Of course we were late leaving Minneapolis the morning of our canoe and fishing trip. We were heading up to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – the waters creating the border between Minnesota and Canada.
I was eager to get on the water as soon as possible, but, alas, we had to stop at an outfitter to buy maps of our route.
I stood there, tapping my toes, while I waited for the guy behind the counter to riffle through his haphazard stack of maps, trying to find one of our route.
He pulled out one map, and the scale was much too large to navigate from this one. He pulled out another, and it only showed half of our route—we were going to have to buy two maps to cover our route, plus two copies of each map so we could have one in each canoe.
By mid-afternoon we finally launched our boats. Looking back, the MyTopo map service would have saved us a lot of time and stress.
MyTopo allows you to create your own customized map in five easy steps (and that’s not a gimmick—the steps really are easy). You can order your map with a check or credit card on the site or over the phone toll free at 877-587-9004. Your map is printed and shipped within 24 hours.
MyTopo is fast, easy, and, most importantly, it creates clear, durable, and inexpensive products.
Creating Your Map
From MyTopo’s site , a customer follows five steps. Maps can be created in as little as five minutes—no kidding.
Step 1: Find an Area - Anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada. (The topo maps are extremely helpful for preparing yourself for the terrain of an area you haven’t traveled before. Don’t go blindly into an area and find yourself on a steep and slippery incline with heavy canoes and packs you can’t handle!)
Step 2: Build Your Map - a red box appears over a large map of your area. You move the red box to select exactly which part of the area your want your map to feature.
There are several types of maps to choose from: the Topography Map, a Color Aerial Photo, the new Hybrid TopoPhoto—an aerial photo of the area with topography markings overlaid—or a B&W Aerial Photo). You also select what size you’d like your map to be (18”x 24”, 24”x 36” or 36”x 48”), and your map’s scale.
Step 3: Choose Your Product Type - (a.k.a. the map’s finish) Your choices are a waterproof “outdoor” map, glossy “poster” map, or a laminated map.
Step 4: Customize Your Map - this is the fun part! You choose a title and a subtitle for your map, and enter the owner’s name. This is a perfect gift for any outdoor enthusiast.
Customize your latitude and longitude indicators (tics, grids, or neither), and decide if you want relief shading on your topo map.
Step 5: Review Your Map - this isn’t really a step at all. MyTopo produces a preview of your map and you decide how it looks. It’s easy to go back in the process and change things that you don’t like.
MyTopo has two distinct services. On MyTopo.com customers use the five step process to order the large-format maps. With a MyTopo Map Pass, MyTopo’s subscription service, frequent map users can print, e-mail, download, and annotate unlimited topos, aerials, and hybrid maps. This service is great for folks who need to print quick copies of true-to-scale maps or download maps into reports.
MyTopo Maps For Trophy Life Members
As a Trophy Life Member, you will receive a free “MyTopo Map Pass,” which will allow you to create maps and print them from your printer at home. You will also receive a $30 gift certificate to use at MyTopo towards any product you want.
MyTopo guarantees satisfaction with their maps. These products are super high-quality for wind, water, and overall rugged outdoor conditions. MyTopo provides you with a 100% guarantee on their services. If you are not satisfied, they refund you…period.
On the morning of my next trip, what a relief it will be to open my front door—pajamas still on and cup of coffee in hand—and find a beautiful and detailed map of the wilderness awaiting me.