When bike touring, it is always a good idea to have your map in front of you. A wrong turn, if not noticed can quickly add miles and may even keep you from getting to your destination for the day.
There are a number of map holders on the market that work well and keep your map dry and readable. Here’s a simple homemade version that is inexpensive and waterproof.
Ziploc Bags (map case)
Typically, the heavy duty Ziploc Freezer Bags are more durable and hold up better, although lighter duty bags will also do. The gallon size gives you a sizeable viewing area (10“ x 10“). The ones which seal by pressing the seams together are actually better that the new zipper ones.
Office Binder Clips
The number and size of binder clips needed will depend on what you will be attaching the map case to. Usually one to two medium size clips are all that you will need. The binder clips can be purchased in any office supply store
The rest is simple. Fold your map appropriately and place it in the Ziploc bag. Clip the Ziploc bag to your handlebar bag or other fixture in front of your view and you’re all set to go.
If your travel direction abruptly changes you can always keep your orientation to the map by just turning the map case and reclipping. The Ziploc bag can always be folded to a smaller size to accommodate a smaller map. The binder clip keeps the Ziploc bag securely attached even in heavy wind conditions. And the best part is the Ziploc bag will keep your precious map nice and dry on those rainy days.
Andy adds “This simple system for holding your map was introduced to me by a friend of mine who rode cross USA a number of years ago. I have used the “Ziploc System” for over 10 years now and have to say that it is a great inexpensive and easily replaced technique for keeping your map in front of you and dry on those rainy days.”
Andy also adds “I have used the “Ziploc System” in some mighty heavy winds and I can’t say that I have lost a map yet!“
This article was submitted by Andy Janz.
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