink for my printer.
M. E.Contributor - March 12, 2022
I have excellent news to report! I received my custom cloth topographic map from etsy today and I love it. It is now in my BOB. The print quality definitely exceeded my expectations, and the service was easy and fast. All I did was select this item (advertised as a bandana), upload the image of the topographic map which I had created per the paper maps article, and TA DA. The seller sent me an image to approve and a few weeks later there it was.
I got the 42 x 42 poplin, which was probably a bit too large (I’d maybe try the next size down next time), but it does provide a ton of detail for the area I selected. I can find roads, water sources, railroad lines – everything. I have not tried washing it or putting it through its paces yet but overall I think this would be a great addition to some preps and even a nice gift to get someone interested in prepping – give them a topographic map of their local area and explain why.
If you really wanted to add to it you could wash it with SunGuard to make it sun protective and then spray it with permethrin to make it tick and mosquito repellant (which in my area is important). Then it could be reasonably good as a sun shade or ground cloth. It’s definitely not a sturdy fabric that will last for decades but it’s better than a paper map!
Liz Klein - March 16, 2022
I am so happy that it turned out so well! Do you feel like it will hold up after use or a few washes?
I’d love to see a picture of it if you have the ability to do so. But I understand if you don’t want to post a picture of your neighborhood and let everyone know where you live. I’ve saved that etsy seller’s page and will keep them in mind.
M. E.Contributor - March 17, 2022
The cloth does feel very sturdy. I am hesitant to wash it because it is so PRETTY and I’d like to keep it that way.
And you are correct, the reason I did not upload the photo was a reluctance to highlight my neighborhood. However, I plan to order more as gifts for prepper friends who live all over! So I can upload a pic of one of THEIR neighborhoods (without highlighting their houses of course!). It took about two weeks, I think, from order to delivery?
I will likely also order a smaller version for myself for an area where I go hiking, and then I can wash that one and see how it does (and post the picture). It may be a few months though! I’m frankly surprised this isn’t a more popular/easy to find item for hikers.
Liz Klein - March 17, 2022
I’m looking forward to seeing them in the future. Maybe you will start a trend by sharing this idea to other preppers and hikers. It’s a great idea that you and that etsy seller should expand on and create a thriving business selling custom bandanna maps.
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