How it all started…

From its humble beginnings in a tiny Vancouver apartment with maps strewn over the walls to becoming a household name across the country and selling more than 2 million products, Backroad Mapbooks has come a long way since the company’s inception in 1993. The timeline below highlights how BRMB became Canada’s number one source for outdoor recreation maps and adventure information.

  • The seed for Backroad Mapbooks was planted in 1993

    Brothers Wesley and Russell Mussio were out exploring the maze of logging roads around Harrison Lake in southern BC on a cold, wet day. They had several books and a few maps to try to find their way, yet all of their sources showed no more than the area’s main road system. Even worse, most of the maps were outdated. The Trail, BC-born brothers quickly found themselves lost.

    Frustrated, Wesley asked Russell, “Why doesn’t someone make one guide that shows all the roads?” With that, a lightbulb went off, and the pair got down to work.


  • First Run!

    At the time, they found that traditional maps were of limited use in the backcountry. The Mussio Brothers incorporated everything they thought was missing into the first Backroad Mapbook for Southwestern British Columbia, publishing it themselves and printing it in Wes’s garage. Beginning with a first run of just 3,000 copies, it quickly sold out after just one tradeshow.

    That’s when they knew they had something special.

  • Venturing out of Province

    Having covered most of BC with six different Backroad Mapbooks titles, it was time for the series to move east into Alberta. The first edition for Southwestern Alberta was well received and the brothers soon expanded to cover the rest of the province. Ontario followed shortly thereafter with the first Cottage Country edition, aided by the entrepreneurial efforts of Jason Marleau who headed the franchise expansion in that province.

  • Foray into Publishing

    Following the initial success of the Backroad Mapbooks series, Mussio Ventures entered the publishing world with guidebooks including Valleys & Vistas, Trans Canada Trail: The British Columbia Route, and Exploring BC’s Pictographs. The company also co-published maps for the Pembroke District in Ontario and the Whistler area of BC. Although some of these titles achieved success by Canadian publishing standards, by 2006 this division of the company was phased out and the focus returned to the Mapbook series.

  • Launch of the first Fishing Mapbook

    In order to better serve the fishing demographic, BRMB launches their Fishing Mapbook series, combining their state-of-the-art cartography and road and trail coverage with in-depth fishing information including bathymetric data and detailed descriptions of fishing holes, seasons and species. These maps set the industry precedent for fishing guidebooks.

  • Launch of the first Digital Edition Mapbooks

    In 2004 BRMB entered the world of live tracking and digital maps with the launch of the Digital Edition Mapbooks. Using third party programs such as OziExplorer, Memory Map and others, these maps allowed users to track themselves on digitized versions of the Backroad Mapbook series. This technology would later be refined and expanded upon to create BRMB’s GPS Maps and Mobile Maps.


  • Launch of first Waterproof Map

    BRMB prints its first Waterproof Map, putting all the detail of the Backroad Mapbooks series into a foldable, lightweight and durable recreation map that can easily fit in a jacket pocket. The maps become a hit with everyone from anglers to hunters, campers, hikers and mountain bikers, and now cover most of BC and portions of Ontario.

  • 1 Million Backroad Mapbooks Sold

    BRMB celebrates a tremendous milestone with 1 million products sold, including 20 Canadian National Bestsellers and titles stretching across the country. Starting with the first run of just 3,000 Mapbooks, Backroad Mapbooks is now a household name for outdoor explorers across Canada.

  • Launch of first TOPO Map

    BRMB introduces custom printable TOPO Maps, allowing customers to choose from over 1,500 maps spanning from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic. These maps feature all the detail of the Backroad Mapbooks blown up to a much larger scale, making them perfect for trip planning.

  • Launch of the first Backroad GPS Maps

    BRMB enters the digital age with Backroad GPS Maps, combining industry leading cartographic detail with Garmin GPS navigation and handy tools such as trip-tracking, waypoint marking and more. These GPS Maps allow users to seamlessly navigate across numerous Mapbook titles and include all the Adventure information found in the Mapbooks. The GPS Maps will later expand to include the province of Quebec and the Northern Territories.

  • Launch of the Backroad Navigator Map

    BRMB further expands its digital presence with the launch of the Backroad Navigator app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. The app allows mobile users to access all of BRMB’s map data and Adventure information, plus numerous features incorporating GPS capability. BRMB will later offer mobile maps for use with several of the industry’s leading navigation apps including Gaia GPS, Locus, Avenza, Backcountry Navigator XE and others.

  • BRMB Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

    BRMB rings in a quarter century of providing outdoor explorers with the most accurate, up-to-date and detailed maps available on the market. The BRMB team celebrates with a Vegas vacation and gives away thousands of dollars of cash and prizes in a year-long contest celebrating this milestone, all the while preparing for the future and many more years of mapmaking to come.

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