Chicago | August 15, 2014 9:00 am

Topo the Charts

By The Editors

Manly life skill #294: How to read a map.

Extra points for learning how to read a topographic map. Extra extra points if you can frame that map and put it on a wall.

Start here: with these beautifully made, limited-edition topographic charts from Below the Boat, available now.

This is some eye-grabbing cartography: handcrafted, multi-layered wooden maps that show the contours that lie beneath lakes, rivers and oceans.

From shore to shore — we’re talking West Coast, East Coast and the inland waters in between, including our particularly icy cool Lake Michigan.

Each of the maps is handcrafted in Michigan from Baltic birch, where the patterns are precision laser-cut then glued together.

Beauty of it all is in the details. The depth. The hand-colored blue waters. Major roadways are etched into the land.

All framed, ready to hang and covered with clear, ultra-durable Plexiglas.

Because manly life skill #39: protect yourself from the elements.