By: Blonde Two

There is a clever formula for calculating wind speed by counting the number of isobars across the UK weather map.  Being Blonde I have completely forgotten it but I had a look today and there were quite a few isobars.  Height comes into the formula so I am guessing that it is pretty windy up on Dartmoor today.

Which brings me to my topic this morning – Extreme Map Folding (or how to avoid looking incompetent on the moors).  The word “extreme” may sound drastic here but maps are excitable creatures and have two main pleasures.  The first is escaping their owner and taking off on their own expedition across the moors.  The second is wrapping themselves around a walker in such a way as to render them completely immobile.

Anyone who has walked with a 1:25000 map will know that no matter how carefully you plan your initial map arrangement, you can’t get very far without having to do some re-folding. You can always tell an experienced youngster on Dartmoor by the way that they handle and try to avoid this risky moment.  I say risky here because maps are big enough to blow away and important enough to run after.  Blonde Two and I have witnessed several such map chases and always carry a spare.

The universe works to its own rules and maps are no exception to this – so here are Blonde’s Universal Map Theories;

1.  However you choose to fold your map – your most important navigation feature will always be on the fold.

2.  When out on the moor, the direction you choose to face when you open your map will always be the one the wind decides to gust towards.

3.  Gusts are specifically timed to fit the moment when a map is fully open.

4.  Even on a lonely Dartmoor walk, someone will always appear to witness your humiliation as you try to recapture an escaped map.