The totally useless equipment guide No. 1:
The map case
Bad points & features:
- Prone to half-strangle the wearer on anything other than windless days.
- On the 1 day in 100 that is windless, flops about annoyingly at waist height like an old school satchel.
- Fails to resolve the problem that 95% of all walks start or finish on the fold of the map, & thus require repeated cold-fingered footering.
- Map still needs to be removed from case for accurate compasswork.
- Water, once it seeps its way into the case, becomes well & truly trapped, forming itself into little beads which scurry like beetles across the map's surface.
- Velcro strip designed to keep case watertight (a) doesn't last very long, (b) makes infuriating crackling noise each time it is opened, & (c) becomes entangled with similar velcro strips on cagoule.
- Certain particularly bad designs of mapcase have so-called "grid-lines" marked on them. These invariably fail to fit the scale of map you are using, having been designed on the edicts of the South Korean Ordnance Survey.
Good points & features:
- Useful on mid-Staffordshire rambles, when wet-day navigation along field-edge footpaths requires that more concentration be devoted to cartography than to admiration of the landscape, lest one inadvertently stray into the territory of an irate bull or snorting farmer.
- Useful for sitting on at summits.
- Saves on plate-carrying during camping trips.
- Handy for wafting away flies & midges in late sumner.
- Especially large & cumbersome mapcases serve well as sledges on icy descents.
- Can be used to good effect when shovelling snow off the car windscreen.
- Makes for a fine frisbee on the Cairngorm plateau in calm conditions - but watch out for those crags above Coire Etchachan!!
TAC 1 Index