It’s a great idea to keep state road maps or a road atlas of your home state (and surrounding states where you may travel). Keep them in your vehicle as a backup for your GPS navigation system!
Hard-copy state road maps or a state road atlas can’t be beat! Here’s why…
A GPS navigation system is terrible at viewing “the big picture”, so to speak. The screen is too small. There’s no good topography perspective. Tedious to zoom in and out. Instead, compare that to detailed road maps or road atlas where each page shows lots more information! There’s no comparison in that regard.
Sure, a GPS can be very convenient for routing you from point A to point B. And it can zoom in very nicely to reveal detailed street views, and of course your present location. But there’s nothing quite like visualizing with a road atlas that you can hold in your hand and flip the pages.
It is simply good preparedness to have road maps and/or topographical maps, or a up-to-date road atlas.
I do use and appreciate my own vehicle’s built-in GPS navigation unit. However I have a personal preference for reading quality maps while getting a feel for the terrain or region and its roads. I find that a GPS unit and its relatively small screen size (compared to a road atlas page!) does not provide a large enough perspective. There’s nothing like opening a road atlas (they all have topographical perspective too) and viewing the lay of the land.
I keep several in my truck which cover not only my own state, but the various states around me (and USA). Theoretically I could travel anywhere in the U.S. without a GPS, without issue.
I have updated the following list of all 50 state road atlas maps (links below). They are the most up to date based on my research as of this publish date. Most are from DeLorme, some from Benchmark, and USA Atlas by Rand McNally.
Best USA Road Atlas
Best Road Atlas For Each State
Also of interest, a book called Next Exit. Lists services located at USA Interstate exits nationwide. Gas, food, lodging. shopping and other facilities.