I Always Carry a Map (except that one time)

I am a map nerd. Paper maps. digital maps. GPS maps. Antique maps (I own several).

So I always make sure I have a map with me (and a backup) when I adventure out in the wild and off-grid. I typically don’t trust the GPS on a cell phone because many times where I go I don’t have cell coverage.

Green River (UT / WY)

Back in 2012 I did a three day fishing expedition down the Green River along the UT / WY border, heading east from Flaming Gorge / Dutch John, UT.

I was with my brother and his friend, a professional hunting guide from UT.

NBrown trout on Green River

On the first day we loaded up the boat with our gear and I assumed they had maps of the areas and brought the guns we were using the day before!

After many hours of excellent fishing, and running a few rapids on the river, we realized we were no where’s near our planned stop, where the truck and camping gear were. As the sun was setting behind the canyon walls, we realized

entering a canyon of unknown length as sun sets behind the mountains

we were heading downriver through the canyon and we didn’t know how long this canyon was and how far to our camp site because we had no phone signal, no GPS and no Maps!

Getting dark and cold: Man with a plan

I quickly made a plan. We had plenty of food, water and warm clothes to spend the night on the boat, as night time temps would dip into the 30s. We also decided that we would not shoot any rapids in the dark and if we heard any rapids we would anchor and spend the night on the boat. we already crossed several that day and no one wanted to do that at night.

Without guns we decided it would be too dangerous on the river bank in case of bears.

Green River Canyon section

Night time

Before the sun set, we prepped the boat for nighttime navigation down the river through the canyon, prepositioned food, water, warm cloths and a tarp for shelter, if needed.

Moon and reflection at night in the canyon

After several hours of slowly going through the canyon in the dark and searching the shoreline for the boat ramp where our truck would be, we finally found it, where the shuttle service guy left it.

instead of camping that night all exhausted from the experience, we headed back to the lodge, where the next morning the three of us bought maps!

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