The Indispensable Gazetteer

If you live here in the States and like to play radio in the field, I highly recommend one of the DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer issues.

Although I use electronic devices like smart phones and dedicated GPS, it’s always nice to have a paper map. I always have one of these Gazetteers in my car. You should never be without a paper map, I say.

I love the Gazetteer because it shows lines of elevation and every/any possible road and trail.  It’s incredibly useful for finding summit road and trail access points and also for finding game land entry areas.

Funny, but I opened my new Gazetteer while still in the parking lot of the camping store and almost instantly spotted a brilliant new access point for the Overland Victory trail in Morganton. It’s an even better activation spot than I’ve used in the past.

Last year, I wanted to purchase the latest edition for North Carolina but I’m sure due to the pandemic, they were as rare as hens teeth!

The other week, I found one in a local camping store and grabbed it! The store owner told me he’d only gotten a handful in recently and had been out for months. Check for one at your local camping store, book store or outdoor center. If you can’t find one there, check (affiliate link).

I’m a huge map geek. Although I don’t recall them including topographic information, when I lived in the UK, I was a massive fan of A to Z road maps for their design. I’d love to know if there’s a topo map equivalent.

If you live outside the US, I’d love to know what maps you use for your field activities! Please comment!

11 thoughts on “The Indispensable Gazetteer”

  1. For the UK, the Ordnance Survey Landranger series and Explorer series are the ones to go for, Thomas.

    They are also available on an OS app, but also as a free option on Bing maps.

  2. Thomas, you’re not the only map geek out there. I used to wrap presents in old topographic maps. And I now work for Esri….world’s largest maker of geospatial analytic and cartographic software….

  3. Thx for the tip. Just ordered Ohio Michigan & Kentucky books through your affiliate link. Also Just got those 2mm mechanical pencils you use through the affiliate link. Just found out what the affiliate link meant.

    de AD8EV

  4. I have used to research locations. I simply typed McGrady NC in the search bar to compare what you posted above to the online topographic maps

  5. A friend, Justin KE8COY, recently turned me on to these great maps and I bought the KY. Now I have to get IN and OH, and I’ll get them through your link, thanks!

  6. Thanks for the well deserved kudos for Maine’s own map company Delorme (now Garmin). If it wasn’t for their Wisconsin gazetteer, I’d still be going in circles on that state’s county roads. For thirty years now. Yes, a great, indispensable resource.

    Susan, WB2UQP
    Kennebunk, Maine

    1. Agreed, Susan! 🙂 My wife’s aunt and uncles use a yellow highlighter and mark all of the roads they travel in their Gazetteer. The NC one is nearly completely yellow (esp. the western secion) because they almost use it like a game to fill in the blanks!


  7. Thomas: another great heads up. I burned through three of them over the thirty years we lived in Vermont. The first was in monochrome only. The Tennessee version I purchased in 2017 prior to moving to Tennessee is riddled with errors. That being said, they are indispensable for planning road trips, and I always confirm the content via the internet.

    1. Oh I could imagine it would be invaluable in Vermont. And a much thinner volume, too, right? 🙂

  8. Yes, there’s a lot more of TN than there is of VT. They make excellent planning tools to give you the larger picture with many points of interest and State Parks. We never travel without one.

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