Friday, October 15, 2010

All In One Map Tool Kit-First Impressions

Brooks-Range is primarily a mountaineering equipment company. They also do map tool kits, complete with waterproof paper, a fabric organizing wallet, and several measuring, orienting tools.
I received a sample product for testing which was designed and labeled
"Backcountry Toolkit".
The kit weighs 4.5 ounces which all fits into a fabric wallet that is yellow with red accents. I was impressed with the workmanship and compartments for organizing paper and maps. Its water resistant and measures 4.5 x 7.75 inches. It has a secure Velcro closure system, and you can see the loops designed to hold pen or pencil is on the outside.
There is plastic card which contains a system of mapping scales and a compass rose. It is not a magnetic compass with a needle or adjustable dial. The methods for using the mapping scales and markings on the card well described in the booklet inclosed.
With practice and patience, these are useful skills for the adventurous soul to develop. For instance, you can plot a point on any map right down to the second.
However, a typical stay on the trail backpacker would love the waterproof paper and organizer, but the helicopter rescue information card might be overkill or paper scaling ruler unexciting.
Of course, the disclaimer for this product is understandable. "Any person using this equipment in any manner assumes all risks and accepts full responsibility for any and all damages or injuries....It remains the responsibility of you, the user to act safely and to educate yourself in propler use of all gear"
I'll practice with these tools and use my forest service map in conjuntion with the rulers provided.
Visit for more map tool kits.

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