I am super excited today to announce our partnership with CalTopo!
For as long as I can remember, I have loved physical maps. As a young hiker - in the era before smartphone apps - I would pore over topographic maps searching out the hidden routes and terrain features. On the trail, I constantly oriented myself by checking the map. These physical maps were my constant trail companion.
I was an early adopter of the amazing digital mapping apps that are available today, and CalTopo has always been a leader in this field. I came to rely on these digital maps as much as I relied on paper maps in the past, and I found their new feature sets extremely helpful in backcountry navigation. But I always knew - as do all of us - that I shouldn't rely solely on our digital mapping apps when exploring the outdoors. After all, batteries die at some point, and phones can have a tendency to disappear or break when we most need them (check out some of our survival situation statistics here).
So I reached out to CalTopo to see if they'd be interested in partnering. Turns out, CalTopo had heard a lot from their network about the need for printed maps. But CalTopo had no plans to start printing physical maps. I described my vision and quickly the partnership was born.
We are starting off by offering 12x18 inch maps on two kinds of waterproof paper. The first paper type is called "Traditional" because it made from wood pulp but has special coatings to make it extremely water resistant. A thundershower is no problem for the paper. Our second paper is called "Synthetic" because, well, it's synthetic. Made from a polyester material, this paper is 100% waterproof and virtually impossible to tear. You can find out more about our maps and paper here.
We know many folks may have custom needs, in particular for larger sizes. We decided to standardize our maps at the beginning. This helps keep costs down and streamlines some of the technical aspects of the partnership. Over time, we hope to expand the options around the maps we offer. If you have specific ideas, please let us know! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So we hope you find these maps a useful addition to your outdoor adventure planning and execution. Each map is double-sided, weighs 0.4 oz, and costs $10. Shipping is included for our U.S.-based customers.
We also offer survival kits designed for serious dayhikers. These kits weigh 2.4 pounds and include 100+ items designed to help you with firemaking, shelter building, signaling, navigation, food & water provision, and first aid. They were assembled by BJ, our product expert who began his career as an Air Force SERE survival specialist. BJ also provided the content for specific survival instructions that describe how to use each piece of our survival kit. You can check the kits out here.
Thanks for your support everyone and we truly appreciate your feedback as we go live with this partnership. Please reach out anytime!
Hank, Team Lead
BJ, Product Expert,
Taylor, Technical Lead
Rebecca, Community Engagement Lead