Tutorials and FAQs

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Create Your Map

Begin your map creation by visiting CalTopo.com, where you can also view a short tutorial on how to build and print your map. At CalTopo, you will build your own map before sending it to The Mountyn Company for printing. Building a map consists of finding the intended location, choosing base layers, and adding any optional objects such as lines or markers. After you have done this, you will open the Print Menu by clicking on the small printer icon on the left side of the screen.

Step 2: Fine-tune Your Order

After selecting the small print icon, you will click on the "Order a Paper Map" option at the top of the screen. CalTopo's map interface. This will open a page where you select the exact area of the map to print, both a front and a back. You can adjust other settings, such as map scale, as well. Finally, when everything is ready, select "Order PDF from Mountyn.co." A new tab will open in your browser with The Mountyn Co.'s map order tool.

Step 3: Select Your Map Options​

The Mountyn Co. will load your map order tool with a lower resolution preview of your map. This will probably take between 1-2 minutes, so please be patient! Here you will also choose your paper type, either traditional or synthetic. Both are waterproof but synthetic is the most durable. You can learn more about each paper below in the FAQs. Next, enter the number of copies you want. Each map copy is $10, which includes double-sided printing and free shipping for U.S.-based customers.

Step 4: Checkout​

Your final step is to enter shipping and payment info. You can also sign up to receive promotions and content from The Mountyn Co. during this step. All maps are mailed via USPS First Class Mail, arriving 3-5 days after the order. Each map will arrive in a 12x15 inch envelope and will be lightly folded once in the middle. Non-folded maps, bulk orders, or other custom requests are welcome. Just reach out to us at hello@mountyn.co


Can you tell me more about the paper options?

Traditional Paper: Ideal for dayhikers or anybody who loves the feel of real paper. This is your "typical" paper in the sense it is made from wood pulp. It is a 20# paper, which is the same as printer paper but its special coating gives it a thicker feel than the paper you might find in an office printer. Each sheet weighs 0.4 oz. This paper is waterproof in the sense that it can easily survive a heavy downpour with no issues. It can even remain submerged in water for hours and come out okay (we've tested it!). If left in water for multiple days, however, this paper will begin to disintegrate. The traditional paper will fold easily and you can write on it with pen or pencil. The pencil will erase easily. While fairly durable, this paper will begin to wear out around the folds after extended use. It can also tear or rip fairly easily. The traditional paper will burn easily (good for survival usage) and can be recycled or composted like any paper created from wood pulp. Made in the USA.

Synthetic Paper: Ideal for any outdoor adventure, in particular multi-day activities or any endeavor that you expect to be tough on your gear. This paper is made from polyester and is a brighter white than the traditional paper. It is thin (4.7 mil and 155gsm) and weighs only 0.4 oz per map. While this paper can fold, it does not hold a crease as crisp as traditional paper. It is extremely durable and almost impossible to tear (though it cuts easily with scissors). If you need your paper to be guaranteed waterproof, this is the one for you. It is 100% waterproof and can even survive multiple days submerged in water. You can easily write on this paper with pen, pencil, or dry erase marker. The dry erase ink will erase with an alcohol-based solution. The synthetic paper also repels grease and oil. It is FDA compliant as a Food Contact Substance, meaning you can feel safe using this as a placemat for those backcountry meals. This paper does not burn easily. It can be recycled as a #1 plastic, but be sure to check your local regulations as well. Made in Germany.

The images below are for your further reference.

Is shipping included?

Yes! If you are based in the United States, shipping is included. Tax is calculated separately and varies by state. We use USPS First Class shipping for our maps, which typically takes between 3-5 days to arrive. We fold the map once to meet the size requirements for First Class shipping, and we insert it between a cardboard cutout to protect it during its journey to you. We also ship maps unfolded (rolled) in a container for an additional fee. If you order three or more maps in a single order, we automatically ship the maps unfolded. Here's what your package will look like:

Mountyn Maps shipping packages

My map didn't meet my needs. What can I do about it?

We will do everything possible to make sure get the map that meets your needs. If you are unsatisfied with the print quality, we will assess the problem and either issue a refund or provide a replacement map. If you struggled with the map creation process, we will work with you to help you design the perfect map. CalTopo also has extensive tutorial information on their website. Whether you're concerned about the map quality or struggling to create the perfect map, please email us at hello@mountyn.co. We're committed to making sure you are a satisfied customer. 

Can I order maps in different sizes?

Not yet. To simplify our production process and ensure the maps are affordable, we only offer maps in the 12x18 size. We believe that this size of map combines the convenience of portability while still being large enough to cover enough territory for your outdoor adventure. We welcome feedback on our maps and suggestions about future iterations. Please email us hello@mountyn.co with feedback.

How much land does each map cover?

This depends on the map scale you are using. Many outdoor maps, such as USGS 7.5 minute maps (which are found under CalTopo's "Scanned Topos" layer) use the 1:24000 scale in their original form. CalTopo allows you to choose your scale, so you can get a close-up view of your area (1:12000) or a wider view (1:50000) or any other scale you want. In general, for maps where you are following a trail or navigating off-trail, we recommend the 1:24000 scale. Sometimes you want an overview of your entire area, in which case you might choose a scale around of 1:70000.

If some of this is a little confusing (that's okay!), let's try to clear it up. The map's scale tells you how much the map is "shrunken" down from reality. So for a 1:24000 scale, it is saying that 24000 inches in the real world fit into 1 inch on the map. There are 63,360 inches in one mile, so a scale of 1:63360 would output a map where one inch equals exactly one mile. Our 12x18 maps generally produce a printed map area of 10.5 x 16 inches of printed space (there is space around the map for latitude and longitude markers, a declination indicator and - you guessed it - a map scale).

Putting all this together, here is how much territory our maps will cover based on the scale you choose:

1:12000 scale: covers about 2 x 3 miles per map side (or 3.2 x 4.9 km)

1:24000 scale: covers about 4 x 6 miles per map side (or 6.4 x 9.8 km)

1:48000 scale: covers about 8 x12 miles per map side (or 12.8 x 19.5 km)

1:63000 scale: covers about 10.5 x 16 miles per map side (or 16.8 x 25.6 km)

1:100000 scale: covers about 16.5 x 25.25 miles per map side (or 26.7 x 40.6 km) 

Need more conversions? Use our handy map scale conversion calculator here

Where can I find out more about the CalTopo's mapping tools?

CalTopo is an amazing mapping application, not least because it has a wide variety of useful base layers and mapping overlays. A little knowledge about these layers and overlays will go a long way in creating your perfect map. You can get some background on CalTopo's map layers here.

Can I order the same map in both paper types?

Yes, however you will need to return to your map on CalTopo and once again select "Print this Map with Mountyn.co" then proceed with a new order. Alternatively, you can send an email to us at hello@mountyn.co and we can print a previous order on a different paper type.

Can the Mountyn Company handle custom orders?

We are happy to talk to you about custom requests, whether for maps, survival kits, or consulting we may be able to offer you. We will do everything possible to meet your needs. Our team has deep experience in military survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) that may be of assistance to your custom request. Please email hank@mounty.co for inquiries.

Can I re-order a map I previously created?

If you have a CalTopo account and have stored your map there, you can return to it and select "Print this Map with Mountyn.co" to order a new map. If you do not have an account with CalTopo, you will need to contact The Mountyn Company at hello@mountyn.co so we can find your previously printed map. Since we do not maintain previously ordered maps forever, we cannot gaurantee we will be able to find it.

Can I order a map to be delivered outside the United States? 

Yes! Just fill in your details on the order form when checking out. Your shipping will be automatically calculated. International shipping is not included in the price. 

What are The Mountyn Co.'s survival kits all about?

We at The Mountyn Co. believe enjoying the outdoors and being safe go hand in hand. Using our years of experience in survival preparation and search and rescue, we created survival kit designed to keep you safe on your trips to the backcountry. This kit includes the 10 essentials and much more. Our research indicates lost hikers need to be prepared to survive for 72 hours before being rescued, and our kit provides the tools and instructions to help somebody through such a challenging situation. Find out more about our kits, or order your own, here.

Our kits are assembled by hand in North Dakota by BJ, our survival expert and former Air Force SERE specialist. We don't make many so they don't last long! We do offer consulting services and training programs to provide individuals and corporations with curated survival kits and training to meet their unique situations. Our advice is informed by our network of experienced outdoor adventurers and former military personnel with specialized expertise. If you'd like to learn more, reach out to hank@mountyn.co

What settings should I use on CalTopo?

Good question. You have a lot of options on CalTopo to create the perfect map. If you're new to this, though, you might like to see some of our suggested map settings to help get you started.

Can I use pens or highlighters on my map?

Waterproof paper has unique properties the pose challenges for certain kinds of ink. For the most part, if you avoid traditional highlighters and gel-pens, you'll be okay. But here are our recocommendations.

Highlight with Sharpie Neon markers for permanent highlighting. Crayons work well for temporary highlighting of trails, routes, etc.

Traditional highlighters work well for very short term highlighting, but the ink won't hold up well to field use. It will wash off very easily with water.

Also please be aware that dry erase markers act like permanent ink on our paper.

Make notes with ballpoint pens for perment notes or pencil for eraseable notes. Again, gel-pens do not work well.

You can also use Frixion pens (eraseable ink) for notes and highlights. This ink will be eraseable for a week or two, but if left on the map the ink will become permanent.

And please be aware that erasing any ink with alcohol-based solutions may degrade the durability of the image. The image won't wipe off the map, but the ink may be destablized and fleck or scrape off more easily. Try using water and a cloth instead.