Showing posts with label Maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maps. Show all posts

Backpacker Maps America's Best Long Distance Hiking Trails

Everyone knows about the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and even the Continental Divide Trail, but did you know there are a number of other great long-distance hiking routes in the U.S.? In fact, there are numerous other options for those who like to trek for days on end, covering hundreds – if not thousands – of miles in the process. And now, thanks to Backpacker magazine, we have a comprehensive map of the very best of them.

The map, which you can view in its larger format by clicking here, shows dozens of different trails scattered across the entire U.S., many of which most of us probably aren't all that aware of. For instance, did you know that there is a Centennial Trail that stretches for 111 miles (178 km) through South Dakota? Or that the Buckeye Trail covers 1445 miles (2325 km) on a circuit through Ohio? Heck, there is even a Florida Trail that stretches for 1400 miles (2253 km) across the entire length of the state, including the panhandle.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of course, as there are plenty more interesting long-distance hiking routes all over the U.S., stretching from one coast to the other. That includes the American Discovery Trail, which literally does just that, covering some 6800 miles (10,943 km) in the process. The point is, no matter where you live, chances are there is an epic trek to be had somewhere near by, and Backpacker wants to help you find it. This map is a great place to start.

As the magazine also points out, these trails wouldn't exist if it weren't for the tireless efforts of dedicated volunteers and conservation advocates all over the country. We get to reap the benefits of their hard work, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude. Hopefully in the years to come, there will be even more impressive trails to add to this map.

Antarctica 2016: Interactive Map Explains Ski Routes to the South Pole

This week intrepid men and women from all over the world are putting the finishing touches on their preparation and planning for a slew of upcoming ski expeditions to the South Pole. In a matter of days they'll be jetting off to Punta Arenas, Chile or Cape Town, South Africa where they'll then catch a flight to Antarctica to begin a journey that will take them weeks to complete. Most will begin at Hercules Inlet and will cover approximately 1130 km (702 miles) on their way to 90ºS. But others will take alternate routes that offer different levels of difficult and unique paths to that same goal. Now, on the eve of the start of the new Antarctic season, we have an interactive map that shows all of the various routes that are used to ski across the frozen continent.

The map is hosted at and includes 9 different paths that explorers use when traveling to the the South Pole as well as 1 path to reach the Pole of Inaccessibility. Clicking on any of the routes will provide information about its length, who first pioneered it, and the year in which it was traveled. For instance, both Amundsen and Scott Routes are marked on the map, which were first opened back in 1911-1912, when the two legendary explorers were battling one another to be the first to reach the South Pole.

Explorer House included some text with the map that provides context on what exactly a "valid" expedition truly means. In this case, that is defined as starting anywhere along the Antarctic coast and skiing all the way to the South Pole. This rules out a "last degree" journey of course, which  is exactly what it sounds like – a short ski expedition from 89ºS to 90ºS. Those "tourist trips" are typically only about 100 km (62 miles) in length, while a full expedition covers more than 1000 km (620 miles).

As we head into the start of a new Antarctic season, you'll find that the vast majority of the skiers are using the Hercules Inlet Route, which has become the standard for these types of expeditions. They'll fly out of Punta Arenas and land at the ice camp that is built and maintained by ALE at Union Glacier. From there, they'll catch another short flight to ferry them out to their starting point. If they are going solo and unsupported, they'll all be dropped off at unique locations to begin the journey, as the rules for adventure state that they can't have any contact with another individual along the way in order to maintain that status.

Later this week – weather permitting – the first teams will begin their march to the Pole. Once they're underway, we'll provide regular updates on their progress. There are a number of goods stories to follow, so it should be an interesting year in the Antarctic.

Video: What Was the Last Place on Earth to be Discovered?

Here's an intriguing question. What do you think was the last place on Earth to actually be discovered by man? Most researchers now believe that human life on our planet can be traced back to Africa, with man spreading out across the planet from there. Over thousands of years we migrated across the planet, settling in various places along the way. But have you ever stopped to think what part of the planet was the last to actually be found by humans?

That is exactly the subject of this video, which uses an animated map to show you exactly when certain destinations were discovered, with the timeline for many of them actually being quite surprising. For instance, who would have thought that North America was reached before Portugal for instance? There are plenty of other interesting little tidbits like that to be learned along the way too, with some remote places obviously taking longer to find than others.

So just what was the last place found by humans? I won't spoil the answer, but I will say that it will be quite logical once you learn where it is. There is definitely a lot of interesting things to learn here.