Are you going to come back to the store just to purchase another map again?
Starting backpacking makes you rely exclusively on the maps from current sources, for example REI. For backpackers, REI is one of the popular options to get great quality maps. It can be your ideal choice if you don’t mind to go on a new trip and spend a little money to purchase the new map. If you need another option, we have no better recommendation than Caltopo. Have you heard about this before? Well, this web is amazing. For those who already used Caltopo, we have some tricks and trips you never know before.
Here are the top reasons why you should use Caltopo’s website.
It Is Free
Well, head to www.caltopo.com and you can enjoy this free solution. It is amazing to us that they even offer all the tools for free. Besides, they also offer the membership with the affordable price. If you want to become the member, you need to spend $20 per year for the Basic and $50 per year for Pro. Of course, Caltopo provides many benefits such as higher resolution images, bigger maps, and others.
We admit that the product is fantastic that you can still use it without using the added feature. If you have hiking and backpacking community, purchasing the membership will help you a lot, especially to maintain a resource.
Print The Exact Size And Scale Map As You Want
Using REI makes us thumbing through the map you need. But, this website even allows you to expert a PDF of any portion of the map at any scale as you want. This feature is useful for sure. It is amazing if you can print one large-scale, overview the map of the trail, and one or two zoomed in maps that will help you to see the critical terrain for more details.
In addition, if you are the true hikers, it is possible to export the multiple PDFs at the same zoom. After that, you can tape them all together so you will have your own enormous and foldable map. Don’t you think that this is so awesome?
Toggle Between/ Stack Different Map Layers Are Possible
In the upper right, there is a menu to use. Use it to help you quickly switch between the whole host of maps such as USGS, US Forest Service, cycling maps, historic maps, Google satellite, street maps, and terrain. Use this feature if you are about doing pre-trip research in case that you want a map that you are familiar with like Google Maps. This feature helps you a lot to locate the general area and to plan your drive. Once you are ready to check the trail details as well as the elevation lines, switch to the topo layers. At this point, you don’t even need to loads the internet tabs to open. Caltopo does great by combining everything in a single place.
After jumping between layers, you will notice that you can even stack two or even three on the top of each other at the custom opacities. Our favorite trick is to overlay 20-30% opacity Normal Relief on top of the US Forest Service. Doing this will make you able to gain the trail information and at the same time, the relief allows you to get the elevation features. It means that you do not even need to rely on the contour lines comparison. Best of all, Caltopo allows you to print stacked layers just like the normal PDF.
It Calculates Mileage, Elevation, and Terrain Statistics
Okay, most trails provide a guide book with this information. But, what can you do if you love to create your own hikes and even loops across the different trails, take this handy tool. Check the upper left corner that you can even use it to add line and click point-to-point to know your route. After that, continue by double click once you have completed.
In case that you want to modify the route later, you can go with right click on the line and you can start modifying your route. Once you have created the route, right click the line and choose “profile” to find the complete elevation profile, grade, and mileage for the key passes. Eventually, it is possible to try the right click to choose “terrain statistics” and you can find the percentage spent to various slope and elevations, tree and land cover, as well as the aspect averages for your route.
Editable and Viewable Link To Collaborate With Your Friends
Do you have a plan to trip with several friends but cannot get together in the same spot? It does not a big deal. You only have to create your map and after that, send a link to your friends so they can check the cool features and statistics. Besides, this feature is useful to invite and to convince your friends hiking together because you have researched the trail thoroughly and present your plant to your friends nicely.
Transfer Your GPS Device or Google Earth By Exporting .gpx Files Easily
Perhaps, the planning tools in Caltopo are not enough you can take your data and then use it to work on other platforms. To do so, check under the export menu, in the upper left and choose .gpx files or .kml files.
Saving Your Maps To A Google Account And Access Them From All Devices
Take this win-win solution. Google also take the benefit of your work because you saved your work automatically.
Too Many Good Trip Planning Tools To Use
If you have lots of experience to use this website, you will always discovering new features. There are few features we have not mentioned yet above such as fire history, current fire activity, water gauges, land management, slope shading, weather stations, and many more. You can eve access these things in the upper right menu as the same as choosing between the map layers.
So, have you used Caltopo?