NAT Geo just made all USGS maps easily printable from Home

I posted about free downloadable USGS maps of the United States last year here: USGS Topo Maps for Free.  The official USGS site is great for finding accurate small-scale (1:24,000) topo maps of whatever part of the US you would like to have.  The problem with the site, or at least the maps you can get is that they don’t easily print at home because the sheets are sized for large format printers that are typically only found at commercial printing centers forcing you to download the files and pay to have them printed.

National Geographic Maps Page

National Geographic Maps Page

National Geographic has fixed that with the debut of a new site on their page called PDF Quads that lets you search for and download home-printable copies of every USGS quad for the US.  NatGeo has packaged each quad into a 5-page package that includes:

  • Page 1 is an overview map showing the Quad in context
  • Pages 2 through 5 are the standard USGS Quads cut in quarters to fit on standard printers
  • Hillshading has been added to each page of the PDF to help visualize the topography

They are sized such that you can print them from home, cut off the white edges, and tape them together to have a navigation ready map of the quad you want.  The page includes and interactive, zoomable map similar to the google maps interface that lets you quickly find the map quad you are looking for and download it.  I have included the PDF file for Mine Mountain in the Nevada test site so you can look at it and see what the NatGeo file looks like.

To repeat, the link to the NatGeo maps page is PDF Quads.

Mine Mountain Map PDF file

I am on the lookout for map products as useful the USGS quads for the rest of the world but while there are some good map sites out there, I have yet to fins free map products anywhere else in the world that come even close to matching what the USGS provides for the United States.  If anyone knows of some good sites please eave a comment.

Hydration Chart for Those that don’t Know

With warm weather hopefully just around the corner for all of us I recently found this little gem and thought it would be a good idea to share it around. Dehydration is not a joke. I have only ever seen one person killed from it but I have seen literally dozens of people fall out for it during my career in the military. If you out and about in the heat, stay hydrated.

The rule we used to tell the privates when I was a Drill Sergeant was “if you don’t need to piss even vaguely you are not drinking enough water and are already in the first stage of dehydration.”  We regularly enforced hydration because people just don’t think about it until it is too late.


USGS Topo Maps for Free

Did you know you can get USGS Topographic Maps for free?  I didn’t either until I started screwing around on the web looking for maps.  The place to go is the USGS Map Locator & Downloader.  From that page you can find the map you want and download it to your computer or device for browsing or printing.  The interface is quite simple and and it is easy to download.  You can either print the maps out at home or take the file to a print shop and you can get the whole sheet printed on a plotter so you can laminate it.  I even found a shop near me that will print large maps on waterproof material so I don’t have to screw around laminating them and making them bulkier than they need to be.

The USGS Map Locator interface page

The USGS Map Locator interface page

Lack of Updates

Sorry for the lack of updates folks but I have been working on the next edition of the book and simultaneously going to Graduate School so have not had the time to put together substantive posts and I would rather post nothing than some saccharin garbage that does not actually impart some useful knowledge.

I promise there will be some new material coming soon but in the meantime:


Simple Survival Launches

Welcome to the brand spanking new Simple Survival. In January I published The Simple Survival Smart Book and this site will be the future virtual home of information out of that book as well as expanded information, news, and tips having to do with surviving in post-collapse world.  I hope more and more people join me as I move forward in my efforts to share the knowledge I have gained from a lifetime of hunting and camping as well as a career as combat arms soldier.  I welcome comments and ideas.  Content may be thin at first but I aim to fix that and settle down to a steady drizzle of 2-3 posts per week as time goes on.


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