Below are some basics. There is much more about maps for a future project.

  • 1:25,000 topographic map size is your best choice (if you can find it) for river details. Otherwise, 1:50,000 works and is more plentiful.
  • River Guide Books and brochures are often excellent when they give exact details of rapids and falls as well as campsites. But they don't all give this important info. Look for river rapid gradings and locations of falls and portage trails. If unsure, stop and SCOUT IT. You can usually hear substantial moving water but not always. Usually, you can see the drop from the horizon line. You will see tree tops and no bottoms. Train your eyes and plan ahead.
  • Waterproof your maps with clear mactac. But, write on them first, marking campsites, rapids, portages and falls as well as putin and takeout points.
  • Number your maps if they are copies. You will love yourself for it when you want to know where the next map is. And, it makes more sense if you turn the map so that your destination point is at the top of the map and your present location is at the bottom.