One common problem, if you are using a map on a long trip, is keeping it in good condition. Constant opening, folding, stowing and reopening all inevitably damage the map. Then there is the rain, wind and other conditions that can destroy it in minutes. After a couple of days, the map ends up in four or five pieces, damaged and degraded.
About 8 Overland Track trips ago, to save pack weight, we scanned and colour printed the maps for each day from John Chapman’s Overland Track book. Sue then laminated them and they have lasted very well for every trip. In fact, they are still in great condition.
This week Frank heads off on the first of 14 trips planned for the Great Ocean Walk between October and May. One map will not survive that many trips, so laminating sections of it is the best solution.
The Great Ocean Walk Map produced by Parks Victoria is a ripper. Set at 1:25,000 it is incredibly detailed and contains many notes, pieces of information, highlights and advice. This is great stuff but not all relevant if you just want to use the map, well as a map! It is a handy thing to take en route to show clients where they are, judge relative distances and where pick up and drop off points are located.
The “process” we followed:
- You do need access to a scanner and colour printer. We upgraded recently to a very simple HP unit.
- Look at the whole map and, using a piece of blank A4 paper, work out the areas on the map that will be scanned on each pass.
- We just focused on “the track” part of the map i.e. where we are actually walking
- The GOW map is large so we needed 10 sections
- Carefully fold the map so the relevant section is about A4 size and scan it. We used a higher resolution (dpi) than normal to get a good copy.
- Save the file as a .jpg (picture file) for simplicity
- Double check you have all the track covered, trying to overlap slightly the edge of each section
- Print out the m,aps. We used colour but black and while works just as well.
You now need a Laminator. We picked up one at Officeworks but they are commonly available at stationers or Aldi, for example.
The process is quite simple, Sue is the expert here. Just feed it through the machine. We did trim a few millimetres off one side and the end so there was a wider seal than normal. Hopefully this will increase the durability and reduce the potential for delaminating.
We laminated the sheets “back to back” , 2 map sections per page. This resulted in 5 sheets for the whole walk.
Because these trips are based off track and use shuttles to different points on the GOW each day, Frank only needs to take the relevant section of map for that day’s walking. The original map will be used for briefings and only really opened once a day.
What do you do with your maps? Take the original, take a photocopy?
Have you tried laminating sections? How did it work out for you?