Wednesday, 10 March 2010

An old tip revisited.

There's an old tip that everyone who goes for the occasional "proper" walk, reads the forums Like OM or magazines like trail and TGO must be aware of yet I'm starting to wonder how many actually use. I've been aware of it for a long time myself but I've never seen it put into practise. At the winter navigation/snowholing trip everyone (including me) seemed to have ten cordlocks on a string to keep a tally of double paces counted when trying to keep a track of distance travelled on a particular bearing.

I had mine on my compass cord. I found them heavy and awkward and I must admit they drove me up the wall when I was trying to take a bearing on a slippery laminated map. So much so that the first thing I did when I got home was to go and invest £1.25 at the local fabric/wool shop for a stitch counter. Its much lighter, cheaper and comes in a variety of bright colours. It should be easier adjust with out stopping and breaking your stride but it might be fiddly with a winter gloved hand on, although not any more so than trying to manipulate a bead up the cord.

Slippery maps eh? How does everyone out there carry their maps? Does everyone still carry a full OS/harvey's sheet with an over engineered map case? I had no 25k printout on this trip so borrowed a laminated one from Iain. It was the first time I've used a laminated one and again, it drove me nuts with its slipperyness and its stiffness and corners when folding up to keep in your pocket. For years I've been using an Aloksac 30cm x 30cm. It's fits an A4 sheet in, it's waterproof and simple. Soft so it folds up nicely into your trouser pocket and has no sharp corners to dig into your leg. I'll just point out here (before mountain safety man come and shouts at me!) that I always carry either at least a backup printout of the area or preferably a full sheet of the area in a mapcase slipped down the back of my pack just incase my flimsy printout gets blown away.


  1. I have never heard of a stitch counter! But I shall now go and buy one!

    For maps I use Anquet A4's folded in half and put in an Ortleib A5 document bag - nice and bendy and crunches up nicely into a small pocket. Tie the corner on a length of cord attached to a mini carabina fixed to the pocket zip-pull the map goes into. Never lost one yet.

  2. Real manly men shouldn't have to be afraid to be caught nosing through the knitting section though I feel! It took me at least 5 mins to get my bottle up. In fact, I would've probably felt more comfortable going in and asking the wee granny behind the till for some hardcore pornography!

  3. Aye a stitch counter, that is an oldie but one I'd forgotten, I use an ordinary ziplock bag for my map printouts but also keep a backup set stashed away just in case.

  4. If I am going to a specific area and not deviating, I will print off the map sections I need using memory map onto toughprint paper

    waterproof, very bendy and foldy too


  5. And a good tip too, new to me...


Blog Archive