Kootenay outdoor backcountry users now have a new map to guide them through the regions remote areas.

The producers of the ever-popular Backroads mapbooks are launching a new series of  waterproof backcountry maps.

The West Kootenay map just came out and the East Kootenay map will be out next spring or summer.

“We will always have a soft spot for the Kootenays.  After all, this is where we learned to fish and hunt, went on countless hikes and spent many days camping and paddling,” said company co-founder Russell Mussio, who is from Trail, in a press release.

The extra-rigid, tear-resistant maps are much easier to carry around than a full map book, can handle more wear and weathering than the company’s series of topographic maps and make a good complement to the company’s series of GPS maps, particularly at times when mobile devices run out of battery power or can’t get reception.

“It’s hardcore for when you’re hunting, fishing or it’s getting rugged. This kind of map has been close to the founders’ (Mr. Mussio and Wesley Mussio) hearts. It’s something they’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Backroads marketing manager Matt Cosar told The Echo, adding that Russell in particular has a fondness for the Kootenays’ Arrow Lakes and takes particular delight in mapping out the lake’s numerous entry points.

According to the press release, Backroads was born out of the Mussio brothers’ frustration with what was available for exploring the outdoors.

“We’d literally have a different map or book for hiking, for hunting and for fishing, along with a few outdated topo maps with us. It was almost comical. It felt like we had to carry around a box full of stuff in the bush with us. We looked at one another and said, ‘This is ridiculous,” said Russ.

The company has since sold more than 1.5 million copies of its products.

“The success is partly a result of the sheer detail and level of expertise that goes into the map with our cartographers,” said Mr. Cosar. “They are the most comprehensive outdoor recreation maps of B.C.”

The detail comes in no small part through extensive cooperation from numerous outdoor organizations across the province, such as the Quad Riders Association of B.C. and B.C. Parks, according to Mr. Cosar.