Based in Seattle since its founding in 1973 by Walt Locke as the first publisher of high-quality recreational topographical maps to Washington State, Dharma, Inc., now publishes more than 150 titles for the most spectacular mountain, beach and desert areas North America. The companys latest innovation is its Gold Standard Editions of ultralight, waterproof and tear-resistant folded maps, weighing just under 1.5 ounces and printed in multicolor on both sides to cover more terrain more clearly and in more user friendly detail.
Dharma maps show the most current trail, road, and access information to national forests, national parks, state and local parks and other public lands, and are favored by hikers, climbers, cross-country skiers, horseback riders, hunters, anglers, mountain biker riders and search and rescue groups and recommended by the most venerable and respected climbing guides.
The company's maps now cover Washington and Oregon's The company's maps now cover Washington and Oregon's Cascade Mountains, Washington's Olympic Peninsula, the Spring Mountains of Nevada, the parks of Phoenix and the Sky Islands of Tucson, and the best of California's Central Coast from Marin County to Big Sur. The new ultralight maps are in addition to Dharma venerable and updated maps in the 12x18 Inch, 15 Minute Series, 120 of which which continue to lead over 10,000 hikers per year to exhilarating and beautiful places.
Dharma works with local guidebooks authors, resource agency trail coordinators, and paid mappers to research and update each title regularly, typically prior to printing, and actively solicits feedback from backcountry travelers. That's because Dharma shares a commitment to the outdoors and hiking with its customers, operating with the mantra "We love these places."
Says company president Alan Coburn:"The Dharma message is to promote getting outside to enjoy the huge recreational opportunities of our national forests, national parks and ocean beaches. We want these great resources to be valued, respected, used and loved."
2 Compass - A map is no good without a compass and a compass is no good if you don't know how to use it. It doesn't matter how fancy your compass is, but if it doesn't have a compensation setting for true North make sure you know how to convert magnetic to true North.
3.Flashlight/Headlamp - A light source is vital if you get caught in the woods after dark. Also carry spare batteries and an extra bulb and make sure you test your light before each trip. Batteries have a limited shelf-life, and contacts can become corroded blocking the flow of current.
4. Extra Food - At least one extra day's worth. It should be something that stores for a long time, requires no preparation and is high in energy. Many people choose things they really dislike so they won't be tempted to break into their emergency rations unless they really need them.
5.Extra Clothing - Bring an extra set of whatever is appropriate for the time of year including warmer clothes for an un-anticipated overnight stay. Don't forget rain gear even when the skies are clear.
6Sunglasses - Sunglasses are a must if you will be traveling on snow. Snowblindness is a very painful and debilitating condition that requires emergency evacuation.
7.First-aid Kit - Don't just have a first aid kit, have a useful first aid kit. If your kit just has a few bandaids and some aspirin, you won't be able to do much. Make sure you have the supplies to deal with major injuries, and make sure you have the knowledge. Take a first aid course from the Red Cross or the Mountaineers.
8.Pocket knife - That cork-screw just may come in handy someday.
9. Matches - Keep them in a waterproof container and have a dry or waterproof striker. You might also bring a cigarette lighter as a backup.
10 . Fire starter - In the Northwest you can expect to have to deal with wet kindling. A candle, solid chemical fuels or balls of compressed wood chips work well.
What folks say about Dharma Maps:
Mark writes: "The Dharma Maps strike the perfect balance between size, scale, and detail. I'd like to use them instead of the larger and older USGS 1:24000 maps."
Ian of Seattle writes Thanks for making some really neat maps. The detail, scale, and overall accuracy are much better suited for hiking than anything else I've found.
Lorlei of Mount Vernon WA. writes... Dharma Maps are the best. I have to use them to find trails. My first Dharma Map was #109 and #110. I bought them because my friend and I hiked up to Three fingers lookout and we used the maps to find the trail. The maps were much more accurate than the hiking book we were reading. Now whenever I go on a hike I buy the Dharma Map that has the trail on it.
In writing about the "Tiger Mountain," map 204S, Ginny of Renton says in her report to Pack and Paddle: "That map is indispensible, showing each and every little trail we took -- and there were plenty."
Another customer says: "Have found the Dharma maps the best ones for Issaquah Alps, they are accurate and help with decision making on routes that are not always well marked."
A customer who has moved away from the state and misses our maps writes: "My wife and I love your maps. To us, packing the appropriate Dharma Map for the area that we will be hiking is almost as important as packing our tent."
Finally, a customer who was writing to suggest a change in a trail that he had hiked, said of the Tiger Mountain map: "This is the best map of this area I have ever used. The DNR map (1994) and USGS maps (1993) for this area were hopelessly out of date even five years ago."