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Who needs paper maps when you’ve got GoogleMaps and the internet?!? [sarc/OFF]

I fully concur with paper maps. Heck, even under the best circumstances, including interstate highways, the internet is not always available, depending on carrier, device, and data plan. On a cross country road trip across I-40, north at Albuquerque up through Utah and Idaho, and back across Wyoming, Nebraska, and back down again, we encountered vast stretches where only phone service was available on agreements between our carrier and others – but without heavy data (i.e. no internet access, and therefore no weather,no maps, no “StreetView,” etc.).

I also agree with an occasionally updated full national road atlas, as well as even a few individual state maps for likely travel in the future. They could be invaluable, and in many vehicles could just fit down in a side door pocket, or in a vehicle emergency kit.

Speaking of vehicle emergency kits, in addition to a blanket, some water, etc., we also keep our ancient bag phone in ours. Though the old lead acid battery long ago died, it works just fine plugged into the 12v outlet. And it will still connect with 911 despite having no cell carrier affiliated with it (virtually all cell phones will connect to 911 with or without a chip). The really nice thing about the big bulky bag phone is that it’s a full 5 watt phone, giving far more power than a hand-held cell phone will these days. About once a year I do a test call to 911 and ask them to verify that it’s working fine for emergency purposes. They’ve repeatedly told me they don’t mind that. If you’ve still got that old dinosaur bag phone, or can even find one on eBay, it may be worth having in an emergency where you’re “out of range” or on the fringe of cell coverage.