Printing Trail Maps

I’ve been playing around with options for printing a complete set of paddle trail maps.

The Florida Office of Greenways and Trails has done an excellent job providing color map sets and guides of the entire Saltwater Paddle Trail online. The map sets come in pdf format and print out two on a page in portrait view on standard 8.5 X 11 sheets of paper. The entire set consists of 87 pages of maps excluding the index maps for all 26 sections of the trail.

The problem with printing out the maps is cost- Ink is expensive!

Of course printing them in black & white is the cheaper alternative but I’m finding the “read quality” of the maps coming out of my HP Ink Jet printer just isn’t the best.

So then I discovered FedEx Office Stores have the capability of taking online print orders and you can choose a variety of different print options. I did a test today and was blown away with the quality.

After uploading eight map files, I began choosing different print styles and paper weights to compare. I ended up trying out both color and black & white laser prints along with a variety of different paper colors to see which had the best contrast.

The color maps definitely look the best followed by black & white on their Ultra Lemon color paper. The cost difference is significant- 59 cents for color vs. 14 cents for black & white.

That boils down to a little over $51 to get high quality color laser prints of the maps. Not too bad. I’ll waterproof them by laminating. Four maps will fit inside each lamination sleeve.

Sounds like a plan…

– Marc


About Kayak Around Florida

We're two guys who paddled kayaks around Florida.
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2 Responses to Printing Trail Maps

  1. Warren, I got the latest Garmin .gdb file from Doug Alderson last week. I believe it includes all the waypoint data you updated from your thru paddle. The folks at the Florida Office of Greenway and Trails have been great sharing information.

  2. I also had Fedex/Kinko print my set – normal b/w front-back. Considering that they really only useful for ‘the big picture’ when planning the stops over several days and/or that occassional question of ‘just where am I’ the b/w was all that was needed – $20 for every thing that I needed.

    I used one-gallons zip locks to store the map sets and pulled out 3 or four sections at any time I wanted to look into the future. I kept these sections in a zip lock along with sections tore from the trail book – ala A.T.

    Be sure to load the tracks into the gps’r. The tracks will help to locate the deep water on the mornings that the tide has left you in the shallows. Additionally be sure to use the gps’r to create tracks when paddling up creeks/rivers in the big bend area. There are no reference points in the flats and if the tide is out in the morning finding your way back to the gulf is difficult at best.

    Not on topic but… every time you pass near a library email yourself all pictures and gps data collected at that time.

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