Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Map Holding

While I was down in Dorset last month, I had an opportunity to try out a new map holder I had purchased, which would offered both resistance to rainfall and a means of storing a folded Ordnance Survey map.


This waterproof map case is made by Ortlieb. You can buy them from Cotswold Outdoor but I found one for a couple of pounds less (including free delivery and no parking fees) on eBay. My previous experience with an A4-sizes Ortlieb document holder left me in full confidence that this will no leak. They’re almost airtight. So much so, that it can be tricky to seal the open end without trapping a large bubble of air inside.


It comes with a detachable cord, which some reviewers have claimed is too short to fit behind their necks or to hold a map beneath their arm when it’s windy. There’s the adjustable toggle, which you can see above. I tried wearing it round my neck but it just began to irritate me. Plus, there was the conscious thought of the burning sun overheard any any white lines it may leave untouched.

After a few miles of walking, I decided to alter the typical arrangement.


This cord is supplied separately from the waterproof, velcro-fastened case. Initially, I fastened the clipped ends in to two of the four holes around the perimeter of the plastic wallet. Here, I decided to thread them through each hole and then through loops to fasten them; leaving the clips free to attach to these mysterious D-rings that have always intrigued me on my backpack:


I can even clip the two together behind my neck and have gained a few inches in length, with the removal of that toggle. I think you could even use the extra two holes to attach this to your backpack.


In all honesty though, I spend most of my time carrying it in my spare hand, as I frequently need to refer to it while treading across less familiar ground. When I need my hands to be free though, I tend to stuff behind the belt that secures my bag around my waist.

Personally, my main achievement here is that I can mark out a route using a felt-tip pen and rest assured that it won’t get rubbed off or washed away at a time when I may need it the most.


Thanks for reading and happy hiking!


2 responses to “Map Holding

  1. redjim99 25/08/2015 at 20:05

    I copy or print my maps from software or my big map. Then just seal it in a plastic sleeve and find it is easy to fold, stuff, handle in strong wind etc. Cheap to do too, and not a drag when I lose it.
    I keep the main map tucked away for emergencies, when I need to see the bigger picture.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 25/08/2015 at 20:15

      Thanks, Jim, that sounds like it works well. I’ve just payed for a year’s subscription to Ordnance Survey’s new online service and could certainly make use of it in the manner you describe. Full-size maps are also a pain to fold and, as I discovered very recently; having to swap between maps is a right pain. 🙂

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