Soviet Military Maps – a Treasure Trove for Backpackers/Trekkers

Soviet Military Maps – a Treasure Trove for Backpackers/Trekkers

Outside of Western Europe and the USA, finding accurate large scale topographical mapping for wilderness backpacking/trekking trips can be a problem. Often it is either difficult to source or ruinously expensive – or both.

There is a surprising source of topographic mapping – Soviet military maps. During the cold war, the Russian military undertook a staggeringly ambitious plan to map the entire world. Following the collapse of the USSR, some of those maps leaked out to the West and are now publicly available. They are a great resource for backpackers/trekkers, being highly detailed and generally accurate.

Five Inspirational Wilderness Backpacking Websites

Five Inspirational Wilderness Backpacking Websites

Backpackers/trekkers tend to be drawn towards more challenging trips in lesser known mountain ranges or more obscure destinations as their experience grows. However, this has to be reconciled with the need to fit said trip into the limitations of an annual holiday allowance.

So how do you find those more remote routes, and to which of them do you commit your precious and all to short holiday resource? As a starting point, here are five inspirational websites from people who most definitely seek out the remote and challenging.