I'm 36 years old 5'-7" & 175 pounds
(all muscle). Okay, okay I'm a little over weight but it's difficult to fight
that battle when you spend a minimum of 12 hours a day sitting. I'm married
& have 4 kids (3 girls & 1 boy). Their ages are 18, 13, 12,
11. Most of our hiking trips are North Georgia & most are family
Within the group there is a wide range of
hiking speeds. The system that works best for our group is to allow the faster
kids to keep their pace along with my wife or me staying with the lead group and
the other parent bringing up the rear. We designate a features to meet at during
the course of the trip so the group doesn't get too spread out.
The other dynamic in our hiking this way is
time. We are constantly squeezing hikes around other events. Soccer games,
concerts, scouts, church events. The ability to judge how long it will take us
complete any given section is very important to us. Our hiking speed can be
estimated with this formula: 2 miles per hour for the length of the trip, add
1/2 hour for every 1,000ft of elevation gain. Also add additional time for
extended stops such as vistas, caves etc. This formula works for us within 15 to
30 minutes most of the time. Sometimes we have to take an alarm clock to keep on
schedule but it beats not getting to hike at all.This is were Topo! comes into
play. I can trace out route, plan meeting points, find likely camp sites and
locate probable water sources. After I've traced our route I can then have
the software develop a profile section on the trail we will be taking. Topo!
tells me the elevation gain & loss & the total distance. With this
information I can reasonably calculate the time it will take for us to complete
Name: National Geographic Topo!
Regional Series - North Georgia, Great Smoky Mountains &
Length of Service: 2
- Intuitive interface
- You can draw routes
- Zoom feature allows you to go beyond 7.5
- Within the contour feature you can mark a section of the
trail & determine the percent of grade of a particular mountain &
how long of a climb.
- You can save prints of your map as a bitmap image. With this
you can share your maps with others via email if they don't have the
- On Topo!'s website they provide an area that users can share
maps with each other.
- Bookmarks take you to your saved area from any point on the
- The printing interface doesn't give you a preview of what
your map will look like.
- There is very limited editing tools for your route
- If you what to use your GPS with your software you have to
buy TopoGPS for additional $49.
- The company's web page. Allowing users to share maps is a
great idea. I don't know if other companies offer this convenience.
- Free software upgrades.
- the ability to get the percent of grade & distance of a
ascent or descent
- Merging two maps into one.
I have very few complaints about this software. For the price
you cant beat it. I am constantly using it. On my lunch breaks I'm day dreaming
of future hikes or updating maps form a previous hike. I need to buy the TopoGPS
in order to get more use out of my GPS & simplify my inputting of data. I
use my Garmond etrax on most trips mostly to mark points of interest but
have to manually input the