Topographic maps

Does anyone know where one could purchase a topographic map? I want to learn how to use a compass and a map together so I do not have to depend on my phone.


You can get a Delorme atlas almost anywhere, like Walmart. Otherwise you could check Amazon and set if they have the specific map you want.


United States Geological Survey maps. Go to USGS and find the map you want, these are the best.


Go to and enter “intro to navigation’” in the search box (magnifying glass icon). They have four articles that will get you going after you get a good compass from REI and at least one good topo map from the website. See for a look at the possibilities.

My wife and I hiked Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas some years ago. Using a compass, a straight edge and a pencil, we drew lines from high landmarks, like peaks and communication towers, at angles that the compass showed them to be from our location. We were standing where those lines intersected. There is a lake through the wooded area and we found our way to it using those tools. It was more fun than just hiking and it was a confidence building exercise. I’d suggest you start somewhere in an area that you are already familiar with. Enjoy!


Checkout the website of Orienteering USA, where a lot of info is located. You should be able to find a club in your state there also. Once/if all this Covid-19 business calms down, attend a course to get some hands-on training. Courses can range from Novice to Advanced, and the clubs are always ready to assist and provide training. Small fee is normally charged, and normally include a map and a loaner baseplate compass.

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You can get them directly from the US Forest Service as well as most backpacking stores. Also, check out stores with official Boy Scouts of America gear. There is a orienteering merit badge so they might have some to support that badge.

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Another option that I really like are the Aviation Sectional Maps. Lots of extra landmarks and goodies to explore. I believe you can even download them for free from some sites.

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