By: Blonde Two

The Two Blondes are currently facing a bit of a map crisis.  We went down to the Outdoor Ed stores for the first time in ages yesterday and, while Blonde One worked out how to put some old canvas tents up so that we could send them to a good home, I counted maps.

To say that I was counting them was a bit of a mislabelling of my activity.  Most of my time was spent opening them up, peering through the holes and chucking them on the “lost maps for the bin” pile.  In the interests of recycling, I did try to be generous to these hole-riddled veterans – after all, they have served us and the youngsters well in some pretty horrid conditions and through numerous inexpert “extreme map folding” sessions.  The trouble though, with a double sided map is that even if you are certain that you won’t want to take your groups to Great Trowlesworthy, you sure as hell need them to walk past Okement Hill at some point in their Ten Tors training.  It would make a really good Dartmoor quiz game – “Which tor is on the opposite side of the map to …”

Blonde One and I are now going through a which map case/laminated map/paper map combination discussion with ourselves.  Lots of people have told us that laminated OS maps last for years but they are obviously not Blondes – ours are usually leaking after six months and positively moth eaten after twelve.  On our walk on Saturday, I had to keep making quick recalculations as the gap in my map grew from 100 metres to 200 metres wide. Definitely time for some new ones!  Maybe we should have map cases ourselves but I suspect that the combination of that and the walking poles would be lethal for me.

Laminated maps are tempting for the youngsters.  After a couple of quite serious “wet map” incidents last year, we are going to make sure that all teams carry an emergency one in a rucksack this year.  The problem is that they would still need map cases for their Ten Tors cards and route cards so would we be better off with cheaper paper maps?  Maybe I should plan routes that can be done without refolding the map thus allowing it to stay safe in its case and not get wet at all.

A minefield of decision making to be done and not much time to do it in.  We are out again with some youngsters later in October and I have just thrown all of the maps away!  Never, ever let a Blonde near your stores!


Maps, as you can imagine